I’m a hypocrite, nice to meet you

Like you, I have strong opinions. Also like you, sometimes those opinions change based on eloquent presentations of new facts or ideas. That’s a lie. Sometimes opinions simply change.

We all contradict ourselves. It’s difficult to live this life without tripping up over something you’ve stated in the past. Each situation is different, of course, but our innate predilection towards hypocrisy doesn’t have to be construed as negative.

Let’s delve into a very specific example of my recent past.

For the past year I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that the Amazon Kindle Select Program is bad for authors. If you’re unaware, the Select program makes it so you can do a few special things with your Kindle books, but in exchange you’re not allowed to sell them anywhere else for 3 months. It’s Amazon’s way of buying exclusivity from hopeful authors without spending a single shiny nickel.

It always felt a little slimy, but when I was a young lad growing up in the suburbs of Detroit I often dreamed of being on You Can’t Do That On Television so maybe that’s okay.

After shuttering OnlyIndie.com I thought to myself, “Alright, with all the other platforms combined Luxury of Less has earned about $1,000, but on Amazon it has made many multiples of that. Where are the most readers coming in? And what kind of ereader device do you use?”

I was being decidedly anti-Amazon vocally, but entirely pro-Amazon otherwise.

I don’t believe exclusivity is a positive thing for authors unless they get something exceptional in return. At the same time I can’t rail against Amazon’s Kindle Select program without proper understanding of what it does and how it works. Maybe it is exceptional.

With that said, at the end of November I quietly added Luxury of Less to the Kindle Select Program. That means that if you’re an Amazon Prime member you can read it for free in the Kindle Lending Library. Amazon has a Lending Library Fund for authors (usually $700,000 per month) which is split amongst all the borrowed books. I’m expecting (based on what others have written) to get something like $2 per lend which is what I get if somebody buys the book, so that’s a wash.

Joining Kindle Select also means I have 5 free promotion days to use. I can make my book free for everyone for up to 5 days of the 90 days my book is enrolled in the program. For this type of free promotion nobody makes any money, but the hope is that I earn lots of new readers, which is ultimately the goal of any author.

Luxury of Less is free today

The first three days of my free promotion for Luxury of Less are today until the end of Wednesday (December 17, 18, 19). Pick it up on Amazon right here. Even if you don’t have a Kindle you can still read it on your computer and most mobile devices: http://amzn.to/TWlMSC

Let’s make this an experiment. I’ll share all my results after the 90 days are up, but I need you to participate whether you own a Kindle or not. All you need is an Amazon account.

Early KDP Select Stats

Interesting early statistics from my first 3 weeks in the KDP Select program: my book sales have taken what can only be described as a pilot error-like nose-dive. I’ve sold 50% less in December than November. Maybe that’s a result of some kind of search/recommendation algorithm change on Amazon and is just coincidence. I can’t know for sure.

In any case, my goal with Luxury of Less has always been to spread a few messages that are important to me. It’s already in the virtual hands of over 10,000 people and it would be sweet to add 10,000 more with this free promotion. Pick it up free here.

How you can help:

Click here to tweet: “Sweet! @KarolGajda’s Luxury of Less book is free on Amazon today! http://amzn.to/TWlMSC”

If you download it for free I would appreciate an Amazon review. That will help out immensely. At the time of this writing it has 72 reviews, most of them positive.


Books by some friends:

Clutterfree by Courtney & Leo – already a #1 best seller in its category ($2.99)

You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap) by Tammy – on sale right now! ($2.99) my notes here

Disrupting The Rabblement by Niall ($7.99) – haven’t read this yet, but I’m a fan of Niall’s writing; Niall also designed this website


In other news, my iPhone app launch was fun and I’ve learned a lot.

Mostly I learned that it doesn’t take much for an app to get into the Top 100 (or even Top 50) of a category, but it takes a lot to stay there. I also learned some things about app naming and screenshots and why I messed both of those up a bit. (It’s fixable, so no worries, but it’ll have to wait until January due to the holiday iTunes Connect shutdown.)

I’ve received more feedback for my Gratitude Journal than the others, but I’ve generally received lots of wonderfully positive comments all around. Thank you if you’ve picked up any of my apps. Please take a moment to leave a Rating (literally takes 2 seconds) or a Review in the App Store. There’s more coming. 2013 is the year of web and mobile apps for me.

I’ll write a post about what I’ve learned post-launch about apps soon.

19 Responses to I’m a hypocrite, nice to meet you

  1. Just downloaded your book Karol, thanks heaps and I’ll read it very soon and perhaps review it on my blog. Gotta love Kindle’s 1-Click Buy…

  2. Greetings Karol!
    I, too, am a hypocrite…shameful isn’t it – LOL! I am an AVID reader – usually reading 2-3 books at a time. My DH bought me an ereader about 2 years ago (European edition). Since then I have upgraded (twice) with Nook products – I wanted no part of Kindle or Amazon!!! But then a funny thing happened… most of the books that I wanted to read were not only more readily available on Kindle they were also less expensive on Kindle and coupled with all of the free books available all of a sudden I was downloading and reading books for the Kindle app on my phone. ????? Reluctantly I might add. But being of the party that believes if you can’t beat ’em join ’em, I have. Welcome to the party, Karol!
    Fast forward and I now own a tablet from which I read 90% of books on the Kindle app, including yours. How shameful…
    Happy Holidays!

    • I hear ya. I actually liked the first Nook (haven’t seen any of the newer Nooks), but the Amazon store and apps are better so it’s not worth it. I read my books on my desktop, phone, and kindle.

      Excited to see what happens with this free promotion. So far over 800 downloads in less than 10 hours!

  3. Hi Karol,

    Truth evolves as we evolve…people become ill (and connections disintegrate) when they don’t recognize that internally or in others. So, I bet then, I’m a hypocrite somewhere (if that’s what we would call it).

    I downloaded your book. And, I love when you experiment, it is inspiring!

    • Thanks Joy. I’m with you. That’s why I don’t think being a “hypocrite” is always bad though maybe I could have chosen a better word. :)

  4. So today I learned that Kindle has reading apps that you can use in other devices, thanks for the tip. For a moment I thought I wasn’t going to be able to read your book as I only have an iPad (am not a crazed Apple products fan, it was a gift). And I am reading it, very slowly. So far, I haven’t learned anything new but I have had a very nagging confirmation of what I already knew I should do. And I said “nagging” cause it is a reminder of many the many changes I should’ve started a long time ago. I want to thank you for this, can’t remember how I found your blog but it seems like your ideas and your way of life will accompany on my journey.

    Thank you again for existing.

    • Yes, it’s one of the nicest things about kindle books. All the apps sync so you never lose your place no matter what device you’re using.

      Thank you for existing as well Estela.

  5. Karol – Thanks for the shout out! I appreciate it. :)

    Also, I wanted to say that I’m digging the Gratitude Journal. I’ve been using it for just over a week and I feel happier. Every time I get a reminder to write down what I’m grateful for it makes me smile. :)

  6. Hey, Karol. I’m interested to see how this works out for you and wish you the best of luck in your experiment. Thank you for sharing your experience publicly.

    We did Kindle Select for all 3 of our books over the course of a year with varying results. For our first book, it was a complete smash and I was sold on the power of free and the bump we got in Amazon “suggests” for shoppers. In fact, we still sell a lot of those books today because of that bump in the algorithm. By the time we tried Kindle Select on our third book (a new launch), the algorithm had changed and the free day resulted in just a bunch of free downloads with no long-term impact in sales. (Amazon gives less weight to free downloads than it used to.) For an indie author, this is a tough situation, and for that reason we took our books out of the program. We have another launch coming up in 2013, and based on our experience we won’t be using the program. (Unless we’re total hypocrites and change our minds based on your experience ;)

    PS – I’m still bummed we couldn’t try out the Gratitude app for you, but I still love my life without a cell phone!

    • Interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience Betsy. So far I’m at #101 in the overall free kindle store and have given away nearly 2000 copies. As far as that’s concerned it’s going better than I thought. Looking forward to seeing what happens in the coming weeks.

  7. It’s not easy telling people “I don’t own a car anymore”. After reading your book last night I now KNOW I made the right choice. I’m adding the “can of black beans” tip to my survival hacks. Thank you Karol!

  8. Karol,
    LOL you are not a hypocrite in fact far from it just unsure of how you want to do things when it comes to what you want published and who gets “exclusive” rights.

    By the by I already read your book and loved it and planning after the holidays are over to follow some of your advice like only drink water for 30 days and cut out the sugar or at least cut down on it drastically. I am planning on giving up chocolate for 30 days as a start.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. I came across your article about your book on minimalist living on flipboard. I’m not a fan of amazon but had to set up an account and kindle so just I could access your book. Hopefully, you could publish and make your work available in iBooks.

    Many thanks and tropical greetings from the Philippines!