Being indie isn't easy. I won't go into a rant about the pros and cons of having - or not having - a contract with a publishing house. But there's something that's been bugging me lately. It's the KDP select option. For the readers out there who don't know what this is, let me give you a brief description.
When you publish your work on Amazon you have the option to enroll in a program called KDP select. The program states your work can only be published with Amazon. No Apple, no B&N, no Kobo, and no Sony. You're making a promise to Amazon you will not sell your book with any other retailer.
What do you get in exchange for this promise?
You enroll for 90 day blocks. Within those 90 days you are able to make your book free for 5 days. Also, people who are enrolled in Amazon Prime are able to borrow your book for 30 days, and you still receive royalties even though reader got the book for free. Amazon pays the difference.
I have used KDP once with Endlessly because, at the time, it was the only option I saw to get it free. I wanted it to be free forever but Amazon doesn't allow you to make it free when you upload it and get to the pricing page. In order for your book to become a free download you have to make it free everywhere else (Apple, B&N, Kobo, and Sony), and then constantly bombard them with a price match.
Kind of hard to do when you're only allowed to sell the book with them.
I know authors who have went exclusively through Amazon in the hopes of their sales boosting to make up for the loss of other retailers. I have not. And I don't believe I ever will. During my 90 day period I did not see an increase in sales and no one ever borrowed my book. The only thing I accomplished was denying readers with other devices the opportunity to read my book.
Here is a link for a statement from the founder of Smashwords on this topic. http://selfpublishingadvice.org/blog/amazon-plays-indie-authors-like-pawns/