eBook Retailer Exclusivity – where will it end up?

bookI’ve just taken a big step with my writing – one that I had been trying to avoid for a long time.

The step wasn’t in the act of writing itself, but in how I try to reach readers with my writing. The act of doing my best to find that audience and deliver my work to them. For the past several years, I have made my eBooks available on every viable platform out there. I went through a lot of effort to make sure that my eBooks could be found anywhere a potential reader was looking for them.

But that just changed. I have now taken all of my eBooks down from those other sites, and they are now only available at Amazon in eBook and print versions. This was a move that I struggled with for a long time, but in the end, there was really no other alternative.

In my mind, every business needs a competitor. ┬áThe old saying is that “competition keeps everyone honest.” That makes complete sense to me. Having a single supplier is a risky move in business. What if something happens and the supplier can’t deliver? What if the supplier increases pricing over time? The only way you would know that is to get a competitive quote.

However, it seems to me that eBook retailers are not watching what Amazon does and trying to duplicate it, it seems they only want to complain about Amazon. I was truly hoping that B&N and Kobo and Apple would individually see how Amazon continues to take marketshare, and then try to mount a competitive response.

But that has not happened. The others just continuously pump the bestseller list, throwing out adds for the big-name authors and the books that are coming out as movies. They are not marketing what readers want, but what they want to sell. And that game is getting harder and harder.

None of the other eBook retailers came up with a single innovative marketing plan to help authors and publishers reach target readers. Amazon has, and it looks like it’s working.

Many of my writer friends and clients have been moving to Amazon Exclusivity through the KDP Select program, and giving up on the other retailers. They had been telling me that they sell far more books on Amazon than anywhere else, so gaining the tools that Amazon provides with exclusivity – Like KDP Select, paid Library Lending, The Matchbook Program, free promo days and Amazon’s intelligent marketing was much more appealing than having the other retailers who did basically nothing and sold basically nothing.

So I’m all in at Amazon, have run a very successful promotion through KDP Select and am selling more eBooks as a result. And it looks like a trend that is gaining momentum among Indie Authors and Publishers, and the result will be a one-retailer eBook marketplace unless the other retailers wake up and see what is happening and try to compete.


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One Response to eBook Retailer Exclusivity – where will it end up?

  1. Hi Donnie:

    I like what you had to say about going exclusively with Amazon. Especially as you are someone who’s familiar with the various venues. This certainly speaks well of Amazon. I am with Amazon and Barnes & Noble and the latter’s royalties are small. Thus I am thinking of going with Kindle Unlimited. I understand you have to exclusively sell through Amazon in order to be considered for Kindle Unlimited. Do you have any thoughts on the subject? Best to you, Sharon C.

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