7 Things joining KDP Select Can and Can’t do for you

I have no problem with authors deciding not to put (or keep) their books in KDP Select because there are a number of good reasons not to sell an ebook exclusively through Amazon. What does bother me is when people put a book into KDP Select with unrealistic expectations, or don’t do their homework about how KDP Select works, or blame Amazon when their books don’t sell, and then announce that KDP Select is not a good strategy to follow for independent authors. It is my hope that this post will help educate authors about what KDP Select can and can’t do, thereby creating more realistic expectations and better decisions about whether or not KDP Select is right for their books. However, before reading the rest of this post, I do recommend that every author read the KDP SELECT FAQ Read more…

Authors Need to Get a Clue: How to devise the best marketing strategy for the Holidays

Everywhere the discussion is raging among indie authors: should they sign their books up for KDP Select for the holidays or not? This is an important decision because, if last holiday is any guide, the bulk of ebook sales are going to come in the ninety days after December 25, when huge numbers of new ereaders and tablets of all sorts are found gift-wrapped under the tree. On the surface the decision should be easy. If the vast majority of a specific ebook’s sales are on Amazon, if you have enrolled the ebook in KDP Select program before and achieved a decent number of borrows (for example, more than the total number of ebooks you were selling in non-Amazon stores), and if you held free promotions that increased your sales––then probably it would be a smart move (at least financially) to Read more…

Update on Categories and Keywords: Why authors should still care

A year ago (October 2011), I wrote a piece entitled Categories, Key words, and Tags, Oh My!: Why Should an Author Care?, which has become the most frequently viewed post on my blog. It has been reposted numerous times, and I still get comments on it weekly. There is a reason for this. The subject is complicated, confusing, and yet crucial to selling a book successfully online. While most of the original post is still relevant, it seemed time to update it, with the special addition of a section on how categories play a role in KDP Select promotions. For those of you who never read the original, I hope this helps. For those of you who did, I hope I have clarified a few sections and added some useful information. This post focuses on ebooks on Amazon (although the Read more…

Report on my latest KDP Select Free Promotion: Getting into that Holiday Spirit

Well, Amazon announced its new Kindles devices this week, and the first of the new Kindle Fire HD devices ship as early as next week, with the rest rolling out in October and the end of November. There is no telling at this point how many of these new devises will be bought as upgrades or additions by people who already have Kindles, but if the past two holiday sales patterns are any indication, authors should expect a growing number of new users to start looking for Kindle books over the next few months, culminating in a book buying frenzy in the months after Christmas. At least that is my hope. In December 2009, my first book, Maids of Misfortune, had just been published, my Kindle sales were miniscule, and unless you typed in “Victorian mystery” as a key word Read more…

My brief experiment going off KDP Select: At least I got this nifty blog piece out of it!

So… I lasted only a month off of KDP Select. It was an eye-opening experience. I knew that I would lose sales on Amazon without the borrows and KDP free days to keep my books visible on the historical mystery bestseller lists, but my hope was that I would be building enough sales on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and the Smashwords affiliates, to make up for these lost sales. I even told myself I was willing to accept lower overall sales for 2-3 months in order to test the idea that having my book on multiple sites (even if the sales on those sites were lower, on average, than on Kindle) was a workable alternative to exclusivity on Amazon, which is what KDP Select requires. But this was predicated on being able to figure out how to get my books, Read more…