I’m sure if you’re a reader or author you’ve heard about Amazon’s new prime membership for books. For a monthly fee a reader can now purchase an unlimited amount of ebooks for as long as they remain members. I’ve done a bit of research and here’s what I’ve discovered.
Although Amazon Prime does sound ominous to the author when it comes to royalty payments it actually does have some pretty fantastic perks. For one, an author will no longer see that dreaded return unit in their monthly sales reports. Once a book is downloaded and the first ten percent is read the author gets a full royalty whether the book is read entirely or returned.
Second, the book is now in the prime reading catalog so a reader is much more apt to experiment with an unknown author because it isn’t costing the reader anything to see what the book is about. It also will allow for more experimental stories to be published. Books that a reader may be wary to spend money on can now be read as a part of prime. Imagine how that frees both writer and reader to experiment outside their comfort zones. This may lead to some pretty amazing discoveries and breakthroughs.
Third, the fund for these books is ever increasing so in the future an author may actually receive more royalty than if a reader had purchased the book for the full retail price. All these facts plus numerous other benefits such as free promo’s and countdown deals makes Amazon, in my opinion, the absolute best place for indie authors to publish their works.
Some of you may disagree with the exclusivity of Amazon and believe that it is prudent that an author distribute their books through as many channels as possible to gain maximum exposure. I have put this notion to the test for the last three years by having my books also distributed through Smashwords to its available outlets. I have done significant marketing and promotion for both sites. In the end, Amazon outsells all other sites including Nook and Kobo by at least 25 to 1. A huge difference.
So, now what? As of today I have taken six of my books off Smashwords to concentrate solely on promoting Amazon prime and my titles. I plan on doing countdown deals, giving free promos, and most all, reiterating the fact that it will cost nothing for a prime member to check out my books. That is a huge incentive to sample a story.
If you own a Nook or Kobo, I regret that several of my titles will no longer be available on those devices. I urge you to become an Amazon prime member. I believe it is going to completely change how readers buy and enjoy ebooks. I see it as the wave of the future and a gateway for unlimited readership.