Saturday, 3 March 2012

KDP Select - my experience so far

Peter Cook in 'Bedazzled', about to do a bit of devilish tempting
I was an early adopter of KDP Select; my first 90 day contract ends 6th March 2012. Initially I was dubious as to how I would benefit, but trusted that Amazon would make it worth my while, and I sold so few copies via Smashwords I had little to lose.

Tentatively, at the end of January I tried a two day giveaway of Replica, at the same time raising the price to £1.99/$2.99, thus moving up to the 70% royalty from 35%. It did pretty well; from selling 395 copies in January, it sold 744 in February, plus 40 loans to Amazon Prime members at $1.60 each. So mid-February, I made Remix free for two days and increased the price. Remix sold 4,343 copies that month, plus 325 loans at $2.01. I have sold more books in other months, but I have never made so much money.

What KDP Select does is increase visibility and allow you to reach readers who might not otherwise come across your books. Amazon benefits from the upheavals in the charts, with a constant supply of new books showing up to tempt buyers.

Many see KDP Select as part of Amazon's evil scheme to gain world domination. Let me quote  Robert Bidinotto on the subject:

Gosh, what a devious plot Amazon has going: 
They keep throwing MONEY at us authors, and keep offering us NEW OPPORTUNITIES, always trying to make us HAPPY, so that we continue to deal with THEM rather than their competitors!
How can we POSSIBLY allow this ruthlessly manipulative scheme to continue?? 
Shouldn't we be giving Amazon's inferiors a fighting chance???

Nah. I  shall be signing on for another 90 days.


  1. When you say "325 loans" - as in lending? Just wondered!

    Here's to another fabulous Amazonian 90 days for you and your books!! Yay! Take care

  2. Kitty, Amazon Prime members (in the US, not here yet) are allowed to borrow one book a month for free. Authors get paid a share of a pot which changes each month. Last month it was $600,000, and that worked out at $2.01 per loan.

  3. It sounds as if you've done well from it, Lexi. Long may it continue.

    ps I like Replica's new cover. Maybe you changed it a while back and I only just noticed but it did catch my eye which is what it's there for, right?!

  4. I changed Replica's cover yesterday to see if it affects sales. Also because I love playing around in Adobe Photoshop...

  5. My mum says: Be honest, Lexi, you just like pictures of tall old houses, don't you? She's really glad to hear you are doing so well and I'm wagging my tail like mad for you.

  6. Young Cassie, you know nothing of the joy of discovering how to make vector brushes and similar things in Adobe Photoshop. It's terribly addictive. And I do like architectural details.

  7. This is the first I have seen about the per loan payout amount for February. With the number of borrows you had that is a nice bit of change! I do believe my prediction made at least a couple of years ago about you being well on your way to "making it" as a writer has come true in a very real way. Congratulations!

  8. I remember your saying that, Alan. It was longer than two years ago - back when we were all thinking in terms of getting an agent and a traditional publishing contract, little knowing how difficult it would be. Who could have predicted the seismic upheavals in publishing that have happened since?