‘Select’ results are in…

No need to break this down with a bunch of numbers and complicated formulas.  Others, who can do it better, already have to great excess.  I’ll keep it simple.

The Kindle Select program has been a big subject of discussion among writers since it came out last year.  A novel concept; add ebooks to a lending library and those authors share a pool of money based on the number of times their books are borrowed.

The biggest hitch for most people, of course, has always been the requirement that the book submitted to the program be made exclusive to Amazon for the ninety day enrollment period, you must make your ebook available for free for five days of your choice during that period.  During the free period, you don’t receive any revenue from the giveaways.

If one looked at it so simplistically, the natural reaction would be; “Give it away for free?  Are you insane?”


I tried participated in this program from January to March of this year and I’m calling it a success.  ‘Success’, of course is a subjective term.

I gave away just shy of 200 copies of ‘Tully’.  I didn’t experience the noticeable bump in sales that others have reported.  As a matter of fact, I managed to match my best sales month, but that’s it.  How can I call this a success?

I got a review.  Not a ‘5-star’.   This reviewer, who has at least several hundred reviews posted, gave me 3 stars with some well-reasoned comments…and another comment aimed directly at me that could be interpreted as calling me a chauvinist, but that’s beside the point.

For me, one of the best parts of this review was that it was all about the story and NOT about the ebook product.  There were no complaints about formatting or typos or anything of the other things that plague a lot of self-publish ebooks.

Now, I’ve said I didn’t experience a boost in sales as far as quantity.  However after this review, I matched my personal best in monthly sales in a week, pushing me as high as #57,000 or so on Amazon.  That was significant for me.  I also hit the top 2500 in the free Kindle store, which tells me that the presentation of my product was probably pretty good.

I will do this again, soon with ‘George and the Brain’.  I’m redesigning the cover and will likely retitle the story.  I’ve never really liked it. 

After this experience, I have to agree with Michael Stackpole that this isn’t something I’d want to do with a new release, but it is a very good tool for pumping some life into a story that’s been out for a good period of time and has slipped between the cracks of the rest of your inventory.



About Thomas J. rock

Writer of Science Fiction

Posted on April 2, 2012, in The Daily Grind and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I missed Michael’s advice on why this isn’t good to do with a new release. I’ll have my interview with Robin Sullivan up this week, and she has some good advice on this area. She says she is considering doing Select with a new release later this year. Though not directly stated as a reason for doing Select w/a new release is because when you use a title already up at other sites, you lose the reviews.

    I’m glad to see some progress on that bar up there. Keep it up! I’m also glad to hear that your sales improved. Now to new products 😉

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