The Secret Anatomy of KDP Select

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KDP-Select_smallI’ve mentioned before the all-powerful shadow of Amazon algorithms, looming nigh incomprehensibly over any publishing endeavour. That this was not just a great hyperbole, I hope to show in this post, using the experience of four consecutive KDP Select promos in as many months.

1. What’s the Deal?

First, a bit of a background. If you’ve never tried to self-publish with Amazon’s KDP, you may not be aware of the Select program. It’s a program of exclusivity with Amazon’s platform; for 90 days you may not distribute your e-book in any other way. In exchange, your book can be borrowed for free by users of Amazon Prime (which grants a sometime hefty additional income, if you’re lucky) but more importantly, you get 5 days to give your book away for free.

Why would you want to give the work of your life for free? Well, because that’s the best possible way to game Amazon’s algorithms. “Game” is a harsh word here – “utilize” is better, since Amazon seems to have deliberately built their system around Select.

In fact, if you believe hearsay (and there is no other data than hearsay here. No company would ever divulge anything about their search algorithm) Amazon realized Select has too great a power over its market and worked to stem its influence a little. If you read self-publishing blogs from two, three, four quarters ;) ago, a common theme is the reducing effectiveness of Select promos year after year. Perhaps we will see the last throes of the system this year – or perhaps not. Either way, contrary to what many authors report, the promo still works. It just doesn’t work miracles.

Select Chart 1
Sales by day since September 2012. Stars indicate promo days.
2. The Books Have to Move

I used to work in a brick&mortar bookstore many years ago. One of the first rules I’ve learned is that books have to move around. Even the greatest best-seller must one day be removed from the prime slot, to make way for a newcomer. There are many reasons for it, but the rule is sound, and all good stores use it. Somebody recently explained it in a perfect way – I can’t remember the source of the quote, please comment if you know:

“If you have a book like the Lord of the Rings, which will always sell 20 copies a day no matter what, and a new book which might sell 15 copies a day, there’s no point in keeping the Lord of the Rings on the best-seller display. You move it to the back, and let the readers discover the new book, instead.”

This is what Amazon’s algorithms do: they change the discoverability of the books around. They are the equivalent of the bookstore clerk. And just like the bookstore clerk needs to be told what books to put on which shelf, so do the algorithms need to learn about your book. This is where KDP Select comes in. A successful promo tells the algorithm: “this book has potential. Put it on display instead of that other one. Let the people see it.”

Select Chart 2
Cumulative Sales by Day. Stars indicate promo days.
3. What is a “Successful” KDP Promo?

Let me tell you first what a not successful one looks like. You will notice in the charts that my third promo – third star – had almost no impact on the sales. This was my benchmark: a giveaway lasting only one day, one that I almost didn’t mention anywhere on the social networks, and didn’t buy any ads for, just let it run its course. It was an abject failure, by any measure.

A successful giveaway must count in thousands. Three thousand is a good start. Ten thousand is better. Breaking into the best seller charts for free books is a must; breaking into Top 10 in your genre is great; breaking into Top 100 total is a guarantee of a long-lasting success.

As you can see from the charts, each giveaway resulted in bigger spike in sales than the previous one. But also, each time I gave away more books than the last time. But there is something else you can read from the charts, something that’s very interesting and tells you a lot about the power of the algorithm:

Regardless of how big the initial spike was, each bump eventually drops down to pre-spike levels. And fast.

selectchart_3
Sales by Week since September 2012
4. We Know Major Tom’s a Junkie

The drops in sales are automatic, regular, unstoppable and easy to predict after a while. Once the algorithm asserts that your time in the spotlight is up, that’s it. The sales can halve overnight, without any apparent reason. And because your success was too quick to build any loyal following (see below) it eventually fizzles out without a trace.

This is a brilliant strategy – for Amazon. The Select quickly becomes addictive. The spike in sales is like a heroin rush, and the drop is like a withdrawal downer – with the promise of another rush as soon as you succumb to another exclusivity period. And of course, the strategy would not work if the program wasn’t so damn effective.

It’s all in the scale. The algorithm shows your book to millions of readers; there is no ad that reaches more people, no social network campaign. And yes, most of them will not be interested in it; others will just download it for the heck of it, and never read it. But a tiny percentage here equals a whole lot of people.  And as this last chart shows, this tiny percentage of readers will likely move on to your next book, and then the next; and the algorithms will pick up your other books and present them to other readers, and so on – the wheel will keep turning, slower and slower, until it grinds to a halt eventually, unless you go for another promo. But before it does, you will have sold more books than you could have imagined.

selectchart_4
Sales of “The Year of the Dragon” saga, by volume. Volume 1 is the only one that’s ever been in KDP Select.
5. So What’s the Bad News?

So I suppose the only question that remains is: what are the negatives of using KDP Select?

There is one distinct disadvantage of this system. It misses the target. If your book’s demographics is broad enough, this may not be a problem; then again, if it’s broad enough, you may not need to use Select at all: your book is likely to sell on its own merit. 

But if you had a specific target in mind, then using Select is the equivalent of trying to shoot at ants with a double-barreled shotgun. Sure, you will hit a few people you wanted to read your book, but in the process you will reach hundreds who couldn’t care less about what you wrote.

If you want to build a loyal following, if you want to reach fans, Select is not the way. You have to do it slowly, in the old-fashioned style.

PS: There are at least two other ways to do what Select does, without exclusivity: use your friends and fans to “bum-rush” the charts, or pay for an expensive ad on one of the few remaining sites that reach thousands of eager readers. I haven’t tried any of these methods yet, but I’ve seen both of them work well.

All the above caveats remain, however: a flash-in-the-pan success is never a good way to build a stable following. It may only serve as a foundation for the real hard work.

You can trace the success of my last Select promo yourself, as between February 4th and 6th “The Shadow of Black Wings” is once again FREE on Amazon.

Letters to the Editor :) Q&A

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Letter
(c) Garry Wilmore, Flickr

I gathered a decent collection of questions over the last few weeks/months, and while I try to answer them individually, some questions an answers are worth posting in public for the benefit of others.

Here are a few of them.


My first book has been out for less than a month, with KDP select. (…) Supposing I have another book out in a few months, which I will, do you think it’s worth waiting until then to do the second promotion?

Definitely. A book in a series is far more popular with readers. The possibility to try the first volume of a saga is irresistible; a stand-alone book is just not rewarding enough for the effort of downloading.

Did you try to have your free promo days coincide with author interviews, or guest posts on blogs?

Not really. Unless you can secure a place on a blog with several thousand daily views, the boost from these is insignificant. You really need to reach thousands of readers; even if you gain a hundred downloads from a guest post (which I find unlikely – the conversion rate for blog posts is minimal) it’s nowhere near enough to make a difference.

How long do you stay on KDP select before the returns diminish? I’d like to leave them after six months.

I did not yet get to that point. There are millions of readers out there, and I feel I’ve only really scratched the surface.

What does diminish are returns from paid ads. The Big Four (PoI, ENT, KND and BookBub) serve an audience that is relatively big, but not infinite. Sooner or later everyone who’s subscribed to these services will have seen your ad, and then you have to come up with another way of reaching your audience.

Note that many writers have one of their books free permanently – and the popular ones keep being downloaded just as they have been on day one. So the potential for giveaways is enormous.

How did you get a review from Publisher’s Weekly? I thought they only did trad pub books. 

I’ve reached semi-finals of ABNA in 2012. A reward for that is a review from PW.

That said, PW now offers paid packages for indies in their “PW Select” program, which include an official review. They are a bit too expensive for my taste, though. If you’re interested, you can find the details here.

Did the promos and free downloads result in more reviews for your books? And did those free downloaders have good things to say, or was it, “I like romance! This isn’t romance! One star!”?

Yes and yes. I got three times as many reviews for Vol. 1 as for Vol. 2 and 3, which were never on Select, so it certainly helped. And yes, I got some bad reviews for vol. 1 from people who obviously didn’t care for the genre or the type of the story, and happened upon my book by pure accident.

I want to know who did your book covers. I love the pseudo-anime art style! I’d like to hire them for my own book covers, if possible. 

I’ve worked with three great artists so far. The covers to “The Shadow of Black Wings” and “The Warrior’s Soul” was drawn by Sakimichan. The cover to “The Islands in the Mist” (and upcoming “The Rising Tide”) was created by Sulev Daekazu, and the cover to “Dragonbone Chest” was drawn by Collette J Ellis.

I’ve just begun using Goodreads as a serious method of promoting my writing, and as a fellow writer, I was wondering if you have any advice you can provide regarding obtaining more reviews and reads?

These days there are many places where you can look for reviewers; simply Google “indie book reviews” and follow the first few links. You can also look for dedicated groups on Goodreads, like Making Connections.

Two things to keep in mind: 1) good reviewers will always be busy (booked for months ahead). Be wary of anyone who has free slots immediately (unless they’re just starting) or even solicit reviews themselves. There’s always a catch. And 2) never pay for reviews. The only acceptable fee is a free copy of your book. (unless you’re fully aware of the dodgy moral implications of the move and decide to do it anyway. Then my only advice to you is: make sure you get good value for your money).

I offer poetry collections that are available in full on Goodreads and a couple external sources, as they’re non-profit. Any tips?

I’m afraid I know next to nothing about selling poetry. I can only guess that unless you’ve won some prestigious contests and started featuring in magazines, it will be impossible to earn anything decent (and even then it will be difficult. Poetry does not sell).

As a fellow author I’d be really interested in any advice or tips you could offer. Thanks a lot and great job!

Keep reading my blog! ;) I’ll be writing about giving good and bad advice in my next post (and a list of places where you can find good advice), so that may be useful for you.

Please let me know when “The Rising Tide” is available.

I’m aiming for an April release, but whether it will be nearer the beginning or the end of the month, I cannot say (but let’s assume the end, to be on the safe side :).

I have a query concerning formatting ebooks. When I paste in the code above the body tag as per point 3 in the first article, I get the following I/O error message: Cannot save: java.io.CharConversionException: Failed to encode the character ‘″’ (U+2033) at column 19 in line 1 with the encoding “windows-1252″. Have you any thoughts why this might be?

In JEdit, go to Utilities -> Buffer Options -> Character Encoding – Switch to UTF-8

Contact phone number. How long have you been business . Number of books you format each year. Thank you Odinhouse.

Uh… I’m sorry, do we know each other? Also, my name is not Odinhouse…

90 sites to advertise your book

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kindleAs far as I’m aware, this is the most comprehensive list of book promo sites anywhere on the internet. The list was compiled from various online sources, most notably – Rachelle’s Window (go there and thank her! :) she also lists Alexa rankings for the sites) and my own research. As of posting this on August 10th 2014, all the links below are working. Note that I can’t guarantee that the sites themselves are still working, that the forms lead anywhere, or that you will actually get anything for your money.

Majority of these sites advertise books when they’re free, as part of KDP Select or Smashword promo. If you want to promote a paid book, you usually need to pay extra.

If you think I’m missing something, let me know in the comments.

As always, you can express your gratitude by purchasing one of my books :)

. URL Free Ad Paid Ad Comments
. 100 Free Books Guaranteed no longer accepted
. Addicted to eBooks Guaranteed registration required
. Ask David  $15 one-time “promotion pack”
. Author Marketing Club Membership + listing
. Awesome Gang Guaranteed $10
. Bargain eBook Hunter – now Hot Zippy Guaranteed
. Best Indie Books $8-$60, free to premium members Requires registration
. Best Indie Books $8-$60, free to premium members Requires registration
. Bivric Guaranteed Interviews, guest posts
. Book Canyon Guaranteed
. BookBzz Registration required Premium subscription required
. Book Deals Daily $5 $5+
. Bookpinning Guaranteed “Pinterest for Books”
. Book Worm Empire $5-$15 also do paid reviews
. Book Daily Membership + samples
. Book Goodies Guaranteed
. Book Goodies $5
. Book Goodies $25
. Book Goodies For Kids Guaranteed Children only
. Book Matchers Listing + search service
. Bookish Must ask by e-mail
. Book Tweeting Service $29+
. BookBrowse $2-7 pm
. BookBub Various options. $60+ probably most effective right now. Novels only.
. BookBub $40+ May also post deals from other sites
. BookSlut $175-$450
. Daily Free Books Guaranteed $7.5
. Digital Book Today Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
. Digital Book Today Various options, $30+
. eBook Daily Deals Guaranteed
. Eat Sleep Write Book plugs from $50+
. eBook Impresario $20+
. eBooks Habit Guaranteed
. eBooks Habit $10
. eBooks Grow on Trees $20-$60
. eFiction Finds Guaranteed $5+
. eReader Cafe Guaranteed
. English Books XTME $9-$30 No longer guaranteed. For Amazon.de
. EReader News Today Not guaranteed Very limited selection, 4 stars minimum
. Fire Department $50
. Fiverr $5 per service individual people advertising your book
. Flurries of Words $4+
. Free Books Hub $5
. Free Digital Reads Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
. Free eBooks untested
. Free Kindle Books Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
. Free Kindle Fiction Not guaranteed
. Free Kindle Fiction $5
. Free Kindle Giveaway $10+
. Freebooksy Not guaranteed $50
. Frugal eReader Not guaranteed no longer accepted
. Frugal eReader $50+
. Frugal Freebies $3-$8
. Fussy Librarian Guaranteed
. Good Kindles $7
. Goodreads custom budget largely ineffective
. Hot Zippy Not guaranteed $15 own several other websites
. Humanmade Guaranteed Boost your listing – prices vary
. iAuthor UK £0.6 per click
. iLove Ebooks various options, $25-$300
. Indie Author Anonymous $5-$10
. Independent Author Index Membership + listing $19 one-time fee
. Independent Author Network Membership + listing $25 one-time fee
. Indie Book Promo Guaranteed Four options, $25+ or small options, $8+
. Indie Promotor various options, $25+
. Indie House Books Guaranteed various options, £25+
. Indies Unlimited Freebie Friday, 99c Thursday
. Indies Unlimited Freebie Friday, 99c Thursday
. International Book Promotion $30 a month social media burst One-off promotional events
. Kindle Book Promo Guaranteed
. Kindle Book Promo $10+
. Kindle Book Promos Guaranteed
. Kindle Book Promos various options, $10+
. Kindle Book Review Not guaranteed $5+
. Kindle Mojo Not guaranteed $25+
. Kindle Nation Daily Guaranteed
. Kindle Nation Daily Various options, $100+ number of options, effectiveness reduced lately
. Kindle Romance Review various options, $25+ Romance only
. Kindleboards Free post in the thread  One per book
. Kindleboards Guaranteed
. Kindleboards various options, $35+
. Lendle various options, $35+
. My Book and My Coffee Guaranteed On Hiatus
. One Shot Pitch Guaranteed pitch design £5-£20
. Orangeberry Not guaranteed
. Orangeberry Promos various book tours, $29+
. Pixel of Ink Not guaranteed Very limited selection
. Pixel Scroll – NOW HOTZIPPY $5+
. Read Cheaply Not guaranteed Must cross-promote
. Reading Deals Not Guaranteed $5
. Reddit Guaranteed On the day. Must have account.
. Snicks List Guaranteed On the day
. The Cheap Ebook $15+
. YA Book Promo Central Same as Indie Book Promo YA only

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 14 – Shadow of Black Wings FREE

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Today, last Friday before Yalda, I have the most straight-forward gift to give so far:

A free copy of “The Shadow of Black Wings” – FOR EVERYONE!

That’s right, I’m on the KDP Select bandwagon again. For a while. And there are so many new market opportunities! You can now get my books on Kindle if you’re in Canada, or Brazil, or Japan, or – soon – China. Amazon is almost everywhere these days.

So click on any of the links below, to get the free copy, if you haven’t read it yet – or gift it to someone you know who’d like it :)

The Shadow of Black Wings
(The Year of the Dragon #1)

Top 10 Bestseller in Alternate History Amazon US

ebook ISBN: 978-83-935529-0-0 ASIN: B008FS5RPC
Published: June 2012 by Flying Squid
paperback ISBN-13: 978-83-935529-1-7
ISBN-10: 8393552915
Published: July 2012 by Flying Squid

It is the sixteenth year of Queen Victoria’s enlightened rule and the world trembles before the might of her ironclad navy and the dreaded Dragon Corps. The largest ship ever built sails from the Brigstow Harbour on a journey to the mysterious lands of Orient. Its load – a regiment of the Royal Marines and one Bran ap Dylan – freshly graduate in Dracology at the Llambed Academy of Mystic Arts.

In the empire of Yamato, sealed from the rest of the world for the last two centuries, a wizard’s daughter Sato witnesses her father joining an anti-government conspiracy. Her friend Nagomi, training to be a priestess, is haunted by dark visions that she must keep secret. Neither of them is aware that a change is coming to Yamato… on the wings of a dragon.

A detailed and fast-paced historical fantasy based around the turbulent opening of Japan to the West in the middle of the 19th century, “The Shadow of the Black Wings” is the first volume in “The Year of the Dragon” saga.

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US |Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Amazon ES | Amazon JP | Amazon CA | Amazon BR
Paperback:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | ペーパーバック | Barnes&Nnoble Junglee.com

 

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 2 – Transmission

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Today I offer for FREE my short Sci-Fi stories anthology, Transmission.

Transmission: Six Short Stories

Genre: Science Fiction
ASIN: B008E7RUJA
Published:
1st Edition June 2012 by Flying Squid
2nd Edition November 2012 by Flying Squid

The first television broadcast signal is now almost 90 light years away from Earth. What would human colonists on distant worlds feel like receiving these ancient transmission for the first time?

TRANSMISSION has first been published in eFiction magazine in June 2012, and received Honorary Mention in On The Premises magazine in November 2012

A journalist tracking the last survivors of the most infamous Martian War massacre discovers the gruesome truth – and more…

KING MIDAS’S BARBER has first been published in Polish as “Kosci Chudych Dzieci” in Science Fiction magazine in February 2002

This time the aliens did not come to destroy us – but to employ us…

FACTORY BLOCK S3 has not been published before.

A day in the life of a member of the RSPD – the Royal Society for the Protection of Dragons.

THE TWITCHING has been first published on Wattpad in July 2012

In a world of the luckless, the Lucky Men are kings.

O LUCKY MAN has been first published in Polish as “Szczesciarz” in Fahrenheit magazine

Every God has to start somewhere…

TEOPHANY has not been published before.

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US |Amazon UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | Kindle版

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Countdown to End of Days, Day 1

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On December 21st, the Winter Solstice, the Zoroastrians and Mithraists celebrate Yalda, the Birth of the Sun/Mithras.

Yalda is the main winter holiday celebrated in the world of my “Year of the Dragon” novels, rather than Christmas, therefore this year’s Advent Calendar counts down only to December 21st. The world ends after that, anyway, so there’s no point going further :)

 

Dragonbone ChestAs the first treat of the month, I offer you a fantasy novella: the Dragonbone Chest is FREE all day to day for Kindle Owners.

We do not know where the Forgetting had come from, what causes it and how exactly does it work… all we know is that nobody is safe from its dark touch, nobody knows where and when it will strike. A prince, a pauper, a wizard, a child… it can happen to anybody and there is no way to prevent it.

Duke Ayaris is a dragon slayer. He’s the only one left in the world, and he is hunting after the last of the dragons. He is about to fulfil his life’s destiny.

A dying old man asks him to take care of his beautiful daughter. But the girl has a secret – a secret that will cause him to set sail where no man has willingly sailed before: to the Dragon North, in search of the fabled city of Eden.

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | Kindle版

Cybermonday: Return to Kobo and KDP Select Summary

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CYBERMONDAY HALF-PRICE PROMO ALL DAY TODAY

I think I’ve squeezed all I could from KDP Select for now.

I ran three different promos over the three months, with three different results (that’s a lot of threes!). Two days in September, two days in October and one day in November. The October one was the most successful by far, as I put the most effort into promoting it online. “The Shadow of Black Wings” reached number 1 in overall Fantasy on pretty much every Amazon store. My October sales were, as a result, more than double of the average.

The November one was a test of how well I can do with just my personal networks, on G+, Twitter and (to the lesser extent) FB. The downloads were about 10% of the October result. Looks like I still have some way to go in building an online presence… (although that said… :)

There are now over 10,000 (legal) copies of my book out there, on people’s Kindles – mostly in the US. That’s a big number, and it’s still producing results: my November sales are still better than September, even though not as many people are buying the first volume anymore. “The Shadow…” is proving a good loss lead: volumes 2 and 3 are selling well, which means people like the first book enough to invest a couple more bucks to read on. At any given day, either of the three books is on the best seller list for Alternate History – on a good day, all of them. I’d say that’s a good result for somebody who was a completely unknown writer until August this year.

Sales chart September-November. The big spike is after October’s KDP Select promotion.

But, the three months have passed and I decided not to renew the Select for a while. I’m still in the experimenting phase, and it’s time for another experiment – return to Kobo. (B&N’s PubIt is still not available for UK authors, and somehow I don’t trust Smashwords).

So, to celebrate my return to Kobo, and the new holiday of CYBER MONDAY (which, I guess, celebrates the coming of our robotic overlords?), “The Shadow of Black Wings” is HALF-PRICE FOR AN ENTIRE DAY, both on Amazon and on Kobo.

And while you read, don’t forget to check out all the extras for the books available on the website:

- Gallery
- Soundtrack Playlist
- Glossary of Characters
- Glossary of Terms
- History of the World
- “De Draconibus” Dragon Encyclopaedia

Kindle giveaway, Oct 1-2


 “Fast paced and full of energy”
–Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the Shadows of the Apt

“This manuscript is full of highly crafted detail that will make readers shiver at times with fear and delight … a familiar yet highly original fantasy that is a worthwhile read.”
– Publishers Weekly

“The real-world cultures are incredibly well-researched and truthful, and yet well-balanced with the fantasy elements. An intriguing and impressive series.”
– Ben Galley, author of the Emaneska Series

I’m running another Kindle giveaway today, to see what the results are the second time around.

Here are the links, just click, download and read on!

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon DE
Amazon IT
Amazon FR
Amazon ES

KDP Select – a week later. The price of one’s soul.

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It’s been a week since my free promotion. And what a week it’s been! It’s time for the first summary of my life after KDP Select.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Thousands of free units downloaded over two days
  • #1 on UK Historical Fantasy Free Best Seller list
  • #1 on US Historical Fantasy Free Best Seller list
  • #2 on US Young Adult Free Best Seller list (only kept off the first place by Artemis Fowl)
  • #5 on US Fantasy Free Best Seller list
  • #112 on US Free Best Seller list overall
  • Sold more books in two days than in an entire month previous
  • #47 on US Historical Fantasy Paid Best Seller list
  • #17 on UK Historical Fantasy Paid Best Seller list
  • A full week on paid Best Seller lists

More detailed summary (with charts!) :

Continue reading KDP Select – a week later. The price of one’s soul.

Selling my soul to the devil

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Last week I’ve chosen to enroll “The Shadow of Black Wings” to Amazon’s KDP Select program. Now, there is some controversy among the indie community as to whether this is the right thing to do for an author. It supports Amazon’s monopoly, they say. It limits your marketing and distribution opportunities. It doesn’t work as well as it used to.

These are all good and valid reasons, but here are my equally compelling reasons to join the program:

1) Other platforms weren’t worth the effort.

Over the last two months, all my non-Kindle sales combined amounted to less than 5% of Amazon sales. Now admittedly, I’ve based most of my marketing efforts on Amazon.com, but that’s part of the problem: with all the hard work involved in writing, marketing and social networking, I just couldn’t focus on other platforms. Every time I had to change something in the manuscript or product description, I had to do it on several websites. Every time I wanted to advertise, I had to post several links. This might have worked if the sales weren’t so poor on those other channels, but the way it was going, it just wasn’t worth it.

This might have been a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts: focus on Amazon, and only Amazon will bring profit. But  as a fresh starter, I really needed to focus on something. Establishing a reader base is a difficult enough process as it is. Some more experienced authors reported that releasing their books on Kobo was, for them, a worthwhile investment – but they took their already made fan bases to Kobo with them. I don’t have that – yet.

2) A part of the series may have a greater chance than a standalone.

Select and free promos may not be working that well anymore for standalone works, but “The Shadow of Black Wings” is just volume one of a greater series. My reasoning is simple: give the first one free, and hope they will come for the rest. It works for everything else, so why not for books? :)

This part is the greatest gamble I’m undertaking. Will anyone want to continue reading the series after getting the first book for free, or will the Select promotions just take a huge bite out of my potential readership – and leave me with nothing to show for it? We’ll see…

3) It’s only three months.

In the end, if nothing works, it’s just 90 days – and then I can change my mind. That’s not much. The Select enrolment period for Transmission is almost over, and it feels like it’s been yesterday that I’ve reached #1 on UK bestseller list for sci-fi anthologies.

With luck, in three months I may be in a better position than I am now. I may have people actively looking for me on other platforms, disappointed that I’m not there. There may be other opportunities showing up – when I started out in June, Kobo Books was just a rumour; who knows what will happen between now and December?

But until then, “The Shadow of Black Wings” is exclusive to Amazon, and free to loan for all Amazon Prime members. Stay tuned for further announcements :)