Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Writing Week: Issue 7, Year 5

Hi all,

I am only two days late with my weekly post this week. Could my near punctuality be a sign that I am getting my writing under control and my computer isn’t acting up? Or I am just ignoring some writing activities? It’s a bit of all three.

Amazon’s KDP Select.

In a post a couple of weeks ago I mentioned Amazon’s KDP Select program in relation to its Lending Library. Members of Amazon Prime can download a free ebook a month from Amazon’s library. For an author to place an ebook in the library, they must offer Amazon exclusivity to that ebook for 90 days.

In December authors were paid $1.70 each time one of their books was lent. I reckon that payment will decrease over time. But there are other potential benefits in being part of KDP Select for an author.

David Kazzie, in a blog post titled How Amazon’s KDP Select Saved My Book, writes that his ebook sales skyrocketed after joining KDP Select. He says Amazon allowing him to give the ebook away for free for five of the ninety days was the catalyst for much higher paid sales. Huge free downloads lead to his ebook being placed on recommended to buy lists, which then propelled his paid sales. 

Social Networking Failed to Sell ebooks.     

The second part of David Kazzie’s post is equally interesting. He thought his blogging, social networking, and viral animated videos lead to few sales. If you are a writer you have probably watched some of his shorts on youtube. I had.  

He has 158 blog followers, 563 Twitter followers and 276 people like his author’s Facebook page. The animated video linked to above has been viewed 270,000 times. But before he signed up to the KDP Select program he had only sold a few hundred copies of his book.

If makes you think: Is all the time spent by many writers twittering, facebooking and blogging worth it?

I enjoy blogging, it’s my shout to the world: I’m a writer who has something to say. I’m not a great blog reader though. I imagine there are many writers who diligently go through a list of hundreds of blogs each week and write a pithy comment on every post they read. I only read a few other blogs and I try to say something intelligent when I comment.

I rarely visit Twitter, only posting about once a week. I spend much more time on Facebook and post more frequently. Even if I don’t sell any books to Facebook friends, I very much enjoy being part of the Facebook writing community, especially since I am stuck out in the bush.     

David Kazzie’s post also got me thinking about how many books I have bought as a result of reading blogs and social networking. I reckon about ten. But only one of those would have been from an author who befriended me for the specific purpose of selling me their book. It was a very good book too.  


Anthony J. Langford said...

Hmm, i've long suspected that networking etc doesn't equate to sales.. I may have said it before to you, or another blog..
Find out soon when my novella is released.

Unfortunately, unlike your experience, most of the books i have bought through online contacts have been done out of 'charity' and not a need to read that book... only 1 out of about 10 or so i liked, so i've kinda stopped doing that, unless its a close 'friend.'

Not sure how many blog posts people read, but I know many who blog several times a week. Who has the time? not me..

Graham Clements said...

Hi Anthony,

David Kazzie tweeted me, he liked my emphasis in the post on social media not selling his books.

I am still yet to read all of the books I have bought through social networking, but I have liked the ones I have read. (I'm a slow reader who rotates genres.)

Before they stuffed up Networked Blogs on Facebook I used to check it out everyday and there were some prolific blogger who were writing three or more blog posts a day. I prefer bloggers like yourself and Karen Tyrell who only blog once a week. I have no time to read multiple posts.

If your novella is under $30 and is available online I will buy it. Just to see what your writing is like. So social networking will get you at least one sale.


Anthony J. Langford said...

Ah thanks Graham, that's very kind of you. I'm not sure of the price yet, though being novella sized, it still may turn people off, with shipping costs etc. We will see. I've come up with a little idea to make it more attractive though the publisher has yet to respond to that. If they dont go with it, I will try to do it myself.

The prolific bloggers irritate me. If they are blogging so much, then they can be doing little else.

Nice one re Kazzie.