Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Experience with KDP Select

Now that I am feeling stronger and healthier, I am happy to be back at my laptop to write about my plans to leave Kindle's Direct Publishing Select when it comes up for renewal at the end of this month. I am still using Kindle Direct Publishing for selling my books as Kindle ebooks but KDP Select is a program by KDP as a way to help ebook authors promote their works. It sounded like a great program to try out with my novella, The Priestess and the Ravenknight (P&R). By signing up and promising to sell P&R exclusively through KDP Select offered the follow (copied from their site) :
1. Earn higher royalties and earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers borrow your books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Plus, earn 70% royalty for sales to customers in Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico.
2. Maximize my book's potential by using their two promotional options: Kindle Countdown Deals, time-bound promotional discounting for your book while earning royalties; or Free Book Promotion where readers worldwide can get your book free for a limited time.
3. Help readers discover your books by making them available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and reach the growing number of Amazon Prime customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Japan. 

It was all free and so I thought to give it a try. I filled out the forms and entered appropriate key words and categories that best described my book. I began spreading the word via emails and social networks. I spoke about it with my fellow writers locally and some of them also tried it. I did several free promotions and even tried the Kindle Countdown deal for a short time. 

All with very limited success. 

I'm not going to grumble or complain about KDP. Amazon did as they promised. I had no problems with them. I can only guess that I haven't marketed enough or correctly. If they did any promoting of my novella, I never saw it. I never got email promos or ads about my ebook so I am not even sure if anyone did.  I tried a email campaign service also and it helped a little. My download numbers were a meer few hundred at best. So how can readers try out my book if they don't know about it? How can KDP Prime members borrow the book if their can't find it. Heck, I couldn't find it without using the URL I copied and saved. My novella was buried or lost where it was difficult to find amongst so many many other ebooks available at Amazon KDP.  During my second enrollment I tried other keywords and categories and kept promoting as I could without driving my friends and the public crazy.  I created my author profile also and keep blog ads linked to Amazon. My marketing budget is very limited and without using a professional service, I can only expect what I got.

The result was most disappointing and I've decided that when my enrollment in KDP Select is up on Jan 31st, I will quit the program. I have 3 more promotion days to offer my ebook, The Priestess and the Ravenknight, for free. You're invited to download it tomorrow, Jan. 12th through Tuesday, Jan. 14th.

Remember this is only my experience with KDP Select. I am sure there are other writers out there that have done very well with the program and got a lot of downloads which turned into sales after the promotion was over. If this has happened to you, I welcome any advice or suggestions on you did it that resulted in many downloads and sales. What kind of marketing did you use? How long did you use it? What days did you promote your book? What kind of keywords or categories did you use?

Once I am done with KDP Select, I will turn P&R into an Epub ebook and begin marketing it and selling it at various online sites independently. I may even put it into CD form and sell it at book signings. It's time to plan my next move as I continue to sell both Realmwalkers and P&R this new year. 

And now that I am doing better, it's time to get to back to work on my next book.

I look forward to your comments and reviews of The Priestess and the Ravenknight, free tomorrow through Tuesday at Amazon Kindle.

Keep on writing! Don't give up!