Friday, February 17, 2012

It's All IMO

Who cares about the humble part, right?

I'm not crazy about Kindle Select.  It looks like it gives authors a small chance to rise out of what's a throng now.  If you want to try it--go ahead.  I don't advise putting on anything you really care about.  Read the Gimme Cap post.  It works for other people but it hasn't worked for me.

What I don't like about it is the free part.  If Amazon really wanted to help indie authors they would come up with a way to feature authors/books that doesn't devalue the work for both the author and the reader.  An atmosphere of entitlement is being created. 

Everything I'm thinking is vulgar.  And I don't like doing that.

So I'll tell you about a horrid landlord I once had.  He had no people skills at all but he was apparently a great great businessman.  He had lived in another country and worked for a famous company and kited $29,000,000 from them.  What's kiting?  It's when someone uses the money from a company they work for for their own purposes/investments and replaces the money after they've turned a profit.  He did this.  The company found out.  And the fired him.  And he sued them for unlawful dismissal and won $3,000,000 which he used to come to America and buy an estate.  Everything he touched turned to gold.  He made money at everything.

What was his philosophy?  "I will not be undersold."  He knew that he was selling the same/duplicate gumballs (it wasn't gumballs) as his competition, but if he priced them higher, there would be the illusion of greater value to his customers.  He wasn't making gumballs, he was buying them from a wholesaler and having his label put on them.  There was no quality control, or that he had input at the gum manufacturing plant.  He was just buying gumballs and  pricing them so that the people who wanted the finest gumballs bought his.

The lesson to be learned is that you can market to the freebie crowd or you can price your book for readers.  The freebie crowd will treat you like dirt because you already said your book has no value.  You're desperate.
Desperation is a terrible thing.

If it works for you, if it doesn't make you feel demoralized, then you don't know what I'm talking about.  Good.

3 comments:

gniz said...

To me, the thing with KDP Select is does it work or not? I am not so concerned with perceived value, because eventually the book goes paid again. People can get it for free for a very limited time.

I have no real issue with that if it works. The notion being it can give a book a nice jumpstart because typically I've found Amazon books take a while to get selling when you first put them up.

When I initially tried KDP select the free thing did seem to generate a boost, but that was probably a month or more ago. Now I am not seeing the boost the way I was at the beginning.

So I'm not sure its really worth much. But it doesn't enrage me the way it does so many others either.

I don't really sense that Amazon is just going to totally devalue books entirely. That wouldn't actually help their bottom line either, would it? Remember, they make money off of books.

The Hostess with the Mostest said...

I agree with you, gniz, that you probably did see a boost a month ago. Now for the sake of argument let's say there are those who know there are more freebies coming down the pike so why buy. Or another possibility is--load up on the freebies and get around to reading them when you have nothing else. Which might be months from now. So they haven't read it, they sure haven't reviewed it and you're sitting here waiting for Godot.

I'm not sure how it works. Maybe that's not the scenario at all.

As for Amazon purposefully devaluing our work, no. But I think that's the climate being created.

The book goes paid again. Yes, but how long will you wait for a new crop of readers who didn't download it by the thousands the first time around?

Maybe I'll feel different about it next week. If it's working for you, that's great. You should email me with the specifics and we'll post them to get the other side of the argument. It's the only way we'll figure this out.

gniz said...

Well I wouldn't argue it works so I'm not going to bother trying to prove that it works! :)

I thought initially it might have helped a few books that I put into it last month.

This month, putting some others into it, I'm not sensing that boost and am wondering if there's simply too many free books cluttering it up.

This whole thing is in flux, so who really knows? I just don't see Amazon devaluing books. Bottom line for me is that I'm making WAY more money than I ever thought I would writing and publishing books and stories.

Amazon has been the biggest contributor to me being able to do what I want to do, and so I have a soft spot in my heart for them. But I am not under any illusions that Amazon gives a crap about me personally or writers in general.

Right now our interests seem to be aligned and I don't feel KDP Select is currently a threat to that, but if it changes I won't be blinded by simply assuming Amazon can do no wrong.