Is It Time To Leave Amazon & KDP?
For the past several weeks I have been debating whether or not to pull my books from Amazon's KDP Select program. KDP Select is a program offered by Amazon that pays authors when Amazon Kindle customers "borrow" their e-books. Authors are paid approximately US$0.0045 per page read.
Until recently, being enrolled in the KDP Select program has generated a reasonable amount of extra income each month, although it does preclude selling my e-books through other online retailers. I, and many other Indie authors, felt that being locked out of other online retailers for our e-books was an acceptable trade-off for the monthly income. However, over the past few several weeks, the KDP reads, and subsequent income they generate, have pretty much vanished.
I am not alone in this situation as I see days of zero page reads appearing on my Amazon KDP reports. Sales have also all but vanished and the author discussion boards are filled with people asking what has happened. Every author sees sales rise and fall over time, but for so many authors to see little or no sales or page reads would indicate that there is possibly a reporting problem.
Many authors have posted that they have contacted Amazon to investigate the lack of sales, and all appear to receive the same response: everything is okay on Amazon's end. This may be believable except for the fact that many authors, myself included, are seeing an increase in our books rankings, indicating that sales or e-book borrows have taken place.
Maybe October is just a bad month for authors, but with the number of authors reporting anomalies in their sales and page read reports, it seems highly unlikely.
With the lack of sales and page reads being generated through Amazon, and the new, VERY expensive advertising model that Amazon recently launched, I think it is time for me to take my e-books "wide" (a term used when authors sell their e-books through multiple online retailers). At this point in time, I have nothing to lose.
I have unchecked my Kindle auto-enrollment box on my account, and as soon as my books are clear of my contractual obligations to KDP Select, I will start selling my e-books through other online retailers.
I would be interested in hearing from other Indie authors on their recent experiences with KDP Select and what you plan to do.