Got this e-mail (below) today from Amazon. Looks like they're trying to accomplish three things:

1) Get authors to be exclusive with Amazon (I think this is short-sighted, I wouldn't sign an exclusive agreement with anyone)

2) Boost participation in a Lending Library that pays based on how often a title is borrowed.

3) Take out competitors' share of authors using 1) and 2)

Because of 1), my eligible titles won't be participating. It serves me better to have my titles available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple, Smashwords, Diesel and all the other e-book retailers - including my own website. This agreement would limit me to only Amazon. Sure, it has the lion's share of the market, but why stop there? Aim for the entire market, not just the biggest piece.

And even though that exclusivity only lasts at a minimum 90 days, unless I plan to make a killing off 2), I'm really not gaining anything. Those are 90 days I'm not selling e-books at my full potential. My e-books are already approved for lending on the Kindle. Why take a step backward?

Still, I do find 2) interesting. If there wasn't 1), I'd probably jump on it. What do you think, readers and authors?

Here's the e-mail itself:

Hello from KDP!

We're excited to introduce KDP Select - a new option dedicated to KDP authors and publishers worldwide, featuring a fund of $500,000 in December 2011 and at least $6 million in total for 2012!  KDP Select gives you a new way to earn royalties, reach a broader audience, and use a new set of promotional tools. 

Here's how KDP Select works:

When you make any of your titles exclusive to the Kindle Store for at least 90 days, those with US rights will automatically be included in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and can earn a share of a monthly fund.  The monthly fund for December 2011 is $500,000 and will total at least $6 million in 2012.  If you haven't checked it out already, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library is a collection of books that eligible US Amazon Prime members can borrow for free once a month with no due dates.

You'll also now have access to a new set of promotional tools, starting with the option to promote your KDP Select-enrolled titles for FREE for up to 5 days every 90 days.
 
How your share of the monthly fund is calculated:

Your share of the monthly fund is based on your enrolled titles' share of the total number of borrows across all participating KDP titles in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.  For example, if total borrows of all participating KDP titles are 100,000 in December and your book was borrowed 1,500 times, you will earn $7,500 in additional royalties from KDP Select in December.  Enrolled titles will remain available for sale to any customer in the Kindle Store and you will continue to earn your regular royalties on those sales.

What this means to you:

KDP Select gives you access to a whole new source of royalties and readers- you not only benefit from a new way of making money, but you also get the chance to reach even more readers by getting your book in front of a growing number of US Amazon Prime customers: readers and future fans of your books that you may have not had a chance to reach before! Additionally, the ability to offer your book for free will help expand your worldwide reader base.

How to enroll:

KDP Select is available for titles participating in both the 70% and 35% royalty options.  You can immediately start by enrolling a single title, your whole catalog, or anything in between. 

If you're interested in enrolling a title that's already uploaded, simply click "Enroll" next to the book in your Bookshelf. To enroll multiple titles that are already uploaded, select the boxes next to any number of titles, then click "Actions" and choose "Enroll these books in KDP Select." The titles you choose will be enrolled immediately.

If you're interested in enrolling a new title, simply check the "Enroll this book in KDP Select" box while submitting details about your book and proceed to publish the book as you normally would. For new titles, enrollment takes effect once the book is available for sale on our website.

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

Thanks again for choosing KDP to publish your work.

Regards,

Kindle Direct Publishing
http://kdp.amazon.com
=============================
Connect with KDP and other Authors and Publishers:
Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/KindleDirectPublishing
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/AmazonKDP

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I can handle Kobo because I get the formatting for the same price as Kindle, and now and then I'll run a book on Kobo for a month before taking it back for a 90-day exclusive to Kindle.  In the past, I've been badly hurt by the one-year-exclusives that Amazon had and that seemed to pay off so well last summer.  That has dried up completely, and still some of my books are stuck.

I cannot do any of the others because the formatting would cost too much and sales would not make up for it.

I don't understand why Canadians can't buy from Amazon.  The Brits do.

My blog post evaluating my experience with KDP select and the free promotion days is here.

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