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Marketing > Amazon & KDP Select

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message 1: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments I am on a mission to try and get some Amazon reviews for my new book. As a start, I have done two things. First I went through Amazon’s Top 100 Reviewers list and searched for those who love to read memoir and list an email address. I sent an offer of a paperback or Kindle to 8 people. I then searched some of the top selling affliction memoirs and went through the five star reviews looking for Amazon reviewers who list their email address. I sent a request to another 5 people. So far, I’ve had 5 responses, 4 requesting the book, one is too busy. I think if I’m lucky I might get a couple of reviews from this. I still need many, many more... Any more ideas welcome!


message 2: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments As most of you have probably already heard, Amazon has started a new program called KDP Select. It's for Indie authors and basically you have to agree to sell your e-book exclusively on Amazon for a 90 day period (renewable every 90 days) and you get a proportional share of a monthly fund when your book is borrowed from the new Kindle Owners' Lending Library. During each 90 day contract you are also given 5 days where you can offer your e-book for free should you choose to. You don't earn royalties during free promotions. For more information see http://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing...

I signed up. My e-book was only available on Amazon anyway, so it couldn't hurt. I was also thrilled at the opportunity to offer my memoir for free. I had my first free two-day promotion last weekend and over 1000 copies of my book were downloaded! This raised me to number 6 on Amazon's top 100 free memoirs in the Kindle store during that time! Before this I had only sold a couple of e-books. So for a relatively unknown author like myself, this has already been an amazing experience. Reviews are starting to come in and I am very interested to see how things progress from here. I think this is the best bit of marketing I've done so far. I'll keep you updated. Anyone else got any experiences to share?


message 3: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments More good news! As I mentioned, with Amazon's KDP Select program you get a proportional share of a monthly fund when your book is borrowed from the new Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Well I was totally surprised to see that after I offered my Kindle for free in December, a few hundred people borrowed my book from the library, AND I did get paid for this at $1.70 per borrow!!! Also, after I offered it for free, my sales shot up and I am actually doing quite well now. This has been the best thing I have done. I highly recommend it and I'm going to offer my book for free again in February. Very exciting!


message 4: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) I'm glad it's working out for you. However, I will not be participating. The exclusivity clause is the main reason. My sales in eBook format outnumber Kindle on an order of 100:1 (this is not an exaggeration) and I simply unwilling to thumb my nose at that group of readers. It would not make sound business sense for me.


message 5: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Yes, I can see how that would not be an option for you Sharon. But I was an unknown author with very few sales before KDP select, so I suppose it works for some, but certainly not for others like yourself (o:


message 6: by Sharon (last edited Jan 31, 2012 12:21PM) (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Leila wrote: "Yes, I can see how that would not be an option for you Sharon. But I was an unknown author with very few sales before KDP select, so I suppose it works for some, but certainly not for others like y..."

Oops! I just now noticed my typo, LOL. I meant to write "ePub format," not "eBook." :-) Anyway, glad it is working out for you.


message 7: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments After a year on Amazon's KDP Select program, I am thrilled with the results! If you like, you can read my blog post about my experiences. I also share links to sites where you can market your own free promo.
http://www.spread-the-word.co.za/goin...


message 8: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Rasley | 173 comments Leila's analysis of KDP Select tracks with my own experience. Further, in my case sales through B&N and Smashwords were not significant, so granting Amazon exclusive distribution was well worth the loss of those revenue streams in exchange for the benefits of KDP Select.


message 9: by Mara (new)

Mara D. | 19 comments Leila are you still on kdp select? I need to make a decision about my book and I was wondering if you or anyone could provide an update.


message 10: by Steven (new)

Steven Whitacre (stevenwhitacre) | 22 comments KDP select won't work for me since I signed up with KDP *after* I had published my eBook elsewhere. I suppose I could pull it from there, but I get ok sales through iTunes and NOOK and hate to shut them out (and go through the hassle of pulling the book and then setting it back up again).

I have heard that if you only have the one book, offering a freebie rarely works. I'm glad you've had a different experience! I hope you get the reviews you're looking for.


message 11: by Mara (new)

Mara D. | 19 comments Thanks Steven. Yeah I had to make a decision and decided against kdp select, I want to give my book a shot outside of Amazon. Great to here your book is doing well on itunes...


message 12: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Mara wrote: "Leila are you still on kdp select? I need to make a decision about my book and I was wondering if you or anyone could provide an update."

Hi Mara, sorry I didn't see your message earlier. Yes, I am still on KDP Select, and I still think it is the best move I made. Giving my book away for free got me most of my reviews, and pushed up my book sales considerably.


message 13: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Rasley | 173 comments As usual, I agree with Leila.


message 14: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Just read a fantastic article on giving books away for free! Some good tips too.
http://thefutureofink.com/free-is-bes...


message 15: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Trupp I'm contemplating putting my book on KDP however; I'm a slightly wary of taking on the project. Exactly how savvy do I need to be to upload my "paper" project, which was submitted to Createspace via PDF file?

Any down sides to offering a E-book? Regrets?

I appreciate your advice. ~


message 16: by CeeCee (new)

CeeCee James | 79 comments So far KDP select has been a very good move. The countdown sale really seems to move books. :) I think it's especially good for those of us who only have one book out.


message 17: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Trupp Ceecee wrote: "So far KDP select has been a very good move. The countdown sale really seems to move books. :) I think it's especially good for those of us who only have one book out."

Did you upload a DOC or PDF? Did you have difficulty with formatting, etc?


message 18: by CeeCee (new)

CeeCee James | 79 comments Mirta wrote: "Ceecee wrote: "So far KDP select has been a very good move. The countdown sale really seems to move books. :) I think it's especially good for those of us who only have one book out."

Did you uplo..."


I uploaded a word document, and KDP converted it into a MOBI. It was super easy, and I had been so worried!


message 19: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn Belleghem (marilyn_belleghem) Leila wrote: "Just read a fantastic article on giving books away for free! Some good tips too.
http://thefutureofink.com/free-is-bes..."


Thanks Leila for the link. I am starting a free promotion of Questing Marilyn, a self-help memoir tomorrow on Kindle and this article and the comments from this group have encouraged me.

I also posted the article on Pinterest on my Quest Publishing page for book marketing ideas.


message 20: by CeeCee (new)

CeeCee James | 79 comments Congrats Bekka!


message 21: by Bekka (new)

Bekka | 21 comments Thanks!


message 22: by Steven (new)

Steven Whitacre (stevenwhitacre) | 22 comments The memoirs best selling category is a hard one to break into. I was able to hit #1 in three categories, but memoirs/biographies was not one of them. I don't think I ever came close to the top 20 there...


message 23: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Trupp Bekka wrote: "Wow! I’m in day three of free downloads on KDP Select. Right now my book, Playing the Hand We’re Dealt: Memoirs on Recovering from Suicide, is ranked #4 in women’s biographies and memoirs! And ..."

Awesome achievement Bekka!


message 24: by Holly (new)

Holly Alastra | 25 comments Mirta wrote: "Bekka wrote: "Wow! I’m in day three of free downloads on KDP Select. Right now my book, Playing the Hand We’re Dealt: Memoirs on Recovering from Suicide, is ranked #4 in women’s biographies and ..."

Wow! What advice do you have for the rest of us? That's great!


message 25: by Lilo (new)

Lilo (lilo-hp) | 137 comments @ Mirta: Hi, Mirta, I just sent you a PM. Don't overlook it.


message 26: by CeeCee (last edited Jun 01, 2014 10:42PM) (new)

CeeCee James | 79 comments I really love select. I think it works awesome for us with memoirs. My last countdown sale moved Ghost No More to number 9 in all of non-fiction. It was pretty incredible! I think the key is to advertise when you are having the sale, even on a small site. It doesn't have to be expensive. Once your book gets noticed it will sell more and more during the sale.

For me though, the ranking didn't "stick", and once the sale was over my book started moving down in the rankings. But it was still a thrill while it lasted!


message 27: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Clarke | 119 comments By countdown sale do you mean letting it go for free for a few days?
Also, how do you find rankings on amazon for certain categories - like memoirfs, or mystery etc?


message 28: by CeeCee (new)

CeeCee James | 79 comments Lucinda wrote: "By countdown sale do you mean letting it go for free for a few days?
Also, how do you find rankings on amazon for certain categories - like memoirfs, or mystery etc?"


If you are signed up for Select you go to your dashboard and order a count down deal. There are 2 deals, free, or a countdown where the price can gradually go up from .99. Your rankings are found on Amazon.com on your product page. Hope that helps!


message 29: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Trupp Well, I did it! You can welcome me into the 21st century. My book is now E-friendly:

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Argentina-...

I'm all signed up for KDP select and waiting to promote my first Freebie :-)


message 30: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Clarke | 119 comments Leila wrote: "After a year on Amazon's KDP Select program, I am thrilled with the results! If you like, you can read my blog post about my experiences. I also share links to sites where you can market your own f..."
Hi Leila, i am going to try your suggestions with Walking over Eggshells, my first book and offer it for free, just before I publish my second on in a week or so. What I did notice was your address co.za. Both my books are about Africa as I lived there for so long. Any tips on reaching the SA market?


message 31: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Clarke | 119 comments Ceecee wrote: "Lucinda wrote: "By countdown sale do you mean letting it go for free for a few days?
Also, how do you find rankings on amazon for certain categories - like memoirfs, or mystery etc?"

If you are ..."

Thanks! There is just SO much to learn!


message 32: by Holly (new)

Holly Alastra | 25 comments I love the support offered by this group! Will check out Leila's blog. It's great to see memoirists getting their material out there. It gives me hope!


message 33: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Clarke | 119 comments I don't think it is too easy to get noticed in this category unless you are a famous footballer, rock star or constantly on the TV.


message 34: by Holly (new)

Holly Alastra | 25 comments I agree. I had a lot of hope for my book and put my heart and soul into it, as probably everyone here did, but I think I would be selling more with a lighthearted romance.


message 35: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Clarke | 119 comments A publishing house which kept chasing me to pay for their services, said my book was inspirational, and that's a tag I never thought of. However, I'm staying the indie route. I can't afford to throw my money away. At least it will stay on the e.shelf for ever! I'm a bit depressed that so many books I keep hearing about are mild bondage or about vampires. I would just not prefer to write in that genre, but are those the genres that are making money these days?


message 36: by CeeCee (new)

CeeCee James | 79 comments I know what you mean, Lucinda! You can hope the audience you've written for will find you. I'm sure they will, and you will be inspiring people the way you hoped.


message 37: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Clarke | 119 comments Thanks for the positive comment Ceecee!


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