Monday, February 6, 2012

How to Have a Successful KDP Select Campaign.

Are you Planning a KDP Select Promo Soon?

If you plan to promote your book through Amazon's KDP Select "Free" promotion, you can potentially receive exposure that is equivalent to a billboard standing in the middle of Times Square in New York City, or you might not.

There are several factors that can influence how well or how poorly your book fares when given such an incredible opportunity. Because the response to a promotion can vary from one title to the next, it is very important that you get everything right BEFORE you set your book loose. If you nail all of these elements, you will have a greater shot at success. If you are lacking in some or all of these elements, you might not experience the boost in sales/readership that you are hoping for.

The following is a list of key elements that will effect your biggest and best opportunity to FINALLY get noticed on the world stage:

  • Your Book Cover is the very first thing readers see, so it only stands to reason that it better be AWESOME. Unfortunately, many self-published authors have an unprofessional looking cover, yet expect professional results. Your cover needs to grab a reader's attention, draw them in, or create enough curiosity to earn a "click". If your book cover is lame or screams "self-published" you might get far fewer clicks than if you spent a little bit of money on a sweet cover. And in the world of KDP Select promotions, a loss of clicks can mean a loss of several hundred to several thousand dollars. So it is definitely worth the expense.
  • Your Book Blurb is your sales pitch, and you don't have much time to convince a book buyer to spend their dime on you. With so many books for free, and at affordable prices, your product description should be catchy, to the point, and professional. If you have misspelled words, or the layout of your product description is sloppy, too long, too short, or has bad formatting, a reader might assume that the book has similar issues. An ideal book description should include at least two quality reviews that build immediate credibility, followed by a brief, accurate, and compelling product description.
  • Your Price Point is critical. I mention pricing in my forthcoming book, The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe, in detail. But my opinion of book pricing has nothing to do with the value of your book, it has to do with the size of your audience. Therefore, if you're a newer author, and if you do not have many reviews, or awards, I would not recommend pricing your book over $2.99 during a KDP promotion. Unless your book really catches fire, a newer author is at risk of losing sales when over priced. In fact, check out the top 100; you'll notice that there are more low priced books than ever before.
  • Reviews sell books. The more you have, the more credibility you will have with your potential buyers. If you have very few reviews, you might not sell near as many books with your free promotion than if you had 10, 20, or more quality reviews. Likewise, if you have received poor reviews, there is a greater chance that you might not experience the same success as some authors have had with KDP Select. If you need more reviews, check out The Kindle Book Review among other sites. You can always solicit reviews from book bloggers.
  • Layer your Marketing. The Select free promotion is the best shot you may have to get your book promoted on a world stage. You have to throw everything you've got into this promotion. I recommend scheduling multiple promotions on the day, and days following the moment your book returns to the "paid" store. I discuss the concept of Marketing Layering in detail and provide a few websites that will coordinate this effort in my book.
So here's the deal: You have 90 days to use your 5 free days with KDP Select. If you are lacking in any of the elements listed above, I'd urge you to utilize your time and resources to get as many of these points nailed down BEFORE you offer your book for free. If you don't, you could get a whole bunch of nothing from what I consider one of the best promotional opportunities in the history of publishing.

IF YOU NEED HELP, go to my my Author Services Page. I got skills.

Finally, I am officially doing a soft release of my publishing imprint, NexGate Press. It's been here for over a year, quietly sneaking up on the publishing industry, and it's getting ready to pounce. PLEASE spread the word! You can learn more here.


  1. Ummm, regarding checking ad copy/proofreading one's work: you have a line that reads "If you have missed spelled words..." You might want to change that to "If you have misspelled words" ;) - otherwise, great article! Thanks for the info.

  2. Why are reviews such a problem? Someone from Kindle Reviews offered to do a review of "PGB" for me, but she's backed up, so it's going to be a while. Over 300 copies of "PGB" are out there, but only three readers left reviews...great five star reviews, but I agree with you, so few of them can't be helping my sales. It looks like I paid family to leave them...and ha ha, believe me, I'd HAVE TO pay my family to leave a review...they won't even read my stuff. Anyway, great article and thanks.

  3. @Kelly ~ Fixed. Thanks for stopping by!

    @Christina ~ Reunion has been downloaded almost 40,000 times and only has 83 reviews. That tells you how low the percentage of readers actually post reviews, but they are critical. I think the best ways to get reviews is by giving your book away in return for a review and by soliciting book reviewers. I spent 100 hours planning my 45-day blog tour last year. The upside is, I had 20 reviews when my book was published. You are not alone, but you might need to invest a little more time in chasing reviewers… and a bunch of them.

  4. I have found on all my KDP Select promotions, and I have done several, that I don't get any reviews from them. They just download and move on. Its such a disappointment. I have even tried giving my book away Jeff but a large percent still didn't offer a review even if it was an negative one and these people asked for the free copy.


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