My Thoughts On KDP Select...
Today I'm going to talk about my experiences with Kindle Direct Publishing, aka KDP Select. This is a special program offered by Amazon to help authors promote Kindle versions of their e-books. The program is worldwide which really helps make your work available to a huge market. You sign a 3-month contract, which can be renewed automatically or ended when those three months are up. During this period you have the opportunities to raise and lower the price of your work at your leisure.
In the meantime, while under contract with KDP, you will also be given the option of having up to 5 days of free giveaways. You schedule these days in advance on the system's calendar. This let's the system know when to change the price to FREE for only those days. After your selected days are over, the system will then change the price back to normal automatically. It's that simple.
This is free publicity folks. It's not costing you a cent. No you're not making money on those sales but you are building a following of readers who may be much more willing to put out money for your next work. In the 3 months I've been on KDP Select the number of copies of my book in the hands of readers went from just under 100 to over 1400. And I can tell you right now, even though there are only 15 reviews on Amazon, a number of these readers have told me flat out they can't wait for the next book. I've also been seeing a slow increase in the number of paid sales, I've gone from low single digits to double digits for the past 2 months. It seems the word is already spreading. Some authors in the past have seen huge increases in their sales, but I'm still waiting to see if that really happens. I'll keep you posted. But I'm very excited by the number of new readers who are eager to get my next book "THE SHIP" which is coming in December of this year.
Now, with all these good words about KDP Select, there is one downside. While under contract with KDP they have the exclusive rights to the e-book version of your work. This means you cannot have your book available in any other electronic book form (i. e. Nook, Apple, Sony and other e-reader formats). Now, when I first put "THE BRIDGE" out, I had it available through Smashwords so it was available in those other formats as well as in Kindle form through Amazon. But lowering my price for the Kindle version on Amazon or doing free giveaways, was NOT an option for me on Amazon because was NOT part of the KDP Select program. So I had to make the difficult decision of taking my book off Smashwords and the other e-reader formats for the duration of my 3 month KDP Select contract. When the contract is finished at the end of this month, I will be making "THE BRIDGE" available on Smashwords once again. I basically used my time on KDP Select as wisely as I could, to increase readership and get my name out there more.
I'm hoping there will be a good strong increase of sales on Smashwords when I get the book back up over there. I've already had a number of people asking when will "THE BRIDGE" be available for Nook. That will be happening in the beginning of September, so just hang in there a little longer folks. It's coming.
So how do I plan on releasing my next book? Will I do KDP Select first for 3 months and then add Smashwords? Or shall I simply skip KDP Select and just put "THE SHIP" out for Kindle, Nook and ht other e-readers all at the same time?
I had planned on doing KDP Select first and then adding Smashwords (who distributes to Nook, Sony, Apple and the other e-readers). But that when I had hoped to release "THE SHIP" in October. By December I was going to add Smashwords in time for Christmas. But due to a family crisis, where I wound up losing my father-in-law to cancer, all those plans got pushed back.
Currently, I am planning to put "THE SHIP" out in December. As to whether I do just Kindle or Smashwords as well still remains a question. I don't want to leave my Nook and Apple readers hanging for 3 months AFTER Christmas. It just doesn't feel right. So if any of you loyal fans who have a Nook, Sony or other e-reader are reading this, please tell me if you want "THE SHIP" in time for Christmas. You're wish will be my command. After all, no author can survive without readers. You are what make or break an author and their works.
I hope this lengthy entry was of help to all of you. If any of you have had other experiences or things to do with KDP Select, please leave comments below. We'd all love to hear and learn from you as well. Until next time, keep writing!
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