Okay, I'll say it… it's the big elephant in the room, anyway. Authors everywhere are wondering what's coming after KDP Select. Word is there are over 100,000 authors enrolled in Amazon's hottest marketing platform, and more are coming everyday. So what happens when the program is saturated beyond it's current level?
I know you're worried. I hear authors every day talking about the delays in their "free day" and less than stellar sales compared to one or two months ago. The Amazon brainchild is a great idea and can work wonders for indie and newly published authors with little to no platform, but what happens when it is no longer effective? What happens when there are 150,000 or 200,000 or 300,000 authors fighting for a successful free promotion?
To answer that question I've come up with a few predictions.
Obviously Amazon has plans to expand on their promotions because when you schedule your "Free Book" promotion they ask you want kind of promotion. Well, there is only one at the present time. This tells me they've planned for additional promotions in the future. As a book promoter I know there are hundreds of ways to spin a new promotion. And with Amazon's resources, the sky is the limit. I believe they can offer a wide assortment of "promotions" like a free public announcement in their daily news letter, or a feature in a "HOT Prime reads" email blast. Basically Amazon has the power to promote anyone they want and if they want to promote you, if you have good reviews and a nice cover, you can become a bestseller, on the house.
Here's what I mean. Amazon's algorithms include lots of great stuff that everyone wishes they understood. Mathematically, it probably looks something like this only far more complicated:
a123*n^2 +200*n+a5 is in O(n^2) where n = your book(s) and a = Amazon's promo of choice.
Now just add water and you can either come out smelling like a dew dampened rose or a pair of sweaty socks. It all depends on what Amazon plugs into the formula. So I think Amazon will add promotions that continue the carrot-dangling effect we are all feeling now.
I think Amazon can create multiple levels of promotions. For example, if you're enrolled now, as I am, we could all be in "Phase One". When they reach a calculated saturation point, say 150,000 lab rats, they can move us into "Phase Two" and hold any new comers in phase one for a select amount of time. Phase two could very well be an entirely different set of promotions, or free days with additional options to choose from. I do not think more free days would be advantageous as I am less excited to use my free days compared to how I felt two months ago.
Amazon could effectively create "Genre Promotions" or "Rating Promotions" or reward authors with "Loyalty Promotions". Anything is possible with these turkeys; they're brilliant. They are way ahead of the curve. They are water, wind, fire, and ground breakers.
Enough authors will leave the program when it becomes saturated, leaving a more vibrant and robust community of authors who will once again thrive in the Select program. If this happens, you better believe Amazon will reward those peeps.
So if you're concerned with how you're going to market your books when KDP Select is no longer "da chit", fear not. In my opinion, Amazon is NOT going to tuck their tale and limp home to their dog house. They're here for the long haul, and they intend to be profitable, and yes, on the willing backs of authors like you and me.
I'm good with that. Amazon's quadroupled my royalties in the last three months, so they're my new best friend.
Unlike Barnes & Noble, Amazon is made up of forward thinkers and Ace MBA's. I've put my faith in a few significant things like God, the food I put in my body, and the people I love. But I would almost, at the risk of sounding sacrilegious, put my faith in Amazon's shrewdness.
The question is not what or how they're going to adapt, but when the new program will take place. Scott Nicholson and I both predicted that the Select program could have a six-month life span. But I think this program is pulling a Benjamin Button on us because it's growing weaker by the day. Therefore, I'm guessing that Amazon will roll out another program of some kind by mid to late summer. I also think there's a chance that Amazon is just waiting to release the next monster as soon as Smashwords or B&N attempt a counter attack. The result, in my opinion, will continue to benefit indie authors and readers everywhere.
If all of this confuses you, I'd invite you read The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe. This book is the 101, 201, and 301 of indie authorship courses. I filled it with stuff like this and more from cover to cover. Don't believe me, just read the reviews.
Finally, if you're looking for a new promotional opportunity, I highly recommend that you register for THE BEST INDIE BOOKS of 2012 at The Kindle Book Review, my sister site. This contest is designed to help promote quality indie authors. Even if you don't win, you will walk away with a nice title that'll look nice on any book page. Click here to learn more info.
Jeff Bennington is the best-selling author of Reunion, Twisted Vengeance, and The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe.