Archive for March 5th, 2013

March 5, 2013

KDP Select and a request for Amazon reviews

I'm only going to keep this book on Amazon if it is truly helpful--and so The Experiences and Thoughts of a Simple Freelance Writer will be free to reviewers through May 15, 2013.

I’m only going to keep this book on Amazon if it is truly helpful–and so The Experiences and Thoughts of a Simple Freelance Writer will be free to reviewers through May 15, 2013.

From February 27 through March 3, I listed The Experiences and Thoughts of a Simple Freelance Writer as free through the KDP Select program. Overall, I’d have to say the experience was a great one.

That even includes the one-star Amazon review I got.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Semantics matter. The bad review I received began because my booklet title had the word ‘simple’ in it. To me, simple is an ideal to shoot for–an authentic, uncomplicated life–but to the reviewer, that word was a red flag that immediately labeled me as stupid. Definitely food for thought.
  • Amazon reviews matter. I saw a brief spike in free giveaways for this booklet right after receiving this bad review, and then they dropped away to just a few giveaways for the last day and a half of the free promo.
  • The way you categorize your book on Amazon matters. In spite of the bad review, my booklet was fairly consistently placed at #2 in overall free giveaways for journalism and #4 for journalists during the five-day promo. It was a great boost to my ego to see the book on that list, even though I know that not many people go searching for journalism books or memoirs by journalists.
  • The book you use to experiment on KDP ┬áSelect matters. I wasn’t yet willing to try The Night Ones Legacy on KDP Select, partly because the timing I chose overlapped with the contest I was running and I didn’t want to influence the results. Of course, I could have waited–but I have such a hard time doing that! I think trying a non-fiction piece that I was already considering pulling off my Amazon site was a good way to figure out how the system worked without getting in too deep with my only Amazon fiction listing.
  • Giving a book away free matters. My Amazon ranks for this book slipped quite a bit once I wasn’t offering it for free anymore.
  • Don’t raise temporarily raise your price on the book you intend to enroll in KDP Select in order to make it a better deal for the reader. That part of the experiment backfired completely–as you can see by the review. I was glad that changing it back to its original price was easy and didn’t take more than half a day.

As both the contest and my free book promo came to a close, I made some decisions about what I want to experiment with next.

I may need some help.

I’d love to see what kind of reviews I can get from other writers on The Experiences and Thoughts of a Freelance Writer. I’ve already contacted a few of my WordPress friends with requests for honest, open Amazon reviews for this booklet. Please note, I’m not expecting five-star reviews here if you don’ t think the booklet earns it. I just want to see what other people think, whether the booklet is able to earn better reviews at all, etc.

With that in mind, if you’re willing to help, please e-mail me at gwenbristol@gmail.com and I’ll send you a free Kindle version. I’ll run this promo until May 15th-ish (2013), which is about when the KDP Select term ends. After that, if the book doesn’t really seem to be helpful to other people, I’ll take it down–all of the people I wrote it for in the first place have copies now, so it won’t make much difference to me. But if it does good in the world, I’ll leave it alone.

Simple as that.

Simple. ­čÖé Still one of my favorite words and fondest dreams.

Meanwhile, I count this as one of the best learning experiences for marketing I’ve had so far. I will most likely be trying this again in the future with a different type of book (hoping to get a new book up on Amazon in April)!

And now I’m off to write Amazon reviews of my own for Michelle Proulx, Charles Yallowitz and Sheila Williams. Have a wonderful day, everyone!

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