I woke up to this news this morning. (Official press release here.) And I have to say – I’m shocked…and worried. Kudos to Amazon, though. It makes me wonder if their competitors are all:
I know I am, a little bit. The problem is, Amazon tends to roll out incentives to those who publish exclusively to them, and punish those who don’t (KDP program and certain royalty rates). It makes me wonder if I, as a self-published author, will not be able to reap all the benefits Goodreads has to offer because I am not exclusive to Amazon. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to even think about it, considering the majority of my sales now come from iBooks.
On the plus side, I think Amazon can help bring Goodreads into the digital world. So far, Goodreads hasn’t really been integrated into e-readers, and I am sorely disappointed in their smartphone app. Heck – Goodreads doesn’t allow ebooks in their giveaway section. It is print books only.
Until now, Goodreads has been a wonderful ‘crowd-sourcing’, review generating outlet. I hope it doesn’t lean too far toward its for-profit owner, but how could it not?
If Shelfari (Amazon’s other review site) is any indication of what’s to come, we can say goodbye to Goodreads and hello to whatever new book review platform Google or Apple might roll out. Maybe – just maybe, Amazon competitors are cheering…
What do you think?
I’ve been MIA from my blog for awhile. A romp around Canada is to blame – but totally worth it! We caught a myriad of rainbows at Niagara Falls, found out that Montreal natives don’t like kids (or at least don’t like my kids – can’t necessarily blame them), and absolutely fell in love with Quebec City! Anyway, before that, I enrolled ‘The Kindred Curse Anthology‘ in KDP Select and ran some of my first free promo days. In true indie spirit, I’d like to share my experience.
I chose two free days toward the end of March, a Wednesday and Thursday because I was told to do at least two days in a row, allowing time for word to get out. Since Fridays and Saturdays are big ebook buying days, I wanted my book back at normal price by then. As far as advertising, I took the following steps:
– Posts on Facebook, Twitter, my blog and Google+
– Asked several book review bloggers to spread the word, or at least retweet/share my updates
– Created ads for Goodreads and Facebook
– Set up a Goodreads event and invited all my friends; at least one friend invited all her friends as well
– Registered at Pixel of Ink
– Posted announcement on the Kindle Boards
– Registered for posting at All Things Kindle Facebook Page
– Registered at YourBookAuthors.com
– Registered at Snickslist.com
– Registered at www.dianekidman.com
– Posted on Facebook’s Indie Exchange
– Asked the following Twitter services to Tweet my book: @DigitalBkToday @kindleebooks @Kindlestuff @KindleEbooksUK @KindleBookKing @KindleFreeBook @FreeReadFeed @4FreeKindleBook @kindle_promo @writersRT @TweetTheBook @kindlebookreview @indieauthornews
– Added ‘free’, ‘kindlefreebie’, etc. to my tags on the Amazon page
Quick disclaimer; not all advertising worked. For example, I know Pixel of Ink didn’t get around to posting my book – I’m sure they have plenty to post so it is hit or miss with them. It is really hard to say what worked and what didn’t. The only solid evidence I have is from my Goodreads Events; some people that responded ‘yes’ left a comment that they downloaded it. I have not seen any new reviews of the book, and have not seen a jump in sales for any of my other books.
I’m hesitant to post exact numbers for fear of violating any of Amazon’s policies, so let me just say the total number of free downloads was above 1,000 but below 2,000. Personally, I was hoping for a number in the tens of thousands. The number of buys after my free day promo ended is still in the single digits.
So far, KDP Select for me has been a wash. I keep wondering if it is because the type of book I have – a vampire short story anthology, for adults only. Perhaps the first novel of the Akasha Series would do better as more of a traditional fantasy. I have another free day on April 15th coming up, and then again on the 18th and 19th. I’m going to back off the usual social media this time around – no twitter, no facebook, no Goodreads, and try a few different things. One is advertising at World Literary Café.
If ever I would enroll my eco-fantasy series in KDP Select, I might put some more money in my advertising. For example, running a giveaway on Twitter for anyone who retweets my updates for a $25 gift card, and doing a separate but similar giveaway on Facebook. There are several other advertising opportunities that cost, but I’m waiting to hear what works for other authors. I just wish the enrollment period wasn’t so long! Even if it were only 60 days, instead of 90, I’d be more willing to enroll my books.
I’d love to hear from you! Authors – what has your experience been with KDP? Readers – where oh where do you find new books (and more specifically – free books) to read? Please comment!