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Monday, June 13, 2016

Should I Use KDP Select? Guest Post by Terri Main

Recently, Terri Main and I had a lively conversation via a marketing group about KDP Select. We have very different opinions on its current effectiveness, and I asked if I could post her email to me on this blog so she could share her thoughts and experience. I think, as she says, you need to figure out what works for you and go with it. Knowledge is always key when it comes to marketing.

I (Lorilyn Roberts) have taken all my books out of KDP Select and can't imagine using it again. Its effectiveness for me has been so minuscule the last couple of years that I prefer not to bother with it and instead have opted for greater exposure on other sites, including Smashwords, bookstores, audiobooks, and website marketing. Terri's points are valid, though,  for KDP Select, and because it's something all authors should try at least once, I wanted to share what she shared with me.

Here's Terri's Thoughts 

This is one we can go around and around about. I know, because I've been interacting with people for five years on this subject. I still see a big bump in sales after a well promoted free promotion. However, it is across my entire inventory.  I see significant increases. In fact the two or three days after a big free promotion are usually double my norm. Now, less well promoted ones it's more like a 20-25% increase. 


And this is the biggie. What works for one person may not work for another. You have to find what works for you. It's like the old joke about the economy. Ask five economists what's going to happen with the economy and you'll get five different answers. Six if one went to Harvard. 

Each of us have different audiences and genres. Free promos for my Bible studies do phenomenally well in the after promotion period. Usually within a week, I will get a bunch of people all in a one to two day period downloading the book. What happened? I can only speculate, but after 30 years in marketing and 64 in church I can make a good guess. Some teachers were out there doing a search of Bible studies. One or more ran across mine for free. They read it and liked it, then the next week or two they adopted it for the class and a bunch of students stated to download it or borrow it through Kindle unlimited. 

Now, with my Science Fiction/mystery novels, following a free promo, I'll get a bunch of downloads of other books in that series. 

However, I see very little effect for standalone fiction. And I suspect that standalone fiction for someone with only one or two books out will not do as well either. 

Plus, we all have different fans. 

The bottom line is you have to experiment. Test. Retest. Keep what works for you and throw out what doesn't. Listen to everyone, but test everything for yourself. 

I look at two top indie authors, for instance, Russell Blake and Hugh Howey. They are both very successful and very different in their approaches. Of course, they are also both very good writers. But they understand their individual markets and do what works for them. 


I hope some of you will leave a comments and tell us about your experience. Sharing of information is the best way to help all of us with marketing our books,  so please let us hear from you. 

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