Breaking Free – What Happened When I Left KDP Select

This post by Nick Stephenson originally appeared on his site on 6/6/14.

“KDP Select is evil”. “Free promotions are pointless”. “Nick, you’re an idiot”. These are things I hear on a daily basis, the latter usually being something I say to myself when I’m looking in the mirror. As for the first two, I talk to a lot of authors who have a strong opinion on the relative merits of signing up for 90 days of exclusivity with Amazon, and the words “shackled” and “dungeon” come up a lot. It’s the same for free days – half of authors think they’re a God-send, the other half would rather cut off their own limbs with a rusty spatula than offer their work gratis. And that’s cool, I don’t have anything against people having wildly different opinions – and there are plenty of authors making a decent income without touching free promotions, and there are plenty who swear by them. But I like to look at the cold, hard numbers before coming to a conclusion, as everybody’s mileage seems to vary.

The two main strategies for free books I see most often are:

1. A variety of titles signed up to KDP Select, with rotating free promotions on each book. This is pretty easy to do with the 5 free days you get to play with under the KDP Select contract.

2.Titles NOT in KDP select, and up on other vendors, with the first book in the series permanently free. This is also pretty easy to do.

There are pros and cons for both approaches, but last month was the first time I’d tried option number (2). I’ve had a bunch of emails and comments asking for me to report back on the results, so here’s the skinny:

Income Report: All Books in KDP Select


Click here to read the full post, which includes sales graphs and detailed analysis, on Nick Stephenson’s site.


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