Early in my blogging, I believed, and I think I even mentioned it, that to join Kindle Select there was a minimum lowest price you had to have for your novel. Someone recently corrected me, and I am so grateful! My misunderstanding was caused by the minimum price for Overseas Sales. If you want the 70% royalty for books sold outside the US, then yes, you must have a price of $2.99 or more. Otherwise, you will get the regular 35% royalty. But what I was confused about and thought you had to give up if you chose a lower price was the payment for pages read, known by Kindle Select as Kindle Edition Normalized Pages Read, or KENP for short.
When I dropped Fortune’s Flower’s price so I could break into a new and crowded field, I knew I would lose the 70% royalties for my overseas sales because I put the price below $2.99, the lowest price for that percentage. When I pulled the book out of Kindle Select, I also lost the payment for Pages Read. It was a bit of a whack to my income.
I made the decision because I wanted to branch out through Smashwords into iBookstore and Nook, and the dozen or more other outlets Smashwords affords. I let the experiment run for 6 months before I pulled the plug. That might not be considered long enough by many, but it was plenty long enough for me. When I left Smashwords, I knew I could do nothing for a while because it takes several weeks for each of the numerous outlets to get the word and pull the book.
What I did not know until it was pointed out to me is that despite my decision to keep the price low, Kindle Select was still open to me, and I could indeed begin getting paid for KENP. This is such important information that it bears repeating:
If you are exclusive to Amazon, you can still join Kindle Select and get paid for the first time read on every book sold!
The only possible exception may be if your book is permanently free. I don’t know the rules on that.
Just think: You can price your book at 99¢, join Kindle Select, and every time someone reads the book, even if only a few pages at a time, each new page read (calculated on an average page size somehow) goes into your KENP total and you get paid for it. It’s not a huge sum, now just under a half a penny per page, but it adds up and fast. For every 2 pages you get paid a penny. For a 200 page book, you get $1.00. Two people read the book, and you get $2.00.
There is one other reason to consider Kindle Select and their KENP payment. It lets you know that someone has your book, even if it’s checked out on Amazon’s Lending Library. That’s not a sale as in a regular sale, but Amazon has planned for that. Amazon Prime members can check books out. That is a massive audience you miss out on.
It is entirely possible that others might have much more success with Smashwords than I did, and for them, losing out on KENP may not be worth dropping the market they have found elsewhere. What I have discovered, however, in all the blogs I have read and the authors I listen to, is not that they have too much of a reach, but too llittle. Rather than wonder where to put your book, try Amazon exclusively and join Kindle Select and see what it can do for you. If you don’t like it, your Kindle Select term only runs 90 days. Just uncheck the “automatically renew” box and at the end of that 90-day cycle, you are free to add any market you wish.