|Posted by bigceebee on July 8, 2013 at 3:05 PM|
In December 2011, the Great Zon gave life to KDP Select, a program offering Kindle authors and publishers particular promotional tools in exchange for exclusive distribution of the digital versions of enrolled works. In a nutshell, by enrolling one’s ebook in the program for ninety days, it was:
a) Included in the Kindle Owners Lending Library with a sum payable from a fund each time it was borrowed and,
b) Granted five promotion days per ninety day enrolment period during which it could be “sold” for free.
Some, myself included, were sceptical at first and even somewhat annoyed with the exclusivity clause. However, after giving the program some thought, I, like many others, decided to give it a shot. A first attempt with Asylum in February 2012, resulted in just under 15,000 downloads and a slight bump-up in sales.
A month later, from March 20th to 22nd, Vigilante was available for free and 25,626 copies were downloaded which pushed the book to #9 in the Free Kindle store. Post promo, I saw Vigilante soar to #211 in the Paid Kindle store and sold a couple of thousand copies over the next month.
Further promotions were scheduled with other titles from April to June, each resulting in downloads ranging from 5,500 to 12,000 and little subsequent sales effects. However, another Vigilante promotion in late June 2012 (22,324 downloads) generated another 1,500+ units sold in the month which followed. Promotions in following months with lesser download volumes had close to zero impact on sales.
With the experience of several promotions under my belt, a clear pattern had emerged. If I managed to give away 20,000+ books during a promotion, I could expect to sell 1,000-2,000 copies in the following month. Late in November, I ran a promotion with the first three titles of my series and saw a whopping 87,421 downloads over a two day period, almost 38,000 of which were Vigilante. Over 3,300 copies of that book alone sold in the following month as well as several thousand copies of my other titles. Merry Christmas!
A Vigilante promotion in February 2013 with close to 30,000 downloads yielded post promo sales in line with past results. However, another in late April 2013 with almost 29,000 downloads of The Consultant only generated half the expected sales. Much talk had been going around at the time that Amazon algorithms had been modified and the outcome of my promotion supported these speculations.
Then came July… An Amazon glitch, sometimes referred to as “system latencies”, kept my free rankings from being posted for over thirty-eight hours of my two day Vigilante promotion. As a result, the book did not appear on any lists anywhere for most of the promo period, the consequence being lost downloads. In spite of this, 20,496 were downloaded on July 2nd and 3rd. Based on my past experience and that of others, I expected a reasonable upswing in sales following the promotion, right? Alas, to date, the answer is "wrong". Copies of Vigilante sold post promo are as follows:
July 4th – 48 copies
July 5th – 13 copies
July 6th – 6 copies
July 7th – 13 copies
July 8th – Nada as I write this piece
Total – 80 copies
Several others have informed me of similar results of late…
So, my dear KDP Select Promotions, though the thought saddens me greatly, I fear you are no longer with us. Should this be the case, may you rest in peace and know that you will be missed.
The Great Zon giveth and the Great Zon taketh away…
And now to determine, what exactly are the benefits of exclusivity?
Haven't read Vigilante yet? It's right here at Amazon.com