Thursday, March 22, 2012

Giving It Away. Are Free Promotions Really Worth It?

   Amazon has done much for the self publishing industry. They were one of the first companies to offer the revolutionary self published eBook. They have consistently made new ways for the Independent author to promote and sell their work, but, as an author we have to pick and chose wisely what promotions we use.

photo courtesy of Scott Chan and
   There is heavy debate in the self publishing forums about KDP Select and their free promotion. I myself have used this service and been severely disappointed with the results. For those of you who have not used KDP Select yet, I will break down the terms and rules.

   KDP Select is a way for authors to offer their books in the KOLL ( Kindle Owners Lending Library). For every book that gets borrowed by Amazon Prime members, the author earns a percentage of a monthly pot set up specifically for KDP Select members. The pot can vary from month to month but has been holding steady at 600,000 dollars for the last couple of months.

   In joining KDP Select you agree to two things, your book can be borrowed by prime members, and you sign an exclusivity contract with KDP. For ninety days you give KDP the sole rights to distribute your book. This means you are not allowed to publish your book any where but Amazon for 90 days. Agreeing to theses terms gives you the right to KDP's free promotion feature. No they won't promote your book for you, instead they allow you to give your book away for free for any five days  during your ninety day enrollment. Note that no royalties are earned during these free promotions.

   Now here comes the debate.Is giving your book away for free really worth it? Some have said that after a free promotion a jump in sales of their book soon follow. The theory is that giving it away for free increases visibility and there for, attracts sales. Others, (including me) have found out the hard way that giving your book away for any amount of time just leaves you feeling cheated. It has done absolutely nothing for my sales, and now I've given away books to people who might have possibly paid me for it.

   While most self published authors (if we are realistic) know that self publishing is definitely not the fast track to fame and fortune. But we do believe in our work, we do feel it is worth something. If not, we would be giving it away for free to begin with. I would love for any other self published authors out there to share their view of free give aways with me. Tell me if it has helped your sales, or if it left something to be desired. Share with my blogging family how you promote your works. Until next time, believe in your self and may your muse be with you always.

No comments: