Amazon and KDP Select: To Promo or NOT To Promo?

I figured today would be a chance to throw in another marketing post, because I’m kind of unsure about what my next step should be.

If you follow my blog at all, then you know I have two books out, the first two installments in a fantasy trilogy. I just did a promo for book one, and it was pretty successful. But now, I have to figure out what to do with book two!

Book two just finished its first cycle in KDP Select, which means I could run a second string of promotions for it, if I so chose. I looked at my calendar, and the last week of March could work well.

The thing is, I don’t know whether it makes sense to run a promo for book two again. Almost 3000 people just downloaded book one for free, and it’s my hope, of course, that a chunk of them will enjoy it enough that they’ll want to buy book two. I really shouldn’t give out book two as well. Also, book two isn’t easy to understand or follow if you haven’t read book one, which makes me hesitant to give it away again.

On the other hand, I sold a lot of copies of book one the one time I’ve made book two free. I mean, I sold more copies of book one last month than I did in all of 2012 (starting in April when the book was published). So I’ll have to think things over. I don’t think I’ll make book two free again, for the simple reason that I don’t know how much time I’ll have to organize the promotion, and for the reasons I listed above against it. But I really don’t know if the temptation to run a promo will prove too much. I guess we’ll see. I really do think it makes more sense to concentrate my marketing efforts on book one, and that includes promotions.

A huge part of independent publishing–and being my own boss–is making decisions like this. And sometimes I just don’t feel like I’m cut out for it, or know what I’m doing. I don’t have any real training or expertise in marketing. But I have to say, I’ve enjoyed getting my feet wet: organizing promotions, designing business cards and magnets, etc. And while things aren’t exactly racing full speed ahead for me, they are heading in the right direction, and to be honest, I don’t know how well I could handle things absolutely exploding around me. As much fun as that would be, I think there’s a part of it that falls firmly in the “be careful what you wish for” category.

I can step up marketing, perhaps, once I have book 3 (the trilogy’s end) out. As I’m hoping to publish that later this year, I guess I’m focusing more on writing and editing and getting the novel in published for now. At that point, I can really let people know about the finished series. And that will be a great change of pace, and a great day. It’s an awesome and motivating goal for me to work toward. And that, really, is what I need right now more than anything else where my writing career is concerned.

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6 responses to “Amazon and KDP Select: To Promo or NOT To Promo?

  1. Just a suggestion: Have you considered reducing the price of Book 2..not making it free, but discounting it. From what I have heard from others on marketing, sometimes this works even better than free. People like a bargain and are more willing to buy at a reduced rate.

  2. Pingback: Interviewed at YA Promo Central! | Allison's Book Bag

  3. Magnets. I hadn’t thought of that. Good luck with your promos; just don’t overthink it and you’ll do fine.

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