Amazon price-matched it and the result was 20K downloads in just under a month and 42 reviews. And this was without me really doing much of anything, other than mentioning it on my blog and Facebook pages a few times. Amazon finally price-matched it. The downloads are much slower this time around. So the changes that you mentioned seem to be making a difference. Your data is biased at this point, because you are no longer a newbie author. You need to find new authors, people publishing and marketing for the first time in under the new rules and see how they are succeeding.
Most new authors are clamoring for reviews and just pouring money into advertising hoping some day it all pays off. Everyone without a pre-established fanbase is vying for limited resources like bookbubs to succeed. Unfortunately, many sites like bookbubs require some early form of success and a building base to really promote a book. Promoting as a new author is becoming expensive with very few outlets managing to make the price worth it in any short term timeframe.
Most veteran authors keep giving advice on how to succeed in , but their viewpoint is very biased. Self-publishing is becoming just like traditional publishing. Everyone is searching for the latest marketing tricks to make their work stand out. It may not be until that we finally begin to hear who really managed to succeed in and what new patterns are developing. But by then those writers will be established and there will be a new newbie generation working under new rules. Self-publishing is just becoming a microcosm for traditional publishing.
I have to believe that the idea of a brand new author showing up with their first work and finding major success with no base was just as absurd in as it was in as it is now in Now the systems and algorithms are starting to normalize. Is Amazon perfect? You use Konrath and Blake as an example and say that they are spouting things that are irrelevant in I think if you really look at their core message, the idea is to plan for slow growth. If you hit it big because of free or some advertising company, great, but the idea is to keep writing, get better at your craft, and plan for the future.
That is what self-publishing allows for. I entered the industry full-time in March of , with no writing experience other than as a hobby I never submitted to agents or publishers; I also never submitted a single story to competitions or magazines. I published my first book via Amazon in late May I just finished publishing the 2nd in my series, a short novella, in late June. The reason this is hard to quantify is because I only have 2 titles out right now in the series, where by the end of I plan on having books out.
Should I be able to bump the 1-sale-per-day-per-title up to a modest 3 sales per day across all platforms and, accomplish my goal of releasing 7 titles by years end, I would be selling 21 books per day. Are those numbers blow-the-roof-off amazing? With the right marketing, a mediocre free run regardless of what that means right now , or a well-placed ad, my numbers could be well in excess of that projected minimum.
But there are other ways to look at the concept of success. Personally, I feel successful just for having finished my book in the first place. In two days my book will be available for free through KDP select July 4 through 6. I heard very similar arguments when I got started in December of Nobody could make it the way Amanda Hocking and Michael Sullivan could any more.
The Kindle store was too crowded. And, hey, some of the stuff worked. The gal who commented above you, Kendra Highley, published her first book last August and is doing quite well at building a fan base and she was at the top of her genre categories when her most recent release Book 3 debuted. If you dig back a ways you can see my interview with Leeland Artra.
Let's Get Digital
He published his very first fantasy novel in January of this year and has sold tens of thousands of copies. I have no doubt that his second book will debut high at Amazon. Oh, and if you want a crazy success story from someone utterly new who made it to the Top overall last month , check out my interview with Sue London. She published in MAY. Thanks for chiming in, Vicki! They are price matched for free from Smashwords. Just for kicks I uploaded another one for. Writing is a game played over the long term.
And Lindsay, thank you so much for all the info you share on here. You are a real role model of what it means to be part of the community of self-published writers. There are definitely still plenty of folks who click around to find the free ebooks. I know those people do go on to buy if they enjoy the first sample from an author. If there is a way to get on this list it might be an excellent marketing point. I downloaded read the opening EA Trilogy then moved through the rest paying as I went.
The trouble is there is very little wheat and a great deal of chaff in the free category. The Emperors Edge was an exception rather than the rule. The rest I read but most of the remaining is either so poorly written or juvenile that I never choose another book in the series or from that author. Buroker and I am very much enjoying your work. You make my very long trek every few weeks to Hawaii to work nearly bearable. Yeah, Bookbub is incredible.
I plan on using it in the fall. I like Bookbub, too, both as an author looking for advertising opportunities and as a reader. The freebie is like any other marketing tool and should be used along side of other marketing strategies and not alone. I think you mentioned that a while back too. I think the key any of this is exposure. I would never restrict myself to KDP Select. I made the first of a new series Seduced by Innocence free everywhere after doing KDP select for 3 months. The select days were a huge hit 60k downloads during those few days and led to the sequels and the first book becoming 1 in their categories.
This was in February, and the series continues to sell well. I did see a post free bump after the free days on KDP select, but was surprised by it. Mostly miss. I was lucky. Enough so that these three two? Seduced by Innocence is advertised as the first in a trilogy with a cliff-hanger ending this is made clear in the product description. Well, Kimberly, I think being able to support a family of 5 on your book sales alone is certainly a author success story.
Way to go! Thank you! It took a lot of work, and a lot of books, to get this far. It meant working full time at two jobs writing my books and even ghost writing , and marketing for other authors , but I was determined to make it happen. It took a little over a year to get to this point, and a LOT of writing. Regarding the 1-star reviews due to the cliffhanger, then I have also noticed quite a few authors who have gotten this reaction to especially cliffhanger endings for book 1 in series some even being hit without using cliffhangers. The thing to take away from these 1-star reviews is that they are just a segment of the readerbase.
Some people just look for a free read, and without reading the description expect a complete story. With the help of Select, all three of my full-length novels have been Amazon bestsellers several times each in Lit Fiction, Romance, and three or four other categories. When I ran them for free my books have finished on the Free BS list at 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 and so on. Time and time again I have watched Zon whittle away at the perks a writer once enjoyed after a good free promo.
Huh uh! It never happened. By the time that happened, the book was ranked at 4,—after selling only 10 copies the second day post promo.
- Poetic Blends.
- A Newbie's Guide to Publishing?
- Animals in the ZOO (Japanese Edition).
- Abgrund (German Edition)?
- Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 15: The Great Man vs. the Giant.
Best of luck! The real question that should be asked is how many of them actually read their free copy of your book — not many is the current consensus…. And they can cone back to bite us. If that book makes the big-time, and those free downloaders try to buy since most never read it , they will get a reply from Zon telling them that they already own it. Nix that sale! Because I can tell you I probably read less than half of what I download for free or for a couple of dollars.
The comments here are interesting but if what is being written is not well executed then no amount of free will work. I love being able to try something. That said I rarely comment on anything I purchase. And just as an addendum, if I like an e-book, I have a fairly extensive library and will often buy the book version is there is one to be bought. Very interesting question.
If we go with about the same conversion as for download to read, then its anywhere between copies sold of book 2, after Now this is of course just an estimate and should not be taken as fact, but its an interesting angle. It also depends a lot on how many books are in the series and the further conversion from book 2 to 3 to 4 etc. Where the more books you have of course will increase the amount of sales, but ny how much? Maybe the question is exposure vs. Since if we follow general business standards the conversion from book 1 to book 2 will be higher, if the reader actually paid for book 1, because they will already be invested in the series.
I think the problem is free, per se, but the perma-free. I understand your strategy of book 1 always being free, but I think the KDPS model is better overall than an always free book, if you want to point people to other books in your series. When you run the free as a special, rather than a permanent price, people perceive more added value. Obviously, the algorithms and advertising in this biz are changing all the time. When I write a blog post on any marketing success or failure , I always include the caveat that it may change at any time!
And anything you choose now will also evolve over time. Nature of business, unfortunately. Speaking just for myself, I went from reading your blog, to checking out the free book, to buying the rest of the series just this year. Having the graduated pricing was a big draw to suck me into it. Free only works, however, if you can find it and if the first bit draws you in.
Good point. Nice article, I think a most important question would be a bit different tho. It should be should authors stay on KDP Select instead of should they use free. Yesterday July 6 was the third day in a three day long, free download drive for my book Blood Brothers. It turned out to be a pretty big disappointment for me. My book made it to around 35 in the free section of Epic Fantasy, and to 4 in Metaphysical Fantasy, but immediately dropped off of those lists after the free days ended—no bounce-over sales to place me on the paid lists. And so far, no new reviews.
In two days I had downloads, and two new reviews followed soon after. Most of the increase has been on the two remaining cent short story collections I have. I used to use ereaderiq formerly kindleiq to find free books and sample more authors. The ability to find decent quality New authors has been mauled by both the search engines and by the sheer volume of material.
Over 25 are independent or former indie authors. It takes too much time to search and too much money. But so many new authors out there who self publish their first work or two are not in the same ballpark for basic quality, grammar, and just plain old good storytelling. The free books let me sort through and find the gems without the hassle of returning books that turned out unreadable on a weekly basis.
Without the KDP or permafree or tempfree , I would be unable to find and then support the number of indie authors that I do today. At least not without increasing the number of returns. So thank you very much. It means a lot. The same goes for anyone else who is visiting Ms. My email is:. I may not have found you through a free book list, it was actually through The Creative Penn and then promptly added you on Twitter, even then it was months of seeing your tweets before I actually picked up EE1, but the fact that I could get a book from an Indie author who I had Tweeted back and forth with was a cool idea.
I figured I had nothing to lose but time. By this I mean both on websites people can BUY your book and on social networks. Having a free book available may not be the path to a steady income it once was, but it is still probably the best way to get your name out there. Making the first part of I Bring the Fire free was the only way I was able to generate steady sales. I believe they make their money off advertising not affiliate revenue.
I think I found it on ereaderiq. I have since gone on to buy every book you have written and recommended it to two friends who have done the same. I download between 8 and 20 free books a week, of which I read between 8 and Some are so bad I never finish and some I wonder at the authors levels of delusion as they are so poor they would never be an advert for other works.
Complete Guide to Kindle Keyword Selection
If a book is realy good I would usually purchase one other book to see if I like that too, so long as the price was not too high. If I like that I then would often buy anything else by that author regardless of price. Thank you for giving EE a read, Emma. Thanks for taking the time to comment here as well. What an interesting topic! I am a reader, not an author. I want to find good authors with lots of highly rated books.
The way I find new books lately is to go on Amazon, select whatever genre I feel like reading, narrow it to ratings of 4 stars and up, and then sort from low to high price. Then I research the reviews and try to determine WHY people like the book. First off, great post! Otherwise, did we answer your question? Do you have another question?
Use the appropriate link below. You may need to copy and paste the full link into your browser:. Terra Vonnel and the Skulls at Amazon. Maybe someone can post a screenshot if they find an example. Because my free first book was for sale for a while it actually comes up when you look at books 2 and 3.
A screenshot is a great idea. Outside of promotions, I get far fewer downloads of EE1 than I was getting a year ago. In addition […]. A few tips: don't include a cover in your Compile, since you'll upload it to Amazon separately. If you don't have Scrivener, its creators offer a day free trial that's 30 days of use , not 30 days from download and it's available for both Windows and Mac users. Before you get to the technical aspects of uploading and publishing your book, consider the strategic side of the process. Upload your book at least 48 hours before you plan to launch — though Alexis' book was ready within eight hours, you'll want that buffer time if anything goes wrong.
In How to Start Publishing for Kindle , Jeff Goins recommends publishing your book on Amazon a few weeks before your ideal launch date, then sending free copies to friends, family, colleagues and bloggers in your field and asking them to leave a review on the book's Amazon page. That way, when you tell the world about your book, prospective buyers will see lots of positive reviews — a big factor for those who may not be familiar with your work. While Jeff recommends sending out to free review copies, we only sent about 20, which resulted in 11 reviews by launch day.
We probably could've spent more time on this, but those reviews seemed to do the trick. Uploading your book is actually quite simple. Choose your two categories carefully: these sections of the Kindle bookstore help potential buyers find your book while browsing and on Top lists. We did hit 1 in both categories, though. Add up to seven keywords that will lead readers to your book. Be thoughtful about this: What terms will potential buyers search for in the Kindle store?
Step 1: Find Kindle Keywords People Actually Type into Amazon
What questions does your book answer? Upload your cover and choose whether you want Digital Rights Management protection for your book Alexis chose to decline this. Congratulations, you're ready to actually upload your book! Your royalty options depend on the price you choose. As Jeff Goins says in How to Start Publishing for Kindle , why would you pick 35 percent and give Amazon the majority share in your work? Your first buyers on Kindle are likely part of your existing audience: blog readers, social media followers and friends.
Reward these people who know, enjoy and support your work by giving them a great deal. Alexis also offered a bonus to anyone who emailed her a screenshot of their honest review on launch day: a coupon for 20 percent off any of her courses or guides, which resulted in seven new reviews. Incentivizing early purchasers also has another effect: when lots of people purchase at once, Amazon's algorithm picks up on your book and promotes it , exposing it to more potential buyers and helping your book climb the ranks.
While Amazon will help your book reach new readers, its algorithm requires the book to first hit a certain mysterious number of sales. To earn support from Amazon, you need to spread the word about your book yourself. Alexis detailed our marketing and promotion plan in her launch analysis post, and we executed it well. However, your efforts can't end after launch: plan to continue marketing your book for as long as you want to make sales.
What's the best way to do that? Write and submit guest posts that support your book. Share important quotes on social media; we created quote images for several of the book's sound bites. Continue to link to your book in your blog posts, social media updates and email signature.
Get creative to market your book to new buyers. Use a simple spreadsheet to track your book's performance we use Google docs. Here's what we measure:. Sales: Your KDP Report only shows month-to-date sales; if you want daily sales, track them yourself by checking this report every 24 hours. Since this is an experiment, we track sales in all countries, and we've been surprised at the numbers from outside North America — hello, buyers in the UK, Denmark, Spain and Australia!
- Options d'achat.
- How I Made $1, Last Month Self-Publishing on Amazon?
- 10 Mistakes I Made as a Successful First Time Kindle Author (So You Don’t Have To).
- No te alejes de mí (Jazmín) (Spanish Edition).
Borrows: Because the book is in the Kindle Owners Lending Library, it earns a portion of a monthly pool based on its number of borrows. Borrows also contribute to the book's rankings; Amazon's algorithm treats them like sales. Borrows appear in the same month-to-date sales report and we track them monthly.
Reviews: Check your book's sales page to see how many reviews it has earned and what readers think. We track the number of reviews of each star rating and note any recurring feedback on a weekly basis. Rankings are updated hourly; be careful not to get sucked into hitting Refresh every few minutes! The goal is to help people approach work differently. And just think: after only [10 days] of sales,  people might now feel motivated to make a change so they feel happier with their jobs.
If you have any more questions about the process of publishing for Kindle, I'll do my best to answer in the comments! Amazing post, Heather! Thanks for the extremely detailed breakdown of how Kindle Publishing works. Thanks, Susan! It was a fun project, and hopefully the lessons I learned will save others some time and effort during the publishing process.
I have a post series that I want and need to convert to an ebook. I, too, have put it off for several months because of my fear of the unknown. Good luck with your ebook and let me know if you have specific questions! What a detailed and helpful post! Great tips in this article! I published my book this morning and plan to do some promotion through out the rest of the month. Great summary, Heather, thanks!! Love the tips on Scrivener. Thanks, Lisa! I just read your recent posts; congratulations on the all-clear and best of luck with the return to Laos! Thanks Heather! Wow, Heather — thank you so much for putting time into creating such a fantastic resource!
And thanks, Alexis, for sharing! My pleasure, Sara! As someone hoping to put their first book out before the summer I was particularly interested in the comments on the use of Scrivener and. Scrivener made creating the. This is fantastic — detailed, organized and lots of good energy and emotion. Thank you Heater and Alexis! This is definitely a post to be shared and filed! Nice one. Thanks, Ang! You deserve a standing ovation! Thanx a million! Haha, thanks, Xavier! Good luck with your projects! Thank you so much for this post! Creating an e-book is on my list and selling it through Amazon like this is the way to go.
I'm selling about 1 eBook per day on average in Kindle!
This really spells it all out. Great question. Thank you! You touched on so many bases. I really appreciate the information, and will share it for sure! A question — I plan to launch a book in the fall as both Kindle ebook and as a print book. I am thinking of running a Kickstarter campaign to fund and promote it over the summer. Is there a way that I can give Kickstarter supporters some sort of coupon for a free or discounted Kindle edition to use later , once the book is produced? Great question, Jackie. Best of luck with your book launch!
It may not fit my overall plan at the moment, but once I build my title list I may come back to it. Thanks for this publishing guide, Heather. This will be really helpful for a lot of people who are starting to take an interest. Can I get anyone who can transform my manuscript into eBook. Please help me. Really Heather, this is the best source that I have found on kdp recently.
Thanks for your amazing work. It goads us to make the things a bit fast. Keep doing this. Thanks for sharing this Heather! I just finished my e-book today and am in the process of having the cover made and conversion of my. I always heard Kindle Publishing, now I have quite knowledge about them. Thank you Alexis for sharing step-by-step guide for selling books. What an absolutely informative article! Wow, Kat — thanks for the kind words!
Best of luck with your project! Hi there. I understand that I cannot sell my digital book elsewhere. If, however, I wish to publish the book with a commercial publisher, am I allowed to send a hardcopy to the publisher in order for them to review? Kind regards. Vanessa Reeve. I have a full color cookbook created in InDesign. Do you think uploading the ePub file will be sufficient for the Kindle or will I need to figure out how to covert the files I have into Mobi?
Is there a trial version of the Schrivner program — I wish the author had mentioned a cost to download. Or is there a program I can use other than the one the author mentions? Great information for someone looking into possibly publishing on the Kindle platform.