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WEM
06-18-2013, 12:15 PM
I've decided to take the plunge and self-publish. I'm going to usen Amazon KDP, but the question is - do I go for Amazon Select, or not?

If I do, my royalties might be better, but I won't be able to use, say, Kobo for 3 months. That will shut off the Kobo option. And vice versa.

Does anyone have any views on the subject?

Thanks,

girlyswot
06-18-2013, 01:53 PM
For the first 19 months my books were on sale I made more (about ten-twenty times more) from my non-Amazon sales than my Amazon sales. Now maybe if I'd used Select, my Amazon sales would have been higher than they were, but that's a big risk. You're cutting off a LOT of potential customers if you choose to restrict your sales to Amazon.

Michael Davis
06-18-2013, 03:28 PM
I tried the KDP from Amazon on several stories based on what I read in terms of redirecting sales from freebie days. I did experience a lot of free downloads but very little translation into direct sales. Bottomline - I won't do it again.

WEM
06-18-2013, 05:04 PM
Michael, Girlyswot,

Thanks for the advice. I'll probably go with standard Amazon and then Kobo as well. I'm in the UK, so I can't use Barnes & Noble.

Cheers,

sarahdalton
06-18-2013, 05:26 PM
Hey WEM, I'm in the UK too. I'd recommend going Kobo and Amazon directly, and then using Smashwords to get your books onto B&N, Sony and Apple. Some people are recommending Draft2Digital as an alternative to Smashwords, but I've not used them so I don't know how good they are.

For Select... I would only go Select with a book in a series of more than three books. That way you can attract readers to the other books in your series. I don't think it helps with just one book.

My advice... spend a few months gathering reviews, put your book on Goodreads etc. Write and release another book. Then think about paying for a Bookbub advert. They are expensive, but you'll find your readers.

Noah Body
06-18-2013, 05:27 PM
Select has been a fantastic boon for me, an additional $1,000+ per month, so far. I dallied with it once before, and was disappointed, but when I took the plunge and stuck all my titles up there, it started paying off big time.

sarahdalton
06-18-2013, 05:29 PM
I forgot about borrows -- they can be good earners for people on Select.

MmeGuillotine
06-18-2013, 05:51 PM
I'm in the UK and really love Select - mainly because I earn quite a lot from borrows of my books! I don't bother with the free promotion side of things though.

I may well move on and make my books available for other readers eventually but have had nothing but stress and woe with Smashwords so far and don't think I know anyone IRL with a Kobo reader (which makes me wonder how many people have one) so I'm not sure if it's worth the effort of putting my books on to their site and then losing my revenue from Amazon borrows as a result. Right now, I'm just not sure it would be financially worth my while.

I'll wait until UK writers can deal directly with B&N and maybe look into it again then.

sarahdalton
06-18-2013, 06:51 PM
I'm beginning to wonder if I should go Select now... 90% of my sales are from Amazon anyway.

Ha ha! I've talked myself out of my own advice!

stranger
06-18-2013, 07:02 PM
I think it depends on your strategy. If you don't have a good idea on how you will sell on other avenues, it's probably worth starting off with Select.

JackFred
06-18-2013, 07:52 PM
I'd recommend Select. I have precious few sales outside of Amazon although iTunes isn't too bad. It's always a good thing to allow for lightning to strike and that means having your book widely available, but building reviews is really important and free days are pretty key for that IMO.

Calle Jay
06-18-2013, 08:28 PM
I had a few titles in select, and it worked out ok, at the time. BUT...now my Barnes and Noble sales alone are three times more than my Amazon, and sales are picking up significantly at Kobo, iTunes, etc.

Like has been mentioned, the other places do have a good portion of buyers. Why risk your book being 'out of sight, out of mind' for three months?

ebbrown
06-18-2013, 08:33 PM
I've decided to take the plunge and self-publish. I'm going to usen Amazon KDP, but the question is - do I go for Amazon Select, or not?

If I do, my royalties might be better, but I won't be able to use, say, Kobo for 3 months. That will shut off the Kobo option. And vice versa.

Does anyone have any views on the subject?

Thanks,

No, I would not use KDP select again. The two main things they offer are the use of the 3 free days and the inclusion in the shared pot for book "borrows". I had thousands of downloads on the free days which did not translate into sales or reviews. The number of borrowed books was minimal as well.

You have the same royalty options with KDP if you choose Select or not.

I have seen better sales with my books priced in the $3.99-4.99 range than I ever saw messing around with free days, borrowing, and .99 cent days. And being exclusive to Amazon was sooooo not worth losing the sales in other venues.

Just my experience, TIFWIW. Different genres see different results, so your mileage may vary.

Good luck & congrats on making it to this milestone. Happy sales to you!


**Edited to add: I really thought the free days would be a great way to "build a fan base" and get my books out there. Although I had tons of downloads, this did not carry over into paid sales, so I had to come to terms with myself. Did people just click on it because it was free, or did they actually want to read it and then share what they liked with their friends? Sadly, I concluded that no, the freebies did not do that for me.
I have found that readers who seek out my book because they are interested in the genre, buy it and like it, and then talk about it to their friends, well, those are the fans that are sending potential new readers my way.
I give my book away to people who contact me and ask for ARCs, or who I see IRL who say they want to read it. THOSE are the ones that talk & generate new interest.
I was disappointed I wasted 3 months in Select, but again...lesson learned, right?

slhuang
06-18-2013, 08:35 PM
I'm watching this thread with interest as this is something I've been wondering about as well.

Has anyone noticed if there's a genre difference? As in, scifi sells enough through other venues to make it worthwhile, but nonfiction everyone buys through Amazon (<-- making these up as an example)? Those of you who have seen a pronounced difference one way or another, what genres do you write in?

There are also the non-financial considerations I'm thinking about -- on the one hand, I'd save a lot of time by just doing Amazon, and I wouldn't have to deal with multiple platforms, multiple accounts, multiple stats if I want to compile. On the other hand, philosophically I don't like having my books ONLY available through Amazon, as I want to be able to provide them to customers who have some sort of philosophical beef with Amazon and would rather buy elsewhere.

girlyswot
06-18-2013, 08:50 PM
I think you may be right about genre being a factor. I write romance which has strong sales across all platforms and in many countries worldwide. Amazon is dominant in the US and to a lesser extent in the UK. Not everywhere else. Kobo is huge internationally (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/devices/article/57489-kobo-reports-98-growth-in-first-quarter-revenue.html). So it's worth thinking about who is going to buy your book and where they are.

ebbrown
06-18-2013, 08:56 PM
I agree, girlyswot & slhuang, I think genre has a lot of bearing on it as well.

Kobo is huge overseas.

I use Amazon KDP, and the Smashwords for all other venues. It was a little intensive formatting to the Smashwords specifications, but worth it. That way I only have 2 places to deal with.
Oh, wait a sec, I lied. I started selling on Allromance.com, which was a nice surprise and a wonderful site as well. I highly recommend them to anyone in the genre.

Ann Joyce
06-18-2013, 09:36 PM
I've decided to take the plunge and self-publish. I'm going to usen Amazon KDP, but the question is - do I go for Amazon Select, or not?

If I do, my royalties might be better, but I won't be able to use, say, Kobo for 3 months. That will shut off the Kobo option. And vice versa.

Does anyone have any views on the subject?

Thanks,

As ebbrown mentioned, whether or not you choose to use select has no bearing at all on your royalties. Under 2.99 and over 9.99 gets you a 35% royalty and if you price your book between 2.99 and 9.99, you'll get a 70% royalty. That's one thing you don't have to worry about.

Svader
06-18-2013, 10:31 PM
Does KDP select cost anything? Or just the fact that you can't put it anywhere else? I am far away from being ready to publish but this was something I tried to look into and couldn't find the answer.

Calle Jay
06-18-2013, 11:32 PM
Svader, Select doesn't cost anything. It's just a matter of clicking a checkbox when uploading your book.

LOTLOF
06-19-2013, 01:27 AM
I am still a new author with limited experience, but I have nothing but good things to say about KDP Select. Let's face it, Amazon is dominating the ebook market right now and that doesn't look to change in the foreseeable future. If you can get enough sales to land in one of Amazon's top 100 categories you will not lack for attention. Ultimately the 70% royalty is too good to pass up.

LOTLOF
06-19-2013, 01:34 AM
Does KDP select cost anything? Or just the fact that you can't put it anywhere else? I am far away from being ready to publish but this was something I tried to look into and couldn't find the answer.

There is no cost but there are certain conditions.

1) You will have to price your book within the $2.99 to $9.99 price range.

2) You cannot sell your ebook on any other platform, including your own website.

3) Readers will be able to 'borrow' your book without buying it. You are still paid for these borrows, so I don't see that as much of a burden.

These conditions are only for your ebooks, you are free to price your paperbacks as you please (though there is a minimum) and you can sell them on other platforms.

If you are okay with these conditions you can make a 70% royalty on your ebook sales.

Ann Joyce
06-19-2013, 02:15 AM
There is no cost but there are certain conditions.

1) You will have to price your book within the $2.99 to $9.99 price range.

If you are okay with these conditions you can make a 70% royalty on your ebook sales.

Actually, 1) is incorrect. You do not have to price your books between $2.99 and $9.99 to put your book in Kindle Select. You can price them however you like. But, to get a 70% royalty, Select or not, they must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99.

Also, the normal royalty for ebooks sales in Brazil, Japan and India is 35% for any price point (pretty sure that's right - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - anyone), but that becomes 70% in those countries when you're in select.

merrihiatt
06-19-2013, 02:52 AM
The two main things they offer are the use of the 3 free days...

Just a note of clarity, it is five 24-hour time periods (the equivalent of five days).

girlyswot
06-19-2013, 03:27 AM
I am still a new author with limited experience, but I have nothing but good things to say about KDP Select. Let's face it, Amazon is dominating the ebook market right now and that doesn't look to change in the foreseeable future. If you can get enough sales to land in one of Amazon's top 100 categories you will not lack for attention. Ultimately the 70% royalty is too good to pass up.

This is wrong on at least two counts. Amazon is NOT dominating the ebook market. It is the big player in the US, but not globally. Even in the US, B&N take 26% of the market and Apple recently claimed to take 20% of the market. That leaves Amazon with a small majority. But if you choose Kindle Select, you are cutting off up to 46% of US buyers and a far greater proportion internationally.

Second, you do not have to be in Select to get the 70% rate. Any KDP book can get a 70% royalty if priced between $2.99 and $9.99.

Before you make any decisions, do your research more carefully.

turningpoint
06-19-2013, 04:13 AM
I've had a question about this as well, so I'm glad it was raised. Philosophically, I don't like the idea of offering a book for free. I do like the idea of people being able to borrow, however. So I am thinking of using Kindle Select for the borrow option only.
http://www.amazon.com/Affairs-Understanding-Marital-Infidelity-ebook/dp/B00CJXJE9O

The_Burning_Quill
06-21-2013, 11:50 AM
No, I would not use KDP select again. The two main things they offer are the use of the 3 free days and the inclusion in the shared pot for book "borrows". I had thousands of downloads on the free days which did not translate into sales or reviews. The number of borrowed books was minimal as well.

This has been my experience as well. It appears that there are plenty of hoarders who will download a freebie book, any book, without ever getting around to reading or reviewing it.

I thought the exposure would be good but I regret it now as I am stuck waiting for the 3 months to expire so I can get on the other platforms.

All in all, Select has been a disappointment.

merrihiatt
06-22-2013, 02:04 AM
I write mainly trilogies. Offering the first book free brings in new readers and increases sales of the other two books in the trilogy. I have found this to be true across all of my romance trilogies. Sometimes the bump is small (a handful or two of sales) and other times it has been in the hundreds, but there has not been a time when I offered the first book free and didn't see some movement in the other books in a trilogy. The increase has not been a lasting one, but generally runs over several weeks to a month.

Just wanted to add this to the discussion.

ebbrown
06-22-2013, 02:50 AM
Just a note of clarity, it is five 24-hour time periods (the equivalent of five days).
My bad, you are correct. Tx for pointing that out. ;)

Emma Clark
06-22-2013, 05:00 AM
My experience: I used KDP Select for my short ebook as a way to "advertise" my upcoming, longer-length titles.

In 3 days I had over 1000 downloads. In 3 weeks I had about 145 actual sales.

I will not use KDP Select for my future books, but will continue using it for my first.

AlyssaCroft
06-22-2013, 05:02 AM
From my experience in talking with self-published writers, the results seem to vary wildly. Some authors experience enormous success with Select, while others only hit paydirt when they left.

There do seem to be trends though, which have already been mentioned in this thread.

Non-fiction seems to do really well in Select. There's no obvious reason for this, but I think it might be a combination of the popularity of non-fiction on Amazon as well as the possibility that people are more inclined to borrow non-fiction (thus earning authors more borrow fees).

Authors with lots of books (I'm talking more than 3) that share a common reader base also seem to do really well with the Select free days. Readers who picked up a free book and enjoyed it are more likely to read the other books you've written (if they are similar in content to the free book).

Of course, when I hear about authors who used free days but hardly got any downloads (and no resulting sales), it's usually because they did absolutely nothing to promote the free period, so that's something to keep in mind too!

On the flip side, I've also heard of a lot of authors who are quite successful outside of the Select program. It may just be a coincidence, but most of these authors are fiction writers, and either don't have many books, or their books are each fairly distinct from one another (i.e. historical fiction set in medieval times versus historical fiction set during the world wars).

robertbevan
06-22-2013, 06:34 AM
I use select for my short stories. Not my novels. I've had several people write me and tell me that they liked the short they picked up for free so much that they went and bought the rest of my work. So that's a strategy that's working for me.