In an earlier blog, I mentioned checking into Smashwords to access other markets, especially the iPhone and iPad markets. However, Kindle has free reading apps for those as well as downloads to your PC or Mac and your BlackBerry and Android phones. See www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/kcp. So I’ve decided to shelve the Smashwords uploads for now. Probably forever.
Plus, in the latest Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Newsletter (see http://us.mg6.mail.yahoo.com/dc/launch?.gx=1&.rand=28jpjvdtdta07), the new Kindle Owners’ Lending Library has been born. If you, as an author/publisher, decide to enroll, you could share in the possible earnings based on the number of downloads of your e-books, but definitely in the free publicity and promo. The following is my understanding of the new Kindle offering but please check out the links herein to consult with the source--Kindle and Amazon.
With that caveat, I understand this lending library is an option available only to the U.S. Amazon Prime member (for about $79/year as of this writing) who can borrow a book free once a month with no due dates.
As the author/publisher, your works have to be exclusive to Kindle for at least ninety days. So if you the author/publisher have a new upload, just don’t upload anywhere else. If you as the author/publisher have an existing e-book for sale, take it down from Barnes & Noble and elsewhere. Once enrolled, you can opt to offer your titles for free for up to five days from every exclusive ninety-day period.
You earn royalties based on how many books are offered within the Kindle Lending Library that month and how much monies Amazon has set aside for that month. For December 2011, there is $500,000 available. If only 100,000 e-books are participating for those December 2011 dollars, then there is a $5 royalty per each lend. However, if 500,000 e-books are enrolled, the royalty drops to $1 per lend. These are my guesstimates here, folks.
Amazon states it has $6 million set aside for 2012. Divide that figure by twelve months and it averages $500,000 per month. HOWEVER, if more monies are set aside for the expected December 2012 Christmas shopping madness, then there would have to be less monies allotted among the remaining 2012 months. Just be aware of this as the newsletter did not spell out what monies are available for what month, just a yearly sum available for whatever distribution among the twelve months.
But with an estimated $500,000 set aside to cover each month and the expanding knowledge re this program, the enrollment factor will have to increase, thus reducing the royalty rate per lend. Still, at $5/lend (with $500,000 available and only 100,000 e-books enrolled), that is more than I make with my current royalties (a mix of 35% and 70%) on my $0.99 e-books and my one e-book at $2.99.
So from my perspective, this program is royalty-generating as well as another stream for promotion and publicity--getting your e-book before the select group of Amazon Prime members, who may ostensibly buy more books a year than those nonmembers. Just my opinion.
If your e-books are more expensive, selling at $7 or above, then yes, you are looking at reduced royalties from your standard offering. Still do not negate the free promotional factor involved in this latest Amazon perk.
Therefore, based on my interpretation, depending on your price setting, you could net increased revenues as well as broadening your reader numbers. Regardless, you gotta start somewhere, right? And Amazon is definitely covering the bases—free, royalty-generating, enhanced by lending—and with the differing levels of promo, this one site could be the end-all medium for advertising your work. And the social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) would remain . . . well, social.
As an aside, just from my limited reading, there may be more interest in YouTube videos, so keep that in mind as you develop your enhanced e-books. A book trailer seems to be well received. Again, this is just one woman’s musings. Take what makes sense to you and run with it. Discard the rest.
Consider me a clearinghouse of a jumble of info, distilling it down for me and then sharing it with you. I am not an expert. I am a layperson going the Indie-pubbed route and letting you see the workings of my mind for my career in my way. Best wishes to all!
To learn more about KDP Select, visit: http://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/KDPSelect.
To learn more about the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, visit: http://www.amazon.com/kindleownerslendinglibrary