Hi, everyone. I signed up for KDP Select when I published my first book. I had done research online about self publishing and it was my understanding that being a part of the "Select" program offered you freebie days that would improve your sales rank, so it was a good idea to sign up. I've discovered, however, that this system was "modified" sometime last year, with free books categorized in one ranking and priced books in another.
So...what good does it do to be on KDP Select if those free days can't improve my sales ranking when I return to my regular price of $3.99? Will it help in other ways, such as exposure or to increase my chances of being found on the search engine or in the "Customers Who Bought This, Bought That," suggestions?
Also, what constitutes a good sales ranking in the free store? Does anyone know how many books you're up against in there? My current ranking is #553, and I'm #23 in paranormal and #35 in thrillers...but it's a new book and it's free, so is this good? Does it even matter?
In my opinion, KDP Select gains you nothing. If you want to get a book listed for free, just dual post it to Smashwords, and list it for free there. Channel it to their partners including B&N, Kobo etc. and it will be free there too. Then, get a bunch of friends to visit your book on Amazon and click on the "tell us about a lower price" and report the now-free link. They'll eventually price-match your book to $0, on a permanent basis rather than just 5 days out of 90.
A couple pitfalls: it can take several days to weeks to get them to price-match it. Be persistent. Also, sometimes they'll "un-free" it for no apparent reason... not good, for example, if you are participating in events such as book giveaways in which you've offered your book up for free.
The problem is that when anyone publishes, their book goes to the bottom of a massive pile. Your book is so buried, you can't even search it. To get noticed you can either...
1. market the book through advertising, soliciting blogs, social media, etc..
or if you don't have time or want to use the precious time you have to keep writing.
2. give it away for 5 days.
I have a full time job, 2 kids and 2 dogs so my marketing budget and time is tiny.
Making books is my fun hobby so I don't want to make it not-fun by turning it into a marketing job.
That's why I do the select program.
The results are hit and miss. I have one book that only got 333 free downloads and had a big bump afterwards.
Another I'm convinced people love it for free but wouldn't pay for it. It got 2500 downloads and had no bump.
I don't know what is up with Amazon algorithms but have been noticing a decrease in downloads and after promo bump.
I like that it helps books get into the "people who bought this also bought this" areas but when the other books are
all free, that probably doesn't help anyone. If the promos continue to slide, I'll probably not do them anymore but still
be part of select. The borrows are almost half my KDP income.