Self-publishing authors face a conundrum today, and I’ve had many questions about it. Enroll in KDP Select, or not?
Recent kerfuffles about scammers, and cancelled Amazon accounts, have built author anxiety about KDP Select.
What to do?
Self-publishing in 2018: cash and content
Here’s the conundrum.
“Free” doesn’t have the power to build self-publishing careers that it once did. However, when an ebook is enrolled in KDP Select (and therefore is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers,) you can make some money.
Readers can sample your books, and authors with large catalogues can develop great incomes via KENPC. Of course, that money is limited if you’re a beginning author with a single book. So KDP Select “works” for both established and new authors.
Going wide — that is, hauling your ebooks out of Select and no longer giving Amazon exclusivity so that you can publish on more of the book retailers, has challenges too.
It can lead to an almost-instant drop in income, because it takes time to build visibility elsewhere.
My opinion FWIW: do both. Make some of your ebooks wide, keep (or enroll) others in Select.
Newbie author with one ebook? Enroll it in Select.
Let’s have a look at how you can take advantage of the power of freebies in 2018.
1. Consider enrolling a serial, or series, in Select
I’m a fan of serials; they’re a no-brainer for KDP Select, and act as an introduction to you and your books. If KDP Select is making you nervous, write a serial, and go wide with the rest of your books.
Check our third tip below — “free” isn’t a price, and for most authors, enrolling ebooks in Select is a careful and strategic choice.
2. Hustle: the low-hanging fruit has long gone
We’ve discussed advertising. Yes, you can still make money without advertising, but it’s hard work. As soon as you can, invest some of your income in advertising.
The days when “free” or zero marketing were an option for authors have long gone. Give your books a chance, and promote them.
3. Wisdom counts when self-publishing: “free” isn’t a price
You can visit any online forum, and find authors who brag that they’ve had a thousand free downloads of an ebook… Shortly afterward, they complain that they have zero sales.
Please be aware that it’s impossible to maintain your self-publishing business by giving everything away. “Free” isn’t a price, and neither is 99 cents.
Advertising becomes impossible when your self-publishing income is low. Raise your prices. You’ll be able to afford advertising when you do.
Self-publishing: KDP Select, and patience
Yes, many authors are making huge monthly profits with KDP Select, but chances are that it didn’t happen overnight. Self-publishing success takes strategy, time, and patience.
Amazon’s Select is a huge benefit for authors, provided only that you use it strategically, and strenuously avoid involving yourself in dubious practices.
Most importantly, be aware that the self-publishing environment is constantly changing. Take a longterm view, and have patience. Keep writing and having fun. 🙂
Why write serial fiction?
Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.
It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.More info →
What's holding you back from the writing career of your dreams? If you want to write more, sell more, and have more fun writing... it's easier than you can imagine. Discover the secret to writing every day, and becoming a prolific writer.More info →
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