Kindle Publishing Panic: Keep Your Readers Reading

Kindle Publishing Panic: Keep Your Readers Reading

I LOVE Kindle publishing. And not only because I can write what I want, when I want, and get paid. It’s also because it’s hugely entertaining. There’s always some panic or other going on.

It’s amazing. The tearing-of-the-hair, the shrieks of outrage and predictions of disaster for authors that Amazon’s new KDP Select “payment for pages read” terms have caused…

The drama’s pointless.

Here’s why:

  • Amazon is a huge global business. A business’s primary goal is to stay in business. Its secondary goal is to turn a profit, some day, some way — otherwise it just won’t stay in business;
  • No one forces you to enroll your ebooks in KDP Select/ Kindle Unlimited. It’s up to you. Enroll, don’t enroll… No punishment either way. Just like Amazon, YOU are in business. Choose pricing that works for you. We talked about the 4Ps of marketing your ebooks here;
  • Subscription services work, but companies need to tinker with them to make money. Viz Scribd’s booting of romance novels from its service. So expect more tinkering from Amazon.

Wait and see what happens. If you don’t like it, leave KDP Select

A voice of sanity, Katherine Hayton’s worked out what the new terms are likely to mean for her business.:

“Therefore ‘Found, near water’ would net me $2.11 in royalties, and ‘Skeletal’ would net me $2.59.

“That’s a vast improvement on the $1.33-$1.35-ish I’ve been receiving lately.”

No one knows how the new terms will affect them, yet.

Wait and see. You can always opt out of KDP Select. I put many of my own ebooks into KDP Select; I still think it’s a good decision.

Payment for pages read? It’s a good thing. You want readers to read. The only authors who’ll suffer in KDP Select are people who were trying to game the system. That’s never wise.

Love your readers. Write for them, always

If you do that, you don’t need to worry about Amazon, or anything else. Today, you have huge power. You can literally publish your ebooks at a click of your mouse.

Write the best way you know how. Strive to constantly improve. Most importantly — HAVE FUN. If you’re not having fun, your readers won’t either.

A final tip: be aware that as an author, you’re no judge of your writing, while you’re writing. I’ve been doing final edits on a novel. I worried while I was writing it. Reading it, as a reader might (even though that’s impossible), I found myself caught up in the story. I wondered why I’d worried…

Stop worrying. Keep writing. 🙂

Update March 2017

Here we are two years on from when I published this post. What’s changed? Nothing much, in essence. KDP Select has its adherents, but many authors have chosen to “go wide”, and publish everywhere they can. I use Select for some books, and go wide on others. For me, that’s the best choice. I found that Select harmed sales for some books.

If you’re a newbie self-publisher, an Amazon exclusive in Select  makes good sense for you. You can run some ads, and get readers. Today, even more than two years ago, we need to experiment.

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Angela Booth is a copywriter, author published by major publishers, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills at her online store. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her novels and business books have been widely published.