Contrary to how some of my posts may sound, with the exception of giving your book away (that’s still just freaking stupid in my opinion), I am not against any author trying any of the things previously mentioned. I believe that in certain genres some of those things work very well for the people involved. I also think that if you are committed to being a high seller then some of those things are incredibly important to do. They just aren’t all for me.
Lest you think that I’m unwilling to try anything, I spent several weeks considering the options available and I’ve decided to try Prime on Kindle. The idea behind Prime as I mentioned previously, is that Amazon buyers (readers) pay an annual membership fee of $79 and this entitles them to a wide variety of Amazon benefits. One of those is the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which entitles members of Prime to download and read a participating author’s book at no charge. The difference between this and “Free” is that Amazon pays the author a sum of money for each download. In my case, it will be less than I would earn if my book sold, but there are side benefits to trying this course of actions.
There are pros and cons to all things and I like to know what they are before I jump. So let me share what I’ve learned.
The negative – According to Amazon’s fact page for the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Prime members are entitled to the following.
One book can be borrowed at a time, and there are no due dates. You can borrow a new book as frequently as once a month, directly on your registered Kindle device, and you will be prompted to return the book that you are currently borrowing.
As frequently as once a month??? Let me just go all wimpy and whiney here for a moment. A reader gets one free download a month and I’m expecting them to choose me over all the options that they have? Why would they choose me? Okay, I’m done now. Moving on…
The other negative – Your book must be exclusive to Amazon for the 90 day period that it’s offered in the Prime program. So, even though several of your loyal readers own Nooks, you can’t offer it through Barnes and Noble during this time.
So why’d I do it? Because for me there are a few positives that make it worth trying.
#1 – My book gets seen by a group of people that might not normally see me. And in this business it’s all about getting seen. It’s a narrower field. If you’re lumped in with 50,000 other books and your sales ranking is low, you won’t get seen. The less you are seen, the less opportunity there is to sell. On Prime, you may be one of only 1,000 other books, which puts you higher up in the search order. If you have a positive review, and others don’t, you may be even higher in that search order.
#2 – I get paid for the borrow. The program has all the benefits of a giveaway, without being a giveaway.
#3 – My book remains for sale on Amazon. My regular price is visible, so the Prime member sees what it is and recognizes that there is a value in the opportunity to download my book through this program. Prime should not affect my normal average sales. Nor should it piss off the people who already spent money on my book. I hate paying for something only to have it go on sale, or worse yet, be given away for free.
#4 – My book is higher priced than the average. You might not think that would be a positive, but I do. Just a thought here – but why the hell would I, as a Prime member, use my one download per month on a 99¢ book or a book that has already been offered for free? I’m using mine on a book that’s a little higher in cost. I paid for that membership – I’m getting the most out of it. I’m already willing to pay good money for my favorite authors, I’m using my freebie on someone that I want to try.
#5 – There is a potential for an increase in sales in my other books. If they like the one they downloaded, then perhaps they are willing to spend the money for the other ones.
The positives appear to outweigh the negatives so I’m giving it a shot. I’ve put A Shared Fear in the Prime program for 90 days. It’s currently not offered on Barnes on Noble due to the exclusive requirements of Prime. I’m tracking the sales ranking and the numbers and I’ll let you know how it works out.
Cross your fingers for me.