Now, I’m not selling anything, anywhere, bookwise just yet. This is very much the apprehensive author sticking his toe into the water to see what the temperature is like before jumping in. Also crocodiles. And sharks.
So, from my perspective, there are several aspects to consider:
- You have to be in KDP Select, which precludes selling through any other channel. If you only ever make sales through Amazon, then no worries, but you won’t gain readers elsewhere, either.
- The 10% thing… Means that readers who buy the mobi version so they can strip it and read on another device will never read that 10%, according to Amazon’s tracking. Not a big deal in itself, but it’s a consideration.
- Only voracious readers will benefit from KU, most readers don’t read the 3+ (5+ for savvy readers) books per month which would make KU attractive.
- Both the voracious and savvy readers report that about 10-20% of their wishlist is available via KU, making the proposition still uneconomic for them.
- If the larger trade publishers and best-selling indies go for it, it might serve those readers better and exposure will climb, but at the moment, it doesn’t.
- KOLL users report a semi-regular return of around £1.30 per “read”, but attached to the 10% thing, that might rise or fall, no-one knows. It’s certainly not a bad rate for books that you might otherwise be pricing at £0.79 to move.
Taking those things together, it might make sense for shorter works to be placed there, at least for a little while.
It might also make sense, if you have an active series, to have the first book placed in KU, to try and garner exposure for the other books in the series. Likewise, it might work for books which have earned out and you can therefore afford to take the risk.
All in all, if you have a no – or low – risk proposition it might make sense to try it out, otherwise it’s probably better to wait and see.
I have to admit that with everything else that is going on, I am less and less inclined to tie myself to any one sales channel.