I’m not a gloom-and-doom person, and I suspect that even if my sales weren’t doing well, I wouldn’t be one of those complaining right now. I still choose to see the glass as half full. Many authors are forgetting that even if they give away a lot of books and don’t see an immediate boost in sales, those are seeds that have been planted, and they’re getting the benefit of gaining new readers they never had before. I’ve learned that in this business, too fast never lasts, and that slow and steady wins the race. It’s how I’ve built my audience over the years. Besides that, there’s still the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and at least for me, it’s been like having extra books up for sale—money in my pocket I wouldn’t normally have.
The thing is, I don’t think the Select program was ever intended to carry authors forever; I think it was intended to give them exposure, help get their books into new readers’ hands, and ultimately, help them grow their readerships, and I still think it’s doing that. What happens after is really up to the authors. It’s not Amazon’s job to do all the work so our books can sell—it’s ours—and it’s not much to ask if we meet them half way.
The truth is, the free ride really isn’t over because in fact, one was never offered.