Books written by Ray Sullivan

Friday, 6 September 2013

Smashwords Challenges KDP Select

Amazon have a scheme called KDP Select which is an addition to their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) arm that has allowed thousands of authors to self publish their novels.  I like KDP but I've vocally objected to KDP Select on many occasions on this blog.

My objection is that Amazon insist on exclusivity for what is arguably a valuable marketing tool for authors.  For consumers of Amazon products, if they elect to join the Amazon Prime scheme that gives them free shipping in return for a set monthly fee they can also access a library of eBooks they an download and read.  That bit sounds like a nice addition to the programme and a bit of an incentive to consider KDP Select.  The part I don't like is that Amazon only allow books to enter that programme if the author signs over exclusive rights to Amazon.  The book is still available for sale through Amazon, but cannot be listed on Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, WH Smith, Kobo etc.

A couple of years ago that might have sounded like a reasonable proposition when Amazon dominated the eBook market, and Amazon sweeten the concept by providing authors with a large monthly pot of money to be shared out pro-rata to all books loaned in this manner.  However, regardless of whether you think like me that the process is anti-competitive or whether you think it is the smartest idea going, the fact is that Apple are a huge part of the eBook market and the other eBook sellers are making up another sizeable portion as well.  Amazon are still very big in this field, but nowhere near as big in relative terms as they used to be,

Now Smashwords are about to offer a similar concept.  There's no pot of money being stumped up by them, no distorting bribe.  But no requirement to be exclusive to Smashwords.  In fact they have always been consistent in suggesting that authors should list with both themselves and Amazon to maximise sales potential, a suggestion that Amazon don't appear to mirror.

The scheme is based on Smashwords joining up with Oyster, which is aiming to be the Spotify of eBooks.  The details are eagerly awaited, but a $3 million fund has been established to get this off the ground.  For one I'm interested to see how this will pan out, not only in itself but also to see if it makes Amazon sit up and take notice.  I think their KDP Select scheme is a good marketing tool to enhance the benefits for those who choose to sign up for their Prime service, but I don't believe it has to be exclusive to work.  Maybe they'll reconsider when Oyster takes off.


                                                          Visit my Book Website here
        Visit Project: Evil Website here                                        Visit DLF Website here

        Follow me on Twitter  - @RayASullivan

        Join me on Facebook -  use to find me

No comments:

Post a Comment