Let’s get a couple of things out of the way first. Every indie author out there owes Amazon a thank you. The company took a risk on us when no other major platform would. It wasn’t altruism that motivated them. It was profit. The corporate gurus knew there were readers out there who would pay good money to read books that did not fit in with what the traditional gatekeepers were letting out into the wild. Those same gurus knew there were any number of writers who wanted an option to traditional publishing and who would pay a very small percentage of their earnings (much smaller than the take trad publishers demanded) to have a sales platform available to them. For all that, Amazon hasn’t always made the right move. Because of that, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts–as readers and as writers–to two of the latest announcements to come from the KDP side of the company.
The first is the announcement that Amazon is shutting down its giveaway program. This is the program where authors and others could run contests and give away e-books, etc. I’ll admit, I’ve seen the program mentioned a couple of times when I’ve been on Amazon. That’s a problem, at least for me the author. I should have seen it much more often. There should have been a section on our dashboards–a readily recognizable section–where we could set up such a contest at the time we uploaded information about the book. We should have been receiving reminders before holidays, major Amazon events, etc., about the program, reminders that explained how to use the program and listing its benefits.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to either not know about the program or to forget about. That is a shame because, with the proper management and promotion, it could have been an excellent tool not only for Amazon but for the authors and readers.
The second development from Amazon is the end of Kindle Matchbook. If you aren’t familiar with the program, it was a way for authors to offer discounted (or free) e-book versions of their work if someone bought the print edition. Like the contest program, Kindle Matchbook never seemed to take off. I can count on both hands the number of times someone took advantage of it with my books. I have never bought a print book where the option was presented. As Digital Reader noted, this was an idea that looked a lot better on paper than it turned out to be.
There are a number of reasons for this. The first falls on the authors. There are a number of authors and small presses that are digital only. For them, Kindle Matchbook was not ever going to be a tool they would use. Then there are those like me. We get the digital format out and have good intentions of putting out the print format. But we then get busy with the next book and forget to go back and pull the plug on the print book.
(Guess what I’ll be doing over the weekend.)
What this means is if you have a book enrolled in the program, you are about to lose that perk. Of course, to the best of my knowledge, Amazon was the only major platform offering such a program. Shrug.
It is going to be interesting to see if they come out with new alternatives for us over the next few months. It is also going to be interesting to see how indies and small presses make up for the loss of these programs–if they feel such replacements are even needed.
What are your thoughts? Is this a trend we need to be concerned about? Did you use either program as an author and what was your experience? As a reader, how will this impact your?
Now, for a piece of promo. Betrayal from Ashes is now live on Amazon. There will be a print version available in approximately two weeks.
War is never clean. Honor doesn’t always win out. Betrayal becomes the shadow currency that can tip the balance of power.
Colonel Ashlyn Shaw learned those lessons the hard way. Five years ago, she lost her command and her freedom because of the machinations of those willing to betray Fuercon, the homeworld they’d sworn to protect. Supposed allies conspired with enemies. Now Fuercon and its allied systems face a war on multiple fronts.
A war where the enemy doesn’t want a diplomatic solution. One where the enemy claims victory based on the number of civilian deaths.
This is not a war of attrition. It is a war of survival.
It is also a war Ashlyn and her allies have every intention of winning. But to do so, they must first unravel the layers of a conspiracy that goes much deeper than any of them suspect.
Honor and duty. Death before dishonor.
This book is a bit different from the others in the series. Myrtle the Evil Muse was alive and running rampant with it. I had the book completely written and up for pre-order when I realized Myrtle was going to have her “fun”. That meant a major left turn in the plot I needed to go back to and work on. Then I realized I either needed to split the book in half (actually in thirds) or it was going to be a goat-gagger. I chose the former. Because of that, and because the book is approximately half the length of other entries in the series, I lowered the price to $2.99. But it also means I have the next book in the series pretty much ready to go. It will be available by the end of January. In reality, it will be out sooner than that.
Featured image via Pixabay.