Publishing on Kindle: My KDP Select Review

My cartoon book, 99 Reasons to Hate Cats, is currently a part of Amazon.com’s KDP Select program. KDP Select is of interest to authors and creators (particularly independent artists) as it’s proved to be a good avenue for exposure. When you sign up for KDP Select, you agree to keep your book exclusive to Kindle for 90 days.  With that, you can make your book free for 5 days as a promotional effort. I’ve read a number of accounts of wild or moderate success with this tactic. So I am sharing my experience.

Taking the advice of other KDP Select reviews, I opted to string my free days together. The general wisdom is to do more than one day to allow for momentum to build. Buying in to that completely, I set all 5 of my free Kindle book dates together from Friday, 7/28 through Tuesday, 7/31 without any thought toward it being the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics. (Bad move? I am hoping not.)

On Friday and Saturday, both days pulled in about 500 books downloaded. So Sunday morning, I was pleased to hit my mental milestone of 1,000. It was far from wild success but still respectable. 99 Reasons to Hate Cats became the  #1 free book in the “Humor > Cartoon” category and #14 in the free “Humor” category. Not shabby but the book was just around 300 in free Kindle books overall.

Now it is Sunday evening and the snowball effect has kicked in. As of just after 10 pm, my book has hit 4,000 downloads, still #1 in Cartoons, moved up to #5 in free for Humor and is at #134 in overall free Kindle books. I’m thinking if it can tip into the “top 100” that this snowball will start to roll big.

Update: I awoke to great news Monday morning. Of course, I had to check Amazon first thing. The snowball is indeed rolling as 99 Reasons to Hate Cats is #17 overall and #1 in Humor on the free book charts. It has officially exceeded my expectations in rank. Total book downloads have jumped to 6,800.

Late Monday evening, the overall rank topped at  #11 and the book is approaching 12,000 downloads. New, positive reviews are turning up on the its Amazon.com page. I could not be more pleased.  One day remains. I’m curious where this ride will stop.

Wednesday, August 1: My KDP Select free promo ended yesterday. The final free book download tally was just shy of 27,000. The book topped out at #9 on the top 100 free Kindle book list. Still better, my new readers gave 10 more good reviews (4 star plus on average) which is great confirmation that people like the book. Next, we see how well paid sales go now that 99 Reasons to Hate Cats is back to its regular $2.99 price.