Is Amazon.com creating a Bookie Monster?

A cautionary note: today’s post might be most pertinent for authors.

I’m a little sour on this whole KDP select thing, I’m not going to lie.  Two weeks into it, and I’ve seen hundreds of downloads of my books from my free day, but ZERO sales and ZERO borrows otherwise.

When they announced this program, I was adamantly opposed because of it’s exclusivity clause.  To participate, an author cannot sell their eBooks ANYWHERE ELSE.  Period.  Is it me, or does that feel a little monopolistic?

I wasn’t going to do it, but after having my series published for a year, sales have been dwindling, and I thought this might be something different to generate a few more sales.  I’m already thinking: “What was I thinking?”

Of course as soon as I decided to do this, and pulled my books from other sites, people started wanting the books from those other sites, which was problematic.  Also, now that I can see sales from last month, I realize those sales had actually been picking up on iBooks, which has taken a long time to catch on.  Now my books will disappear until mid-July, and I’ll have to start from scratch (pretty much) on all of those other sites.

Do I think the free day was effective?  Sure, if my goal was to get my name and books out there, then maybe it was.  But I wasn’t kidding about those book hoarders.  Just go on goodreads and check out how many books people have in their “to read” shelf.  Some are completely out of hand.  We’re talking hundreds of books that– let’s be honest– they’re not going to read.  Maybe some, but the vast majority just like to have a plethora of books to choose from.  I mean, I think I have 10 or so on my “to read” shelf, and I doubt I’ll read half of those.  So while it’s exciting to say “X-hundred people downloaded my books today,” people have to actually read the books to spread the word to potential new buyers.

On the day that I gave my books away, I did a search for myself, and found quite a few “free kindle books” websites that just throw up links to literally hundreds of books so people can just download to their heart’s content.  It’s haphazard… unpredictable… there’s no categorization, so people who do that probably just click and ‘buy,’ click and ‘buy.’

So really, all this program seems to do is perpetuate the instant gratification and hoarding tendencies that seem to be becoming more and more prevalent in our society.  They’re creating Bookie Monsters, essentially.  I hate this desire to have MORE MORE MORE!!! NOW NOW NOW!!!  Come on, world!  Simplify.  Slow down.  Enjoy life.  Enjoy books.  Enjoy the stories they tell.  The point of books isn’t to have books, it’s to escape into another world to get away from everyday monotony, to escape the fast pace and enjoy something on your own terms.

But maybe this is just one girl’s opinion.  I don’t know.

I guess there’s good news for all of these Bookie Monsters… books don’t have calories.

6 thoughts on “Is Amazon.com creating a Bookie Monster?

  1. Intersting Lori. Myself, I have only downloaded books I intend to read/have read. I am not a proponent of accumulating things just because it was a free download. Furthermore, I believe that if your going to take the free download, you at least owe the author a genuine and sincere review.
    I must say, I don’t like the fact that Kindle requires you to be exclusive witht them to participate but in some ways I think that could work in your favor in the future. The next time you publish, do it with Kindle first so that you can market your book(s) as exclusively available at Kindle”. That might be a strong jumping off point for the book(s) and then you can broaden the offering as the period of exclusivity expires. Nixhaw is right, “it’s a learning experience.”

  2. I have 99 books in my ‘To Read’ shelf on Goodreads. Thing is I really wanna read em all, AND have even moved some from ‘To-Read’ to ‘Read’. But then again, I’m a list person, and I have a list on my phone and in my notebook of books I want to read, so I don’t forget them, and Goodreads is just an easy place for me to put them. Will I ever get through all the books. Maybe not. But it sure will be fun trying 🙂

    I’m not sure about the exclusively available to Kindle thing. But it is a learning experience. You have to try everything and see what works. No experience is wasted, and after it all, you’ll have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.

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