It’s time for a grand experiment. Or a couple of them. I’ve been reading a lot about Amazon and the KDP Select program. Some indie authors have had great success, others have had little or no success. I’ve put some books up for free here and there, but I’ve not tried the layering marketing approach (free days then paid promotion days after the free days), so I’m trying that this month and next. I wonder, though, how much using KDP Select leads to long-term success…
Wanted: Indie Author Sales
As I said above, some indie authors have had great success using KDP Select and paid promotions to launch their books into the Amazon bestseller ranks, but many will say that their sales tapered off drastically within a few days of their free days. It seems that there are a lot of people who swoop to the free lists and hoard those books – who knows if they’ll ever read the books they downloaded? And that is probably not the point. It’s the paid sales that you get after the free promotion that will do you the most good. But do these promotions and sales lead to a long-term fan and buyer base? Don’t get me wrong, I want those short-term sales…but I want long-term sales as well.
Wanted: An Indie Author Loyal Fan Base
As an indie author I want a loyal fan base. I want readers who buy one book and says wow, that was so good I’m going to read more by this author. I’m fine with the freebie grabbers not becoming long-term fans (if they do, awesome, but I don’t expect it). KDP Select is a marketing game, maybe even a necessary evil, as far as I’m concerned. I will see how my own ventures into free+paid promotion works and I will share my results in a future post.
Wanted: Other Ways To Market
I have to wonder if there’s more to building a loyal fan base, and thus sales, than just KDP Select. I jest. Of course there are other ways of getting loyal readers. And I wonder if some of these other ways of marketing will lead to more long-term success than the roller coaster of free days+paid promotion every few months (or weeks). Here’s the thing: I’m a collector of first edition books. I’ve been to fan conferences and writing conferences, I gone to book signings and I’ve met a lot of authors. And I’ve bought books because of how the authors spoke about themselves and their writing, not just because I heard about their books. There was a face-to-face connection. This is largely being lost in this new age of publishing. But I’m trying a grand experiment to change this, at least for myself and a few other indie authors.
Wanted: A Few Undiscovered Indie Authors
I’m exploring another way of marketing now: radio. I’m not going to get into the details here, but I will share how things are going as I move ahead. I’m sure some of you are saying it can’t be done, especially for an indie author. And you may be right. But I’ve got a plan working with the help of some marketing people. It’s based on marketing principles and courses I’ve taken, and I’m now implementing them. One of the things I’m doing is building a reading list for middle grade fiction, but here’s the key: I want undiscovered talent. Everyone’s heard of Harry Potter, the Alex Rider spy series, and many others. I want great indie authors who have a great book that few people have heard of.
This is a fairly informal process. I want books that kids can’t put down. I don’t care what the genre is, your book just can’t be boring or poorly written. It also can’t contain lots of violence or sex (I would hope you’re not doing this in middle grade novels but I throw it out there). If you think your book fits these criteria, and you choose to be a part of this experiment, let me know. Here are the basics:
- you need to provide a free copy of your book (ebook for Kindle)
- your book will be vetted by a committee of readers (both adults and kids)
- if the majority of my readers like/love your book, it will go on the list
- if the majority don’t like it (for any reason), sorry (nothing personal)
- your book must be primarily for middle grade readers (5-7th grades)
Those are the basics. If you are interested, DM me on Twitter @reneepawlish or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your book details and why you think I should consider your book.
FREE BOOK – THE EMERALD QUEST
If you’d like to read my middle grade book that will be on this reading list, The Emerald Quest will be free this Thursday and Friday. This is the first in the Noah Winter adventure series and it’s getting rave reviews.
What have you got to lose? The time it takes to contact me. What might you gain? A loyal fan base.