Why I Went All-In With Amazon

eLuna_screenshotThe ebooks of Baby Grand and Baby Bailino are now part of Amazon’s KDP Select program.

For those who don’t know about the program, when you sign on to KDP Select, you agree to sell your eBook only in the Kindle format (you can continue selling your paperbacks anywhere you wish). In exchange for this exclusivity, you are given some perks.

When I first published Baby Grand back in May 2012, I joined KDP Select and left after the first three-month period was over. Why did I leave? I thought it was a successful run, but I wasn’t really interested in offering my book for free (a big perk of KDP Select) and I had friends who were diehard Nook readers who wanted access to the book. So I went wide, as they say, and uploaded it to Kobo, iTunes, Nook, and other resellers. (For more details on why I left KDP Select, I blogged about it here.)

Four years later, things are a bit different. How:

  1. I have a four-year track record with Amazon. And, BY FAR, I have sold more Kindle versions of Baby Grand than I have any other outlet or edition. Amazon SELLS books.
  2. I have found — despite many opinions to the contrary — Amazon to be good to readers AND authors, offering low pricing and high royalties, respectively. And for such a mega-company, the customer service support is efficient and prompt.
  3. The introduction of Kindle Unlimited, which offers more than a million titles and thousands of audiobooks to subscribers. Books that are enrolled in KDP Select are also enrolled into Kindle Unlimited. This helps to increase the discoverability of the Baby Grand Series. Very important. After just a few days in the program, nearly 1,000 pages have already been read by subscribers. (Kindle Unlimited is populated mostly with books written by indie authors, like me. I like the idea of all of us getting the chance to find new readers.)

All this was enough to make me reconsider my participation in the program. It seemed like a good deal. And the right time, particularly with the sequel to Baby Grand on its way. So I decided to pull all the ebooks from Smashwords, the Self-e program (I was sad to leave this one), and others. At least for now. In three months’, six months’, nine months’ time, I can look at my sales and reevaluate. If something doesn’t seem to be working, I can always mix it up again.That’s the great thing about being an indie author. The decisions — writing, editing, publishing, marketing — are mine.



Why I’m Publishing ‘Baby Grand’ Thru Amazon’s KDP Select

Two weeks ago, I announced that I’ll be self-publishing Baby Grand as an ebook through Amazon’s KDP Select. Last week, I blogged about why I decided to self-publish my novel. Today, I’m discussing why I’m using KDP Select.

For those unfamiliar with KDP Select, it’s a new option at Amazon in which, in exchange for exclusivity on your eBook for three months, you get some extra marketing/royalty help. For instance, as part of the program Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle device can “borrow” your eBook from the Kindle Lending Library (even though members read it for free, you still earn $$$$ based on several factors — how many times your book has been “borrowed,” the number of total borrows for all KDP Select books for the period and how much has been invested in the program by Amazon in that given month).

In other words, Baby Grand, for the first three months of its publication, will only be available to Kindle customers, who will be able to buy the ebook for their device or Kindle Apps during the period of exclusivity, or “borrow” it from the Lending Library if they are an Amazon Prime member with a Kindle device.

This means I have had to tell more than a few non-Kindle e-reader users (including my sister-in-law) that, no, they couldn’t buy/read Baby Grand until August, when the exclusivity deal is over, especially now that I don’t plan on making a POD paperback available until later this year. And every time I say that, there’s this undeniable lump in my throat as I hope that these people will indeed stick around and wait the three months and that I can maintain some excitement for the book in the interim.

Why do it this way?

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Breaking News: ‘Baby Grand’ to be Released as eBook

Well, it’s official. My debut novel Baby Grand will be released as an eBook through Amazon’s KDP Select program. Final draft and cover should be ready for upload by mid-April with publication in late April/first week of May. I’ll keep you posted on the details.

And I’m happy to announce that throughout the publishing process I will continue to work with Stonesong – the New York-based literary agency that signed-up Baby Grand back in January 2010 when the manuscript was merely a third completed. I don’t know what I would do without the support and dedication and amazingness of Judy Linden and the entire Stonesong team who have been staunch supporters not only of this book, but of me, and I am so happy to be doing this with such a dynamic group of women.

In the coming weeks, as we get closer to Baby Grand’s publication date, I will be answering questions you may have regarding this announcement, such as why I chose to self-publish, why I chose to go with Amazon’s KDP Select, etc. And, as always, I will share with you the ins and outs of the process, from copyediting to price-setting to making myself nuts watching sales stats (and I will!).

Expect the big cover reveal in the coming weeks as well as advance praise for Baby Grand!

What’s more, I have plans to make Baby Grand available as a print-on-demand paperback for those of you who like to read books the old-fashioned way (I know you’re out there!). I would include my Mom in this group, but she just told me last week that she would read my novel anywhere, even if it were written on a napkin. :)

I look forward to sharing all the exciting news surrounding the release of this book. Thank you to all of you who have supported me since I started writing this blog (my two-year anniversary is March 30) and for your support of authors and reading.