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 ย Select 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

15 Comments to “KDP Select and a request for Amazon reviews”

  1. I’d disagree with the simple comment. It sounds like the reviewer uses one definition while you were using it for another. It’s nitpicking really. It’s interesting that the book slipped once it wasn’t free, but I don’t think that should be surprising. Even going from .99 cents sounds like it would have an impact.

    Would you say that this program might be better for an author’s smaller projects while their bigger projects should be allowed to sell on other sites?


  2. Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere and commented:
    A great reflection of a KDP Select experience.


  3. Thanks for reblogging this!


  4. Informative article. Good to know. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. It’s a pain but…words do mean different things to different people; some of it is cultural, some education and some just plain pedantry.Over here (UK) I think simple would be interpreted by many as “a bit slow on the uptake” “stupid” and so on. Personally it works for me but that’s writing for you! The link to your email doesn’t appear to work for me but if you would like a constructive, objective review – count me in. You can get me on sheila@wrtieonthebeach.co.uk


    • Thanks for letting me know about my e-mail link. I’ll try to work on it today. I need to update my blog pages, anyway, and I’ve been putting it off. I need a claiming day! ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Can’t control my laptop! email is sheila@writeonthebeach.co.uk
    Still can’t get your email link to work but count me in if you want a review.


  7. Hey ๐Ÿ™‚ I just saw your wonderful review for my book — thanks so much for posting that!!! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it ๐Ÿ™‚ If you still need readers for your booklet, send it my way and I’ll be happy to write a review! (michellishelli@gmail.com)


  8. Hi – got the complimentary book and will give it a thorough going-over during the next couple of days. In the interim thank you so much for your review of my book. I didn’t see it at first and then pow! there is was . I am very grateful.


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