Wednesday, April 6, 2016


I wonder sometimes if Amazon shot itself in the foot.

Back in January, I decided that Kindle Unlimited wasn’t for me, and I went into wide release with all of my stories – except the one that I wrote for J. A. Konrath’s Kindle World.

Now, for the casual reader, here’s an explanation as to how Amazon works for an author: if an author chooses to make stories exclusive to Amazon, those stories that are exclusive are boosted in visibility to you, the reader. They are given priority over stories that aren’t exclusive. Amazon rankings drop rapidly, both as an author and in the sales/category rank.

In other words, it isn’t just that Amazon rewards those that choose exclusivity…they also punish those that aren’t.

And, over the last three months, I’ve discovered that Amazon may have shot itself in the foot by punishing those authors that aren’t exclusive.

Since I’ve gone wide, my stories have bottomed on Amazon. That’s fine, of course, I expected that. But, sales of my stories on other sites have grown, and grown rapidly. These are sales that Amazon may or may not have had – I have no way of knowing. All I know is that my sales at Google Play have grown considerably. This month, it appears that my sales at Apple are taking off.

I’m very pleased with my sales at other sites. Of course, I have stories at Google, Apple, Barnes & Noble, DriveThruFiction, Inktera, Scribd, Tolino, Smashwords, and numerous other sites. The first title in the Justice Security series, Mama Told Me Not To Come, and the first title in the Tales Of Sardis County series, Don’t Come Around Here No More, are free everywhere, in the hope that you’ll like what you read and will want more. I urge you to take advantage of that.

I can’t help but wonder if my new sales at other ebook retailers are a result of the lack of visibility at Amazon, or if those readers wouldn’t buy from Amazon to begin with. I hope that isn’t the case, because those readers will miss out on the 8th title in the Justice Security series, The Night Chicago Died – A Jack Daniels/Justice Security Novel.

If it’s a result of a lack of visibility at Amazon, then Amazon may have lost out on a cut of those sales due to an insistence on exclusivity to enhance visibility.

I don’t pretend to know Amazon’s long-term plans, but, to me, it seems to be a waste. If Kindle Unlimited did not demand exclusivity, I would happily make my work available there.

I don’t understand their thinking.

Of course, others have speculated that it’s part of Amazon’s plan to drive other retailers out of the ebook business.

I’m not seeing that. I’m seeing more sales for me at other retailers. And I couldn’t be more happy.

I love Amazon. I will always offer my work there. I even plan a follow up to the Kindle World story that I wrote.

But those Kindle World stories will always be the only Amazon exclusives.

I won’t apologize for it. I’m enjoying the sales and accolades from the other retailers right now.

But, to enjoy, I need you to…

Keep reading!

T. M. Bilderback (But you can call me Michael)

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