Handing the Key to Amazon

photo by Daryn Bartlett

photo by Daryn Bartlett

Oh how I wish the key in the above photo said "HEADLESS." But "FEARLESS" will have to do. 

It has been decided that Amazon will take the reigns of the ebook version of Headless for a while. It will be exclusively available there for a long, but limited time.

Giving Amazon exclusivity through their KDP Select program should give the book an edge over books not in the Select program and hopefully get it in to more readers’ hands. 

It’s a 90 day period where the ebook can only be sold by Amazon for the Kindle. Therefore, it will be removed from other platforms. 

But don’t despair. If you’ve purchased Headless on iBooks or Kobo, it will not be removed from your device or your app. You will still be able to read it. But it will not have a presence on those sites’ libraries, so any reviews that have been posted won’t be visible. 

Those of you who have bought the paperback from me or somewhere other than Amazon, you’re totally safe. The Amazon police are not going to show up on your doorstep and confiscate your copy. 

In fact, this move won’t affect paperback sales at all. We’re actually expanding the paperback distribution, as we are in the final proofing process with IngramSpark, which will open some new doors on that front. And we’re looking at getting the Headless paperback into Barnes & Noble online as well. 

So you tactile, real-book-loving readers can breathe easy. 

For the ebook, being on KDP Select could be a real boost. Amazon gives you access to a lot more promotional tools like Countdown Deals and free giveaways. Plus, Headless will be included in the Kindle Unlimited library. 

The goal right now is not about making money on sales. Although that would be nice, right now, it’s more about exposure, and reviews. It’s my first published book after all, and we’re taking the long view. Currently we need to get the word out. 

Why wouldn’t it make more sense to be on all platforms then? you ask. Wouldn’t that make it more visible?

All you have to do for that answer is ask your friends and family what e-reader they use. Chances are it’s a Kindle or the Kindle app on another device. Add in the bonus promotional boosts from being in the Select program targeted at all those Kindle readers, and it seems to be a no-brainer. 

According to Author Earnings (authorearnings.com), Amazon has 74% of the ebook market in the US. That’s a massive chunk. The other four big ones, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and Google Play combined have only 22%. 

So the numbers are in Amazon’s favor. 

The hope is that this will give Headless more visibility on Amazon. And when the end of May comes around, we’ll reassess. Hopefully, it will have gained some momentum, and then we’ll be able to go wide again and release it on all platforms as was the original plan. 

Hopefully this is good news for those of you with Kindles, particularly if you have Kindle Unlimited.

So grab yourself a creme puff from Beard Papa's and a coffee from Doutor, cuddle up with your Kindle and enjoy some e-reading adventures. 

By the way...the link above to Beard Papa's goes to the Yelp page of the shop in Shinjuku that I hit almost every day when I was studying in Tokyo. 

Tristram Lowe

Tristram Lowe, Los Angeles, CA