Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More on Amazon Select: Is exclusivity worth it?


I know I've written quite a bit about Amazon Select recently, but I've been looking for good information on it for some time, information from other indie authors, and it seems to be coming in a flood.

Today Joe Konrath had this to say about Amazon Select:
I've lost some of my faith in the Kindle Select program since it originated, and as a result I've opted my titles out. Select requires exclusivity, and I found I was making more money via Smashwords, Kobo, B&N, Overdrive, Sony, and Apple than I was through Select lends.

The other advantage of Select--being able to make your ebook free--used to result in a nice bounce from the free list to the paid list. Lately, the bounce isn't nearly as dramatic.

Two weeks ago Ann Voss Peterson made her thriller ebook Pushed Too Far free for a week. She gave away 70,000 copies--which is impressive, even beating many of the giveaways Blake Crouch and I had done (giveaways that got us in the Top 100 paid list and made us lots of money.)

Ann never hit the Top 100 paid. She's currently at #158. This is great, and she's thrilled, but she's only allowed to do this once every 90 days, and I don't believe the benefit corresponds to the loss of income from the other retailers.

If you do decide to make your ebook free, go all in. Use the 5 full days allotted, contact as many websites as you can find who announce freebies, and enlist everyone you know to help you spread the word.
Read the rest of Joe's comments here: Guest Post by Robert Gregory Browne, in the "Joe sez" section. He follows these remarks with fabulous advice for indie authors.

I'm paraphrasing.

- Get as many books as you can up for sale as quickly as you can. Your writing is the best advertising you could have.

- Don't be afraid to experiment. Experiment with pricing, covers, promotions, and share your knowledge with your peers.

- Bundle. For example, sell your short stories as stand-alones, then group them into an anthology and sell that. Do the same with your books, especially books in a series. "This increases shelf space without writing more."

- Forget about advertizing and marketing. It's not worth it.

- Keep your fingers on the pulse of the industry. Joe recommends subscribing to:

Publishers Lunch
PW Daily
Passive Guy
Kris Rusch
Dean Wesley Smith
David Gaughran
Bob Mayer
Mike Stackpole
Mike Shatzkin

- As Neil Gaiman recently said, "Walk toward your mountain." In other words, figure out what you want to do and do it. Of every decision ask yourself: does this take me closer to, or father away from, what I want to do. Then, and this is the tough part, believe in yourself and ignore those who ridicule you.

- As Joe put it, "The world needs heroes. Be one." Pass along what you've learnt and encourage others the way you would have liked to have been encouraged when you were where they are.

That's it! Reading the list over, it seems like I could title it, "Joe's Commandments for the indie writer".

Before I end this article, I want to give you a link to an article on KDP Select by the above mentioned David Gaughran. It explains, among other things, the nuts and bolts of KDP select and why Amazon's bestseller lists are so important to indie authors. Read it here: Amazon & The Importance of Popularity

Related Articles:
Changes in Amazon's Algorithm: An Update
Amazon's Ranking Algorithm Has Changed: what this means for indie authors
Self Publishing on Amazon: Kindle Direct Publishing


"More on Amazon Select: Is exclusivity worth it?," copyright© 2012 by Karen Woodward.

2 comments:

  1. Nice post Karen, thanks for the links. I think a lot of Indies are wondering about the Select program right now. Like most, I was doing nicely by it until March. Whatever Amazon did, they knocked my sales and borrows down considerably. I'm still thinking the program might be worth it for the freebies though, which I can use to gain exposure for my series titles. And frankly, even though I've only had ten borrows this month, that's probably more than I would have sold through B&N. My books never sold well there.

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  2. Hi Jamie, thanks for the feedback! It's interesting how some authors report great sales through B&N and others the opposite. Hopefully Amazon will do some more tinkering with their ranking algorithm to make it more indie friendly.

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