After getting involved in a number of online discussions recently about self publishing, and of course accepting a bit of ‘Indie Bashing‘ that is becoming a habitual crusade for some, it dawned on me that these debates and discussions weren’t about Indie publishing at all. They were about Kindle publishing vs. traditional publishing.
When seen from this perspective I have to say that it’s very easy to draw a conclusion that self publishing, when defined as Kindle publishing only, could easily be viewed as a huge swamp of rubbish that makes it very difficult to find a decent read amongst the dross. Kindle publishing has in my mind, become a nasty social media publishing platform that is now unfortunately a free for all free ebook portal that has been taken over by marketeers, scammers, spammers, trolls and manipulators. Along with this is a book review system that is now so corrupt it’s just laughable.
I must admit that my feelings about Kindle publishing have been changing over recent months and has led me to start withdrawing my titles from Kindle KDP Select, and perhaps in the not too distant future, from Kindle entirely.
It’s common knowledge that the Kindle platform has about 60% market share for ebook sales, but living with the biggest isn’t always necessarily worthwhile when it leaves a nasty taste in your mouth. Over the last 12 months, I have given away more than 40,000 copies of my ebooks under the KDP ‘Free ebook promotion’ system. While I have benefitted from increased sales on some of my titles, and perhaps broadened my name recognition, when my free ebooks are added to those of other Kindle authors, surely it’s Amazon who have benefitted the most. Free ebooks sell more Kindles and this is what my free copies have helped achieve. I just don’t want to contribute to this aspect anymore.
My own reasons for writing and self publishing have never been about making a living from writing. It’s been about expressing myself and hopefully finding readers who would like to understand what is in my head and what I’m trying to say. But sure, I like readers to buy my books as they did take me a long time to write. Writing is not my job, but it’s still work.
Whether it be stories touching on death, religion, conflict, relationships, love or just poking my tongue at the crazy species we are, I love to receive reactions from readers who have read one of my books. But not from Amazon ‘trolls‘ who are bent on deriding and abusing in a warped attempt to attract attention. As for Amazon forums, well, the less said about these cesspits the better.
Then there are the 1,000s of ‘How To Make A Million On Kindle‘ promoters who want to show you how to make $5,000 a month on Kindle for just $12.95. I stumbled across one today promoting a fully automated system to generate Kindle ebooks. Heaven forbid!
It’s a sad decline. I have been self publishing in one form or another since the late eighties and I have to say that the Kindle platform is now becoming just another social media site, infested with scams and trolls, and not a genuine publishing platform.