When you publish a book on Kindle you have the option of joining the Kindle Select programme. There are a few things you can do if you join Kindle Select … But in exchange you have to join for 90 days at a time, and you have to guarantee your ebook is available exclusively to Kindle. In other words, it can’t be available on iBooks, Nook, Sony eReader etc.
So what is Kindle Select all about?
Kindle Lending Library
When you sign up to Kindle Select your book automatically gets put into the Kindle Lending Library. Anyone with a Prime account can borrow a book a month for free, and if your book is borrowed you’ll get a small royalty as a result. Admittedly not many people borrow books – and those that do tend to go for the expensive ones from mainstream publishers rather than cheaper self-published books – but it’s nice to give readers that option.
A new development within Kindle Select is the opportunity to have book sales, with a visible countdown to show how much longer the discounted price will be available for. This is a nice way to offer your book at a lower rate and create a sense of urgency – plus you still get royalties based on the full list price.
Perhaps the biggest draw of Kindle Select is that in every 90 day cycle you can give your book away for up to five days. However, in the past this was a really effective marketing tool, but it’s not so good now. You see, in the old days, people would download your book for free but all those free “purchases” would count the same as actual sales in Amazon’s search algorithm. That meant if you gave away 200 copies it had the same weighting as 200 paid sales and your book would go up in the rankings as a result. Amazon have changed the algorithm now so promo copies don’t count in the same way. Coupled with that, there are so many books out there now that the freebie doesn’t seem as appealing these days. However, it can still be a good way to get your book noticed – though you’re unlikely to get reviews, and often reviewers are harsher about free books than paid ones.
But it’s my birthday … So I thought I’d give you all a gift!