When I first started to look at putting my scribblings out as eBooks, Amazon wasn’t anywhere on my list of possibilities. However, having had a chance to see how things work at Smashwords, I thought I’d conduct a little experiment to see how the Amazonian experience differed.
One of the reasons I’d been initially reluctant to go down the Amazon route is their constant and irritating promotion of the ‘Select’ option. Joining KDP Select is, of course, a great thing to do if you’re happy to stick with one company and one company alone, and as Jane Friedman says, if you only have one book out, it may well be a great way of building your audience.
That said, being an indie author, by its very nature, suggests an independent attitude to publishing (which of course I have in spades), so there was no way I was going to sign up for KDP Select since its exclusive nature would prevent me from exploring other options. (I realize I’m probably being a little stubborn here, but I like to make my own mistakes, so if my choices turn out to be the wrong ones, that’s all good).
Free, or Not to Free
I’m a great believer in giving away books for free, since it allows readers to try your work without forking out their hard-earned spondoolicks. (The first books in each of my children’s series will always be priced at free). Strangely, Amazon don’t seem to like this idea and go out of their way to throw obstacles in the way of freebies. It’s not set in stone – Smashwords founder Mark Coker suggests a way around the problem, though I’m not convinced that playing fast and loose with the big boys is going to make life easier.
So now I’ve got one book (How the World Turns) on Amazonia as an experiment. Priced the same as on Smashwords, iBooks, Barnes & Noble et al, I’ll be interested to see what happens. If anything.
Watch this space. Or not.