Friday, January 27, 2012

Oh I Just Remembered This Part

Kindle Select.  That's where people BORROW books and then Amazon compensates the writers bountifully for being in the program.  That's why they want your books the borrowing part. 


Some people have had their books borrowed 1000's of times!  Wow!  Boy are they going to be compensated bountifully.  For the rest of us, not so much.

I've had 5 borrows this month which totally shock me.  I expected none given my off-genre books. 

Here's the reality.  You know by looking at your sales figures this morning if people are going to want to borrow your book.  If the book's been out for a while and it's selling vibrantly, people will borrow it.  If it's not selling, Kindle Select will not help people to want to borrow it.  Sorry.  That's the truth.

There are only a few categories that sell wildly.  If you're not in those categories, Kindle Select probably won't help.  This is not a program that is designed to help US sell books.  It's a program that Amazon came up with to create a literary Netflix.  Jeff sweetened the pot to get us to help him, but it's really not about us.  Oh yeah it can be great for some, but if it was for all of us like with promo pages and ads and links and running  billboards and featured items in rotation and bells and whistles and contests and cotton candy on a stick, more people would be reporting fabulous experiences.  And they're just not.

I read a post yesterday by Cheryl Tardiff at her blog Cheryl K. Tardiff Go read all the numbers and she kept track.  See what her experience was.  Really, you should.  Snipped from her note on a mailing list--

The grand total of free downloads was 42,886. Almost 43,000 readers have my ebooks and I have more titles for them to buy later.

After sales: not noticeable.

Let that sink in.   43,000 downloads and no spike in sales.

How much money did she lose?  Let me ask another question.  Cheryl worked hard to write those books.  She lived life, she probably gave up a lot to do this existence as a writer.  How many of those (adjectives and adverbs dropped) readers appreciate her effort enough to turn around and support her by buying her other books?

We don't know the answer to that do we.  Except for After sales: not noticeable.

I will say I often download books for later so 42,000 people did not fire up their Kindles to read Cheryl's books that night.  Some did, most didn't.  Maybe this will be a big help.

What I think I know is that 42,000 people won't be buying those books because they got them for free.  And that's a lot of money to kiss bye-bye to.

I'll repeat it again.  Do not give anything valuable away.

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