Good-bye Kindle Select, hello all other platforms! Wait…no! Take me back! Maybe?

Shizzle, Inc has been enrolled in Kindle Select almost since the day it was published on 4 September. My 90-day commitment is up and I have not renewed, thinking that I’m no longer interested in Countdown Deals or Free Days, since Shizzle, Inc is now pretty much permanently at $0.99.

I immediately published with a variety with other platforms – Shizzle, Inc is now available on:

I was so excited! Yet another sales graph to obsess over…too bad (thank God!) it’s just one more – on Smashwords. Oh, and look, five people have downloaded free 20% samples! Oh, and look, I can set up coupons, which will let me do sales or giveaways!

Awesome, right?

That’s what I thought until I’d noticed that there was no longer a “get it free with Kindle Unlimited” button under the title. After some Googling and face-palming, I realized what I seriously should have known by now – that Kindle Unlimited is the main bait to keep authors exclusively with Amazon Kindle, not the promo options.

If you’d asked me what I thought about KU and KENP a month ago, I would have probably said “eh”. However, thanks to the recent promo blasts, the KENP graph (below) looks like the world’s awesomest mountain chain. In fact, I’ve made about $22 in the last couple of weeks just from people reading their “free” copies:

Sales on 9 Dec

That’s equivalent to about 63 copies sold for $0.99! And at the very least 18 copies read (assuming about 240 pages per copy – I never get the “normalized” part of KENP). I don’t (yet) care about the royalties – I want as many copies sold as possible, so I would need to sell about 2 copies per day from other sources…wait, that’s not so bad, right? So, was it a good idea to part with KU?

After a bit more over-analyzing and face-palming, I’d calmed down and decided to give the other platforms a go – maybe a month? Maybe two? Advertise and see what kind of numbers I get, do some more calculations, then regroup and decide if I go back to Kindle Select.

So if you hate Amazon, but are interested in finding out what it might be like to work for the seventh richest man in the Southeastern United States – get Shizzle, Inc now from any of the sources above! I’m prone to changing my mind…

79 Comments

Filed under Self-publishing and marketing, Shizzle, Inc.

79 responses to “Good-bye Kindle Select, hello all other platforms! Wait…no! Take me back! Maybe?

  1. What’s the status of your second book? I know authors will give the first book away and charge for the second book and people are willing to pay more for it because WE HATE CLIFHANGERS!! IMO

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m curious to see what you find out. In my one month on Kindle select I’ve had 500 pages read, approximately two books. They happened all at once. I found out that means someone was reading while offline, then it page dumped when they log back in. I’m curious if it would be worth it to go to other platforms in January or not.

    Thanks for sharing all of this with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was shocked when I saw your tweet about being on iTunes for exactly that reason: “She’s willing to give up all those page reads on KU/KOLL to get listed in stores that nobody I can find uses? What does she know that I don’t know?!”

    I’m also really surprised at your statement that your book is “pretty much permanently at $0.99.” You have a well-written book with a ton of great reviews. I’d love to see a post where you explain why you decided to set the price so low.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll be interested to see how you get on, though I had very limited results indeed from outlets other than Amazon, and have pretty much decided that KU blows everything else out of the water.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dang! That’s what I was afraid of…the silver lining is that I can advertise Shizzle on social media as a limited time opportunity on Nook…customers go nuts for limited time anything 🙂

      Like

  5. Thank you! Your journey is educating us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m struggling with the same issue. I’m currently enrolled in Select, but do not plan to renew when the 90 days are up. I was nervous about enrolling in the beginning, but I’ve had so many KU and KOLL reads I’m now even more nervous about opting out. I’ll be interested to see where your books goes in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kindle Select is not working for me so I’m about to post Transgression on Smashwords. It’s where all my other books went first. KS was a failed experiment so far as I’m concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Liz

    I opted out of Select with my book last month, thinking I’d give myself the equivalent of three months to see if I could match my Kindle sales numbers, if not top them by going on iBooks, B&N, etc. A few weeks after I opted out, I received my latest royalties and had to call my bank to see if there’d been a mistake for one particular amount, and she assured me there wasn’t, and yes, it was all those figures and change. Up to that point, I had no idea whether KU/KOLL made any sense but my bank account said it made a lot of sense, although it took the third month for the page reads to really take off and maybe for readers to notice and start reading. Now, a month out of Select, I’ve lost my momentum but I did opt back into Select two days ago, and will just sit back and let the book get noticed again.

    I have your book and do believe that you need to price it higher than $0.99 because it is worth more than that. My book of short stories (6 stories) and one short story is at that same price (99 cents), and my novels at $3.99. Sure the sales may not be as great as if they were at 99 cents, but it’s all about the perception of value. I’d keep the 99 cents as a sale price if I have to, or take advantage of the free days or countdown deals to boost sales. When you publish the sequels, then you can either make it perma-free or at 99 cents. This whole writing thing is really a marathon and we just have to tough it out in the beginning.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Liz – that’s what I was suspecting 😦 Well, I may use this month to advertise madly Shizzle on Nook as a limited time opportunity.
      In terms of the price, I have done a lot of experimentation, and I was just not getting any sales at $2.99. This low price is a limited time offer, too – I’m more interested in the snowball effect than anything else at the moment…

      Like

      • Liz

        One month is also too soon to experiment to see if you can match your sales figures on Kindle IMO in those other platforms, but after I saw that I was missing out on the KU/KOLL where the bulk of my royalties came from I knew that because I’m a new author with a sequel still in the editing stages, it was better to stay with one (in this case Amazon) till I gained some sort of footing in this wild,wild West of self-publishing and name/brand recognition.

        Someone boldly pointed out to me via pm this week how my book wasn’t selling (good old novelrank figures, I’m sure) and that I must be frustrated over my lack of sales – and while I could have gone all defensive (though it hurt), I realized that “hey, she might see that I only sold less than 20 books last month but she also hasn’t seen my KU/KOLL royalties.” And because of KU/KOLL I opted back in. On that note, it’s sad that some fellow authors base each others’ worth on sales without even bothering to read the books in question. I’m so not a numbers person so half of the figures you often write on here make my eyes glaze over but I do appreciate your sharing your self-publishing journey.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, I’m so a numbers person 🙂 I’m afraid there will be more maths, but you’re welcome to skip them and go straight to the part where I embarrass myself by whatever new gimmick I may be trying 🙂

        The only number I’m currently interested in is the number of readers, hence the attempt to expand distribution. Good thing I’m about to go on vacation, so hopefully will calm down enough not to jump ship too soon…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Good luck … Hope you are met with success

    Liked by 1 person

  10. exiledprospero

    Thanks for the information Ana. Perhaps I will be able to use it in another life.

    But for the moment I have two questions for you–one is really stupid and the other is slightly less so (but only marginally):

    1) Your book is listed under ‘satire.’ Who makes that determination?
    2) Have you used Kindle Spy?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Good-bye Kindle Select, hello all other platforms! Wai…no! Take me back! Maybe? | J.A. Stinger

  12. As a devout Nook user, I thank you. Can’t wait to jump into your book!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve been round that carousel so many times! It’s so hard to decide whether you want to remain in Kindle Select or not! I thought about passing for my newest book; but now I’m glad I didn’t. Ah, well! You win some, you lose some! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I took this summer to experiment and do an advertising blitz on the other platforms and didn’t get very good results. Hope yours are better. Word of advice from experience – make sure who you are advertising with supports all platforms (kobo, B&N, etc.) to get the most bang for your buck. A lot of them just post the Amazon link.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m finding this out now! Never paid it any attention before – will start updating my Super Duper list accordingly…

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I will share mine, of course, and then decide on the future course of action.

      Like

  15. I’ll have to hunt up the post but someone I follow wrote a post earlier this week about Kindle Premium and whether it was worth it to her to continue her subscription since her year’s nearly up.

    In her post she mentioned that on Premium you can rent ten books over a certain time frame (I can’t remember how long). She’s a reviewer and reads a lot on her own as well. She found that for the price she’s paying it is well worth the money. I believe it comes to something like $1.47 (Only in British pounds but I can’t figure out how to get the pound symbol)

    Perhaps that’s something to look into to see whether you would get a portion of the proceeds if someone ‘rent’s your books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You definitely do – those are KENP graphs I’ve been posting (blue). You get about half-cent for each page they read (for the first time). I got up to almost 1k pages per day, or $5 per day.

      Like

  16. Sounds like you’re doing pretty well 🙂 I always enjoy these updates. What is the status of the second book (I was inspired a comment above)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. olivia barrington

    I think it is a wise declension to explore the other platforms and try to reach a different branch of readers. Not everyone does Amazon. I didn’t really till your book, I liked B&N as one of my avenues. Amazon always put me off with the type of advertising ( always feel they are ripping off the author) they do. I know it’s a good platform for self publishing just think it’s good to spread your wings and try to reach more readers in different platforms. Time will tell if it helps bring in new readers and maybe more money. You never know till you try. Good luck! I hope it pans out for you. I still have a lot to learn about the business. I’ve learned a lot from you. Thanks! Look forward to the results.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ana, I started with KDP select, but the reason I started self-publishing was for the control I would have over my book. I found KDP Select too restricting as to when I could offer my book for sale or free if I wanted. In other words, KDP Select took away the control I wanted over my books. So as soon as the 90 days were up, I cancelled KDP Select and offered the book everywhere I could. I used Draft2Digital instead of Smashwords. That said, I didn’t have enough books being read through Kindle Unlimited, but I was still sad that it was no longer available. Some months I sell more through B&N than Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I know this sounds like a bit of a long shot but have you tried using the media in your country? Social media is fantastic and your posts are so informative, but have you thought of being on a radio show or a television show or any kind of interview? It`s not hard to arrange and you can manage a lot of it yourself. The idea is to communicate well on social media but also arrange interviews that ‘blast’ your national population with exposure to you and your book on television, radio, book signing events. You can arrange your own book signing events in book shops. Of course these may be seen internationally eventually. So it`s like advertise, advertise, advertise! A lot of work but I think it would be fun. Maybe go beyond the internet. Also if you have experiences or beliefs that might help people it`s a good way to send your message out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sheez A. Writer

    Let me just say, I did what you did, giving the “go wide” idea a shake. It took me about 90 days to get traction on the other sites but now my amazon sales are surpassed by my iTunes and Nook sales. I recently made both of my books free and plan to use a combo approach in the new year, putting my new book series on kindle select for 90 days and then going wide so that my select period is the “promotion”. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Under a different pen name, I first published through KDP Select. Thinking I could perhaps grow sales, I dropped out of the “select” part and published through Smashwords also. I didn’t work out for me . . . hardly any sales through Smashwords–and to make matters worse, my Kindle sales dropped. I went back to KDP Select. I hope things work out better for you than they did for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have to be honest, that is why I’m hoping to get published by one of the big five. As I’ve said before your tenacity is admirable. But bloody hell it seems like hard work for very little reward! Your belief is strong keep it up, you’re amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. tghuguenin

    Interested on your thoughts, how is it turning out since switching from ku? I’m publishing a book in about 6 months and I’m trying to figure out a marketing plan, as well as decide whether I’m going to stick to just Amazon or also sell on smashwords

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Timothy, I’ve been with Smashwords for about 2 weeks and no sales at all – 21 downloads which I hope will turn into sales. I’ll give it another 2 weeks and update everyone in a blog post.

      Like

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