Saturday, December 31, 2011

Is your book on KDP select?
This month has been an interesting one as far as my self-published cookbook is concerned.
I started out the month with a trickle of sales that has been typical now that my book has been out for more than 6 months.  Then I decided to enroll my book in Amazon's new KDP select program.  KDP select is a service that allows Amazon Prime members to borrow one book at a time for a month for free.  

It's certainly about time!  It's so easy to transfer the digital files that I figured it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a lending library.

So, anyways, authors can enroll their ebooks in the program with the promise that they won't publish their book elsewhere for 90 days.  As an incentive, Amazon offers 5 promotional days for the author's book. You can read more about the program here.

Sounds good to me, especially since I haven't gotten around to publishing on other sites such as B&N or the Apple store.  So I set my book to run for free for two days early in December. I couldn't believe how many people began buying my book. I literally reached thousands of sales in those two days.  

I set two more of my promotional days for December 27 and 28th to catch all of the people who received Kindles for Christmas. My sales skyrocketed again and my rankings on Amazon shot sky high. With the new lending program I am seeing a steady flow of people borrow my books (Note: authors are promised a cut of the lending, although it will be interesting to see what that actually turns out to be. Basically all authors will split an allotted amount dedicated to the lending service monthly).
Update: Each book loaned in December of 2011 earned $1.70. That's almost as much as I make when someone purchases the book. 

There are many skeptics out there that say I have to take a loss on those freebies, but I am not paying Amazon to promote my book and you could argue that thousands of people now know about my book who didn't before. And since The 2011 Book Blogger's Cookbook is part of a series, I am hoping a few of those people will purchase volume 2 in 2012.  

So what is happening with my book now that I am off the promotion? In two days my sales are ten times what they were before my book was free. Word of mouth and getting the book in front of people is key. Even though my sales rankings initially fell further than they were before the promotion, my statistics are way higher now. I am thinking it's due to the cross promotions such as the "customers who bought this also bought:" banner.

What do you think about Amazon's KDP program? Will you promote your book with it?  Will you join Amazon Prime to borrow books?