The Kindle Select Post

19 Mar

So, this post is for the self-published indie authors out there. Every indie book blogger has to have an opinion on Kindle Select.  Is it good, is it bad, is it ugly?

When I published Goddess, I immediately enrolled it in Kindle Select so I could take advantage of the free promotion days (for each 90 day period your book is enrolled in Select, you are allowed to make it free for up to 5 of those days).

However, as a new clueless indie author, I had no idea that I was supposed to be putting a book launch plan together before publishing!  That was a major mistake.  So, there I was on day 1, like “Hello world! look, a new book!”  I had no reviews, other than those by friends and family.  And we all know that reviews are critical to a book’s sales.

So my first goal was to put on my new book-marketer hat and rustle up some reviews.

Lucky for me, I had published through BookBaby, which (as part of their basic package) provides all of their customers with the BookPromo service, a package of free services and promotions for marketing your book.  One of these services is called Story Cartel, a sort of crowdsourcing service where you trade free copies of your book for reviews.  I was thrilled to be able to try it!

BUT! Then I realized my mistake.  When you publish through Kindle Select, you cannot give out ANY free copies of your book. That is absolutely forbidden, and this aspect of the program really hinders your ability to reach out to potential reviewers.

Because of this restriction, I still have not gotten a chance to use Story Cartel or any of the other giveaway-type services that help new authors get reviews.  (As soon as my Kindle Select term expires, though, I will be trying Story Cartel, and I will report back on my findings!)

On the other hand, I did run a 2-day free promotion for Goddess. Although it was hard work getting the word out about the freebies (or in other words “promoting the promotion”), it was manageable with the help of the Author Marketing Club’s book submission tool, and the bulk submission service from BookMarketingTools.com.  I have seen a significant bump in sales since the free promotion, and so far the boost seems to have been permanent.  I also reached number 1 in several categories on Amazon.

I would definitely say the Amazon Select free promotion was valuable.  If I could do it all again, I would have published my book through KDP (without Select), gotten plenty of reviews through giveaway programs, and *then* entered the Select program and taken advantage of its promotion tools.

Then again, if I was *really* going to get a second chance, I would definitely plan a book launch rather than just hitting the “publish” button! 🙂

Did you have good or bad experiences with Kindle Select as a new author? Let me know in the comments!

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