Tue 25 February 2014

KDP Select - So Far, So Sad

Posted by. James Jackson This article was posted in Self Publishing and tagged with marketing

What may work for some doesn't always work for others.

terran chronicles universe blog

Just like thousands of other authors, I released a new eBook in December of 2013, and signed up for Amazon's Select program. This means that my book, 'Colony'; must remain exclusive to Amazon, and thus not be available elsewhere.

Back in December of 2013 I wrote the blog 'To KDP Select, or not to KDP Select, that is the question?' I also wrote, "I am about to find out." in reference to what being a select member would do to my sales. Well do I have an update for you!

The words, 'bombed', 'flop, 'abysmal failure,' all come to mind. I have a total of THREE downloads by prime members, one of whom I know, and they did this as a test for me. I spent $200+ on advertising, have 5000+ followers on Twitter, and ran a few other 'free' advertisements. This is on top of numerous Facebook shares, Tweets by friends, and the general sharing across my social network. My friends and followers know that I only market heavily when there is a new eBook out, otherwise I keep a pretty low profile when it comes to 'self advertising' via social media.

Now, this is the weird part. My overall sales are actually slightly up, and way over last year's results for the same month. I would hazard a guess that the advertising has worked! So why are folks with prime memberships not downloading this eBook? It could be that as this is the third in the series, new readers do not want to start at this point. But what of the hundreds upon hundreds of Amazon sales for the other two eBooks? Surely some of these folks are Prime members!.

That ladies and gentlemen, is the big question. So I did a little digging, and what I found, alarmed me. As of the time of this writing, Amazon lists around 100,000 new releases in the last 30 days. Of this massive number, Science Fiction has over 4,000 new releases. My eBook is competing with this massive influx of new work. During my research I also found a number of new releases that I know have been out for quite some time. Are these re-releases? They are not listed as such. I won't single out these authors, but I am surprised at what appears to be 'an act of desperation.' Republishing a work so that it appears in the 'New Releases.'

I feel that my problem is the same one that plagues most indie authors. Each novel is but one drop in an ocean of work. Amazon has around 2.4 million eBooks in its database. Though this pales in comparison to the world's largest libraries, it still means that each new eBook that releases has to overcome insurmountable odds in order to get noticed.

In summary, Amazon's 'Select Program' has been a failure for me, and an experiment I doubt I will try again with any book in the Terran Chronicles Universe. Each day I read of people with hundreds of downloads, and can only nod my head with respect to them. I wish to point out that I am not slamming Amazon, nor any other publisher. I am simply relaying my own experiences and reflecting on my opinions, which are backed by real numbers.

Some would think that this is a showstopper. But it is not. A sure fire way to get noticed, is to write more. Thus, I will continue to write, and plan to publish book four, 'Alliance', before the end of the year. I also plan to release this eBook on all platforms at the same time.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open for the two short stories, 'Jie's World,' and 'Emma's Legacy - New Earth Ecology'. These works are with editors and proofreaders right now, and will be coming to an eReader near you soon!


Take it easy mates.

James Jackson