Experiences with KDP Select

When KDP Select first started up I remember there were authors on both fences about it. Some were ready to grab their pitchforks but yet others were willing to try it out. They didn’t necessarily see it as a bad thing.

While you’re self-publishing you’ll encounter risks on a daily basis. Everything you do involves a risk.

  • Do you devote most of your time trying to get followers on Twitter?
  • Should you create a Facebook Page and go after Likes?
  • Do you seek out advertising for your titles and pay some website based on impressions?
  • Should you do another round of edits on your masterpiece or release it and focus on creating the next masterpiece?
  • On and on we go….

When I first started using KDP Select as part of EnemyOne I knew what I was going after but what I didn’t realize at the time is that I missed a big point in my research. The money-making portion of KDP Select had unfortunately passed. You see somewhere back in the months of March or April 2012, Amazon went and changed how their algorithms work. You used to be able to give your book away for Free using your allotted promo days and then you could count on landing at the top of the charts for instant visibility which naturally brought more sales once you went off Free. Well, that ship has sailed.

But, I still believe there is a reason to use Select.

Free is a good thing. Free brings more visibility to your product. Readers obviously enjoy free. The question really only becomes will they ever get around to reading your free book? Will they ever leave a review? To me, those are the two most important questions concerning giving away something for free.

Some authors have given away thousands of copies! Some as nearly as 20, 000 copies using great exposure they received from places like Pixel of Ink and Ereader News Today. At EnemyOne we’ve been lucky enough. We moved over 1000 copies of Crowley’s Window in a single day. We moved nearly 900 copies of a Western title by a complete unknown author in 2 days. And our most recent Freebie was about 1000 copies as well in 2 days.

The way I see it, we’re rewarding readers with a Freebie but also increasing the visibility of our title. We’re also exposing the author to a whole set of new potential readers.

There’s also one thing some authors may not think about. Amazon treats your Freebie as a sale so to speak so it affects some of the other algorithms. As readers buy your Freebie, you get put into the “Customers Also Bought” feature. This is huge. This is free advertising of your book throughout the Amazon website.

Our particular book sales pages had zero “Also Boughts” when we first started. Now we’re up to 18 pages worth on some of them.

In the end what you end up doing with a Free Promo using KDP Select is jumpstart your advertising and marketing for the book throughout the Amazon database.

I’m pretty sure what we’re going to do in the future is enroll in KDP Select and use the Free Promo Days to our advantage and leave it at that. I wish we could have got in when things were great for Select but I think that time has now passed.

Have you been using KDP Select? What have your experiences been like?

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About Adam

Adam got his start in comics illustrating and colouring the book Shuddertown from Image Comics/Shadowline. He’s now concentrating his efforts on self-publishing and a larger move into writing novels and helping other authors get their work published. He recently launched his first small press publishing company, EnemyOne, which was realistically over 10 years in the making. He enjoys reading comic books and in particular old, pulpy, crime novels.

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