Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Monday, October 15, 2012

The End of Exclusivity?

Mark Coker is the founder and CEO of Smashwords, and we spoke recently about an Amazon ‘December surprise.’

Last December, Amazon shook up the Indie publishing world with the announcement of the KDP Select program. In exchange for you giving it exclusive rights to sell your eBook, Amazon would give you certain promotional benefits. One attraction is the ability to have “free days” where you hopefully raise your Amazon ranking by giving away a book for up to five days during each 90-day exclusive period. After a free day, the price returns to normal without any delay or confusion.

People like to talk and speculate, and the publishing world is no different. Rumors abound about another coming December surprise, with many folks guessing Amazon will give the authors of the world a Christmas present by eliminating exclusivity. Mark Coker discusses this in the following excerpt from the October 5th post on the Smashwords Site Updates page (used with permission - see the entire post at https://www.smashwords.com/about/beta )

In recent weeks, the tea leaves point to more exclusivity. With the recent launch of their distribution to India, they added a requirement that if you want 70% royalties on India sales, you must enroll in KDP-Select and remove books from all other retailers. It seems they've also stepped up the aggressiveness of their automated price-matching. Their emails now threaten authors with account termination if they're enrolled in the 70% royalty rate (this is independent of KDP-Select) and another retailer is offering a lower price. No other retailer tightens the screws upon the knuckles of authors like Amazon. It's so unnecessary.

I for one hope for a kinder, gentler Amazon in the future. I think it's in their best interest. Amazon has a brilliant retail platform, great discovery, and smart people working there. Why treat authors like such pawns? And why do so many authors fall prey and willingly submit to such oppressive policies?

In a message to me on Saturday, Mark wrote: “I hope Amazon does the right thing and drops exclusivity. If they did that, I'd become a huge supporter of KDP Select.”

I agree.

No comments:

Post a Comment