How The Bestselling Indie Authors Dominate KDP Select

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Last year when I self-published my first novel, I signed up for Amazon’s KDP select and I got a lot of downloads which put my book at #10 on the Women’s and Children’s Lit section but after the giveaway was over, my sales went flat. Since I didn’t get any reviews or sales out of the deal, I labeled my KDP experiment a failure.

However, after studying the most successful indie authors I discovered that the authors who made it to bestseller status had either been published traditionally and already had a fan base, while the newbies released multiple books within a short period of time. So what does this have to do with dominating KDP?

Size Does Matter

Apparently, when it comes to KDP giveaways some authors are using their backlists as well as novelettes in order to promote their current works. Using their backlist or novelette as a “sacrificial lamb,” they keep the work in the KDP program perpetually.

It’s a brilliant strategy, one author whose book I read says she has several books at any given time in the KDP Select program. And this in turn increases her sales for her other books (those not in the KDP program).

How to Maximize KDP Select to its Fullest Potential

• Write less, as in a novelette, or short story. However, make sure you label your work correctly, as some readers hate books under 2,000 words.

• Have multiple works in the KDP Select program, and set the giveaway dates at different times to keep your books working for you all year round.

• Add a sales page in your eBook with links, excerpts and book cover photos that direct readers to your other work on Amazon.

• Encourage readers to sign up to your mailing list (if you have one) for freebies and exclusive discounts.

• When the giveaway period is over, price the book low to make it enticing enough to be an impulse buy. Then reenroll in KDP Select after the 90 days is over and repeat the cycle again.

Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

One has to be careful when doing this because if you write murder mysteries and use a short story about vampires, to promote it, it won’t work. However, if you wrote a small teaser about a character from one of your murder mysteries, then logically, it would leave readers wanting more.

Also, it may take a while to come up with several short stories that will sell your work. This will definitely take time away from bigger projects that pay better. Remember this is a long term strategy, not an instant gratification thing. If done properly, these short stories/novellas can pay off indefinitely.

Another issue that needs to be considered is the fact that Amazon can and will change its terms of service in the future, (as they always do) possibly making it harder to utilize the KDP Select program. Not long ago, there was a rumor that Amazon was banning books under 2,500 words but that turned out to be untrue. However, that didn’t stop the flurry of discussion and criticism from both authors and readers.

Now it’s your turn, do you know of any tips or hacks when using Amazon’s KDP Select or are you still struggling to figure it all out?

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