I seriously meant to post something about this earlier in the week. At that point, it was only a rumor that had the Kindleboards buzzing. The original discussion thread was posted by Modwitch.
When I woke up this morning and checked Amazon KDP, though, it looked like much of what was being discussed in the forums had just been implemented.
It's called KDP Select, and it appears to be a profit-sharing program that offers incentives if you release your ebooks solely through Amazon and offer it through their Lending Library.
I am totally swamped right now, so I don't have time to analyze or elaborate, but I'm posting the FAQ's from the Amazon Page:
What is the Kindle Owners' Lending Library?
The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is a collection of books that Amazon Prime members who own a kindle can borrow once a month, with no due dates. For more information, click here.
How is my share of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library fund calculated?
Your share of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library Fund is calculated based on a share of the total number of qualified borrows of all participating KDP titles. For example, if the monthly fund amount is $500,000 and the total qualified borrows of all participating KDP titles is 100,000 in December and if your book was borrowed 1,500 times, you will earn 1.5% (1,500/100,000 = 1.5%), or $7,500 in December.
If my books are distributed in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, can customer still buy it?
Yes, your books will still be available for anyone to buy in the Kindle Store, like they've always been, and you will continue to earn royalties from those sales like you do today.
What does it mean to publish exclusively on Kindle?
When you choose KDP Select for a book, you're committing to make the digital format of that book available exclusively through KDP. During the period of exclusivity, you cannot distribute your book digitally anywhere else, including on your website, blogs, etc. However, you can continue to distribute your book in physical format, or in any format other than digital.
There's a new discussion about this on the boards right now, and there's a pretty even split of people who are willing to try this and those who are still on the fence.
I think for those who opt in (it's a 90-day period, so you can opt out after the term has expired), it's going to boil down to sales numbers. If good sales are generated from Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, etc., then more than likely an author isn't going to interrupt that cash flow.
HOWEVER . . . most Indies will tell you that the bulk of our sales comes from Amazon.
It goes without saying that I'm one of the authors on the fence, and right now I'm not planning to make a decision about this until early next year. I'd actually like to hear some stories/experiences from other writers, first, and I *really* want to coast through this holiday shopping season. Still . . . the fact is I'm not making enough money through Barnes and Noble where taking my books down would hurt me financially.
I'll let you know if I change my mind between now and the first of the year, but right now I'm taking a "wait and see" approach to this. :)