I thought some authors who publish on Kindle would like to know this. If you sign up with Amazon for a 90-day exclusive, meaning no other device like Nook can display it, you get several perks. The best of the perks is you receive 5 free days to use anytime in the 90-day window. You can use one here and there, or all five in a row. My friend published his first book as a Kindle Select (name of the program), was selling decently but not great, and then he ran his five-day free download. In that five days he got 20,000 downloads, and for that week was the number one author for free downloads, and rose to as high as 16 among all eBooks on Amazon. I think those downloads were an amazing marketing tool. At least a few thousand of those people will actually read the book and perhaps review it. He created a fan base for his next book. Also, those who read it and liked it might tell other friends about it. When the five-day freebie was over, those friends had to pay the price. I gave Kindle an exclusive, and can't wait to the end of September, when I give it away free. 'Anybody also think this is a great marketing tool?
Can people enroll in the Select program if their book is also published with CreateSpace (the Amazon company that publishes print copies of the book that are sold on Amazon)?
I think the Select program is a great tool for authors.
Yes. I published my trade paperback with CreateSpace and my Kindle with Kindle Select. In addition to the free days, Kindle Select has a "borrow" perk. If any Amazon Prime member, of which there are millions, borrows your Kindle book for a month for free, you get a $2 royalty.
Nice!! I am definitely doing that with my next book! :)
I signed up with Select when it first became available in December and my book went from total obscurity to #4. It was selling very well for a while, but then the effects began to wear off. As time passed, I ran other promotions for other books, but the results were never the same. So many people have signed up, that Amazon is flooded with free books. Actually, one of the benefits of Select is the participation in the Lending Library. That's a good way to make extra money, but of course, you have to give them exclusive rights to all digital content, and that's not always worth it.
Marketing is soooo tough. As for exclusives, 90 days is not a big window, Irina.
The most benefit, as I see it, would be to remain exclusive so that you can have a free book promotion more than once. With Select, I don't think the book can have been previously published as an ebook with anyone prior to the enrollment in the Select program and, of course, not during the program. So by not remaining exclusive, you would be going with another e-publisher, so you wouldn't be able to join Select or do the free promotion again. And from what I've heard, the high rankings on Amazon, due to free book promotions on Select, do not last for long, so occasional free book promotions would help to increase sales periodically.
Do you have the name of the book? I'd love to check out his Amazon page and see the results. I have a book that is currently getting great reviews on Amazon, but has yet to take on a life of its own. http://www.amazon.com/Berating-Others-Lifetime-Happiness-ebook/dp/B...
You can see the reviews are good, but the sales have stalled. The Amazon guy I worked with said it was the best book he's worked on since working with Tucker Max, and even bought two copies for friends. He suggested that I try a few free days, but I'm concerned about diluting the value, since I haven't exhausted every venue of marketing yet. I'm also concerned with Irina Shapiro's comment that there's a flood of free books as well.
I just made a (subjectively) highly-reviewed promo video for my book here. I've posted on YouTube and Funny or Die, but any other ideas? http://youtu.be/wkc3Lwp8W54
Awesome! I like your book's trailer as well. How did you come up with the dates for your free download? I'm giving away some free copies on GoodReads before I do the giveaway on Amazon, but I was questioning when I should begin the campaign. Is Monday best? Mid-week? Weekend?
Here is my experience so far. I have three books on Kindle and enrolled in the KDP select program. The first book Do It Yourself Press Releases: Helping to Promote Your Organization I made available for free download and had maybe 200 downloads - no much in results. Then again my sample at the time didn't show much resulting in a 1 star - wasn't impressed they rated my book on the fact that they didn't see enough in the sample. That said I took the comment and reworked the book file upload so the sample was better. Also tried pricing it at .99cents. I believe some non-fiction titles just aren't as popular.
Second book The Sustainable Table: Take Back Your Plate I also used the free download on and it took over with about 6,000 downloads. It did receive a higher ranking for a while and it did result in one fantastic book review of 5 stars! Also have had a few borrows via Prime.
Third book Building a Passive Solar House: My Experience Shared- I've not listed as free yet and I'm considering it, however, sales have been good from the start so may wait a bit.
Non-fiction books are supposed to have a better chance of success as far as I know. Seems to me that with the advent of self-publishing that the fiction market is flooded with more books than the market can support. Just my 2 cents worth as I see it right now. I am a newbie and I wrote my first novel without doing any research into this subject. It was an idea for a story that nagged at me for 3 years before I wrote it. I can truthfully say that I wish that I had at least done some research before diving into the deep end of the pool! But I can also say that it was fun writing it.
I've used the program for my books and I've gotten nearly a thousand downloads. It's awesome. Hopefully I'll start seeing reviews shortly. I like getting my work out there; I don't care about the money.
From what I have seen of the free downloads with KDP Select, it's not as effective for some categories. Now my books are in Romance and Contemporary romance, and that is a huge category. I placed one of 4 books in the freebie for 3 days and it bumped it up to #40, and that month there were more sales overall, however, it settled back down to slow sales after two weeks. I have only had my books up since April and May of this year also. I elected to take my book out of the exclusive KDP and now have it on Smashwords, available on Barnes and Noble and Kobo also this week. I had a total of about 2000 downloads with the KDP.
Now I also had a non fiction book which was in a smaller category, grief and loss, and did the KDP select for that one for 5 days straight and had about 4000 downloads. It stayed #1 bounced up and down to #60 for a weeks afterwards or so, and then settled down to sloooowww sales. But I am now putting that up on smashwords also. Personally, I'm not a fan of exclusivity but thought I'd try it. I've done just as well on Smashwords which distributes to several other places, as on Amazon. I also play with the price a lot to see how that will affect things. I've come to the conclusion that $2.99 seems a good price for an ebook. I will sometimes price the first book in each of my series lower to start the ball rolling in hopes that someone will then want to buy another book in the series. So that's been my experience thus far.