I've been lurking on the forums and listening to peoples' experiences who took this plunge with both feet, and the more I watch, the more concerned I become.
I mean, obviously Amazon isn't creating this program out of the goodness of their hearts, so there must be a reason why they created such a tempting program for indie authors.
From what I've heard from folks who used their free promotions this past weekend, some benefits for Amazon have become apparent:
- Amazon doesn't let you opt out more than once!
- When you sign up for Kindle Select, you get 72 hours to opt out and change your mind. However, if you opt out once, you don't get that same window the next time you sign up. You're in. For 90 days. PERIOD. They also make you forfeit your opt out window if you have your book go free during that timeframe.
- The non-compete clause means no bundles, and probably no excerpts.
- If you have a short story in their program, you have to unpublish any short story bundle or anything with an excerpt of that story from all other sites. Doing #samplesunday on your blog? Well, you've got to erase all of that, too, or potentially forfeit any earnings.
- The "Free" game has changed.
- It used to be that when your book or story went free on Amazon, it zoomed you up in the ranks. This meant when your story went back to paid, you'd still be at whatever ranking you earned as a free book. If you hit the Top 100 for your genre, you could get a lot of exposure, and a lot of sales.
- From friends of mine who went free this weekend, I heard of people going from the Top 20 in their genre, to falling instantly back down to their previous rank when it went paid again, down to 1 billion. The game has changed. Amazon may have tweaked their algorithms.
All this is to say, AUTHOR BEWARE!
I had one title in this program because I got excited like everyone else, but I've since pulled it. I don't want Amazon to get a monopoly over indie authors, and I certainly don't want to be part of a program that promises a promotional tool and delivers something else entirely.
It feels very predatory the more I learn.
What do you think? Any experiences with Kindle Select, good or bad?