Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Free eBooks - The Aftermath

So, many of you may be wondering what the result of free giveaways is when a book is enrolled in KDP Select (and whether KDP Select is worth doing for your book).

Two weeks ago, on Friday and Saturday, Bubby I - Wanted: A Hero like None Other was given away for free, generating 47 downloads. Prior to that time, it had sold 1 copy at regular price over the course of two months. It is interesting to note that one sale jumped the book to #114,587 in the Kindle store. That means that there are about a million books on Amazon that are not selling anything on a regular basis.

Since the promotion, the total sales has been: 0.

It is currently ranked #701,526 in the Kindle Store and #100 in the Superheroes category (so it will probably fall off tomorrow).

Last week, from Wednesday through Friday, The Complete Bubby Anthology was given away for free, generating 227 downloads. Prior to that time, it had sold 2 copies at regular price over the course of two months.

When I checked the book on Sunday, there was one sale, which led to a big jump in the paid rankings:

Since that time, it has dropped to #286,634 overall and down to #38 in the Superheroes category. It has completely dropped off the Top 100 for Comedy.

So, is enrolling a book in KDP Select worth the hassle?

For me, yes... with some conditions.

I will probably continue to launch my books first on Amazon for the 90 days required by KDP Select. My hope is that doing so will build some word of mouth, after which point I will spread out to additional platforms, such as Smashwords, which distributes to Barnes & Noble, the Apple iStore, and more.

For people already selling well on other platforms, I don't see any real benefit to unlisting your book on other platforms (as required by KDP Select), as it appears that your sales on Amazon will remain about the same following your free promotion as it was before.

If there is a sudden dramatic increase in sales over the course of the remaining month that my books are enrolled in KDP Select, perhaps then I will re-evaluate my recommendation - though I will probably still only enroll my own books for the first 90 days after publication.

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