It’s been almost two weeks since A Shared Fear was enrolled in KDP Select (how it’s known to the author) Prime (the membership program for the Amazon buyer/reader), so it’s way too soon to talk about whether Prime will have an impact on anything. However, in my conversations with other people several things came up that were worth talking about in your consideration of whether to try Select.
I chose A Shared Fear because Protecting Parker has a proven track record of sales over the last year, which makes it a good baseline for seeing if lending and views from Prime drives sales of my other books. A Shared Fear has not moved well on Barnes and Noble and since I have to take the book off B&N to participate in Select, why not use the one that isn’t moving. Stuck in Korea Time is still fresh, so I don’t have a track record with it at this point. My Blood Link series is a different genre and shouldn’t be impacted in this case.
I am looking at KDP Select purely as a marketing tool to drive sales in this instance.
#1 – It would seem to work best for people with at least three or more books available. You need to have a catalog of books available for the newly interested reader to purchase. If you only have one book for sale, WHY in the world would you even consider doing Select? If the reader borrows your book and likes you, the most you can gain is a positive review, a “like” and maybe a website subscriber. If you have no books ready to go, then by the time you publish your next one, the reader has already moved on and likely forgotten your name.
#2 – You should only put up one book at a time. The idea is to draw new readers through one book so they purchase the others. If you have all of your books up and they adore you, then they will download your other books rather than purchase them.
#3 – Perhaps only one or two books per year. Put up your first book and then wait six to eight months before putting up another book. Aside from #2, you need to realize that there are only so many people enrolled in Prime, if they have seen you and bought your other books, they are not coming back to buy them again. However, in six months to a year there will be a whole new group of people who have bought into Prime and you could then be in a position to acquire new readers.
#4 – If you are writing in different genres then try one book of each, but not at the same time. My standalone books are classified as fiction in the category of suspense. I consider myself to have a military component and romantic elements. My Blood Link series is about military vampires, which places them firmly in paranormal. Two totally different groups of readers. I’ll be releasing The Civilian – Blood Link III soon. When A Shared Fear ends its run on Select, I will put up Blood Link (the first book). By giving Prime members a look at the first book in the series, perhaps it will interest them enough to buy the next two in the series. It is conceivable that the people who like the paranormal books would buy the standalones, but the readers of the standalones are less likely to purchase the paranormal.
#5 – Don’t expect miracles. This is but one more tool and one more opportunity.
I do not for one minute believe that KDP Select will “make you or break you” and you shouldn’t panic if nothing exciting happens. You may not notice a jump in numbers, but this is one of the few things that costs you nothing to try.
I’ll let you know at the end of the 90 days what the trends were.