The Debate That Would Not Die: iBooks Author, KDP Select and Exclusivity

Apple’s e-book related event in New York today turned out to be mainly about textbooks and educational publishing. Definitely a lucrative market for them to get into, but not really of any relevance to the indie writer. Besides, as Passive Guy points out, the licence their iBooks Author software to create enhanced e-books requires the author to offer the resulting books exclusively at Apple. Oh yes, and you still have to have ISBNs and a Mac to publish with them.

Thanks but no thanks. I didn’t go exclusive with Amazon and they are a much bigger market than Apple and a company I actually do business with, whereas I have never owned a single Apple product in my life.

Meanwhile, the debate over whether or not to join KDP Select is turning into the discussion that just would not die:

Now Dean Wesley Smith offers his take on KDP Select and the exclusivity clause and wonders why writers would limit themselves to a single vendor. My thoughts exactly.

Meanwhile, David Gaughran who has already stated his own anti-Select stance offers two guest posts by writers who have had a measure of success with KDP Select, Patrice Fitzgerald and Marilyn Peake.

In the end it comes down to whether you want to spread your distribution network as wide as possible or whether you want to exchange wide availability for the hope of increased sales and visibility at one particular vendor or for one particular platform. I choose the former, many other writers, mainly Americans for some reason, choose the latter.

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5 Responses to The Debate That Would Not Die: iBooks Author, KDP Select and Exclusivity

  1. Pingback: Reconsidering my place in the local literary scene | Cora Buhlert

  2. “mainly Americans for some reason”

    I was at a Star Trek convention in Los Angeles once. (Had a ton of fun, btw!) We were going round the table at dinner, telling everyone else where we travelled from.

    “Australia,” I said.

    The woman next to me beamed. “I came just as far,” she declared. “I flew in from Philadelphia.”

    The punchline’s for you, Cora: she was a high-school teacher.

    • Cora says:

      Ouch. The geographical ignorance of some (not all, thank goodness) Americans is truly staggering. The fact that this woman was a high school teacher is frightening, though. I hope she doesn’t teach geography.

  3. Hi Cora, thanks for the mention. If you are not completely tired of the topic, I wrapped up my mini-series on KDP Select today with another guest post, this time from an author who is staying out of the program, and exploiting the increased opportunities on other channels:

    • Cora says:

      Thanks for the link, David. I’ve made my decision, but it’s always good to see the perspectives of other writers.

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