Friday, December 16, 2011

Why I Chose KDP Select

This past week I received a letter from Amazon.  Hello from KDP! We're excited to introduce KDP  Select . . . KDP Select gives you a new way to earn royalties, reach a broader audience, and use a new set of promotional tools. 

What immediately appealed to me was "reach a broader audience."  Not one to shy away from marketing and self-promotion, I had been successful in arranging book signings, library talks and interviews about my memoir on radio and in print media.

I had nevertheless found this to be a tough year in terms of my memoir reaching a broader audience outside the community where I live.  Although I have had terrific reviews of my book, sales have been slow in the last several months. I refused to be disheartened, having read how many books have been slow starters and then caught on.  But as much as wanting to reach a wider audience and dream the dream that someone might see my book as the next Bridges of Madison County (which one reader likened it to), I felt frustrated by obstacles that had nothing to do with the caliber of the book, but with self-publishing.

One of the least frustrating aspects was how easy it has been to make Again in a Heartbeat an eBook.  I loved the thought of people who have eReaders downloading my book.


KDP Select may not work.  I can always opt out of the program.  Although signing onto the program means my memoir as an eBook is exclusive to Kindle, there are promotions in this program that I hope will give my book greater visibility.  This does not affect the paperback, which can be purchased through numerous distributors.

Most writers who keep their ear to the ground, now know the challenges.  There seems to be an unending stream of articles, Twitter posts, and Facebook page links to articles on just how tough it is for self-published authors; how publishers are scrambling to deal with the eBook phenomenon; books priced below industry standards. The war has intensified between traditional publishers and Amazon; some publishers are locking in the price of an eBook so that it sells for more than the paperback.  Blog posts accuse authors who sign up for KDP Select as undermining other authors, or "giving away their life's work for free," as if the author who made the decision to join the program, which includes a free lending library for certain Kindle users, either has no mind of her own or is greedy


I believe when you write a book the goal should be to connect with others through storytelling.  When forces are at work to stop an author from making those connections due to monetary considerations and invested entitlement, it puts a whole new twist on things. You do what you have to do to get your work out there and hope for the best.  The other way - believing a book with merit that is well-written will get fair treatment - doesn't always work.  Some bookstores won't stock or promote, reviewers shy away, and the guardians of the literary establishment lump all self-published authors together as people who chose that route as a last resort.  With Amazon none of that happens. Is it any wonder some of us have selected KDP Select? To read Again In A Heartbeat on your Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004774MOW

Here is an interesting story on what self-published and independent authors are saying about KDP Select:
http://paidcontent.org/article/419-self-published-authors-debate-amazons-kdp-select/

4 comments:

Russ McDevitt said...

Susan,I admire your courage and commitment and I believe that your time for success will come....soon.
You obviously believe in your work and want to share it. Sure, nice to make some (well earned) money as well. I agree.
As a fiction writer (action novels) I was once asked to give a talk to the Toronto romance writers group. Can you believe it! Well, my coaching background bailed me out.
Best wishes,
Russmcdevitt.com

Susan G. Weidener said...

Thank you, Russ. Just got to keep on keeping on as Lennon says.

Susan

Margarett Meyers said...

Susan, I am just learning about blogging, ebooks, and self-publishing and appreciate the information that you have given. I wish you the best with your book and hope that mine will be as successful. Yes, we've got to keep on keeping on and I've worked for far too long on my story to let it fall to the wayside. I believe that, based on what you have shared with us, I, too, will consider KDP Select.

Susan G. Weidener said...

Margarett,

I wish you the best of luck. We have all worked hard on our stories and believe in them. The key is exposure.

For those of us who are self-published and have no hope of our books getting into Barnes and Noble, airports, etc. Amazon is the only way. The eBook phenomenon is real and here to stay. I just bought a Kindle. I look forward to the ease and simplicity of downloading books.

Best,
Susan