Trying new approaches for the same old task is critical for success and growth. This is especially true in the literary world. Technology is carrying us along at a rapid pace. Our work is available on all sorts of devices and media. We, as authors, have constantly changing options to get our books to readers.
In the spirit of experimenting with new approaches, I decided to try enrolling my newest release – The Lords of Valdeon – in Amazon’s Kindle Select program. This was a huge step for me. I’ve been a Smashwords supporter for several years. It’s a one stop shop for laptop readers and folks with Kindles, iBooks, and Nooks. Whether or not to exclusively sell my book on Amazon was a tough choice. Would I alienate my Nook and Apple Readers? Would I limit my exposure on an Amazon only platform? Am I taking that first step toward the Dark Side?
Every experiment has a risk associated with it. The key is doing your research in advance and mitigating it as best you can. I took an honest look at my readership through the tools available on both sites. The results: My novel length fiction does much better on Amazon. My horror short is a favorite with the B&N crowd (Smashwords), but scored a big fat goose egg on Amazon. This new insight left me with the lingering question: Is it really necessary to spend the extra money on multiple platforms for each work when I might be wasting money?
NOTE: My results are unique to my books and my experience. Take a look at your own readership to make sure you’re making the right choice for you. Not published yet or first time Indie Author? Consider looking at the best selling Indie books in your genre to gauge the route those authors have taken.
I made the decision to dip my toe in the Kindle Select pond for the mandatory 90 days. The Lords of Valdeon (Heart Of The Warrior – Book One) was released on Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited on Jan 7th. It’s been out there for almost two weeks. I have to admit, Amazon is seducing me with their real-time charts and reader participation. There’s a graph (Angelic music plays) indicating how many pages of your book per day Kindle Unlimited subscribers have read. Which brings me to another insight: How do we measure commercial success in this new era of subscription services? Will it be based on how many pages read or books sold?
My experiment has just begun. I’ll be discussing my results on DTJ when the Kindle Select 90 day period is up. Have some insight or experience with Kindle Select? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.