Once again, I’ve bitten the bullet and gone exclusive to Amazon. I bounce around with this. I can’t decide what the right course of action is for me. I *do* have some sales on Barnes and Noble. I definitely like getting a check for a couple hundred dollars at the end of the month, when I need it. Amazon pays on the first of the month. By the 25th, when I usually get the money from Barnes and Noble, the checking account is grateful.
However, If I’m exclusive to Amazon, I get in the KDP library (Prime members can borrow the book free, and I still get paid, albeit a little less than for a sale) and, I get the all powerful “5 free days” per quarter. When enrolled in KDP, your book cannot be published anywhere else. I even got kicked out of KDP once because I had too many chapters available for free on my own website. (more than 20% of the book was published on the site).
Those Free days are the ticket out of anonymity for an indie author. In my best ever free promotion, I moved 9000 books in 2 days. Conventional wisdom says about 75% of the people who download a free book actually ever read it. That means 6750 people out of those 9000 read my book. There is a very large group of “free” book readers who don’t ever buy books, they just continue to read free ones. I have a very niche book, with it’s super-heroes and zombies. Of those 6750, about 10% bought the sequel, a number I’m extraordinarily happy with. Almost 100% of people who buy the first sequel also buy the 3rd, and 4th books. (And hopefully the 5th and 6th soon.)
So, for a little math. Out of 9000 free books, about 675 bought 3 additional books. That’s 2025 books SOLD or roughly $5000, for books at the $3.99 price point. It’s not terrible getting paid $5000 for giving away 9000 copies of the first book. When I add in the 5th and 6th books, that number jumps even higher, $8600 for “giving away” 9000 books. I wish I could do that every single day.
More and more I’m leaning towards going with exclusivity with Amazon. I’ve only moved 9000 books the one time. My “typical” 2-day giveaway using Kindle’s “free” period is closer to 2000. Even so, the above percentages seem to hold true.
It just seems like, for relatively unknown authors with longer series of books, the power of the free days is too much to pass up.
I look forward to your comments.