Friday, December 6, 2013

Michael McCloskey: In it for the long haul

Yesterday I wrote about my decision to give the new Kindle Countdown Deal promotion a chance.  For those of you who don't know, this is a deal that gives authors the chance to offer their book to readers at a discounted price for a specified length of time through Amazon.  There are however, a few qualifying stipulations.  The primary, and often difficult point for an author to accept, is that your books have to be exclusively available through Amazon. 

For some authors, this works just fine.  For others, they don't believe in this kind of one directional approach to selling their work.  Michael McCloskey is one of them.  He is joining us today to give us his view on why he loves Amazon, but just not enough to commit to a monogamous relationship. 

I love Amazon. I really do. But I'm not enrolled in KDP select.
I've seen many authors post about why they are or aren't in KDP select. Often it is about short term money strategies—where they can get the most money for their books. I base my decision upon longer term criteria.
I have seen how young companies emerge from the pack because of their focus on the customer. Amazon and Google come to mind. But I have also seen how those same companies, once mature, start to look after their own interests first. Having secured a large share of the market, they start to wield that power. This is exactly what Amazon KDP is. It is about locking customers into Amazon.
Once you are locked into one company, you are totally at their mercy. No matter how much you love a company, don't be fooled. They will make business decisions that benefit them first, not you. Especially as that young company becomes an older, established force in the market.
Suppose Amazon grows even more powerful. What are you going to to when it decides to drop your royalties? What could you do? Without alternatives, you will be powerless to do anything. It would be Amazon's way or the highway. What would you do if Amazon decides you violated some policy of theirs (even if you didn't... it could be an error). Then you are out in the cold and there is no place else to sell. We have to protect the competition that keeps that from happening. We need Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble Nook, Smashwords, etc., so that Amazon does not decide to abuse its power. And if they do, you must have recourse. There has to be other players you can go to and keep selling.
So even though Amazon is my favorite bookseller out there, I refuse to help them become the only bookseller. That will end badly, if it comes to pass.
You can connect with Michael in all of the following places, and buy his books through the links below.

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