Several months ago I decided to add MATANZAS BAY to KDP Select, Amazon.com’s program which loans books to Amazon Prime members. The book loan is free to Prime members, and authors are compensated through a global fund ranging from $700,000 to the current $2.2 million for this month. All of the authors in the program receive a pro rata share of the fund each time someone “checks out” their book from the lending library.
The results in terms of revenue generated has varied from its first year where many authors reported higher revenues than normal. I resisted climbing aboard this bandwagon because Amazon demands exclusivity for the 90-day period a book is in the Select program. This means it can only be sold on Amazon.com. Not Barnes & Noble for the Nook, or any of the other e-tailers. But after tracking my sales and seeing that the majority has come from Amazon.com, it began to make more sense, particularly since the Kindle app may be added to almost any device.
One of the promotional wrinkles Amazon offers to authors in the Select program is the option to offer our books for free for up to five days in that 90-day contract period. In other words, Amazon shoppers can reap the greatest of all bargains—free books. And who doesn’t like free?
You might wonder why an author would give their book away for free. Good question. The answer lies in the vast reach of the Amazon.com market. When we offer a book for free, we can reach a potential audience of millions of new readers. Of course, not all of them will be interested in any particular book, but there must be many people looking for a good mystery, and the free promotion allows them to sample new writers at no cost. If they like that particular book, then they may purchase one of the other books by that author.
All of this is preamble to announcing my first free promotion for MATANZAS BAY this week, February 23 – 25. Tell your friends they have the opportunity to add an award-winning mystery to their Kindle library. And if they enjoy Quint Mitchell’s St. Augustine adventures, they can then purchase BRING DOWN THE FURIES and BLUE CRABS AT MIDNIGHT.
I’ll let you know how the promotion turns out, and if it spurs increased sales for the other Parker Francis offerings.