Show of hands … who wants to hear the riveting story of how the plot of my breathtakingly perfect novel Second Breath evolved?
Eh … no one?
Okay then, show of hands … who is thrilled beyond measure at the prospect of hearing all about my maiden venture into Kindle free days?
Um … one!
The hand has it. (Never mind that it’s my own hand!)
To begin, I’ll outline (in no particular order) my reasons for choosing to become an indie author via Kindle Direct Publishing:
1 – popularity of Kindle devices and apps
Rebecca Ratcliffe, in her January 13, 2012 article in The Guardian, states: “One in every 40 British adults received one [e-reader] for Christmas, either as a gift or bought as a treat for themselves …. That adds up to 1.33m [million] devices, of which an estimated 92% were Kindles.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/jan/13/kindle-self-publishing-e-readers) Comment: seems self-evident.
2 – Kindle’s 70% royalty option
Cut out the middleman and garner a higher royalty percentage. ’Nuff said!
3 – formatting for Kindle is easier
I’m tech comfortable, but not that tech comfortable. So, for a relative non-techie like me (and a poor one to boot), this was a huge consideration.
4 – word of mouth
People I spoke with reported having higher sales with Kindle. Then in January, I heard words dropped from various and sundry trustworthy mouths that a goodly number of goodly things had happened (to these same goodly people) with regard to sales of their (likewise) goodly books once they enrolled in the new Amazon Kindle program called …
For an actual drum roll, or if your eyelids are getting heavy and you need to wake up, click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZgZYfVVQEk&feature=related)
5 – KDP Select
Earn a share of royalties from book loans via Kindle Owners’ Lending Library … AND enjoy five book giveaway promotion days per 90-day period that the author is enrolled in the program.
A stretch of heavy plodding there, but “with hey, ho, the wind and the rain” (compliments of The Bard), now that I’ve got you to this juncture … show of hands again … who’s ready to hear about my inaugural venture into Kindle free days?
Same hand, this time rotating in a lazy royal wave.
For those who’ve forgotten, it’s my hand. Sheesh, you can’t be straying off into la-la land when there are important things afoot … or in this case, ahand.
Back to the matter at hand.
I scheduled my first book giveaway promo for February 29, 2012 Leap Day―a unique day, one that stood apart from all its fellows. It just seemed fitting, as I’m a bit of an oddity myself. I’ve been a Twittering fool since November 1 of last year and so Twitter presented itself as my obvious promotional platform. I dressed my blue Tweetiebird in feathers of natty red-trimmed black, named him RWB-bird (red-winged blackbird, one of my favourite birds, which I invariably abbreviate to “RWB-bird” to everyone’s eye roll, since the abbreviation lengthens rather than shortens the syllables pronounced) and released him into the Twittersphere to alternately flap and plummet, URL-banners streaming from his beak, through the feed pages of my 900+ Twitter followers. Then at four-hour intervals, I tossed more of my flapping emissaries with their own supply of banners into the virtual firmament to follow the path of their comrades.
And hallelujah, didn’t a handful of truly wonderful Twitter friends decide to release their own little Tweetiebirds to flap across their own followers pages, retweeting my message about some totally unknown indie author’s freebie book that was ripe for picking off a virtual Kindle bookstore shelf.
Well, my heart was dancing the old soft shoe all day long. A glorious sight it was (the progress, not the soft shoe)! I refreshed my Reports page every hour (an understatement!) and watched as the number of giveaway books grew from two digits to three as the day progressed, until by the end of the 24-hour period 235 ebooks had been plucked off the shelf by USA/Canada individuals, 32 by folks in the UK and one by a chappie (or chappess, as the case may be) in France. France; I tell you!
So there you have it. How exciting was that! I didn’t make any money on any of those ebooks, but hey, this could all lead somewhere good. Some fraction of these 268 people might actually read the book, and some fraction of those may feel moved to give me feedback and perhaps even write a review, the boon of writers … which then might just lead to actual, royalty-earning sales!
In fact, I’m happy to report that I’ve already had a few of these paying ones!
I’ve decided to give myself an “E” for effort and hand for tackling all the ongoing work that isn’t actually the fun stuff, writing … which seems to be the indie writer’s lot.
Ah, the sound of one hand clapping …
or is that a foot?