Friday, May 17, 2013

The KDP Select Experiment--Part 1: A Slow Start

When I released my first book Courting the King in Yellow in October of 2012, I decided to put it out on as many platforms as possible. In addition to releasing on Kindle, I also released the digital version on Kobo and Drive Thru Fiction.

Sales of that book have been fairly modest, so I decided to try and kickstart my Amazon sales by enrolling my latest short story in the KDP Select program. My short story, entitled Private Showing, features a character from my novel, so my hope was that it would be a gateway story that might lead readers to check out the novel if they enjoyed it.

KDP Select is an exclusive program, meaning you cannot put the digital version of your book or story up anywhere else while you are participating in the program. In exchange for that exclusivity, Amazon allows Prime members to borrow the book for free, and they reimburse you from a fund that is set aside for the program. You also get a handful of days where you can offer the story for free to everyone. The idea is that your story will get a lot more exposure, which would hopefully lead to more sales.

So, putting my short story up as part of the program is fairly low-risk for me, as I was only going to charge a dollar for it anyway. I’m interested to see if participating in this program has any effect whatsoever on my book sales, The results of this experiment will help me determine what I do with my next full-length book.

So far, through the first three weeks, I have not noticed any spikes in sales, and I’ve been promoting the new story on my blog and through social media channels. In fact, Courting the King in Yellow has sold about as much as Private Showing, despite the fact that Prime members can borrow the short story for free.

I’ll keep you posted!