I Depublished My Book
This week, I did something absolutely unthinkable.
So unthinkable that the world will never recover. All hope is lost. There’s no way out. Don’t listen to the people who tell you not to panic. This is the time for it.
You will never forgive me for doing it. I have robbed you of your peace forever, and my actions are abominable. I would tell you to look away, except that would not spare you. Living in ignorance of my high crimes in no way undoes them.
Though you will hate me for it, you deserve to know the truth—blameless as you are, you must know what has been done, though it is too painful to hear.
Brave reader, I beg you steel yourself against the nightmarish revelations about to spill upon you. Prepare for a truth more terrible than torture. Here it comes!
I unpublished Advent 9!
I mean, I didn’t unpublish it from every platform. The audiobook is still available everywhere. Physical books can still be bought.
But the ebook of Advent 9 has been withdrawn from every platform except Amazon.
And it’s all Amazon’s fault. See, when I first published Advent 9, I neglected to register it for KDP Select, which means that, ever since I first published Advent 9, Amazon has been treating the book like a second-class citizen.
And when I went back and read David Farland‘s notes for how I should run my book launch, I noticed he did think I should launch with KDP Select, even though it comes with the onerous requirement that I give Amazon a three-month exclusivity window with my ebook (which is a predatory practice, no matter how you slice it).
It is well documented that Amazon gives preferential treatment to books in its KDP Select program, so to correct my mistake, I have to unpublish the ebook version of Advent 9 from every platform that isn’t Amazon.
Which, honestly, is no great sacrifice. Amazon is the world’s biggest bookseller, and my sales on other platforms have been unable to compete.
I figure I can keep all my eggs in one basket until June 12th, and after that, go back to business as usual.
But in the meantime, I am already reaping the advantages. The ability to put my own products on sale is just one benefit. The other is a bit more…esoteric.
Advent 9 on Kindle Unlimited?
I didn’t realize that joining KDP Select would automatically make my book available on Kindle Unlimited—the subscription-based, all-you-can-read service from Amazon.
In the past KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited were two different affairs, with KU being reserved for books that wanted to sell exclusively on Amazon forever, whereas KDPS only requires three months.
Apparently, that’s changed. KU and KDPS now seem to have merged, which makes Advent 9 now available for free reading to all Kindle Unlimited subscribers…though I do get paid for every page read through KU.
And, in truth, I had planned to never make my book available through KU due to the eternal nature of its exclusivity agreement.
But now that I’m there, I find myself enjoying the rewards. More people are reading my book, for the simple fact that, on their end, the book is free. Yet I’m still getting paid.
I must say, it’s not a bad arrangement to have. And the KDP Select requirements only require me to keep my book unpublished on other platforms for 90 days.
Combine this with the ability to put my book on sale (though Amazon sets strict time limits for this) I am, so far, glad I made the leap to KDP Select.
What Happens to Your Copy of My Book?
On most platforms, unpublishing a book does not remove that book from the customer’s library. It simply prevents new customers from being able to purchase Advent 9.
So if you already acquired your copy of Advent 9 through Apple or Google or Barnes and Noble or anywhere else, you needn’t worry. And if you’re still hoping to buy the book through these platforms, you only have to wait until June. I’m sorry if this is an inconvenience to anyone, but Amazon unfortunately calls the shots here. My hands are tied.
Rest assured that in the future, I will be more careful to launch my book in such a way that it does not require me to unpublish anything.
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