Friday, December 30, 2011

New Amazon/Kindle FREE Bks. PROGRAM

"Does it make sense to give away the store?"
"Are you nuts?"
"What's your new address? Bellvue Hospital?"

These are typical responses to the ebook Indie author who 'buys' into this newly put together brainstorm-result program that is a sly deal between authors and Amazon.com/kindle store  where I have an end-cap, a table in the coffee shop, and where I do a lot of time promoting, so when I saw this program come along, I was all-in from the get-go, placing up a number of my titles for the FREE 5-Day promotions push on Amazon (the largest display case for your book in the world!). HOWEVER, as I have said all over the internet, BEWARE and know what you are getting yourself into, for this program is NOT ripe or right for every Indie author.  READ the following to follow me on this:

This program is not for everyone but it suits my purposes perfectly as it does Joe Konrath's and many another author who has created a long list of titles on their dashboards. When one or two titles can be put up, others rotated in, it works wonders in garnering huge numbers of new and old readers. Amazon sold 4 million kindle/fire readers in December alone, so consider the numbers if you could get even a small slice of kindle-folks buzzing about your titles. I say it is not for everyone as meaning those who have titles on Smashwords and other ebook stores as part of the agreement is that you have to be exclusive to Kindle for 90 days (3 months), so you have to take down your titles elswhere to participate in this and the loan program attached to it. NO you make no cash on the freebies, but again if you have a lot of books to work with and they are on the kindle shelf (I have close on to 50 odd titles up there) then it can be a great way to garner new
eyes on your titles, covers, descripts and while most will place the book in a to be read stack, you just never know in as big a crowd as these freebies are generating who your book is going to find - reviewers, buzz-byters, screen writers, producers, agents, maybe even an open minded publisher, and certainly a few editors. Maybe. It is all a gamble but then so is any promotion.

For me it is the perfect solution to getting things moving to a new level of sales, I hope....but it was little skin off my nose to jump in with both feet -- all in. Why? Because for 3 years now I have promoted myself as a Kindle Original -- an author who is Exclusive to Kindle. I have not branched out from that in all this time. So I did not have to take down titles from B&N or Smashwords or elsewhere (which is another gamble and not very nice!). My last six finished novels have not even sought out the months of rejection slips or the waiting for a year and a half to see the contracted for title in print!

I saw that Joe Konrath leapt in with both feet as well; I had made my decision independent of Joe, a good friend, but I have followed Joe's advice about ebook publishing from the outset. In fact, Joe dragged me into ebook publishing kicking and screaming and I thank him all the time for doing so. Joe has put up 27 titles on five day promos, maybe more by now. I have put up 30 titles since Dec. 15th which has translated into an amazing 53,794 books given away -- no money changing hands, not a cent.

One title alone went to 20,000 bks. gone after it was placed up on Dec. 18th. UK numbers are added in here. So between US and UK, I have gained a lot more eyes on my pages...or will as time goes by. Never in 30 years of working on and off with traditional publishers have I ever known any author to have that many books go out for 'reviews' and reads -- in fact, I believe most author advance copies go out to approximately 50-150 reviewers. Not that all those takers of my books will review it but every reader is in a sense a 'buzz' reviewer. Gotta give me that, and I have to believe that months from now, I will still be reaping benefits from having placed my titles into this program. Two books I have as yet to enroll in the program but that was only due to some technical problems. I am all in. But as I said at top of this post, it all depends on YOUR circumstances. You may want to do as others have and place one of your titles, a leader for a series for
instance up. If you get five free promotion days for said title, that is money you could not have afforded for the book, so in a real sense, some cash is flowing to you in this to some sweetheart deal.

We've been discussing this up and down on my "What Moves Kindle Bks. off the Shelf" at KDP Community Threads a lot. There are many who see this as authors committing mass suicide, and maybe we are all lemmings going over the edge, but my gut tells me otherwise. Besides, there has got to be a way for a guy like me to make HAY with these numbers just on the face of it. Doing some of that already here and there. Still the numbers of ACTUAL book sales, as predicted by naysayers of the program, have indeed SHRUNK, so I expect any paycheck I get for the month of December will reflect that. As a result, I am taking in laundry and book editing again, pressing the pants and pleats for anyone you might know who needs a book or story autopsy or resuscitation. Send 'em my way. Still working the DAY JOB.

Rob Walker
www.robertwalkerbooks.com
WWW.RobertWalkerbooks.com

7 comments:

Lynn Hubbard said...

well said! Amazon has been good to me so I entered a leg. I figured I could live without a leg. I'm doing a one day freebie today and am blown away by the response. Had my first "sale" in FRANCE. Exciting stuff!

Mona Ingram said...

It's been great for me. 2,000 a day not including UK, de, fr. I ended the 5-day promo with somewhere around 10,503 (it was 10pm), and sales have been much brisker ever since. Even some in UK. Was going to do for 3 months, but instead will re-up and get another 5 days free. Also going to enroll one of my other books, and if it works as well, I'll probably put all eight (plus new ones coming online) in the programme by the end of the year.
So, yes, it was great for me.
BTW, this is my first visit to your blog...like it!! Gotta get me one of these.

Morgan Mandel said...

I'd like to donate one of my books and enter the fray, but I only have four. The only one not on other sites would have been my new baby, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, which I really don't want to part with, so I also put it up on Smashwords. I worked on it for too long to give it away, except to some reviewers.

I would have preferred to test the waters with one of my backlist books which I received the rights back in July and just got up on kindle and smashwords, but since my previous publisher was so lax about getting them out of other sites, I'd be afraid to do so for fear of being banned from Kindle altogether.

I'm thinking of donating my next one to see what happens. You'll have to let us know how your experiment works.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Sable Grey said...

I've done two books through the KDP Select program and am very pleased with the results. I have plans for many more books where I can use the program to promote both my name and my other books.

mystichawker said...

Thanks for the great post and wonderful input from you and your commentators. I"m actually hoping to have a new shorter, novella length piece to add to my list later this week that I can put just on Kindle to test the waters. So far the authors that are talking about their experiences are loving the results. I'm hoping that if there are folks out there that are trying the program and having issues will talk about it.
Thanks for sharing.

Rob Walker said...

hey to add to my positives - just got a lenghty, detailed review from a reader who took one of my FREE books on this program...Wow. This is promising. Been so long since I have seen a review of any of my books!

Hey thanks all who responded here, taking the time.

Glad if the post helped you out!

Rob Walker
www.robertwalkerbooks.com

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