Thursday, 28 January 2016

Ink Tips: Changes Coming to Kindle Publishing

There's been quite the buzz going around.  Amazon is announcing changes to the Kindle Direct Publishing program to start next week.  They are going to start warning potential buyers of problems and pulling books with errors or if Amazon receives complaints.

This is likely to affect indie authors most.  Especially those who don't professionally edit their books before posting them.  Amazon has said it will be contacting authors to give them a chance to update and correct their books. 

I'm guessing that there are a couple of factors at play here.  First, I suspect that Amazon wants to improve the quality of the books they're offering.  Too many poorly written, poorly formatted and poorly edited options will drive potential customers away.  Second, I suspect they'd like to clear up some digital storage.  Third, the ebook market has matured and customers are expecting a more polished experience.

I'm all for improving quality but this still makes me a little nervous.  The main concern I'm hearing (and share) is wondering how these rules will be applied.  Building an audience as a new author is difficult enough without having availability problems.  One of the appeals of indie publishing is the ability to proceed at your own pace.  Traditional publishing has a short window of opportunity to generate sales.  Will Amazon be expecting us to do the same now?

Amazon has traditionally rewarded authors who published more frequently.  If one can put up a new book every 90 days, the visibility is higher.  Amazon wanted content to quickly fill their site, an option for every potential reader.  Will they start rewarding those who take longer and provide a higher quality product?  Hard to say.  But this is something that anyone who has a book through Kindle should pay attention to.

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