How the Kindle Library Creates Bounce-Off

When Kindle launched its library in November 2011 it sent tremors of fear ricocheting throughout the public lending library system worldwide – even though it is only operative in the United States.

The rest of the world will follow soon.

Under Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select, authors who agree to make their e-books exclusive to Amazon’s Kindle Store for 90 days are eligible to have their work added to the lending library program.

They also have the opportunity to earn from the $6 million fund set aside for self-publishers.

With the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, customers with a $79 per year Amazon Prime membership and a Kindle device can borrow e-books for free. Users can only borrow one e-book per month, and one at a time. At launch there were about 5000 selections available but that amount has increased considerably over the past few weeks.

Self-published authors can submit anything from a single book to an entire catalogue.

For the month of December 2011 Amazon will contribute $500,000 to the royalty fund and the amount participating authors earn depends on their share of the total number of KDP books borrowed in the lending library.

Amazon state on their website, “For example, if total borrows of all participating KDP Select books are 100,000 in December and an author’s book was borrowed 1,500 times, they will earn $7,500 in additional royalties from KDP Select in December”.

Books in the lending library will also still be available for sale so authors can continue to earn regular royalty payments on top of KDP Select earnings.

Amazon also provides new promotional tools with KDP Select. Every 90 days, for example, authors have the opportunity to promote their books for free in order to get their name out there among the ever growing band of cyberspace bookworms.

It was to this very tool that I applied myself a few days ago and from which I personally experienced the Kindle bounce-off effect.

WHAT I DID…

After enrolling in KDP Select I decided on a gung-ho approach and committed my entire stock of 25 personally generated Kindle books to free download for 24 hours – including the 6 that were selling steadily. This smacks of complete lunacy and perhaps it might have been but I did it to…

1. Promote my brand to a much wider audience.
2. Stimulate interest in those titles that were still under-performing.
3. Bite the bullet and monitor during the giveaway day what happened to those that sold consistently.

WHAT RESULTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS…

1. I had close on 1000 free downloads almost instantly.
2. I had 157 sales from titles that had not sold before.
3. I suffered 26 refunds on consistently selling titles that had been purchased the day before the free download episode.
4. I enjoyed 49 new sales on my consistently selling titles.
5. I discovered that I can sell more by creating mini-books out of stand-alone chapters in full length works of fiction.
6. I have started to write again – particularly as outlined in (5)
7. I now have the nucleus of my Kindle marketing plan for 2012.

What I lost on the swings was more than compensated for on the roundabouts.

NET RESULT

Huge increase on returns and royalty payments – and increasing daily…

MORAL

If you have a clutch of titles in your computer earning you nothing – get cracking and upload them to Kindle Direct Publishing.