Amazon’s KDP Select free days when resulting in large numbers of downloads used to greatly increase sales after the free days were over. This may no longer be true.
While authors should not have all their book marketing eggs in one basket, Kindle Direct Publishing’s Select option has been very beneficial for many authors. But what if this option has jumped the shark?
Recently I read Jeff Bennington’s ebook WINNING WITH KDP SELECT: 5 STEPS TO HIT #1 IN THE AMAZON FREE STORE and followed his steps for KDP Select free days for my women’s friendship novel MRS. LIEUTENANT.
I ended up having a bifurcated campaign because of the date that BookBub had available for a paid ad. I can affirm that this particular ad was very successful, resulting in thousands and thousands of downloads. And the free days the following week were decently successful.
And then almost nothing, which was surprising given the current general belief that each free download counts as 1/10 of a sale, thus attracting the attention of Amazon’s search algorithms.
In a Twitter DM exchange with another author I may have found the answer to why a massive number of downloads resulted in almost no new sales:
The author told me: “Amazon does not convert free to paid ranking in any way.”
When I asked where KDP Select says this (so I could include the link in a blog post), the author replied: I emailed support with this Q: “Can you explain to me how the Free to Paid ranking conversion works?” That was their answer.
Disclaimer: Because this is a reply from an individual KDP rep it may not accurately reflect company policy. Or it may mean something other than what it appears to mean.
On the other hand, this does seem to indicate that the major benefit of KDP Select with its free days may have jumped the shark.
Do other authors have opinions on this apparent change?
And what legitimate strategies can we use now to get our books in front of prospective readers?
P.S. I had to grit my teeth and follow the advice in Theo Rogers’ ebook HOW TO GET GOOD REVIEWS ON AMAZON: A GUIDE FOR INDEPENDENT AUTHORS & SELLERS to restrain from commenting on a negative review.
One reader of an apparent free download really objected to elements of MRS. LIEUTENANT and was brutal in her attack on the book in an Amazon review. I do wonder, though, whether she thought the book was nonfiction. (See my post “Help! Kindle Is Misrepresenting My Novel MRS. LIEUTENANT as Nonfiction.”)
© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY.