Parting is such sweet sorrow it is said, but I tend to believe that a little bitterness and spite is usually more likely to be involved, and from what I can tell, I think I’m receiving doses of these right now.
One year ago I joined Amazon’s KDP Select program, and although not an unsuccessful year, I decided to exit the program in October and return to non-exclusive publishing. There were a number of reasons for this, but mainly because I felt uncomfortable with one publishing platform having exclusive rights to my books and in doing so, it went against what I believe being an independent author and self-publisher represents.
So with my decision made, I unticked all the boxes on KDP on 25th October and removed all of my books from the KDP Select Program and readied myself to wait until each book had ended its three month term and then set about publishing on other platforms, in addition of course to keeping all my ebooks on Kindle under their standard KDP model.
But then something strange happened.
For the last two years my ebooks have sold steadily on Kindle. Not in the volume of top 100 books, but always a few copies at least each day with some days better than others. This was the case with Kindle before I entered KDP Select and also during my year in the program.
But since the 25th October, when I clicked those little boxes, my daily sales on Kindle now average almost zero. I say almost zero as Kindle have in fact reported that I have sold one ebook sold since 25th October. ONE!
So here is my wild speculation based on my simplistic anecdotal evidence.
When you leave Amazon’s KDP Select Program, expect to be punished for doing so and forfeit any Amazon cross promotion of your books. Expect your books to disappear from ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought’ and from Amazon promotional emails. Expect your books to fall in ranking overnight as if shot by a torpedo, as happened to mine. One book went from a mid 20,000 ranking to 300,000+ in two days. Expect to be given a little dose of bitterness and spite when you leave. But don’t ever expect to know why. It’s all a secret.
It seems to me that Amazon have taken the attitude that you’re either with us or against us, which was a quote that related to a war. So it’s apt. Amazon are fighting a war, and I seem to have received a shot across my bow, warning of the consequences of my leaving their exclusive program.
Of course I could be imaging all this, and my sudden drought of any Kindle ebook sales, (well, bar one copy in over two weeks) could simply be a result of me losing popularity instantly on the night of 25th October and that readers have just had enough of me from that exact date. Yes, that’s probably the most logical reason, now isn’t it?