My KDP Experiment (part 1)April 16, 2012
First off, let me start this post by apologizing to all the people out there who don’t have Kindles. It was a tough choice to take The Tears of Elios off the other sites and make it exclusive to Amazon for 3 months, but I’m going to try and explain why I did it. I promise, when it goes live again at B&N and other sites, I’ll give y’all a special deal. 😉
Second, those that know me well are probably asking why I sold out to Amazon, a company I normally have very few kind words about (and yes, I live in Seattle, the home of Amazon). The answer lies in this article.
I originally published The Tears of Elios in early October 2011. Sales during the first month were modest, earning me $128.51. Big money, I know. Then they tapered off… SIGNIFICANTLY. I only earned $15.24 in March 2012 for that book ($11.10 was from sites other than Amazon).
I had gotten great reviews, praise for the cover art, etc. I was at my wit’s end as to why sales were plummeting after 6 months, rather than increasing (which is what my most people experience with self-publishing). I also had another book coming out in April (A Soul For Trouble), and I didn’t want it languish like Tears was doing.
What I lacked was exposure. KDP Select was launched in December, flooding the ebook market with free titles and burying my title under the “rubble”. Books enrolled the KDP Select program stood in a favorable position when it came to the Amazon ranking algorithm (see the article for more details). Therefore, more people saw your title, more people discovered your book, and more people were likely to BUY your book.
So, after witnessing dismal sales of this title in March, I decided to take it off other sites and enroll it in the KDP Select program to see if I could benefit from Amazon’s skewed algorithm structure. I enrolled my book on April 4 and listed it for free from April 10-12. I ended up giving away nearly 14,000 copies for free during those three days. I was ranked #1 in both the Free Fantasy and the Free Fantasy Romance Kindle lists, and made it as high as #25 on the overall Free Kindle list. Talk about exposure! 🙂
Then, I watched and waited to see if it would help boost sales for both Tears and my other titles. I’ll post some hard numbers at the end of the month (My KDP Experiment, part 2), but let’s just say the results are good so far – enough to where I don’t regret the lost sales I would have gotten (or in my case, wouldn’t have gotten) from the other sites. And, I’ve had the added benefit of hearing from new readers whose emails make me glow with pride, and I’m looking forward to working on the sequel to Tears later this year.