I've been noticing a trend throughout the Internet that I wanted to ramble about today...it has to do with establishing exclusivity for one's books with particular online retailers. In this case, it's the big boy on the block, Amazon.
Now, exclusivity isn't always a bad thing. Perhaps it's doing quite well
for you as an author (though it hasn't seemed all that great to me, but
that's a different blog post).
The trouble is when you, as an author, began to exhibit signs of
arrogance when it comes to your titles being exclusive, and this is the
trend I've been seeing. One particular celebrity I follow on Twitter
(and who, ironically enough, gave a blog review to one of my books in
the far distant past) is notorious for this with his two e-book titles. I
constantly see him tweeting responses to fans. They ask him if his
books are available anywhere besides Amazon, and he just keeps telling
them that there's a free Kindle app...get that and read the books.
Now, I don't have a business degree...but I always thought that the "customer is always right" (some examples not withstanding).
If I, as someone who is trying to sell books to readers (the customer),
continue to get requests for the book to be available at all of these
other retail outlets, I'd think that it would behoove me greatly to
start putting it up there. It's not all that difficult to do with sites
like Smashwords, and apparently, there would be a ready-made market for
the books on these other sites.
I personally would like to read these two titles from this celebrity,
but I own a Nook. Certainly, I can get the free Kindle App on my
netbook, but the entire point behind an e-reader is the convenience of
downloading the book and reading it on the device. Why would I want to
circumvent the device I already own, when the author could just as
easily upload the book to the other stores?
Now, I did upload my latest Triple-Shot as an Amazon exclusive (through
the KDP Select program), as a test to see if it made any difference in
the amount of downloads I received from readers. I did post a
follow-up post on the statistics involved, and my personal experience has not been positive. So, come October 16, my book will be sent off to
the other online stores for consumption...
And who knows? Perhaps with a celebrity, the money was just too good to
pass up the exclusivity...but myself, I don't see how alienating your
potential readers makes good business sense.