I’ve been exclusive with Amazon since I published my first novel a few years ago. There are benefits to choosing Amazon as your only distributor, namely the ability to be part of their Kindle Unlimited (KU) program. KU allows subscribers to read any KU book for no additional charge! Writers are paid per page read. It’s a great deal for readers who are afraid to pay for an entire book that they might not like. It’s also an opportunity for publishers/authors to offer books to those timid customers. It works out to about one cent per three pages read, so the goal here is appealing to the mass market.
Amazon has a bunch of programs only available to an author who is enrolled in KU. One could interpret this from the opposite angle and say they have restrictions on those who don’t bend the knee. KU is a great program for many authors, but for me, I spent a lot of time and money to figure out that I wasn’t one of those authors.
Now, I’m “going wide” which is to say making my books available to a variety of platforms including one traditional brick and mortar retailer. One (potential) benefit to going wide is price control. Amazon has price minimums based on page length and file size, so I had to charge 4.99 each for my fantasy series, which might be a high buy-in for a skittish new reader. However, other retailers let you select your own price, damn the file size! In this case, I made my first book in the series FREE and the second is 1.99. Then, I told Amazon that someone was selling it cheaper and they matched the prices! It’s only with leverage and competition that we can have our demands met.
Will this new avenue be successful in getting my books in front of readers’ eyeballs and some money in my pocket? I don’t know, but it’s exciting! Wish me luck!