Well, after my first weekend utilizing Amazon's Kindle Direct Program, I have to say I'm pretty satisfied with the results. The way the program works, for those who don't know, is this: You choose to enroll one or more of your self-published books into the Kindle Direct Program, which does a few different things. Firstly, the book or books are made available via the Amazon website for free during the 90-day enrollment program to all Kindle Prime members. Kindle Prime has many advantages, such as free shipping
for online orders, but my favorite aspect of the program is the Kindle Direct Lending Library, which is where your free works would appear. The best part about the program, as far as I'm concerned, are the five free promotion days that you get. This means that for any five days during the 90-day enrollment period, you can offer your book for free to all Kindle owners, not just those with Prime memberships. This allows you to create 'buzz days', as I call them. Days to flood twitter with announcements, to post all over Goodreads and Facebook. My first book managed to 'sell' 57 free copies yesterday, which blew me away. What this means is that 57 people who before had never heard my name at all suddenly have my book in their hands. And should they like it, I might get an Amazon review (crucial to sales), or even purchases for my other books. I don't know that I'd recommend the Kindle Direct Program to people who only have one book available to the public: your audience gets the book and you get their interest, but if you can't turn it into more readership, you just gave away your book for nothing. Anyone's work is worth much more than nothing. I see giving my first book away for free as a %33 discount on the rest of my trilogy. I'm still new to it all, but very excited about what Amazon and the Kindle store can do for self-published authors.
Another thing that surprised me this weekend is how good a promotion tool Twitter actually is. It's like I never 'got it' before. The feed on my twitter page was just so fast, how could anyone possibly single something out from amidst the endless scroll of tweets? Well, as I learned by poking around myself and discovering other new authors, having a link available for someone to click is often temptation enough to bring them to your website or Amazon Author Page. I've been seeking out anyone on Twitter that has any interest in fantasy, books, or self-publishing. I think the huge increase of visits to this website has a lot to do with Twitter. Now, every time I log on to check my tweets, I try to find at least 10 people to follow. At least 6 of them will follow back, and then there are more people to advertise my free book days to!
Lastly, I have sold a few more physical copies of my book, which is nice because it generates more income from royalties. I appreciate hard copies of books myself, but I am usually hesitant to spend a lot of money on them, so I understand other people feeling the same way, and my sales being low in that area. I am focusing on sales for electronic devices for now, at least until or if I ever manage to make enough of a name for myself that people want a physical artifact of my stories to hold and keep.
With my first week of blogging, I think I've worked out the blog's schedule:
Mondays- Adventures in Indie Publishing
Tuesdays-Thursdays - New short stories for the Spin-Off Showcase
Fridays- I ain't doin' nothing!
Saturdays- Concept Art Saturdays
Sundays- Myths, Legends, and the Hero Cycle
Part III of Slate Ahn and the Books of Knowledge should be ready for publication by the end of April. I don't like to set guidelines that hinder creativity, but I could rewrite it for twenty years if I wanted, and that's not good for my craft or my readers. So until then, keep checking the blog, and if you happen to read and like any of my books, let me know!