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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Select, or not Select?

KDP Select Results

The above link is a researched article written to help Indie Writers (writers who self-publish and so must self-market) understand whether Amazon's new "Kindle Select" is the right choice.

Kindle Select is promoting its exclusive marketing by offering shared rewards to the participants. In return, the participants promise not to market their book anywhere else for at least the three month term. This exclusivity removes Nook readers, and authors using Smashwords, Lulu and other sites for a wider market.

What seems to be the crux of her research is that well-known authors had a positive experience; books of a genre with a widely varied reader base had a positive experience, and brand new authors were happily satisfied even with moderate success.

So I ponder, and I look at my titles. Each of them has a very limited, defined reader base. People who like poetry don't spend much money on Poetry Books, but browse, read and re-read their favorites. The buying audience for my two volumes of Teaching essays is probably the college students who are busy doing their practicums and student teaching terms; they are likely to have little money to purchase books in addition to those required by their professors. The book I wrote about the small town where I live has, logically, a small potential reader base.

My most recent book has a reader base of people who may have more interest and time to read, perhaps, but high medical expenses and wide access to free information on the internet. While I like to think that the title offers some validation and reassurance to newly diagnosed people with multiple sclerosis, reaching them from Amazon is a stretch without endorsement from the numerous websites featuring multiple sclerosis as a topic. I've sent free downloads to a few who might be able to endorse my book at a message board site for people with multiple sclerosis.

It has been said that using social media is the best way to spread the word about new books. I've set up a special Facebook page to share links with readers, and have named the page after my book, Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma. But recently I've heard that some Facebook readers are annoyed with posts featuring marketing on a social media.

It's a fine line that self-published and so self-marketing authors must walk ... reaching out to share each other's books, asking others to share the links with their friend base ... all of this leads to an angry post that I read at Amazon this week: the claim that self-publishing Indie authors are egotistic and narcissistic.

I would remind that person that Indie Writers are just that ... self-sustaining, solitary workers who believe that what they have to share is worthwhile. It is not in their nature to reach out and ask for others' help, yet that is what they need to do most.

To that end, here are links to my six titles:

CreateSpace, the print on demand publisher of my books, and the best return to me as the author, with approximately a 70% return:

Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma

Teaching vol 1 Education and Academics Essays

Teaching Vol 2 Stories Reflecting the Classroom

Poetry to Share Vol I Family

Poetry to Share Vol II Writers and Artists

Georgetown at the Turn of the Millennium

Amazon: Will also send Paperback for each, and Kindle for MS and Teaching I, II.

Author Page

Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigm

Teaching Vol I Education and Academics Essays

Teaching 2 Stories Reflecting the Classroom

Poetry 1 Family

Poetry 2 Writers and Artists

Georgetown at the Turn of the Millennium


  1. I am holding off from the Select program for now, because of the exclusivity clause, and to see how others fare on it (in the long run, not in just two or three months!).

    The current swift and sudden changes mean we need to exercise caution and choose carefully.

    Well done with your enterprise, Terry.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Rosanne! I agree with you, Kindle direct's exclusion of Nook readers is troubling for me, as many friends have Nooks and are devoted to B&N.

  2. Greta post, Terry. I just opted into KDP select for one of my titles. It seemed like a good idea since I had only ever sold one copy through Smashwords and a handful of copies through Barnes and Noble, while on amazon it was doing quite well. I do plan to re-evaluate after the three month term is over, but so far I am happy with the results. Time will tell. Exclusivity is scary, particularly because of the power it gives amazon, but with bills to pay, I had to consider what would bring the largest audience and hence, the largest income.

    Thanks for visiting the Indie Writer's Network; it's how I found your site. Always nice to meet a fellow writer and teacher. (I teach college writing.)

    Best wishes,

    Amy Joy

    1. Hi Amy,
      Glad you found your way here! And good to hear that you are having success with books on Amazon. I have two on Kindle for 99 cents; they haven't moved at all. My latest is doing a bit better.

      Thanks for reading and responding here!

  3. Hi, Terry-I looked up your blog from the Spunky Seniors blog. I've been married 53 years, have a son and a daughter, 3 grandsons, and I taught high school..biology. So, are we twins? So glad to meet you.

  4. I guess we're as close to twins as anyone else might be! Rick and i have 45 years of friendship (42 this year of marriage.) So we've a way to go before we reach 50 year status!But we recognize that these are our happily ever after years. We have a son and daughter, grandson and granddaughter; Rick was an only child, and I am the middle of nine.

    Nice to know you here and at Spunky Seniors!


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