Pressure to Enroll in KDP Select on Amazon

I’ve been making my ebooks available on Amazon for the past year.  With my last book, however, I noticed that in order to receive 70 percent royalties in certain countries (India, Japan, Brazil and Mexico), my book has to be enrolled in KDP Select.  While I don’t sell numerous books in these markets, I have to wonder at what point this will also be enforced for the other countries that authors sell their books in. 

For the uninitiated, those who enroll in KDP Select can only sell their ebook on, and it must be for a minimum of 90 days.  That means no selling ebooks on B&N, Kobo, etc.  Supposedly it will increase book sales because a book can be “checked out” virtually for free by Amazon Prime members.  The program also encourages authors to use 5 free days per 90 day period in which to give their books away for free.

Amazon, however, does not provide any promotion for these free giveaways nor does it promote the books enrolled in the program to their Amazon Prime members.  The promotion of the ebooks rests solely on the authors.

I’m wondering at what point this little rule will kick in for the rest of the Amazon markets that I sell in.  It is bad enough they want to squeeze authors for pennies when they encourage us to sell our books for under $2.99.  At that price authors only earn 35 percent royalties.  Now they want to limit our money making opportunities by “encouraging” us to enroll in a program that will limit our sales overall.

Amazon is obviously in the business to make money, but the unintended consequence of doing this is to limit income for authors, most of which are struggling to make a living in hard economic times.  Since there is little expense in the production of ebooks, why Amazon feels the need to limit distribution, as well as limit royalties, seems unwarranted.  In my opinion, it only serves to line Amazon’s pockets and to encourage Indie authors to leave Amazon completely.

Barnes & Noble, are you listening?



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