Why You Didn’t Get Any Sales from Your KDP Select Promotion

2200198472_7ac895f9b2You wrote the book. You did the research. You got a cover. Finally, you formatted the thing for Amazon Kindle and decided to try KDP Select.

Gleefully, you set up the promotion and let ‘er whirl. You scaled your expectations accordingly. “Maybe a dozen sales, not more… but, you know, maybe it’s the next Fifty Shades of Grey. A hundred sales.” 

The downloads come rolling in like a tsunami – ten, twenty, a hundred downloads. Those are great, because it shows people are interested in what you’re writing. Or at least interested in stockpiling free books.

Then, it’s over and you wait for the “ripple effect” you’ve heard about… but nothing happens. That’s it. You just worked on a book for a few years and handed it out to anonymous strangers. You get zero sales from your KDP Select promotion.

Here’s why:

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Libboo: A New Social Media Platform that Might Actually Help Authors

libboo When it comes to social media for authors, I’m skeptical at best. The average conversion rate for B2B companies on social media is 1.6 percent and they’re selling a solution to some kind of problem.

Authors are selling a commoditized experience, something that depends on recommendations – word-of-mouth – more than anything else.

In part, that’s what intrigues me so much about Libboo, a new company that is trying to help authors promote their work through “advocacy marketing.”

Libboo offers authors the power to reward their most passionate readers – the ones who recommend your book to their friends – and has the data analytics tools to monitor just who recommends the stuff and how they’re doing it.

It’s a bold step in the emerging world of social commerce. I recently had an email interview with Michael Boezi, Vice President of Strategy, to learn more about the solution and what Libboo hopes to achieve.

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Why Authors Shouldn’t Pay for Social Media Services

moneyebooksI accidentally clicked a press release the other day. This release announced an exciting new “social media system” to help independent authors create buzz for books.

A noble goal, albeit a lofty one. Dog Ear Publishing, one of the many self-publishing platforms in the indie author world, offers the service with a nice little bonus: a 32-page instructional eBook.

I don’t doubt the expertise. I don’t doubt that these guys know what they’re doing and want to help authors get established on social media.

What I do doubt is the price tag for the services: $599. Because I’m not sure there’s any proof that social media can drive (that many) book sales for independent authors.

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Download “Technology & Culture Stink” for Free!

coverToday’s the last day of my KDP Select promotion of my short story collection, “Technology & Culture” stink. So if you’re remotely interested in reading short stories about topics that few authors have covered yet, like:

  • social media
  • ebooks
  • cloud computing
  • global warming
  • a political race full of lawyer-reporters, a popular new profession

Then check it out today! If you don’t have a Kindle, just download the Kindle App for your smartphone and read a short story while you’re in line at the grocery store or something.

You have my guarantee that you’ll like at least one of them.

Download now!

Keep in Mind: 59% of Readers Don’t Care About eBooks

ebookreaderEbook sales have slowed down. Flattened. Softened. Whatever word you want to call it. Worldwide sales for the first quarter this year? They declined.

Over at Rough Type, Nicholas Carr speculated a little bit about why eBook sales have so abruptly become steady, rather than revolutionary.

Specifically, he brought up the iPad. I’ve thought about the indirect effect of tablet computers on eBooks, too. Especially when I saw that e-readers are dying.

Take a look at this graph and tell me what you see.

To me, it looks like a complement-to-print-books-future, not a eBooks-are-killing-print-totally future.

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Amazon is Not Waging a “War” Against Books

3022959240_bdff1fbd5bAmazon is waging a war against “bookstores” and “book culture.” According to a new article from Salon, anyway.

Well, if Amazon is at war, I guess I’m a soldier. Of the last three books I’ve bought, two have been through Amazon, for my smartphone. 

Why? Because they’re obscure business books that I was confident I wouldn’t find in a store. And it was easy.

The one thing I can’t stand in this debate about the future of books and publishing and authors is when people seem to think of Amazon or some other Corporation as a malevolent and unstoppable force.

So let’s stop with the overblown rhetoric and examine the truth about this situation:

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J.K. Rowling and the New Author’s Discoverability Problem

Harry PotterBy now, anyone in the literary world… who reads Internet News… has learned that J.K. Rowling released a novel about four months ago under a man’s name. Robert Galbraith, to be exact.

The book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, sold a whopping 1,500 copies in four months. Meanwhile, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by contrast, sold 8.3 million copies in one day. Fifteen hundred copies means that the book sold at a clip of about 10-15 a day.

Now, of course, it’s sprung to the top of bestseller lists, because J.K. Rowling is a big, established author. But this interesting – and bold – decision of Rowling’s highlights something that’s a little scary: the “discoverability” problem for new authors.

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