There’s a new option for writers on Amazon’s KDP platform: KDP Select, which allows you to put your books into the Kindle lending library, for users to borrow. Those users have to be part of Amazon Prime (I think!), but it’s still a very large pool of potential customers.
It sounds like a great idea, but there’s one catch: exclusivity. You have to not put your book up anywhere else, basically. This is hard, because I’ve been finding Smashwords is a great way to find readers. I’m also, personally, against monopolies: I like the idea of putting books out there through multiple platforms, seeing which ones do better than others and so on, and not giving too much power to one part of the market.
What I’ve decided to do is to take one of my older books, The Dead and the Dying, off Smashwords and make it exclusive to Amazon. So that book, and only that book, is now available exclusively via Amazon, and is part of the lending program. I chose that book mainly because it hasn’t been getting much love anywhere, and I figured I don’t mind experimenting with it a little.
In the long-term, I can see myself dividing books up into some that are exclusive to Amazon and go into the lending system, and some that are thrown to the wind. I’m pretty certain I’ll keep Dark Season on Smashwords, but the Amazon lending system is interesting. If they didn’t have that exclusivity clause, I’d be very enthusiastic. As it is, I’m cautiously interested, but I won’t be entirely ditching Smashwords.