If you're an indie writer, you've probably heard about the latest Amazon offer. If you're a reader, you might not have. But this affects all of us, so keep reading. Amazon now has a program to allow free "borrowing" of e-books to Amazon prime members. (Amazon prime members also get free 2 day shipping and the ability to stream movies.) It's a win-win for those who pay the yearly fee--two of my adult kids are Amazon prime members.
Of course, Amazon had to sweeten the pot for writers to participate. They have a pile of gold at the end of the rainbow--they've set aside a pot of money to be split by participating writers based on the number of times their book gets "checked out." However, there's a catch. In order to qualify for Amazon's lendability, you have to sell your e-book only through Amazon. So if you're book is available through Smashwords or B&N, you have to take it down.
Honestly, the money isn't that much of an issue. I don't have any illusions that I'd get a big chunk of the cash. But what attracts me is the publicity/promos associated with it. The most difficult thing for me as an indie writer is letting people know my book is out there and that they'd like it. (Maybe it's because I have a tendency to be shy. I don't meet people and say, "Hey, I'm Connie. I wrote a book and you should buy it because you'd love it." But I'm learning.) Amazon used to do more promotions for indie books, but that changed. And with that, writers saw their sales tumble. It's like being in a book store. It used to be that Amazon would put your book out on the display rack at the front of the store or on the endcaps. Now you get a couple of days there, and then you're shelved in the back corner where the lighting's poor--no one find you unless they're looking. (If you're a reader, you can help indie writers by telling your friends about books you love and writing book reviews on Amazon and GoodReads, etc.)
After thinking these things through and reading lots of opinions, every indie writer has a strong opinion, I've decided to take Amazon up on their offer. I'll be taking Screwing Up Time down from Barnes and Noble's site for three months. (If you've been planning on buying the novel for Nook, do it today.) During the three months, you can buy it Amazon (on sale for 99cents) or borrowing it if you're an Amazon Prime members.
So wish me luck and stay tuned, I'll let you know how it goes.