It was Christmas all over again at my house. UPS just dropped off my book order from Lightning Source. I had almost sold out of my personal copies of Requiem so I ordered in another round along with my first order of Guardian. If anyone wants to buy a signed copy, use the buy now links under the cover pictures to the right.
A few blog posts ago I talked about the new KDP Select program and gave my thoughts. It has been about 20 days now since the program launched. Much more information has come out. Several more discussions and a reader posed the following question: "What would a new company have to do to win you and everyone else over?"
The main sticking point on this question is if you use the KDP Select option from Amazon, you have to grant 90 days exclusivity. No selling your e-book anywhere else (physical books not effected). Tens of thousands of books got pulled from all other stores and are now exclusively on Amazon. So how would an existing company like Apple or Barnes and Noble, or a new online retailer "win me over"? The simple answer right now is, they can't. It's a numbers game and always will be. Amazon has a good 75% of the e-book market. Think about this. Amazon has three times what everyone else combined has.
There are things in my opinion, every company needs to improve. Sad thing for competition, Amazon has the best tools right now and they suck. Here is a list of improvements every e-book retailer needs if they are going to work directly with content providers.
1. Calender tools. Simple scheduler so I can make adjustments to product descriptions, prices, pictures in advance. I should be able to set a time and date to make book one and book two go on sale at the same time when book three launches, as well as change the product description to represent the sale, how long it will last and why.
2. Previewer. This is important in my opinion. Right now when you upload a new book somewhere, its just a mess of fill in the blanks, submit and hope it comes out OK after a 2-48 hour wait. Nothing sucks more than finding out your line breaks and carriage returns did not carry over when you cut and paste the product description in. Great, now I am locked out for potentially two days before I can edit and fix it, because the book is pending or in some other review state. God forbid you fat finger a price change of 99c and it comes out $99 and you can't fix it for a day and a half.
3. Social media. Amazon gets this one better than others. But you should be able to link up Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs. There is no reason for these not to be there. Visibility helps.
So even if a new company came along and had all these things right and offered 99% royalties, I would still have to stay with Amazon because that is where everyone shops for books. It would be like trying to make a social network and pull users from Facebook. Amazon would have to self destruct somehow first and I just don't see that happening.
Requiem is free to download on Amazon. If you haven't downloaded your copy yet, click the cover art on the right and grab it now.