This is such a fascinating topic. I’m for DIVERSIFY.
Here’s why. Christmas before last, KDP Select was new. I jumped in. I did FABULOUS with my royalties in Dec/Jan and then in February everything tanked. I don’t know why, this was just my experience. I had no other channels to make up the shortfall and all my eggs were in the Amazon basket. This was pretty stressful for me. Amazon has blazed the trail for indie authors, so I was really all about jumping in with them and had no question that what they were proposing would be good for my sales and that KDP Select was going to be the best way to have my books find their audience. But, it didn’t turn out that way for me. Now, I have lots of author friends who worked their KDP select titles AMAZINGLY and had just the opposite experience. They did their free days and promoted them very successfully and shot to the top of their categories and then the momentum led them to carry great ratings in their categories after the free period. But, this was not the case for me. For me, the five day free downloads were big, not huge, but big. By the time the free days were over I shot to the bottom of the paid rankings and then gained a little bit of momentum in my book’s categories but not enough to keep any one of them on top for long. It was thrilling seeing the books go to the top for however short a period of time though.
IMHO, all my eggs in one basket isn’t a good idea. I mean, I wouldn’t just buy one stock for retirement, right? I wouldn’t tell my child to just have one friend. IDK, it’s kind of like that for me. And I came to this realization when I talked to a friend and AMAZING author Chanda Hahn. We were at the 4th Annual Pacific Northwest Book Festival in downtown Portland, OR and in between chats with readers and runs to Starbucks we talked about today’s topic. Chanda told me that her titles took off on iBooks. That it never got the mo’ on Amazon the way they did on iBooks. I thought that was interesting.
After 13 on Halloween & Winnemucca came off the KDP Select period I marketed them on other channels. December 2012, 30% of my sales were from channels other than Amazon. Amazon is where the most free downloads from 13 on Halloween (Shadow Series #1) take place, the second most frequent place readers download 13 on Halloween is Page Foundry, in third place was Sony. Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2) sold the most on Smashwords & Apple. Winnemucca sold the most on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble last month. Transfer Student sold the most on Amazon. So, Chanda got me to realize that books have their own sales energy. And while one title might do great on Amazon, another title might take off on a different channel for no particular reason. So, heck, I’m up for my stories finding their readers anyway they can. And even if I only get an occasional reader off of Apple so be it. I’ll take that sale
Every month is different but the trend for me has been that 30% of my sales have been from other channels and I’d hate to marginalize those readers. IMHO, one size doesn’t fit all. So, what’s your take? As a reader, are you happy when you can get your books anyway you want? Or, are you a loyal Amazon Prime Borrower? I’d love to know.
As an author, I do enjoy when a reviewer needs a certain kind of format and I’m able to offer it to them. It’s great to not have to sweat the exclusivity issue!
This is just my IMHO. There’s as many opinions on this as authors So, if you want to find out what the other carnis’ experience has been check them out by clicking here! Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by. I thought I’d share this pic of these salt & pepper shakers. My mom was in the hospital and my sis took dad out for a little lunch at his favorite Thai food place and there, on the table were these cuties. You know how when you’re just spent and could use a little hug. Well, that’s what I was when I saw these guys. I hope they make you feel good if you need a little hug today!