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:
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:
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.