What KDPS can do for you

An excellent overview that’s well worth sharing with any other indie authors out there unsure how Amazon’s KDP programme works:

Words on the Page

Amazon.com-Kindle-Direct-Publishing-KDP-SelectThere has been a lot of talk over the last couple of years about Amazon’s Kindle Select program. For those not familiar with it, enrollment in the program allows you 5 free days in every 90 day period during which you’re enrolled. You don’t have to do anything except choose your days; Amazon lowers the price to $0 and then raises it back for you. It also allows your books to be borrowed by those who are members of Amazon Prime. You get paid out of a general fund for each of your borrows. The price per borrow is figured out by taking the total number of borrows across Amazon for the month and dividing it by the number of books enrolled. The pot for July was $1m, so it’s not chump change. The payment per borrow normally comes out somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.

Another author, Michelle, who…

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3 responses to “What KDPS can do for you”

  1. Jessica L. says :

    Have you had any luck with KDP? I’ve got all 3 of my books enrolled and have done several giveaways for each of them, and while I get a good number of downloads, it hasn’t resulted in any ratings or reviews, except MAYBE one on Goodreads (I say maybe because I can’t be entirely sure where they got the book–and they didn’t leave a review, just a star rating). Just curious as to how it’s been working out for other authors. You’re much more established than I am, though, so maybe that’s part of the difference…

    • Huw Thomas says :

      Hi Jessica.
      I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself ‘established’! I’ve got a few books published on Amazon but I don’t count that as the same thing.
      At the moment, me books are also only available on Amazon (and in print through CreateSpace) so I can’t really compare KDP/Amazon with anyone else. I’ve stayed signed up to KDP Select as, not having books available elsewhere, I’ve got nothing to lose. (In case you’re not aware, you can only use KDP Select if your books are exclusive to Amazon).
      But, to attempt to answer your question, I’ve been running promotions for about 18 months now and the results are… well, variable. My downloads have gone from not much more than 100 to well over 7,000 at a time! On some occasions, I’ve spent lots of time trying to promote giveaways but I’m not sure how much impact my efforts have made.
      Being a cheapskate, I’ve only ever paid to advertise promotions a couple of times and have otherwise used free services. I’m not sure how effective these are, I think they’re mainly used by other authors trying to promote their own books.
      However, when I have had a decent volume of free downloads, these have definitely been followed by a (small) surge in sales… for maybe three weeks. I’ve also had more reviews following large volume promotions.
      Until I get round to developing a proper promotion strategy, those KDP promotions are my best bet for getting my books known so I’ll stick with them! (I also get some royalties from people borrowing my books through KDP Select – not a huge amount but still worth having).
      Hope this helps!

      • Jessica L. says :

        I appreciate the input. Even though I’ve been self-publishing/marketing my books for over a year now, I still feel pretty lost about the whole thing. I haven’t had enough results from my efforts to know exactly what is and what’s not working, let alone how to improve it the next time. I think the main marketing problem on my end is I’ve just spread myself too thin. I have too many projects going at once, and the marketing always seems to get pushed to the back burner.
        I haven’t done much paid promotion either, but I haven’t seen any substantial results from it at all. I think most of the (limited) results I’ve had have come through KDP and the Goodreads First Reads program.
        I think if you’re seeing sales, KDP borrowers, and the occasional review, you must be doing something right! I suppose I think of you as more “established” simply because you have a decent number of reviews for your books and it seems you have a good readership here on the blog as well.
        I know there’s no “secret strategy” to build interest in one’s books, but I always like to hear from other indie/self-pub authors to know what’s worked/not worked for them. Thanks for replying!

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