Posts Tagged KDP Select

PLR for Ebooks

Public Lending Right (PLR) is on its way for ebooks. Until now only ebooks downloaded on library premises, to fixed terminals and then taken away on loan have qualified for PLR payments. Legislation was passed last month (April 2017), in the Digital Economy Bill, which extends the UK Public Lending Right legislation to include remote loans of ebooks. These new arrangements are expected to apply to loans from July 1st 2018, with the first payments being made in arrears in February 2020.

I have written previously about how to get self-published ebooks into public libraries via the distributor Overdrive but there are a couple of things to bear in mind before rushing off to do so:

  • It is not possible to keep an ebook in KDP Select and make it available through other channels e.g. public library loans
  • Under PLR legislation, loans are collected using ISBNs. Many of the ebooks published through Kindle Direct Publishing have only the Amazon assigned ASIN.

So, this is good news for a lot of authors, who will, in the future, get recompensed for ebook loans. Others will have to take decisions about whether it’s better to stay exclusive to Amazon in KDP Select with its marketing/Kindle Unlimited benefits or go wide to other ebook distributors and obtain an ISBN.

Any traditionally-published/self-published authors have an opinion on this new legislation?

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Bedsit Three Sells 1000 Copies

Last month total sales of the psychological thriller, Bedsit Three, passed the 1,000 mark.

Bedsit Three by Sally Jenkins

At this point it’s worth reflecting on the breakdown of sales across retailers. It’s not what I was expecting 18 months ago when the novel was first published.

Kobo                                                                                       764
Paperbacks direct from me                                                119
Kindle                                                                                       91
Createspace (i.e. paperbacks from Amazon)                   34
Overdrive (via Smashwords)                                                 2
Apple (via Smashwords)                                                         1

I expected Kindle to generate the largest number of sales because it is still, by far, the largest ebook sales platform. However, Bedsit Three was shortlisted for a competition organised by Kobo and Silverwood Books. On the back of this, I contacted Kobo and was able to get the book included in some promotions, which obviously paid off.

The lesson going forward? Don’t get obsessed by the benefits of KDP Select (which requires authors to keep their books exclusive to Amazon). Dip your toe in the water and try other ebook retailers as well.

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Smashwords Coupons

Self-publishers who have opted out of Amazon’s KDP Select are free to distribute their e-books via other platforms, as well as Amazon.

As I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, Smashwords offers an easy way to make your e-book available through many retailers such as  Apple, Barnes & Noble and the library supplier, OverDrive.

Individuals can also purchase e-books directly from Smashwords, from where they can choose to receive the e-book in a variety of formats, for example .mobi for Kindle and epub for Kobo, Nook and tablets.
In order to encourage these individual purchases, Smashwords lets authors create money-off coupons to distribute directly to selected readers (such as book reviewers, competition winners etc.) or more generally via social media. The author selects the discount percentage (up to 100%, thus making the book free), the expiry date and the number of redemptions (for example only the first 100 customers using the coupon will get the discount). Smashwords then generates a discount code for the author to distribute as he chooses.

I’ve been playing around with the Smashwords Coupon Manager and have created a 50% off coupon code VZ95D for Bedsit Three. It’s valid until 31/10/2016 or for the first 50 people – whichever comes soonest.

So, if you’re fed up of Amazon’s supremacy, try buying your Kindle e-book from Smashwords and save some money too!

Bedsit Three

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KindleFever, the Lancashire Authors’ Association and a Freebie

KindleFever

If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of publishing a Kindle book but never quite got around to it, Nick Daws’ KindleFever might be just the push you need. KindleFever is a challenge to publish a Kindle e-book in the month of June.

Nick says, “You can either write and publish a Kindle e-book from scratch, or else format and publish an existing work. All types of Kindle book are welcome, including novels, short stories, anthologies, nonfiction books, poetry, and so forth.”

The challenge is being run via the writers’ forum My Writers’ Circle and there will be lots of chat and advice on there for e-publishing newbies. There’s already a useful resources thread on there.

There might also be post-publication benefits from taking part in this challenge. “We hope and intend that everyone taking part in KindleFever will help other participants promote their newly-published books, by reviewing them, “liking” them, tagging them, and so on,” Nick explains. “This should help to ensure that they all have the best possible chance of making it into the Kindle best-seller lists!”

I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Daws on Saturday when he came to talk to Lichfield Writers about e-books. He was very generous with his advice and I think this will be a challenge well worth taking!

It’s free to sign-up – simply register on the forum and scroll down the list of topics to KindleFever.

Lancashire Authors’ Association

Peter Jones has been in touch to tell me that the Lancashire Authors’ Association are keen to welcome new members. Their next meeting is in Lytham on June 1st. Details are here.

But Peter points out that you don’t have to live in Lancashire to join them.

“We have members in various parts of the country and as far afield as Canada and New Zealand,” he says. “We have annual competitions only open to members with prizes plus a trophy.”

They sound a friendly lot and membership is only £15 per year.

Freebie – Last ever chance to get Old Friends for free!

I’ve unchecked the box in Amazon KDP and Old Friends will drop out of KDP Select in a couple of days. For me the benefits of offering books for free don’t seem to be materialising (after my last promo I noticed no rise in sales and only received one review – thank you so much, Carl) and so I’m going to experiment by making the book available on other platforms too (KDP Select requires that the book be exclusive to Amazon).

However, I have got two free days left so I thought I’d give you all a final chance to get it for free on May 21st and May 22nd. In exchange, I’d be most grateful if you could leave a review (doesn’t have to be 5 star – as Nick Daws said at his workshop, books with only 5 star reviews can look a bit dodgy, so even 3 star reviews are OK too).

Old Friends is available on all Amazon sites by searching for ASIN: B00BJIKIBI

Or grab it from Amazon.uk by clicking here or from Amazon.com by clicking here.

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KDP Select – Is it worth it?

Enrol your e-book  in Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select program and you get two advantages:

  • Amazon Prime members are able to borrow the book for free and this will generate a royalty payment for the author
  • The book can be offered free for 5 days in every 90. Offering a book for free is supposed to generate large numbers of downloads which will then convert into reviews of the book on Amazon, which in turn will drive an increased number of sales.

There is also a downside to joining KDP Select – the e-book must remain exclusive to Amazon i.e. it cannot be sold on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo etc.

Many e-book authors swear by KDP Select and its advantages. They don’t see exclusivity as a disadvantage because Amazon is by far the biggest retailer of e-books.

I’m not sure. I’ve had e-books available in KDP Select for just over three months now and I’ve had only one Amazon Prime loan (it was in the US). So that doesn’t seem a massive benefit. Are any of you Amazon Prime members? I don’t know anyone who is.

I’ve run one free promotion. In the five days that One Day for Me was free, I had 135 US free downloads, 93 in the UK, 2 in Germany, 1 Japan and 1 Canada. As far as I can tell, only one review (it was in the UK) was written as a result and I noticed no increase in sales. This was despite spending an age adding my book to the many websites and Facebook pages that offer to list free e-books.

But I didn’t remove that book from KDP Select after the first 90 days, mainly because whilst I was dithering about what to do, the Amazon automatic re-enrol swung into action.

Looking on the bright side – maybe next time I’ll do better!

Which brings me nicely to my next KDP Select Promotion.

My second anthology Old Friends is free on all Kindle platforms for the next three days. Old Friends is a collection of 13 short stories. There are tales with a twist, stories about the ups and downs of family life plus a little romance. Perfect to enjoy with a cup of coffee and a biscuit! If you’re in the UK click here or in the US click here, otherwise search for ASIN B00BJIKIBI on any Amazon platform.

And as a special treat, One Day for Me is half price for the next three days too. One Day for Me is a collection of 8 short stories that have either won or been short-listed in UK writing competitions. If you’re in the UK click here or in the US click here, otherwise search for ASIN B00B4XCYJC on any Amazon platform.

I look forward to the reviews rolling in, followed by a tsunami of sales!

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