Starting about a week from now, and continuing for the next few months at least, the two existing books in my KESTREL technothrillers series will be Kindle-exclusive for ebooks. Paperbacks will continue to be available, of course, but in ebook format the books will solely be available on Kindle. This is an experiment, and I’m trying it for a few reasons. This does not affect any future/new book releases, which will continue to be launched on all the usual platforms.
First, Kindle has always been the vast majority of my sales — almost 75% of lifetime sales — and paperbacks take the total up to nearly 80%. The remainder is split across various other ebook platforms, of which Apple Books is the largest, but after spikes in sales after each book launch, the sales on Apple Books quickly dwindle to a negligible amount while Kindle continues to perform. At this point, virtually 100% of ongoing sales are on Kindle plus paperback.
Second, Amazon allows targeted advertising within their store in a manner that Apple currently doesn’t. This is a contributing factor to the difference in sales, along with the fact that Kindle e-ink devices are so commonplace. Books purchased on Apple Books can only be read on Apple devices (for all but the most tech-savvy, anyway), whereas Kindle books can be read almost anywhere, including on iPhones, iPads, iPod touch, Macs, and so on. Naturally, there’s also a benefit in efficiency for me if I only need to update books and marketing materials on a single platform.
Third, Kindle exclusivity confers several benefits in exchange for the constraint on format: KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) promotions including countdown sales, and also participation in Kindle Unlimited, the subscription-based service that lets members read any book included in that service at no additional cost.
So, I’m going to give it a try. The initial exclusivity period is three months, and I’ll be proceeding with it in about a week’s time: around Sunday 1st December. I’ll be very interested to see what happens. If it turns out to not be of significant benefit, then after the minimum period I’ll of course revert to multi-platform ebook sales as before.
What this means is that, for the current KESTREL books, any ebook format or distribution platform that isn’t within Amazon will no longer be available during those three months. This includes Apple Books, Kobo, Nook, and my own direct sales of both regular and autographed ebook copies. As I mentioned, paperbacks will of course remain available to purchase from wherever you like (your local Amazon site, or via ordering from your preferred bookseller, either online or brick-and-mortar). Paperbacks will of course continue to be available for schools and libraries to order, at the standard discounts.
If you do want to grab copies of CHANGER and TOLL as ebooks on platforms other than Kindle, you’ve got about a week to do so! Click the links in the previous sentence to get handy buttons that will take you to all the current buying options. Thanks for reading.