One of the parts of my self-publishing strategy I’ve been debating over is whether my ebooks should be exclusive to Amazon’s Kindle or not. For those who don’t know, Amazon runs a scheme called KDP Select (Kindle Direct Publishing, in case you were wondering). By committing to give Amazon exclusive ebook distribution rights for their work for 90 days, authors can take advantage of some of Amazon’s marketing tools, and also be included in the Kindle Unlimited lending library, which is potentially another way of generating an income.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of going the exclusive-to-Amazon route:
Reasons for going Amazon-Exclusive
- Can make use of promotional marketing tools, such as free book giveaways and discounts
- Books can be included in the Kindle Unlimited lending scheme
- Amazon makes up about 75% of all ebook sales worldwide
- Less hassle messing around with lots of different formats
Reasons against going Amazon-Exclusive
- Can’t sell (or give away) the ebook anywhere else, including on own website
- 25% of the worldwide ebook market is still pretty bloody sizeable
- Ever heard that phrase about all eggs in one basket?
Those are the biggies, and as you can see, there are more reasons for enrolling in KDP Select then there are against it (for me, at least). And yet… I’m not going to. Something about being exclusive to Amazon sits very uneasily with me, and as someone who has bought ebooks on Apple’s iBooks, Google Play, Nook and others, I know there is definitely a market out there.
The other ebook stores are less crowded than Amazon, too. So, while there may be fewer readers using them, there are far fewer books for them search through, so sales could potentially be around the same.
So, another decision made: I won’t be exclusive to Amazon, which means I won’t be enrolling in the KDP Select scheme. Take that, Amazon!