KDP Select: Promotion is still the key to success

BoostBookSalesCvr2I’ve been receiving a lot of questions asking my opinion on KDP Select; i.e. Amazon’s free to Prime Members program.

Being a fairly recent program launched by Amazon I hadn’t heard much talk from other authors and how they perceived it. I read Amazon’s FAQ and their terms and agreement information for KDP Select and thought I fully understood how it worked.

One of my clients is launching a Mega Virtual Book Tour and is trying to get other indie authors to participate. Many of those contacted felt they could not take part because they were members of this ‘select’ group. Jon (Reisfeld, the sponsor of the VBT) and I both re-read the agreement for KDP Select thinking we had missed something we should be aware of. I then contacted Amazon and asked if we misunderstood the agreement and once an author became a member of KDP Select (Prime Select) that author was unable to promote their book.

A prompt answer was received from Amazon affirming our understanding:

  • The author agrees that for 90 days Amazon will be the exclusive seller of the title in question, meaning
    • the book must be pulled from any other sales platform such as Smashwords, the author’s website or blog, etc.
  • Also, no sample or teaser (excerpt or ‘book bite’) may be utilized except on the Amazon product page, however
  • you can continue to distribute your book in physical format, or in any format other than digital.
  • You are not prohibited from promoting your book .

As always you will still want to promote and market your book by whatever means you prefer. Not only is it offered for free under the Prime Select program, which is a strong promotional tool in itself, but during the 90 day exclusivity period you can offer your title to the public at large for FREE for five days.

To get a better idea of how this program benefits authors I enrolled four of my book marketing guides in the KDP Select program and this weekend I also took advantage of two of my five allotted free promotional days. I prescheduled messages promoting the free downloads via HootSuite.com to go out to my social media networks. What was the result?

I am now a Kindle Best Seller…and this took only a few hours to come about!

Had I not promoted the giveaway vigorously no one would have known and my books would not have moved.

This strengthened my belief in two promotional methods:

  1. FREE is a powerful marketing and promotional tool, and
  2. when no effort is put into promoting and marketing your book sales lag, maybe even cease completely.

What does this mean to me (and should also show other authors)? If nothing is prohibiting you from marketing your book then why would you not let everyone know it is available – unless, of course, you didn’t write it with the purpose of having it read.

In the KDP Select program the only exclusivity pertains to sales of your digital format not promotion so why not Boost Book Sales?

Now a Kindle best seller!


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