Why being in the KDP Select is not a bad business decision — For Me.

My two historical mysteries, Maids of Misfortune and Uneasy Spirits, have come to the end of their first 3 months as part of the KDP Select program, and I have decided to re-enroll them. I know that a good number of authors are facing the question to re-enroll or not, (or to enroll at all) so I thought I would discuss why I have come to that decision, particularly in light of the persistent argument made by a number of self-publishing authors that KDP Select is a bad strategy for authors. Just this week, as I was making the decision to re-enroll my books in the KDP Select Program, I read a post by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, where she made the following argument. “The key to developing an audience is to stop searching for one audience. The key to developing Read more…

Simple Steps to a Successful KDP Select Free Promotion

If you have read my previous posts on Amazon’s KDP Select Program, you will already know that I joined this program primarily for the five free promotional days Amazon gives you in exchange for selling your ebook exclusively with them for three months. (You may take these 5 days at any time during the three months.) You will also know that my participation in this program (both through borrows and free promotions) significantly pushed both my historical mystery books up the bestseller ranks in numerous categories, resulting in a substantial increase in my sales. What you don’t know is what steps I took to ensure these promotional days were as effective as possible. That is what this post is about. My goal here is not to persuade you to sign your book up for the KDP Program (I still think Read more…

KDP Select Free Promotion — Discoverability Experiment: One Month Later and Feeling Fine!

As stated in Part One, my goal in joining the KDP Select program had been simple, to get my two Victorian San Francisco historical mysteries, Maids of Misfortune and Uneasy Spirits back up to the top of the Kindle historical mystery bestseller category. And, as I wrote in Part Two, not only did I achieve this goal, but I also had fantastic success in selling my books immediately after the free promotion was over. In addition, I was now selling a significant number of books in Kindle, UK, and I had started to have a large number of borrows of Maids of Misfortune, all unexpected but delightful consequences of enrolling a book in the KDP Select program. While not everyone has had the same kind of success using KDP Select, a number of authors have reported large numbers of downloads, Read more…

KDP Select Free Promotion: Discoverability Experiment, Part Two

As stated in Part One, my goal in joining the KDP Select program had been simple, to get my two Victorian San Francisco historical mysteries, Maids of Misfortune and Uneasy Spirits, back up to the top 5 rank in the Kindle historical mystery bestseller category. Their ranks had dropped to between 18 and 24 after Amazon added hundreds of titles to that category just before Christmas. The experiment in light of this goal was an unqualified success. I used KDP Select to offer the Kindle edition of Maids for free for two days, December 30th and 31st. When the free promotion ended, Maids of Misfortune was at #1 in the historical mystery bestseller category, and it has stayed there. In addition, Uneasy Spirits, a sequel to Maids, rose to #8 during the promotion of Maids, and by the end of Read more…

My Second Year as an Indie Author: Even Sweeter Success

In December 2010, a year after I had self-published my first historical mystery, Maids of Misfortune, I wrote a piece evaluating my experience in my first year as an indie author. This December it seemed fitting to see how my second year as an indie author compared to the first. First the Numbers: Last December, I wrote that “…there is every reason for me to think that I will do even better next year than I did this year with Maids of Misfortune…” and I was entirely right. In my first year as a self-published author (December 2009-November 2010), I sold 2693 books, most of them $2.99 ebooks, and I made slightly more than $5000.  In my second year (December 2010-November 2011) I sold an additional 12,245 copies of Maids of Misfortune and 943 copies of my second book, Uneasy Read more…