Indie authors, it’s been quite a week for me. I had a big free push of Nephilim Genesis of Evil, I’m putting the last touches on my experiment to get into radio (expect a post on this later in the week), and so on. But I wanted to do a quick post with more on KDP Select. I’ve read some posts by authors who are discouraged with their sales (read Bert Carson’s blog Sell Your Books the Old-Fashioned Way for some interesting thoughts on this) and I have a few thoughts of my own.
Indie Authors – What’s The Deal With KDP Select?
To answer, heck, I don’t know. I’ve read many a post lately about KDP and how Amazon changed algorithms and how it’s affected indie authors. I was completely discouraged myself because I wasn’t one who had thousands of dollars in sales in January, February and March. But I decided I’ve still got some free days to use so I’ve been using them. How is it going?
Indie Authors – What’s Considered Successful?
I offered The Emerald Quest for free. I had it listed on a few sites on its free day. Did it sell like crazy afterwards? No, but it did get some sales and borrows (it had almost none before the free day). Same with a couple of other books.
And then came Nephilim. I offered it for free two days last week. It downloaded over ten thousand copies. And after hearing about how the Amazon algorithms changed, I wasn’t expecting anything in terms of sales. But it’s sold over 65 copies and borrowed over 100 in just two days. It hit three different bestseller lists (horror, Christian mystery, and Christian inspirational – and by the way, how is The Shack considered a Christian mystery???). It’s still sitting on the horror and Christian mystery lists. Not the phenomenal success of some, but it’s priced at $4.99 so I’ve made almost $500 in two days. To me, that’s successful. Especially if you consider that bestsellers tend to sell a lot of books in a short amount of time and then sales slow considerably. Do I know how it got on those lists? Not a clue.
Indie Authors – What To Do?
Here’s the thing, as I see it. Amazon has been helpful to me, no doubt. But it isn’t my only way of marketing. Never was, never will be. If that’s what you were doing, with all due respect, you made a mistake. I have a layered approach to my marketing, all free things, all things I write about in this blog (go to Promoting Your Books for more on this). If you are an indie author who wants to sell, you need a strategy for selling that includes:
- branding yourself (a consistent message of who you are as an author)
- social media (you don’t have to be on them all, but you need to be active in the ones you are on)
- print books (yes, I said print books – there are plenty of people who still read print books and I’ll have a post on that soon)
- a blog (with a specific focus and message)
- a website (that uses a keyword strategy)
- and more
It’s about word of mouth, and there are many ways to spread the word about your books. Not just Amazon. I’d love to have a bestseller on Amazon’s top 100 and heap the rewards. But the more realistic approach is to keep plugging away and eventually I might be able to quit my day job and just write and blog (and sell books) :).
Indie Authors – A Shout-out
I’d like to acknowledge a couple of sites that I know helped in getting the word out about Nephilim. Digital Book Today is great and I appreciate everything Anthony has done for me. If you haven’t visited his site, please do so. I’d like to acknowledge Michael Gallagher as well. He put Nephilim on his site Free Kindle Books and Tips. Check out Michael’s site as well. I would also like to thank everyone who tweets about my books, shares about them on Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Pinterest and everywhere else. It truly is about word of mouth and I am grateful to you all.