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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Karen Magill Shares Amazon KDP Select Progam with Fellow Authors

Karen Magill, a Facebook friend, has had some real luck with the new KDP Select program for Kindle. It requires authors or publishers to give them exclusive rights on the e-book (doesn't include the paperback) for ninety days. I've been hearing great things about the program so I asked Karen to share her experience--both the good and the bad--with you.  Here it is:


By Karen Magill

I must admit that I was suspicious of the KDP-Select program at first. I balked at the idea of making my eBook exclusive to Amazon and this program. This went against all I had been taught – the way to get better sales was to make the book available in as many places as possible. Then I started to hear about the success of others – success I wasn’t having. I decided to try the program with one of my books.

Let Us Play, A Rock ‘n Roll Love Story is set in the uncertain future where all forms of rock ‘n roll music have been banned. There are a group of rebels fighting to bring it back and a woman with the gift of second sight leads them. Supernatural occurrences happen throughout the book and it is quite an exciting story. It is a good story, the cover is attractive and the price is $3.99 per eBook.

I scheduled a free event for three days. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are listed as the best sales days so I planned my first free days for April 10, 11, and 12 –the three days before the weekend. I notified everyone I could think of plus sites that feature free eBook listings. I tweeted and got others involved in retweeting my tweets. The main objective was to get the word out and get people interested.

When the promotion started, I was ecstatic to see the numbers climbing. People were actually downloading my book! That was great but there were a few problems.

I was having difficulty moving up in the rankings because of an error with Amazon. My genres (categories) weren’t set right. I did try to set them just before the promo but unfortunately, that was the Easter weekend. After waiting a few days and not seeing any changes, I contacted Amazon and discovered that the categories I had chosen were no longer valid. In order to fix it the book would have had to be taken down for twelve hours and I didn’t want that in the middle of a promotion. I also didn’t get listed on some of the major free Kindle sites. I hadn’t given them enough time to list my book. I also was a bit mixed up while doing the pre promotional work on whom I had contacted and whom I hadn’t. The lesson there is not to leave things to the last minute and to be better organized. My promo would have gone a lot better if I had gotten those things done correctly.

However, I did have 3500 downloads between the US and UK sites. When I asked other authors about their experiences, I discovered that those numbers were good. Some people have had a lot more while others less. The promotion didn’t translate into a lot of sales however that is my lack of planning I think. After the promo was finished, I didn’t keep tweeting about my books and keep the interest going. Something I will do the next time.

My book is now getting a total makeover. The title is changing to Mystique Rising and there is a new cover. It is also being proofread – again – and on June 9 and 10, I am running another free promo. This time I will not check the numbers obsessively and I am doing things earlier. I am presently writing blurbs to put on Craigslist, e-mails, Twitter and Facebook. I will amend them and keep posting once the promotion ends.

That is my experience with KDP-Select. I hope it helps you.

~ Karen Magill is the author of The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story and Let Us Play, A Rock 'n Roll Love Story, also known as Mystique Rising in eBook. All are available on Amazon. She says, "Journey around Vancouver with me as the Vancouver Vagabond at my blog http://www.karen-magill.blogspot.com.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second ediction of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog: