Review: Amazon’s Kindle Select
I read many blog reviews, both good and bad, before choosing to enroll in Amazon’s kindle select program. Amazon Select is an exclusive program through – and here’s the shocker – Amazon, which means you publish your EBook through them and only through them for a period of 90 days. Apparently they push the works of members harder than if you publish widely. There’s a fund you can get moneys from if someone reads your book (a per page kind of deal) through their owner’s lending library, which gets updated every month to inform people how much money they can get a piece of. That is, if anyone reads your book.
Problem is, there is about 75 gazillion authors trying to get everyone’s attention in exactly the same way.
Why did I choose to enroll The Paths of Greythorn in something so exclusive when I could publish widely and possibly hit a broader audience? It was the appeal of the global fund (lending library) and the possibility of reaching people who wouldn’t otherwise read my book. There are promotions available to you, from a discount countdown to scheduling free books, and the possibility of making a fair bit of money through those who are the proud owners of a kindle unlimited account. Want the truth? I think someone read about 59 pages, and I’m pretty sure I made zilch from that exposure. (see standalone sentence above)
Now, I honestly should have timed the release of my second book a bit better, because since its release a week ago only the second book has been widely available, with the exception of Amazon of course. Lesson learned. You may learn from my mistake and consider this if you ever publish anything.
My takeaway from Amazon Kindle Select? It was a great way for a bunch of readers to get my book for free, which isn’t a bad thing. This means they might actually read my book, and if they read my book, they might actually buy the next book, after which they’ll be keeping an eye out for book three. On the other hand, a bunch of people got a hold of my book for free and didn’t give me a penny in return. (Yet. See previous sentence) I’ve possibly missed out on an opportunity to get noticed on one of the other EBook sites, and who knows if I’ll get that chance again. (it takes a while for a new author to build any momentum after all)
Are there opportunities for people through this program?
Would I ever do it again?
I spent three long months staring at the reports, getting excited whenever there’s a bar of any type only to remember there is a free book promotion happening. I did a happy dance when that one person read 59 pages of my book through the lending library, only to disappear into the miniature black hole which opened up and swallowed said reader before they could continue on to the next page. Perhaps once upon a time this program was a way to get discovered as an indie writer, and it was worth a shot, but Select’s time to shine has come and gone.
I mean, I went so far as to publish to Amazon through Draft2digital, at a lower royalty than going directly through Amazon, to avoid any temptation to do this again.
On the bright side, I received a positive review from a reader, this one from a complete stranger.
I will remember my time with Amazon Select as someone moving through thick fog. It was mercifully short, and thankfully the re-enroll for another three months buttons wasn’t hidden in the deepest, darkest corners of the website. Come next week, The Paths of Greythorn will be available at all the same places as Lost Souls of Greythorn and this whole ordeal will be behind me.