Rethinking KDP Free
My overview take is that KDP Select is good for new authors with a little bit of a funnel but once you get more known, you want to give your book value by not giving them away free.
I think there is a threshold where you can only give away so many books before it doesn't justify the means.
Here is what I've found ~ with some promotion, a little hype with twitter we were able to get one under 10,000 downloads with one title and we so far have gotten an extra 13 reviews (so far) from the effort.
I don't think KDP Free is what it was, and it may continue to decline, but doing free in a smart way is still the way to attract new readers to you. I still do a free promotion, but in other forums.
ACTION ITEM: Try FREE in places like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Kindle.
I love bookbaby. I was totally planning on using bookbaby to distribute my author, Patricia A. Knight. I had everything just about set.
But I couldn't click the button to finalize the deal!
And I've finally figured out why.
I want control. Simple as that.
~ Downside; I have to check on 20 different dash boards to see sales.
~ Upside; I get to check on 20 different platforms to see sales.
Stephanie--WTF? What do you mean you don't want to have all the dashboards convieniently in one place?
Ummm...that's an upside to bookbaby, but what I realized while filling out the ONE form was--every platform does things a little bit different. How can ONE form complete everything for all platforms? For instance, Kobo allows me 3 catagories. Amazon 2. All romance is a different story as well.
And what if I want to update the book? I'd have to pay for each upload. Another deterrent (for me). I upload my author's books 6 times every month because "we found a comma out of place - fix it!"
See--who says publishers don't listen to their authors?
But I started hyperventilating because I have to get this book on all 200 sites TODAY!
No, Stephanie. No you don't. So I'm taking the advice I give my authors. One thing everyday. <--- ACTION ITEM.
I can do that. In a month the book will be everywhere. Once it's in place, the terror trio can slay the world!
Sometimes I have crit partners that want to swap pages and see if we "mesh" together. This is what I tell them:
Crit partners are invaluable.
I don't care if you have different styles of writing, different opinions of writing, different methods, and opposite plot methods.
Each one of my crit partners I cherish. Even the ones that don't "get" me. Even the ones that want to reword everything, change all the structure, and correct the intentional misspellings.
Because they are giving me a completely different point of view. I've known others that just want someone who "gets" their writing. But I have a different take.
I am secure in my writing, I know what works for me. I like to see what doesn't work for other people, understand where they are coming from with their comments and decide whether I want to change it or not. The reason for that is because I can expand into other points of view, and it gives my characters a depth that maybe I don't have or see.
None of it is a waste of time because I got the benefit of looking at the same piece through different eyes and the crit partner got to learn how they would or would not "do" a scene, construct a sentence or term a phrase.
When I take on a crit partner, I'm their student. When I crit, I'm their teacher. Taking critique is an art form of leaving emotional attachment behind. I do not get offended if people strip out passages of text. I can leave it or not. Only I can really see the reason for each sentence, each word.
Sometimes I might not "get" it until several passages later and that may be what my crit partner wants. Even that is helpful to point to and say, "Aha! I’m making her feel this way…awesome let me twist the knife now."
If I know what the goal is for the chapter, story or character I can help you in that I can say you’ve achieved the goal by me.
I love getting feedback just on general all-around "feel" of the story. And almost anything that comes to mind. But you, my crit partners, promise to take my suggestions with a grain of salt.
Look at all my comments as a plea to understand you and the story. Realize that I’m trying to both read as a fan and edit with a shrewd mind trying to make a scene the way you want the reader to feel. For me, my crit partners help me create my worlds, help me focus on discrepancies I’ve overlooked, and shape the story just as much as I have.
And that is what a crit partner should always be. It's a relationship where both parties set aside worry for how the author will feel about this or that comment.
If a crit partner can't speak freely, then you can't improve, you can't trust what their saying isn't watered down and you don't get needed feedback. People will withhold information that could be useful.
We forget that different minds will read your creation and interpret it differently. A crit partner is your gauge. Don't abuse them by disqualifying their feelings, thoughts and suggestions.
It's the author that must discern whether to keep or toss the advice depending on how you want the story to make the reader feel. Crit partners are the guage to help you achieve that.
ACTION ITEM: When critiquing, only say what you're feeling for one trade-off. See if it works for your crit partner.
Launch Day! Hers To Command
For those in the know...Hers To Command was available Monday! But today is the official launch day. My most generous author was giving ARC's (Advanced Reader Copy) away like candy canes.
Majority said they absolutely loved the book! He's the blurb:
Conte Camliel Aristos deTano, Ari, has long spurned the marriage forced upon him. His contractual bride, Princess Fleur Constante, the beautiful future queen though young and inexperienced, is willing to risk everything, including her own sanity, to save her planet.
The inhabitants of the sentient planet, Verdantia, are poised on the precipice of extinction following a brutal invasion by an off-world, nomadic horde. Verdantia’s capital, Sylvan Mintoth, must have its failing energy shield restored, or the planet is doomed. The Elders know the shield can draw energy from only one thing—a very arduous and grueling coupling of two specific people who were pre-chosen by the planet Herself and promised by prearranged marriage contract.
Verdantia draws strength from the duo, but the sentient planet whispers to Ari that a third is necessary – Ari’s aide de camp, Visconte Doral deLorion, an angelically handsome, skilled assassin who silently surrendered his heart to Ari long ago.
The trio struggles to make this surprising partnership harmonious, pushing through pride, scars of past abuse, fears of inexperience and distrust. To save Verdantia, they must overcome their individual weaknesses and realize their full potential. Only the tetriarch and their combined synergy, can harness Verdantia’s immense power to shield its citizens from invasion.
I can't tell you how excited I am that this is OUT! We've been working on this for 9 months and I've been on such a ride!
I've made a life-long friendship with a storyteller that I will always read (Patricia). I've met my future publicist (Travis), I've made a connection with a talented cover artist that "gets" me (Truenotdreams), and I've discovered my metal.
Publishing is by no means easy. But it's the best job I've ever had. I'm in the right place no matter if it's the right time--but it feels like it--and the learning curve is steep. But this book, this one book feels like a triumph.
I got to see it from beginning to end. It's really made the advice of "every book has a team" visceral for me. No matter if they are self or traditionally published each book takes a team of members to produce. I'm amazed at those who were involved in this effort because it does feel like a child.
It makes me feel like I might know what I'm doing. Just a smidgeon.
Go Buy the best Sci~Fi menage book out there!
Kindle Free Days!
Today is the first day of Luke's Tale KDP promo!
Click the picture to get your download!
And while I love Amazon and the Indie tools they provide, I can't help but feel that this type of promo is getting more difficult for new authors to use successfully.
In January, I was still confident in the KDP Select program. I still felt it was a good deal being exclusive and having a promotion to plan.
I believe the KDP program still works, but for relatively known authors.
Somewhere between January and now, the KDP Select program seems to have shifted to give better known authors a chance to gain more readers.
When I signed on, KDP Select still gave new authors the edge to get known. But here's what I've noticed.
~ I can't find the FREE eBooks section on Amazon even when I search.
~ Free ebook lists have cut down on the number of free books they'll feature.
~ There are tons of books going free and uploaded to Amazon every day.
~ There are more books that are free than one can read in a lifetime.
~ Free seekers aren't necessarily your market.
~ It takes about 20,000 downloads to make a bump in sales. (And that's not easy anymore.)
I know you're thinking I'm getting down on KDP Select, but what I'm saying is, this type of promo has changed.
I see free as a viable marketing promotion because I know it works. It's how I got hooked on Sylvia Day, Michelle West and a few others. But, the free thing needs to be done wisely.
I'm still in. I'm still experimenting and I'm still waiting to see what this promo retrieves. I'll find out! For now, click on the picture and get your copy!
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
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