First off, I know my website is in dire need of an extreme makeover. I’m not the best website interior designer, so the black, white, and blood-red fonts may put a hurtin’ on your eyeballs. I apologize if this blog (and any of my other blogs) is rough reading. My goal is to have a revamped site before the end of the summer, so if you are a website designer, or know one, holla at me!
Now, about this KDP Select thing, my final report…
I had my third free promotion for Slow Your Prose: 25 Tips On How New Authors Can Improve Their Craft and second for Premature Eradication, with both books available for free on May 15. As I suspected, the KDP Select party is way over. No more poppin’ champagne bottles and making it rain up in here like P. Diddy – it just ain’t what it used to be. Well, at least that’s the case for me. I explained a series of forces that banded together to sabotage my attempt at another successful run in my second KDP Select blog. My first KDP Select blog was way more “chipper.”
Note my enthusiasm in the first blog, and the nosedive up to now. Crazy the change of direction in just a matter of months, and this is why (data includes all Amazon totals):
SYP: 5994 downloads, 4 borrows
SYP: 1947 downloads, 5 borrows
PE: 752 downloads, 0 borrows
SYP: 155 downloads, 0 borrows
PE: 294 downloads, 0 borrows
Talk about a drop, huh? I was surprised PE outpaced SYP in May, though. Now, if you read my last blog, I’d planned on including my book Open House for May also, but alas, Amazon and I had a little snafu. I still had an excerpt of Open House online, courtesy of an old website link I’d forgotten all about and no longer use. The Big Brothers of Amazon found out about it, and they didn’t like it very much. Beware of this: If you have your story online–even an excerpt–Big Daddy Amazon may scold you! Long story short, if you were to log into my KDP account, you’d see the words Blocked for Open House. My story is on permanent exile, banished and barred. Foreva, eva … eva, eva.
Which is why I won’t enroll my next ebook What Happens in Vegas on KDP at all. The story is published in a best-selling anthology that’s also for sale on Amazon, but I wanted to give the story an identity with its own book cover. However, it probably wouldn’t be too hard for Amazon sleuths to find out What Happens in Vegas is already included in another book using some fancy smancy algorithm smalgorithm–although the story has a different title and six-year difference in publication. Despite that, they probably will start trippin’ on me with another “your account could be disabled” email. Not taking that chance. Hello Smashwords.
And you know what? No more KDP Select for any of my books. I just don’t see the benefit of 90-day exclusivity anymore.
Now, I’m just talking about my experience. Some people are still making a pretty penny with KDP Select as their virtual rocket booster to decent sales. But, I admit, it felt good to upload SYP in the Smashwords meat grinder again, giving the book wider distribution and access for Nooks, iPads, and other ereaders. In a couple of weeks, PE will be next (when it expires from KDP Select).
Plug alert: On that note, check out my new ebook What Happens in Vegas on Smashwords, free for a limited time with this coupon code: EQ94Y (Just click on the image. Free until Jun 25th):
Like last time, I didn’t reach any of my goals. One reason is because I had end-of-the-semester finals during the promotion. Just to recap, here’s what I tried to do:
– Have an advertisement for each book (including my novels), either in a magazine, blog, Goodreads or Facebook (only had one ad for SYP)
– Publish more articles. I’d built a nice list of writer credits over the years, but hadn’t submitted articles for publication in a long while. Time to hop on that train again. It’s a great way to pack and stack your author platform. (Nope. School got in the way!)
– Provide links to my other ebooks within each ebook (Done!)
– Make the usual annoucements for the promotions, but not forgetting my Yahoo groups. (Done!)
– Submit my works to more book reviewers and bloggers. (I’m always doing this, but it takes a while for a response).
– Redo this freakin’ author website! It definitely needs a major overhaul. (Not yet, but before the end of the summer).
My wishful thinking for sales/downloads/reviews:
– To have at least 1,000 downloads for each ebook during their given promotions (Nope!)
– To receive at least five new reviews for each ebook in KDP Select (Got 1 new review for PE – that’s it. )
– See a spike in sales for all books after the promotions (Not really)
– Sell way more than I did in April! (DJ scratch effect **skurry, skurry** NOPE!)
Although KDP Select has become useless to me now, it definitely helps that I have multiple works out there. I’ve published 4 new ebooks (mostly short stories) since March and plan to publish an anthology by the end of the year–not to mention what the TPC3 has in store. As of this writing, I have 12 books out (2 print books and 10 e-books, some free). You can find them all on Amazon and Smashwords (not to mention other retailers, like B&N and Apple). And guess what? I’m still on pace to break 10,000 in copies sold for both of my novels (Sellout and A Hard Man is Good to Find). 🙂 When that happens, par-tay!
Yeah, KDP Select was cool for a while, and I will always appreciate and respect Amazon for being a step ahead of the pack with innovative programs that CPR book sales, but the honeymoon is long gone for me, and I have to serve KDP Select my dissolution papers. No hard feelings.
Oh, the last promotion will be on Thursday, Jun 14th for PE. Only if you’re interested, of course. 🙂 Hope the honeymoon is still going strong for you!