Guest Expert: Michelle Hughes
As an exclusive Amazon user I was very interested in the debut kdp Select program that was unveiled this month. This program boasted of allowing authors the opportunity to distribute books through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, earn royalties from a new source, promote their books for free, and get instant feedback on how well the book was doing through the program.
For those of you not familiar with the kindle owners’ lending library, it’s a collection of books that Amazon prime members who own a kindle can borrow once a month, with no due dates. This information is available on the Amazon site if you’d like to research it further. The royalties for the month of December was $500,000 and it’s reported that for the January those funds will be matched. The author is given a share of those royalties depending on how many of their titles are borrowed from the library.
The promotional part of the kdp Select program is what I was truly interested in. The opportunity to get a title promoted for free sounded like an offer that was very hard to turn down. With the program you grant Amazon exclusive rights to sell your book for increments of three months. This wasn’t a hard choice for me as they are the only platform I am currently using. This program only required the digital platform of my book for this promotion while leaving my paperback out of the equation. This decision would probably be much harder for someone who also had their books published on another digital platform if they were seeing sales there.
On the promotion days that I was able to choose, there are five days granted for each 3 month increment and you have the ability to pick the days, my book was completely free on Amazon to all customers. During the one day free promotion I selected for my book, which had previously been ranked at 48,000 in sales, made a great jump to #883 free in kindle store and #12 in kindle store under the kindle eBooks : fiction > genre fiction > horror > occult. I have to say that I was ecstatic with these results and it made a wonderful Christmas day present.
The next day my book returned to the paid category and I was devastated to see my book ranking in at #198,000. I’m an avid watcher of my rankings so this was a huge disappointment. As the day wore on though my numbers began climbing again and even made it to #24,872 at one point. This result I have to accredit to the kdp Select program because I hadn’t done any other advertising that would cause such a change. As of today my book is ranking back at # 37,201 which is still better than where I started off. And I have to also say that I received many compliments on Twitter thanking me for sharing my book with them. I’d like to believe that I have reached new readers thanks to this promotion as well. I’ve been discussing this with other authors on Amazon that have seen some incredible results and I’d like to share those with you as well.
Barbara Ivie Green, the author of treasure of egypt (treasure of the ancients) has seen phenomenal results with this program. She has increased her readers from approximately 150 to 3,500 in just a week. Violet Patterson, the author of rider on the storm, emerald seer #1 has also seen positive results and saw her book in the top #10 during her three day promo and an upswing of sales since it returned to the paid format. J. Fields, Jr. author of Casino Shuffle a new author, did a 2-day free promo for casino shuffle and over the 2 days it was downloaded over 1600 times. After his free promo ended he’s still seeing the results and very pleased with the program. There is one other author i would like to mention, Jan Hurst-Nicholson. While her book breadwinners hasn’t seen a huge increase in sales since her promotion, her other titles are now moving up. A waterfall effect from seeing her other book possibly?
I find it very hard to argue with the results I’m seeing and will do another kdp Select promotion myself. I chose Christmas for my first one, as a way to give back to the friends on Twitter and Facebook that have been so supportive of my writing. If you’d like to keep up with how this program is working for me I encourage you to visit my Amazon Kindle page for A Night at Tears of Crimson and see what happens for yourself. I will keep researching the results for the kdp Select program in the future as I’m anxious to see how the royalties work out as well.
Michelle Hughes began her career in the entertainment industry as a singer/songwriter. After years on the road she began her family and turned to writing as a way to combine her love of entertaining with the stability of having a home life. Starting out with short stories and fan fiction she discovered that she had a love for writing paranormal romance and decided to make that her full time career.
Currently Michelle resides in Rockford Alabama with her husband and their five children. When she’s not writing you can find them enjoying the beautiful scenery in Alabama from their boat and exploring the wonderful resources their state possesses.