With the introduction of their KDP Select Program late last year, Amazon changed the rules with regard to self publishing. Prior to its introduction, self publishers were free to sell their books though any channel or retailer. However with KDP Select, Amazon demanded a commitment to make the digital format of your book available exclusively through KDP.
In return for this exclusivity, Amazon makes the book available to their ‘Prime Lending Library’, plus allows for five days of free promotion each ninety days for each book enrolled. Quite honestly, it doesn’t sound like such a great deal.
However, many self publishing authors, including myself, joined the program with the hope that the ability to reach new readers via ‘Prime Lending’ and free promotions would translate into sales further down the track. After having had all of my books enrolled for over seven months now, I have to say that I’m really not sure if it works. The numbers of books I have ‘lent’ are so few, it’s just not worth mentioning, but free promotion does seem to generate some interest and possibly new sales. I just don’t know by how much. In hindsight, perhaps this is because I haven’t taken a measured and methodical approach to free ebook promotion. Additionally, Amazon have changed their algorithms regarding ‘free book sales’ a number of times since KDP Select’s introduction and this may have reduced the effectiveness of promotional days.
To try and get a more precise idea I decided to have a famine and feast test to see if I can measure this ‘free’ effect a little better. The famine being that I have not offered a book for free on Amazon KDP for the last two months, and the feast being a full on promotion over four weekends this month of my four best performing books. To make sure these books are given every opportunity, I have also asked for support from a number of websites and blogs who promote free Kindle books. In particular, I need to thank Free Ebooks Daily who have kindly agreed to promote all four of my books in July.
So for those who would like to follow my promotion, or perhaps grab a free book or four, here is my promotion schedule.
February The Fifth – (Science Fiction Adventure) Free from 6th -8th July.
For The Love Of Sam – (Contemporary Romance) Free from 12th -15th July.
One Last Love – (Contemporary Romance) Free 20th – 22nd July.
HAL – (Science Fiction Adventure) Free 27th – 29th July.
The measure for me in the first instance will be to compare the sales performance of my books over the two months of May and June with no promotion, against July with 13 days of promotion and then any positive carry over effect in August. Then in September I can make my decision as to whether or not I continue to use KDP Select.