Do Exclusive Deals with Amazon Ultimately Hurt Indies?

Amazon recently unveiled yet another program designed for indie authors, and if you use Amazon services you've probably already been treated to the email blast. Kindle Unlimited is a book-sharing program that gives readers a database of books to read. It all sounds great...until you learn that, like Amazon's KDP program, it requires exclusivity. 

Going Steady

Amazon wants you to be their steady significant other...for ever. Authors who participate in Kindle Unlimited must be members of KDP Select, Amazon's exclusive program for indie authors. The authors who use KDP Select cannot sell their books on any other website, such as Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. 

One could argue that Amazon sells more ebooks than all those other websites anyway. One could also argue that Amazon has provided all the platform and marketing opportunity for self-published authors, and they clearly support indies. What about CreateSpace? 

There is a good reason that Amazon sells more ebooks than anyone else: stunts like this Kindle Unlimited arrangement.

One could make all sorts of arguments in Amazon's favor, but it boils down to this: when you're trying to sell something, exclusive agreements aren't any good. The free market is meant to be open to all, and it's this very openness that provides all the opportunity for those who have products and services to offer. If you can only sell your product out of one store, this clearly limits your availability. There are already half a million books in Amazon's KDP program, half a million books I can't buy anywhere but Amazon.

Is your book one of them?

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  1. Hi Jade! I'm on the fence regarding this new program. I'm currently enrolled as a KDP participant and now unlimited. I've seen an influx of sales/borrowing since this program came into effect. I understand the premise of putting all my eggs in one basket, but I do see progress right now. I may decide to exclude my soon to be released and see if there is a difference. Until then...Thanks for posting the great story. I look forward to connecting with you on FB. Take care, Debbie

  2. Thanks for your comment, Debbie!

  3. Thanks for all your Tips. So what is the best way to go for top sales/exposure for Self Publishing? And what if you already went with a publisher you are not happy with. Can you switch to Self Publishing to the company you just suggested is best way to go? I am an author with a cute book showing my cat getting along with our chickens on 10 acre horse ranch: Rainbow and Friends Love One Another, in Pismo Beach, California.

  4. Social media is a great way to promote books, Nicolette. Once you have a contract with a publisher you can't break it, but you can always self-publish future books at will. However, you can promote your own work as much as you like without any approval or assistance from your publishers (and you should!).