A Newbie Does KDP Select

If you’re publishing your books through Amazon, you know what KDP Select is; Amazon requires authors who join the program to sell their book exclusively with it for a 90-day period.  During that period, the books are eligible for the Kindle Lending Library and most importantly, authors can make their book free for up to five days during that 90-day period.

When KDP was first introduced, a lot of authors saw downloads of their books skyrocket during free days, which translated to increased exposure, greater reader engagement and most importantly sales.  KDP was viewed as one of the most powerful tools an author could have in their arsenal and a lot of folks benefitted greatly from it.

Somewhere along the line though, authors began to fall out of love with the program, as it didn’t seem to have the impact it once had – there were too many books being offered free all the time.  According to the jungle drums, the novelty had worn off and the program was no longer worth it.

As a new author on Amazon, I decided to enroll “Live and Let Die” into KDP Select and give the free days a whirl.  Why not?  Free is free and not too many folks turn down free.

I’m now heading into my final day of offering “Live and Let Die” as a free download on Amazon Kindle through12/30/12 and overall, I’m happy (more on my results in a minute).  I had zero expectations going in with regards free downloads.  I could have had two or 20,000.  If nothing else, I figured I would put the word out and see what happened.  I did a few tweets and uncovered a really handy resource at www.authormarketingclub.com, which has a free book submission tool that gives you one place to submit your book’s free days to the most popular sites promoting free and bargain books.  Easy breezy. 

Instead of breaking up my five free days, I decided to lump them all together starting on December 26.  I wanted to take advantage of post-holiday bargain hunting as well as (hopefully) capture people who’d gotten a Kindle for Christmas and were in search of free books to fill it up with.

So far, I’ve had:

342 downloads in the U.S.
90 in the U.K.
10 in Germany
1 in Canada

I know these aren’t blockbuster numbers by any means, but as I said, I’m happy; that’s over 400 people who’d never heard of me or my book until now. Hopefully, they’ll like what they read and will be interested in reading “Sweet Little Lies” when it’s released in 2013.
You have to start somewhere.    

I will definitely stick with KDP Select when launching future releases.  I don’t think I’d do all five days at once again, but rather, break them up over the course of the 90-days and maybe do some giveaways and other fun stuff in conjunction with the free downloads. 

I think for new authors and even more established authors, KDP Select offers a great way to engage readers.

And that’s a good thing.