I read a fantastic post earlier today about the KDP Select (Kindle Direct Publishing) program written by fellow WordPress blogger Derek Blass. His blog is a most follow!) When I saw links for it on Twitter, it caught my interest, as I’m planning a KDP Select free promo for “The Crimson League” tomorrow and Thurday (August 8-9)
Basically KDP select is a program where you, as the author, give the Kindle EXCLUSIVE digital rights to your work for a 3 month period, in exchange for the opportunity to offer readers 5 days on which to download your work for free, thus creating buzz, word of mouth promotion, and rises in the rankings, as Blass explains in his post. Blass notes various pros and cons of the program that all indie authors should be aware of. I had some of my own thoughts to add. I’ve done two KDP promos in my first 3-month subscription, and am about to embark upon a third.
First, I decided to become an indie author rather than seek representation simply because I had spent YEARS on my novels and wanted to be able to offer them to people to read, because they were at a stage of development where they should be read. While I would love nothing more than to be able to support myself with royalties and spend every day at the coffee shop writing, editing, and promoting, I don’t hold out much hope that’s my future. Because of that, when I ran my first KDP Select promo and saw hundreds of copies downloaded, I was so excited, and so grateful, just to think that my work was available to all those people on the Kindle! Sure, not all of them would read it, but it was there if they wanted to. That felt so amazing!!! I write to provoke introspection, contemplation, and evaluation of our world as much as to tell a gripping story of swords and sorcery. It would SURE be nice to make some money from sales, but if the choice is either not to sell books, or to give them away and have people reading, I’ll choose the second every time.
Second, I feel that one of KDP’s greatest values is word of mouth promotion. You have to get people downloading and reading your novel for them to be able to tell their friends and family, “This book is really good. You should read it. You REALLY need to read it. You love Harry Potter so much, and it’s in that vein.” Suppose you get 1,500 downloads during your promotion. If just ten percent of those readers actually read the work, and half of those recommend it once, THAT’S 75 NEW SALES you wouldn’t otherwise have had. Nothing to sneeze at, from my perspective.
I understand that people choose independent publishing for various reasons, and not everyone’s goals and aspirations will be in line with mine. Because of that, people’s opinions of KDP will vary, for good reason. But that’s where I’m coming from, and that’s my thought on KDP. I’m really excited about the promo tomorrow, and can’t wait to see how my number stack up! If you’re at all an epic fantasy fan, consider downloading “The Crimson League” for no cost!