This christmas will bring another wave of e-book readers, which means a larger market audience for e-book publishers. If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed Amazon’s recent bid for power: the KDP Select scheme. I’m not going to repeat the details involved as it’s covered pretty well in the blogs by American Editor and Publish your own ebooks, but for those who want a quick break-down:
1) Each prime member can rent 1 book per month from a list of participating books.
2) A large portion of this list will probably be filled with ‘Kindle Direct Publishing’ authors.
3) To participate, you are required to provide Amazon with exclusive e-book rights for a minimum term of 90 days. This means you cannot sell it anywhere else.
4) There is a fixed pool of money (which is forecast to increase as the program develops) that will be split amongst the authors of ‘loaned books’.
5) A bonus of participating is access to some free promotional tools.
The discussion surrounding this move is whether the cost of exclusive rights outweighs the risk of effectively snubbing other retailers. With the increased market share after this christmas do we really want to tie ourselves into Amazon? The kindle has done wonders for e-books but it is not the only device that can read them. I’m not saying to avoid the program, as it looks to be quite useful for the short-term, but I would limit the amount of books available to say one or two. Why tie all of your books into a single retailer even if they are, for the moment, dominating sales?
To finish on a lighter note, some positive news on e-books in the media this week:
London Evening Standard: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/article-24023163-talk-this-way—the-lexicon-for-2011.do*
*it actually appears above “K-pop, C-Pop and J-Pop” for some reason it’s not in bold in the online version