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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Is Amazon’s KDP Select The Right Choice for You?


KDP changed my life and has made my road to publishing manageable. Although many of us are writers, only a select few have actually taken the plunge and become Indie Authors via publishing our own manuscripts.

Don’t worry when the day to publish arrives.  It’s normal to be apprehensive, but the KDP program is very friendly and allows novices to walk slowly through the steps needed.  Anyone can do it.

It’s good to research other self-publishing venues before choosing KDP.  The traditional route is the one most people think of when getting ready to offer their book to the world but there are many other options available today.  Indie groups on Facebook and Yahoo! offer a wealth of information.  People are friendly, share their knowledge and help make the road to publishing easier for newbies.

Amazon’s KDP Select offers authors free promotion days and advertising that most struggling writers can’t afford.  Yes, the idea is to offer the book for free, but the exposure gained is priceless.  Although it seems that many authors have problems with the exclusive 90-day contract, there are benefits to be had.  Here are my stats on the first two-day promotion I held:

  • Day one I had moderate success.  I decided I’d be happy if I got 500 downloads.  My book had been published for two months and was selling about one copy a day.  The count rose and by the end of day one the book had 5,551 downloads! 
  • Day two was even better and by the end of the promotion there were over 10,000 downloads – far more than I ever expected.  The book reached number three in Kindle Free Books in both listing categories.  Afterwards actual book sales soared to four or five a day.  There they stayed until a move made me have to take two weeks off from promoting. 
  • Since the promotion, Amazon Prime Members have been borrowing the book, for which I receive a separate stipend. 
KDP has been good to me.  The results are solid.   If you want to sell books.  Amazon, in my opinion is the leader in the market and will continue to be.

Some authors warn not to go KDP Select until you have two books published.  The thought is that one helps sell the other.  While that makes total sense, I disregarded the naysayers and went ahead and signed with KDP anyway. 

Here are the things that made my promotion successful and can help yours be the same.

  • Be outgoing and make online friends who will tweet, share, like and tag your books.  Be sure you do the same for them.
  • Don’t run a promotion until your book has a few solid reviews
  • Promote heavily on the free days with Facebook groups and book blogs
  • Create a Facebook event and invite everyone to join you
  • Have a video trailer created - it definitely helped with marketing in my case
  • Use a professional cover designer unless you are very good at the craft
  • Have your book professionally edited and beta to be sure it’s as error-free as possible
  • With KDP Select you can go in and correct errors with no change in status of the book being available for sale 
What you can learn from my promotion?

  • Promote heavily – next time there are more sites I’ll use to publicize the free days – let people know you will be running a free event
  • Pre-promote – let people know you are getting ready to run a free promotion a few days ahead of time 
KDP deserves my loyalty because it’s been good to me.  Most of us as struggling writers don’t have the budget for high-end advertising, websites, and all the bells and whistles.  Amazon hands us some of that gratis for signing on with them. 

Most writers cringe at the thought of all of those books being given away free.  How will you go from an unknown author to bestseller if no one ever hears about your work?  The world is full of billions of people.  Ten thousand or so is a drop in the bucket, but enough to get the word out.  I’d love to have 20,000 downloads for my next promotional event!

KDP is for me.  It may not be for you.  Don’t expect to become a millionaire overnight.  It’s probably not going to happen.  Do get involved in groups of people that include Indie Authors.  Pay it forward – help someone with your knowledge and you’ll feel much better about accepting help from others.  Most Indie Authors want their fellow writers to succeed and it’s been my experience that many of them will go out of their way to give aid.

Author L.Leander 
The door has opened for authors to self-publish.  All authors are not writers, in my estimation.  Some don’t take their writing seriously enough to have it professionally edited and read.  They design bad self-made covers, forget to spell check and grammar check, and know little about formatting.   However, most Indie Authors take themselves and their writing seriously.  They’re achievers, very professional in attitude and in their writing.  They’re avid readers and realize that a book must be well done or it’s doomed to fail.  The reading public will separate the wheat from the chaff.  Readers have a way of letting the whole world know if they like or don’t like a book.  What we as fellow authors can do is encourage and offer help when asked.

Whether you choose Amazon’s KDP Select or another route I wish you the best of  luck.  Be proud to be an Indie Author!


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