Friday, January 6, 2012

Amzon's Kindle Direct Publishing Book Loan Program - Is it Better for Fiction than Non-Fiction?

I signed up several of my books to be part of this program. For a book to be eligible it must be exclusive to Amazon Kindle in its ebook version. Amazon has set aside $500K for the month of December to compensate authors for books loaned as part of this program. I sincerely doubt I will get rich participating in this program and after the initial three month participation period required, I am undecided if I will continue to participate.

For one book, Kindle sales have plummeted due to its availability to be borrowed. I have no doubt of this being the case as I have loaned more copies of this title in just the one month the book has been part of the program than I had sold in its Kindle version in any given month since it has been available. Since the book has been available for loan I have sold a grand total of 3 copies in the Kindle version.

The other titles I have made available have continued to sell at their average monthly levels while only a few copies being loaned. The availability of the option to "borrow" the book from Amazon does not seem to have impacted these books one way or the other.

It remains to be seen what the impact, other than costing me sales right now, of this program will be in the long term. I will have to wait and see.

Since I do not write fiction books, I have to wonder if this program is a good one to participate in for non-fiction authors. I have little doubt the program is an excellent marketing tool for an author launching a book, particularly if it is the first in a series. Later titles in the series do not have to be made available in this program.

In a few months I will have a better idea of how this will impact sales for the titles currently listed in the program. As I have more information available I will share it on this blog.