Indie Authors – More on KDP Select

Indie authors, it’s been quite a week for me.  I had a big free push of Nephilim Genesis of Evil, I’m putting indie author handbookthe 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.

Nephilim Genesis of Evil - horror book

Nephilim on the horror bestseller list

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 NephilimDigital 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.

About Renée Pawlish

Award-winning author Renée Pawlish writes the bestselling horror book, Nephilim Genesis of Evil, the Reed Ferguson mystery series, short stories and non-fiction ghost stories.
This entry was posted in Indie Author Handbook, Promoting Your Books and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Indie Authors – More on KDP Select

  1. Caleb Pirtle says:

    We’re all shooting in the dark and have only one option. Keep shooting.

  2. Geri says:

    Just thinking about all this is exhausting! It really is a full time job and if you love writing, like most authors, this is the part of the job you really don’t like. Not only is it time consuming, but not all of us are social media savvy. So what happens? good books languish and don’t get much if any attention. Let’s face it, you don’t get word of mouth interest if you don’t tell anyone. This is exactly how B.R.A.G.Medallion came about. Our reading teams read books – often ones that have very little push behind them- and if they unanimously decide it is a book worth a readers time and money, we honor it and try to get the word out to the reading public that this book is one other readers have loved -so read it. We consider ourselves the “People’s Choice” rather than the ‘Oscars”! If your book isn’t on our reading list, it should be. We certainly can not promise success, but we will promote our honorees in any way we can.

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      It is exhausting :). And it has to be done. Thanks for your comment, I will check out your site.

  3. I agree! I have 12 books published so far, nine have been self-pubbed. Three with small presses. Promoting is hard work. I try and update my Twitter/Facebook author page every day and I update my website when I can. I am impressed with your numbers, mine haven’t been as good but I keep plugging away. I haven’t done the Kindle Select yet but plan to with my next book. Great post!

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      Glad you liked the post and good for you. I just keep plugging away (and I need to find more time to write lol). Thanks for you comment.

  4. Yup and yup again. We can’t make Amazon our only target. That’s what KDP Select and the algorithm shifts taught me.

  5. It’s my day to check out marketing strategies, as well as try my hand at short stories. So I’m keeping your blog open for where to go next. Of course, I have umpteen million other things to do today (including working on the latest short story, fill the bird feeders, I won’t bore you with the rest). But I’m grateful for your ideas.

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      Thank you. I appreciate what you’re saying and my to-do list is never done either. I’m glad you find this helpful.

  6. KDP Select was great the first month for me, but it’s been downhill ever since, to the point I’ve decided not to re-enroll any of my books (I wrote about the experience on my site, too). I don’t see the benefit anymore, especially since I have multiple works out now. At this point, having mass distribution is more important me.

    Thanks for sharing and congrats on your success!

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      I’ll check out your post – it’s difficult and takes a lot of effort to get any decent results, and it seems no one is getting the results they once did. I feel fortunate to be doing as well as I am, but it’s not a lasting solution to the sales dilemma. Thanks for your comment.

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