Monday, March 19, 2012

KDP Select: To Enroll or Not to Enroll


Should I or shouldn't I?
I admit, when I first read about the Kindle Direct Publishers Select Program back in December, I was a little skeptical.  I didn’t like the idea of removing my work from other sales outlets and making it exclusive only to Amazon.com.

My sales were decent on Amazon.com after I'd published there in October.  However, when KDP Select  arrived on the scene, my sales dropped.  Over the next few months I read lots of blogs from other authors discussing their experiences with the program and why they did or didn’t choose to enroll. Click these links to see some.

Following my worst sales month ever, I decided to sign up.  Why? Because I wouldn’t know how beneficial or non-beneficial it would be for me unless I tried. 

After enrolling, I thought I’d see a zillion borrows!  But in two days, there were none.  So I considered dropping out—you have three days to do that, but after that you’re locked in for 90 days.

I decided to stick it out and try a free promo day. I’d read about authors who’d seen 3000 to 5000 free downloads of their books.  The promo period isn’t about the money, but promoting your work and getting it into readers’ hands. 

In a 24 hour period, I was amazed to see 11,100 free copies of my book downloaded!  Now, out of those 11,000 customers, there are those who won’t read it for a while, or maybe not at all because they just hoard free books.  Some will read it, but won’t be able to get into it, and some may think it sucks. 

But there are those who will read it right away (or sooner rather than later)--and like it!  So if 5000 people read it and like it, I have a chance of getting a few reviews, and perhaps a shot at 5000 potential purchases, because those readers might tell at least one person that my book is worth buying.

Since the free promo day, I’ve seen an increase in my sales.  I joined in early March.  I’m not a math person so I won’t go into the “my piece of the pie” regarding that $600,000 to be divided among books lent out. I believe the rate is $1.70 per borrow, which is nothing to complain about.  For me, the lending has not been nearly the same rate as the sales, which is fine.  But the increase in my sales has been worth it to me, so I'm glad I enrolled!  Yet, I never would have known this unless I'd tried KDP Select for myself.

Every case is different, but the bottom line is, you must make your own decision. After reading the KDP Select Terms and Conditions thoroughly, here are a few other things to keep in mind:
·  If you enroll, make sure your work is not available anywhere else
·If you take something off of Smashwords, it’ll take a few weeks for it to be removed from all the ebookstores they distribute to (Kobo, Diesel, Apple, etc.). Check those stores periodically to make sure your work is no longer available there before enrolling in KDP
· If you sell the majority of your books through Amazon.com, this program is worth looking into
·   The enrollment period is only three months. If you don’t like it, quit, if you do, you’ll be automatically re enrolled
·    If you choose not to re enroll, you have to do that manually, otherwise, you will be automatically re enrolled
·   Make sure your book has a appealing cover, you want it to grab attention
·    If you have some favorable reviews, include snippets from them in your product description
·     Make sure your book is well proofed and edited. If someone gets something for free with poor editing, they might mention that  in a review--and then add they were glad they didn’t pay for it!
·    Do your research, check out what others are saying (see the links above to start with)
My experience with KDP Select has been a positive one. Have you thought about enrolling?  Are you currently enrolled?  Share your experience.

Thanks for visiting!

12 comments:

The Desert Rocks said...

I'm looking forward to receiving my softback!

Old Kitty said...

I know one writerly blog (who knows many!!) who has had a great experience after signing up for KDP!! I think she even blogged about not thinking twice about renewing her KDP contract. So yay for you too!!!! Brilliant!!

Onwards and upwards!! Take care
x

Beth said...

Congrats on all the sales.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

As I prepare to release my second book, this is a dilemma for me. I never considered going with Select for Time's Enemy, as it's just too much of a pain to remove it everywhere else. But my sales at the other outlets have been a fraction of what they are at Amazon, so Select is tempting for the next one. Yet I really don't like the exclusivity. If it were a shorter time (say, 30 days), I'd do it. Glad to hear it's worked out well for you!

shelly said...

My first novel is in the hands of my editor-for-hire so I'm not there yet. Working on it, though.

Maria McKenzie said...

@Desert Rocks: Thanks so much for purchasing! I hope you enjoy it;).

@Old Kitty: Thanks Old Kitty! I'm definitely renewing too;).

@Beth: Thanks, Beth!

@Jennette: My sales were small at the other outlets too. I think the main reason I didn't enroll right away was the exclusivity. But it's not a permanent committment--however, I will re-enroll!

@Good luck, Shelly!

William Kendall said...

I'm looking at doing it. My primary source of selling will be through Amazon anyway.

Maria McKenzie said...

Good move!

Tonya Kappes said...

I had over 275 lends a month on each of the three titles I had there. I used only one of the free promotions with 14k downloads. At the end, I didn't feel like it went well for me. I was seeing higher numbers in the other stores like B&N and felt I had lost that audience. I'm always about trying everything once. I did and did not re-enroll. But never say never;))

Maria McKenzie said...

If I'd had higher numbers with B&N, I would not have joined KDP Select. I'd never want to feel ike I was losing an audience, so I completely understand your decision!

Norma Beishir said...

I've had two books out, originally published in 2008 and 2009. They did very well in the beginning, but things had definitely slowed down. As I realized 99% of my sales were through Amazon, I had no problem in withdrawing from Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. This month, my royalties are ten times when they had been in recent months.

I got your book, Maria. I'll be posting a review as soon as I get to read it!

Maria McKenzie said...

Wow, Norma, sounds like KDP has been a great success for you! And thanks for buying my book! I have yours too and will be providing a review for you as well!