Goodreads Authors/Readers discussion

890 views
II. Publishing & Marketing Tips > KDP Select Results?

Comments (showing 1-50 of 194) (194 new)    post a comment »

Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Hey everybody! I'm rather curious to hear from people who have tried KDP Select. Did you have any results? Specifically,

1. Did you get a big spike in downloads?
2. Did you get reviews out of it?
3. Did you make any money out of the collective monthly Amazon fund?

It bothers me that Amazon says you "get to offer your book for free" like this is a benefit. Writing a book is a major effort. Asking authors to limit distribution and give their work away devalues writers, in my opinion. It comes across like a predatory effort to capture free content in order to spur Kindle device sales.

On the other hand, if there's actually a benefit to doing this long term, maybe it's worth it? What has your experience been?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm in the process of trying it out now. I will let you know my results.


Justin Stanisic | 4 comments Just finished a five day promotion on Tuesday (Valentine's Day).

1. Yes.

2. Yes.

3. Not yet.

A big spike in downloads wasn't difficult to accomplish. My fiction was sort of DOA at Amazon (and everywhere else), and offering a five day giveaway via Kindle Select was sort of like hitting them with a defibrillator. After putting away the pads, my short story is still cold on the table. My novel, however, has found a pulse. It's faint, but it's there (and getting a little stronger by the day).

A reader posted a review of my novel on Shelfari and Goodreads. I still have no Amazon reviews, but honestly, scrolling down on my novel's Amazon page and seeing the "Book Extras" that a reader had posted was the coolest part of this whole experience.

Is the Kindle Select program a business move by Amazon? Absolutely. Is it a benefit to writers? Absolutely--unless you feel you already have all the visibility you need, and readers are downloading your content hand over fist in all the other marketplaces. And even then, a couple of established authors have seen some pretty amazing results after a quick promotion on Kindle Select.

That said--if you feel Kindle Select would "devalue" you as a writer, why would you even engage? Just because in the long term, maybe it's "worth" it? That sounds a little contradictory (like you would allow yourself to be devalued for promise of profit).

If limiting yourself to one marketplace for ninety days tilts your moral compass, then avoid Kindle Select. Amazon is a business. But as a business, they've been very good to independent authors. For over two months, no one but my family and closest friends knew my work existed--and it was available in the largest marketplaces. One Kindle Select promotion later, my titles were downloaded nearly 3,000 times. I don't care that I didn't make any money. And I won't care if I don't in the future.

If the goal of art is to communicate, and you have no voice in this business, then this sort of opportunity is priceless. And if things don't go your way, or you feel you were taken advantage of, after ninety days, it's over.

I still have twenty months left on my cell phone contract. Wish we could do those in ninety day intervals.


Jenn Thorson (JennThorson) | 65 comments I just did this promotion last week, using two of my free days. I chose to do the promo because while I was getting a couple Kindle sales each day, I was getting nothing from Nook so it didn't seem like a big sacrifice.

I had about 1800 downloads when it was free, but then it went on to sell 350 copies over the next few days and I'm still seeing sales-- at a higher rate than prior to the free event, though not the rate I initially did.

I got three reviews out of it, 30-some people borrowed it from the Kindle Lending Library, and I noticed someone made a request on Twitter for the book from some other Lending Library I'm not familiar with.

Oh, I also had 13 returns of the free book. :) Which apparently is pretty common, but is still ironically entertaining.

So, overall, I'm quite pleased.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

This was one of those examples where, once again, I wasn't paying attention to the fine print. I thought that having five days of free promotion would be worth taking one of my books off the other places for sale, so I tried just the one books. I didn't notice that the book would be free for those five days. But, apparently it is the extent of the promotion.

I had chosen the dates for the five day free promotion for last week-end (Thursday through Monday). This book started "selling" like mad and I thought, "WOW look at all the money I'm making."

I decided to put another one on there and take off everywhere else. This time I picked two days of my promotion days for yesterday and today. Again my book was "selling" like mad. Then someone pointed out to me, "Sure it's selling, it's free."

I felt like a fool. I checked and, sure enough, my book price was changed from $0.99 to $0.00." Now I'm locked in for three months and can't sell these books anywhere else. They were selling, slowly but surely. So far I haven't gotten any reviews out of it, no one has borrowed either of these books, and no one has bought any.

So, so far, I'mnot happy with it but I will learn to pay more attention next time. This is, for me, an example where greed took over common sense. As my Southern Bell mama used to say, "Honey, If something sounds too good to be true, let someone else fall for it."


Karen Wyle (kawyle) | 225 comments I am fairly early in my SF novel Twin-Bred's 90 days in KDP Select, and just had my first free promotion (2 free days). Lots of downloads, check; new reviews, not yet; new sales or borrows, not yet. It's a fairly long book: I hope (though I wouldn't bet) that when people have had time to read it, there'll be some visible result.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

My 90 days with KDP Select are up in the beginning of March, and I'm just chomping at the bit until I can put Quest back on Smashwords. I was really excited about Select when it first came out, but 90 days is a long time to be locked into only one avenue of sale. Sure, I wasn't selling anything on Smashwords, but I'd still like to try it again for a month or so before going back on Select, just to see if anything happens. I still have one free promo day on Amazon left, but my last promo day only yielded 5 "sales," whereas my first was over 200. Shrug. I've gotten no reviews out of the deal, but I have been getting a few more normal sales. Not sure if those are due to the free promotions or to my activity here on Goodreads, though. I've done all my promotional days in one day chunks, so maybe next time I try Select I'll do a three-day promo or something and see what results I get. It's been a pretty fun and exciting learning experience, but as I said, I'd still like to give Smashwords another whirl.


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Thanks for the replies! Justin--yes, you picked up on the fact that I'm very conflicted. My mentor has published 60 books in her career with traditional publishing houses, so not surprisingly, she feels that Amazon's tactics are a bit predatory. But as a new indie author, it's great to be able to get the kind of exposure Amazon offers--if indeed authors are getting results. So you see, I'm just trying to figure things out!


Justin Stanisic | 4 comments Sixty books with traditional houses is amazing.

But today's publishing landscape is changing. I say give Kindle Select a try. What do you have to lose? Ninety days is a very short amount of time in the long scheme of things.

Whatever your decision, good luck!


R.C. Rutter | 36 comments I signed up for Kindle Select. So far, I have used two days worth of the free promotion. I am well pleased with 2,006 downloads in 48 hours. The following week, I sold 342 copies which is my highest volume yet. Since then, sales are steady, whereas before, it was random. Of course, sales have increased for the second volume in this series (which is NOT discounted). Definitely worth the effort!!!


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments I did a two day promo for my two .99 books and got over 4100 downloads from them combined. It has now trickled over to my 2.99 book. I'd say it works.


message 12: by L.H. (last edited Feb 18, 2012 11:48AM) (new)

L.H. Thomson (LHThomson) | 101 comments I've just joined for my first book. Put it up for free for one day on Valentines and had 427 downloads. Two sales since then, one review.

Can I make some observations here though, from about a year or so of study before I started marketing?

First, from talking to readers, a lot of free downloads go to the back of their pile of to-be-reads and we all have hundreds, basically. So even if you get a lot of downloads, it can be months before it has any cumulative effect.

Second, the people who sell a lot of eBooks stick to one genre usually, but have more than one book, so that someone who downloads it for free has another to buy (cheap) right away if they like the first. Without a second (and more appropriately a fifth, sixth or seventh), it's hard to develop the following required to gross up sales.

So it's a SLOW build. Almost no one will just get a huge hit off one book unless they have a massive promotional budget, and even then it takes a huge amount of luck.

But I've talked to several author who've followed those stipulations and are making a good living off books.

The One free, one pay thing works most notably well for a good series, of course. It's worth even taking a longer work (something above 350-pages) and sectioning it into three books, so that two can benefit from the draw from the free third.

Anyway, just a few ideas. Aside from the novel I just listed this past week, I've written five others. Four of them won't go up until they're all done, because they're each two from a series, for the above-stated reasons.

EDIT: I'd also add, from a position of humility, that all self-pub'd authors (myself included) tend to rush to market. Write it, edit it proof it, edit it again, proof it again. Then put it down, walk away for a month, come back and read it objectively. Do this at least twice. It's my new credo and I think it works.


Kenechi Udogu (Trixycae) | 24 comments Have used two of my five days on my new YA fantasy novel "The Altercation of Vira" and have to say I was not impressed by the outcome. I got just over a hundred downloads (which is better than none I guess) and have since had no reviews, borrows or clear sales from the promos. Since I have no choice but to stay on for the next two months, I intend to carry on and use the remaining three promotoin days but I'm not holding my breath. Maybe I need to be more patient...


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments Think of it as a form of brand recognition. Don't come away feeling defeated if you get 100 or 200 downloads. Come away from it as knowing now there is 100 or 200 people who have the ability to use "word of mouth" to promote your book.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you so much for these guidelines. Since I'm an impatient person and need to see results right away, it helps to have someone to encourage me like you just did. Thanks so much!!!


Suzan Tisdale (suzantisdale) | 18 comments I LOVE KDP Select! I published my book, "Laiden's Daughter" back in December. I sell more than 100 books a day now. I've received great reviews (12 good reviews so far). Its also in the top 100 Best Sellers List in three categories.

I love the fact that we get paid for those that are 'loaned'! I believe that was a smart move on Amazon's part. ;o) Being a first time author, I'm more interested in readers that I am money. Don't get me wrong...I LIKE MONEY! lol

I say go for it--again, what do you have to lose? KDP is a great program for self publishing authors, at least that is my personal opinion. ;o)

I don't do the free thing...but that's completely up to each author.

In December, I think I sold 60? Then January 119...and this month is just off the charts...over 800 so far and now its up to 100 + a day...it takes time so patience is a good thing. ;o)

And Bryan is right--word of mouth. Think of that as free advertising. Every download is important. It gets you one step closer to your goals. ;o)

Good luck to you!!!


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

That's a good way of looking at it, Bryan. Thank you.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Suzan wrote: "I LOVE KDP Select! I published my book, "Laiden's Daughter" back in December. I sell more than 100 books a day now. I've received great reviews (12 good reviews so far). Its also in the top 100 Bes..."

What do you mean that you don't do the free thing? Do they promote in another way for five days?


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I am so torn about what to do. I wanted to have my books available for any e-reader, that's why I had them on kindle, nook, smashwords, and on lulu.com as large print copies. I have eight books published, soon to be nine. I've put two on KDP select and took those off everywhere else except lulu. It's too bad that amazon needs exclusivity for their deal.

I guess I hsve mixed feelings on this whole deal. Any thoughts or suggestions?


Paul Vincent (Astronomicon) | 113 comments I put my first book on KDP, but so far it's been a waste of time. Weeks have gone by and it hasn't been borrowed even once!

I've yet to try a free promotion day, but I'll do that as soon as book 2 in the series is available to buy. Hopefully the combination of promoting the 1st one for free and the second one being available to buy will get things started a little?


Kasi Blake (KCBlake) | 44 comments I'm a former Harlequin writer and put up a romantic suspense novel that had been gathering dust (I quit working for Harlequin before it could get published), so I put it on the KDP Select to see what would happen. I have a few YAs on other sites and didn't want to take them down just to try this new Amazon thing. Only 1 person borrowed it. Then someone told me to try the Free thing, so I did. Nearly three thousand downloads in four days! With that said, no one has borrowed it since and I have only had a few real sales. So we'll see what happens. I'm hopeful.


Ginney Etherton | 29 comments I gave KDP Select a try in Feb. On 2/12 I did a 3-day free offer. My book "sold" 13,319, was #30 on the overall free list, & #1 on the Contemporary Fiction free list. After the sale, it is still selling, 9 have been borrowed, and it ranked #4222 on the overall paid list on 2/17. As of today, 13,675 have sold and it ranks 7224. It's probably peaked but is still being sold and borrowed. I'm trying to understand this as a marketing strategy, but the royalty report is unexplainable. The report for week ending 2/18: 13,471 are reported as sold at regular price with 70% royalty. Ka-ching! The numbers add up. But 202 were sold at 35%, resulting in $14.70 What? Any of you math nerds have this figured out?


message 23: by Bryan (last edited Feb 19, 2012 10:23AM) (new)

Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments Ginney wrote: "I gave KDP Select a try in Feb. On 2/12 I did a 3-day free offer. My book "sold" 13,319, was #30 on the overall free list, & #1 on the Contemporary Fiction free list. After the sale, it is still se..."

I get the same thing. I did a few free days and I still don't understand the math here. I got 8,000+ copies at 70% and 132 at 35%. I wish they would explain this.


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments I am so confused. So you get paid a royalty on the free offer? Ie, if you "sell" 8000 books for free, you get a 70% royalty on the list price? Or what?


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Another question--my book is on Smashwords, which distributes to everyone else. If I were to take it off of Smashwords, does anyone know how long it would take for that change to reflect on the retailer's sites? Seems like Smashwords only ships once a week.


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments Diane wrote: "I am so confused. So you get paid a royalty on the free offer? Ie, if you "sell" 8000 books for free, you get a 70% royalty on the list price? Or what?"

You get a percent of something...LOL!! They do not explain this at all.


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Arrgh! So confusing! I guess, bottom line, do you make ANY money by offering your book for free?


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments Diane wrote: "Arrgh! So confusing! I guess, bottom line, do you make ANY money by offering your book for free?"

It is little, but you do make money. The real point of it, is to get the book's name out and to make your ranking look good =)


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Gotcha. Thanks!


message 30: by L.H. (last edited Feb 19, 2012 10:33AM) (new)

L.H. Thomson (LHThomson) | 101 comments Bryan wrote: "Diane wrote: "Arrgh! So confusing! I guess, bottom line, do you make ANY money by offering your book for free?"

It is little, but you do make money. The real point of it, is to get the book's nam..."


I don't believe you make anything for offering it free. Offering it free is a promotional tool to get your name out there, nothing else.

The difference in percentage is based on the royalty program in which it is enrolled BUT amazon marks all books that are up for FREE as being in the 70% bracket -- which is probably good for them but is meaningless to the average writer.

If you're book is 2.99 or above, it's eligible for the 70% royalty, as chosen at signup. If it's any cheaper, it's automatically in the 35% group.

Then you also get a small percentage of the monthly pool set aside for library borrows, assuming anyone borrows the book.


Dina (Dinasideas) | 6 comments It's my understanding that you don't make any money on the 'free' promo downloads, only if your book is 'loaned'...which is only possible when it's not being offered for free.


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Thanks, L.H. Okay another question. If I enroll in KDP and give my book away for free, will Amazon do any promotion for me? Do they send out an email or put me on a short list of titles?


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments Dina wrote: "It's my understanding that you don't make any money on the 'free' promo downloads, only if your book is 'loaned'...which is only possible when it's not being offered for free."

Maybe that is the case, but each time I've done a free promo, I make between $30 - $50.


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Thanks Dina. I did find this under the KDP Select Terms and Conditions:

Will I be paid royalty for sales during free promotion days?
No. You will not receive any royalties on your digital book during a free promotion.

Reports

What data will I see in my reports?

You will have the following additional data:

a) Month-To-Date Unit Sales Report: The number of qualified borrows through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) under column "Units Borrowed".

b) Prior Months’ Royalties Report: For every title, there are four possible transaction types:

i) 35% denotes how much a title earned under the 35% royalty option.
ii) 70% denotes how much a title earned under the 70% royalty option.
iii) "KOLL" denotes how much every KDP Select-enrolled title earned monthly through KOLL. If your title had at least one borrow through KOLL, you will see a separate line item indicating the number of borrows under the column "Net Units Sold or Borrowed," your title’s share of borrows under the column “Percentage of Borrows," and the royalty earned through KOLL under "Royalty" column.
iv) "Free Book" denotes how many free units were downloaded by customers either through the free promotion campaigns you ran or because of our competitor price match policy.

KDP announced that the payout per KOLL borrow was $1.70, but from my Prior Months’ Royalties report, if I divide Royalty by Net Units Borrowed I get a different number. Why?

The actual payout per borrow is $1.697. In the announcement, we rounded up to $1.70. The report is indeed correct.


L.H. Thomson (LHThomson) | 101 comments Diane wrote: "Thanks, L.H. Okay another question. If I enroll in KDP and give my book away for free, will Amazon do any promotion for me? Do they send out an email or put me on a short list of titles?"

I don't think so. I've only tried it for a day, and got 427 downloads. Mostly I tweeted it heavily for a day, told people about it here. Hopefully most of those come back as favorable reviews, and that spurs sales of the book or my other books, when I release them.


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Gotcha. Thanks, L.H!


Dina (Dinasideas) | 6 comments I am not enrolled...but do a ton of creeping around trying to learn how others are liking it. My second book comes out in June, and I'm considering going straight to KDP select with that one. I always find these types of chats very useful!


message 38: by Heather (last edited Feb 19, 2012 11:16AM) (new)

Heather Payer-Smith (hpayersmith) | 28 comments I enrolled my book, "The Nameless World" in KDP select a few weeks ago with very little results (in fact - no downloads at all)... but then I signed it up for a free give-away promotion (going on this weekend actually) and have had good results. While I won't get any money for the downloads from this weekend -it IS getting my book out there and is helping with the ranking on amazons "Free download" list. For those of you interested, download "The Nameless World" FREE for Kindle here The Nameless World Kindle Edition would love any feedback. :)


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments Heather wrote: "I enrolled my book, "The Nameless World" in KDP select a few weeks ago with very little results (in fact - no downloads at all)... but then I signed it up for a free give-away promotion (going on t..."

Downloaded


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Heather wrote: "I enrolled my book, "The Nameless World" in KDP select a few weeks ago with very little results (in fact - no downloads at all)... but then I signed it up for a free give-away promotion (going on t..."

Downloaded also!


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments Mine was free yesterday...I will do another free day so I can share with ya'll!


L.E. Fitzpatrick (L_E_Fitzpatrick) | 58 comments Diane wrote: "Hey everybody! I'm rather curious to hear from people who have tried KDP Select. Did you have any results? Specifically,

1. Did you get a big spike in downloads?
2. Did you get reviews out of..."


Latest blog is all about my experience with KDP Select if anyone is interested
http://l-e-fitzpatrick.blogspot.com/


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Great blog post, LE! Glad to hear KDP helped you.

Okay, so ANOTHER question. Does anyone know if the free download "sales" actually attach to your ISBN as "sales?" For example, if a potential publisher was looking at your past sales record for certain books, would the free downloads count toward your sales numbers?


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments Diane wrote: "Great blog post, LE! Glad to hear KDP helped you.

Okay, so ANOTHER question. Does anyone know if the free download "sales" actually attach to your ISBN as "sales?" For example, if a potential pub..."


Awesome question, yet I have no answer for that.


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments Diane wrote: "Great blog post, LE! Glad to hear KDP helped you.

Okay, so ANOTHER question. Does anyone know if the free download "sales" actually attach to your ISBN as "sales?" For example, if a potential pub..."


Also, I have dealt with publishers for my satire books....you do not want a publisher.


Diane Castle (DianeCastle) | 67 comments Yikes, so sorry to hear you had a bad experience! Okay, so hypothetically then, and not for purposes of finding a publisher, I wonder if free downloads attach to the ISBN as "sales?"


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments Diane wrote: "Yikes, so sorry to hear you had a bad experience! Okay, so hypothetically then, and not for purposes of finding a publisher, I wonder if free downloads attach to the ISBN as "sales?""

Wonder if it just stays in the "free" category, so when a pub looks at it, it is given to them in 2 cates


James Kellogg (jdkellogg) | 16 comments I'm glad to hear of the success many authors have experienced with Amazon KDP Select. I'm getting ready to go this route with my novel, E-Force, which has had almost no sales since it was released 9 months ago. I'm excited to see if it can resurrect my hopes as an author. One thing I've definitely learned is that self-publishing is a better future option for me than using a small indie press. Giving up control of my book was a mistake, especially when there are so many tools for self-published authors today. I'd be on KDP now if the publisher wasn't so slow to act.


Bryan (AirithAuthor) | 24 comments James wrote: "I'm glad to hear of the success many authors have experienced with Amazon KDP Select. I'm getting ready to go this route with my novel, E-Force, which has had almost no sales since it was released ..."

Giving up control of our book actually hurt our brand. We are an internationally known site and our publisher ran our media contacts into the ground.


James Kellogg (jdkellogg) | 16 comments Live and learn, I guess. This is very helpful to learn what has and hasn't worked from so many authors. Good to know I'm not alone. Even better to know people are willing to help and share!


« previous 1 3 4
back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Quest (other topics)
The Ancient Realm (other topics)
Voyage of the Dead (other topics)
Voyage of the Dead Introductory First Look (other topics)
Flotilla of the Dead (other topics)
More...

Authors mentioned in this topic

David P. Forsyth (other topics)
Elliot Nash (other topics)