Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Amazon KDP Select users: How’d that work out for ya?

Amazon.com-Kindle-Direct-Publishing-KDP-SelectCrunch time is comin’. I can feel it. Publicación. The necessary steps are in view, and I’m forging ahead with a few things that ought to make the process smoother in the fall, when I pull the trig on Yesterday Road.

But something that keeps popping up in my research is this KDP Select animal. At this point in my still-innocent mind, the advantages of being able to give my book away for free for five out of 90 days seem slight, though I might well be missing something.

Yes, I know that being in KDP Select puts your book into certain pools that might make it easier to find. There appear to be plusses in terms of the lending program. The potential disadvantage of missing out on other sales outlets for 90 days seems fairly weak, since Amazon is clearly the main event. You can always plop your book onto Smashwords after the Select period ends.

This post from duolit goes into the nits and grits of the program, and a number of the commenters claim terrific results from it.

To you self-pubbers out there: Have you used KDP Select? How’d it go for you? Do you recommend it? You think it’ll work for literary fiction (as if anything will)?

Tell all!

UPDATE: This post at Jane Friedman’s blog is very informative, including these observations from the hosts of the Self-Publishing Podcast: “The market is saturated. There are too many authors screaming for the same six seconds of spotlight. Free isn’t converting to paid like it once was, and worse, authors are creating a culture of readers who are being nurtured away from paying. Those authors who can still be served best by KDP Select are the ones with smart funnels and using free promotion to direct readers toward other paid titles.”


9 comments on “Amazon KDP Select users: How’d that work out for ya?

  1. A Laramey
    July 18, 2013

    I’m very curious about this as well. I’m not quite ready for publication yet, so I have lots of time to research, but I’m *very* curious to hear from people who have used this program.

  2. Judy Goodwin
    July 18, 2013

    Can’t comment on literary fiction–I think it works better for genre fiction, but it did help galvanize my sales. Sales were very slow for me until I did the 90 day KDP Select. I did two free promotions, one when the book had been out for about 4 months when I first enrolled in the Select program (about 500 free downloads, nothing special) and a second promo at the end of the 90 days (1600 downloads, two reviews and then 25 real sales the week after). If you run a promo, be sure to contact all the websites promoting free books at least 2 weeks before the promotions, and be sure to have at least 4 reviews before doing the promotion.

    • Kevin Brennan
      July 18, 2013

      Thanks for chiming in, Judy. I’d be interested to know when you did the 90 day Select run. Apparently there was an algorithm change somewhere in there, which altered the way free books were being presented.

      Good advice, though, about alerting the free book websites!

      • Judy Goodwin
        July 19, 2013

        I did it just a few months ago, so I don’t think there have been any changes in the algorithms. I missed last year when apparently it bumped you much higher longer after the promo. Still it does help, perhaps even just by having your book featured on those websites.

  3. Tracy
    July 18, 2013

    That update makes sense to me. I’m a first time publisher. I was persuaded to try Select and I’ve done two free promotions. The first (on a holiday) did result in some sales. The 2nd resulted in nada. I really think the key is having multiple books, however, so I’m not ready to say that my experience qualifies.

    • Kevin Brennan
      July 19, 2013

      I’ve been hearing that part about multiple books, which puts me at a disadvantage for the time being. That said, it seems like Select offers at least a small leg-up, or can if you couple it with a good promotional strategy.

  4. James W. Lewis
    July 19, 2013

    I did KDP Select before the algorithm changes last year and had great success (with over 6,000 downloads in my first two-day promotion). However, KDP Select doesn’t have the “bumpability” as it did in the past. It may be good for new authors with only one book–mainly to help with reviews and exposure–but in my opinion, having multiple books with wide distribution is best.

  5. Pingback: How to Use KDP’s Cover Creator | Shah Wharton's Cover Design

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This entry was posted on July 18, 2013 by in Publishing, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , .
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