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KDP Select Update

May 4, 2012

I had very mixed feelings about the KDP Select initiative, mainly because of the exclusivity clause. Although my sales with Amazon have been poor, my books were charting well with other e-book distributors, reaching the top twenty in some cases. To surrender this success, in the hope of increased sales with Amazon, seemed a very large gamble. I waited for a couple of months before taking the plunge and reluctantly enrolling with Select.

My free books promotions were very successful, but made little difference to my paid sales post promotion. Indeed, the income generated was considerably less than that which I would have earned if I had not withdrawn my books from other channels. After the ninety days I did not pursue the Select option and with some trepidation I republished my books with the other distributors. Would I ever see my books regaining their former rankings? Had I blown it? One retailer’s category had doubled its number of books in the time I was absent. I would be a small fish in an even bigger pond.

Imagine my delight to see, three weeks after republishing, some of my books already in the top 100. There are still a few niggles to sort out, in that not all of my books have been listed. I feel that KDP Select was a brave but misguided attempt by Amazon to market books. To flood the market with free books will not help the authors or Amazon in the long run. I sincerely believe that the bulk of people who downloaded my free books will probably never read them. I have always distributed free copies of some of my books, but in a more controlled manner and to people who are genuinely interested in reading them.

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