Does Amazon’s new KDP Select Program Work?
I don’t know the answer to that. I know it has worked for a number of others. I know that it has – in fact – worked incredibly well for some others. It has also – to my knowledge – worked mediocre, and not much at all for still others, so, like anything – there are tricks to it. Everything has secrets if you dig deeply enough for them.
One person I know has given away incredible numbers of downloads…but ended up with a ton of bad reviews for the trouble. Make sure you have a good book.
One person I read about went from “dead in the water” to selling more than 4k copies of their book.
Several people I know have given away 500-3000 copies and it DID lead to continued sales in every case, but in those cases, not to major numbers, just numbers.
There are some places you can advertise your free promotion days:
You can blog about it (see this blog for a clever example). For instance…MY first KDP Free Promotion runs from 31 January to 2 February. It is for my brand new collection ETCHED DEEP & OTHER DARK IMPRESSIONS – if you are an Amazon.com PRIME member you can already get it for free. If you own any Kindle reading device you can borrow it through the KDP Lending Library. If you go to Amazon.com during the promotion – also free. If you download it, I’d appreciate a review.
You can ask your friends – Authors – Readers – whoever – to download your free book, and to spread the word (please) to everyone ELSE who might want a free book.
HEY! FRIENDS! AUTHORS! Do me a solid? My eBook is FREE! If you could, like, download it..and tell EVERYONE about it…that would be cool.
You could make a Youtube Video about your book (I have not done that, but others have, and you could).
You could make a LOLDOG using the soulful eyes of man’s best friends to draw them in…
Of all the strange pies that have occurred to me, which is how this whole journey to make as many as possible began, Fresh Kiwi Pie seemed one of the least likely. I have to say, now that we have made it, tried it and fallen in love with it (or I did, anyway) … the “PIE” is the limit (lol). This is a very very good pie. The nutmeg in the recipe makes it – at first taste – seem a bit like an apple pie. But it is sweeter than an apple pie, and at the same time has a tiny citrus twang that gives it an extra burst of flavor. It is also a good consistency…not too much juice, firms up well.
It’s a lot of work, but only for the peeling of the fruit. Katie helped me, and I managed to keep her from stealing too many bits of kiwi (we both love the fruit fresh, and we peeled two dozen of them. Another thing learned is that four cups of kiwi is right around 12 of the little buggers. I would have put in five cups per pie, but I only bought 24, and I promised to bring a pie to work on Monday.
That is the last lesson I learned today. It takes more planning to make two pies at the same time. I pulled it off, but…I will make more preparations next time. For now, here is my gallery of fresh kiwi pie photographs.
I have put together what I think will become one of my most important collections. The title story, “Etched Deep,” is a good example. This is a very short story that originally was published in THIN ICE #7 decades ago. I lost the story, but it stuck with me, and later on I rewrote it from memory, in a more modern voice, and it’s stronger. These are stories that I believe in. Some of them were buried in themed anthologies, or in books and magazines where I appeared alongside much more popular authors and was delegated to the “And Others” land I have spent so many years in. A couple among these are borderline literary fiction, and at least one has been rejected more than one time for being “too literary”. I’ll leave it to readers to figure out which one.
There are also a couple of very old stories in the book. I’ve tried not to change them very much, but when you edit your old work, even trying just to proof read it, there is only so much you can stand. The point is, you’ll find a couple of rougher pieces here, but I wanted to include them to give them another shot at a new group of readers.
There are fourteen stories in this book, and I added fourteen poems as well. These are an even wider variety, spanning many, many years. There is a poem I wrote very early in my relationship with Trish, there is the only known poem by the famous Angus Griswold (as well as one story, “One Off From Prime,” that has never been published prior to this book, and that features Angus as a character. There are some of the poems I wrote for the three-word poetry challenges that Rain Graves invented – I’m given any three words and have to find a poem in my head that uses them all. I love that game.
Here are the contents. Starting on Tuesday, January 31st, this collection will be FREE ON AMAZON for three days. It runs from Tuesday through Thursday, and I am hoping the promotion will help find me some new readers for my other books… Also included in this collection is Chapter One of “My Soul to Keep,” the Donovan DeChance origin story.
SHORT STORIES INCLUDED:
Through an Eyeglass, Darkly
Fear of Flying
One Off From Prime
The Purloined Prose
Pretty Boys in Blue, and Long Hair Dangling
To Strike a Timeless Chord
Also included are the poems: The Acropolis, Clamdigger, Cuttlefish Squeezings, Thanatology, A Poem of Adrian, Gray, The Fishmonger, Revelation, Loch Ness, Mirrored Hearts, Dark Man, Banished, End of Days, & Longhaired Puppies.
So, I mentioned on Facebook that the Invisible Shoes I ordered arrived, surprising me by being so think and light they came in a Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope. I’ve been reading the book “Born to Run,” which I recommend even to people with no love of running, and trying to find my way back onto the road and out of some extra poundage I’ve picked up.
The gist of it appears to be…we were born with feet and bodies designed to be able to run long distances. The shoe industry (Nike in particular) has spent decades now convincing us we have to cushion, support and baby our feet with higher and higher tech shoes for half our salaries, while – in fact – there has never been any data to support their claims. Now the data seems to say – if you wear expensive shoes you are MORE likely to be injured. Barefoot runners are winning races, racking up the miles, and have caught my interest.
So…just to share…tonight I strapped on (incorrectly) my Huareches (sandals) and hit the road with my son Zane’s Hero HD camera strapped to my head. Here are the things I learned.
The heel strap is very important. If the shoe slips off your heel, it simply won’t work for running. I found that one of my two sandals was too loose at the heel. I decided, however, that I was not giving up that easily, so I ran the first mile barefoot. I passed a very amused and confused man and his dog. I did NOT hurt my feet as I feared on gravel or anything else..I also did not go far.
Your first time out you WILL use muscles in your calves and legs that are not ready for it. It IS good to have the tiny thin padding of the shoe, just because those of us not used to going barefoot don’t have calloused soles on our feet.
Then I came back, watched the video again, laced on the sandals to take the dog for a walk…and learned that having them too tight over the toes is ALSO not going to work, which means…I have to get this just right. I intend to keep at it. I am convinced, after one run, that the sheer difference of it will keep me going, and I see many miles in my future. I would LOVE to work up to a half or full marathon before I’m done. I’m 52, but that’s not nearly too old for this.
Today I completed the revisions on the fourth book in The DeChance Chronicles, Kali’s Tale. This book is the one I started, way back at the beginning of November when Nanowrimo began. I got de-railed twice. The first time was when the flashback I’d planned in the beginning of the book got out of control and grew into a novella of it’s own, My Soul to Keep – which tells the origins of the character Donovan DeChance. The second was when in early December our online store crashed, and the back-ups turned out to be no good. I spent most of December rebuilding that..and meanwhile, I picked up a deadline. Kali’s Tale will go live on Barnes & Noble’s online site for the Nook on the 6th of February. It will be exclusive to the Nook for thirty days as part of a promotion they have – Nook First Look. I am happy to say, the book will make the deadline, and the promotion will go on as scheduled. Below is the author’s note from Kali’s Tale…just to get you excited!
This will mark the fourth book in The DeChance Chronicles, which starts with the novel Heart of a Dragon, moves on to Vintage Soul (which was actually written first – long story for another time) and the novella My Soul to Keep which is the origin story for Donovan DeChance, and not to be missed by fans of the series.
This book also accomplishes something I have intended for some time. In this volume, The DeChance Chronicles make a direct connection and crossover to another series I write for, O.C.L.T. In that series, I’ve written the novel The Parting and the novella The Temple of Camazotz. The characters Rebecca York and Geoffrey Bullfinch appear in this novel, as does Cletus J. Diggs, from my book The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature. This book takes place largely in Old Mill, North Carolina, which is Cletus’ stomping grounds. My books and my stories have long shared certain locations – San Valencez, Lavender, and Friendly California, Old Mlil, North Carolina, and Random Illinois. If you enjoy this book, you should look up the titles above – you’ll find some old friends waiting.
If the story The Preacher’s Marsh – which involves a legend mentioned in this book appeals to you, that novella is also available. In North Carolina I’ve found that all roads lead to highway 17, and in my writing, it seems the same may be true.
There will, with the grace of whatever power watches over me, be many more Donovan DeChance books in the future, and many more adventures for Cletus J. Diggs & and for the agents of O.C. L.T. I hope you’ll join me. I’m always ready to tell a story.
David Niall Wilson
Just off to the side of The Great Dismal Swamp
This one was simple, and fun. My daughter Katie helped me get the stems off of the grapes. We don’t know what kind they are…they are red, sweet, and seedless. The recipe called for less than usual, which always makes me smile. We substituted lime juice for lemon juice because somewhere between the store and home the lemon I bought disappeared. Probably in the trunk of my car…
Anyway, we will be having pizza, and then doing a taste-testing of this one…hoping for another success, because five of five would be awesome.
In other news (and to come in a later post) received my “Invisible Shoes” today. Will be having a video shot when I first put them on and muck about in them…because the folks who sold them to me asked for it. Also got some light sweat pants and long-sleeved wicking t-shirts to run in…because I will be starting to run again soon. Shoeless Dave…that’s me. No shoes, got pie…
This one is by request. I’ve found that my quest to make a whole lot of pies, many of them slightly exotic, has not brought the enthusiastic family response I’d hoped for. The pies are good, but mostly I’ve eaten them myself, or with the help of a couple of the kids on each one. This time out – fresh pineapple pie, because my eight year old daughter Katie requested it. Hopefully, with Steph still here until Monday, at least three of us will attack this one…fifteen minutes from now when it’s done. I’ll add those pictures later. For now…here are some of the tools of the trade on this one – zester, pineapple princess for coring the pineapple … and the ridiculous horribly sculpted pineapple on top…I am NOT the sculptor guy…PIE, remember?
I recently started a new project. Eventually it will become an e-Book, and it’s a lot of fun. It started because I got disgusted with the frozen pies you buy and heat up on holidays. When I was kid, my grandmothers all made pies. They were pies that filled the pie-pan, puffed up over the top, had sparkling sugar crystals sometimes, and were ALWAYS good. The pies we get no are tiny, thin, and just don’t make me happy – thus the quest.
I will become “The Pie Guy.” I have already scoured the net for a few oddities, and begun the journey, which started when one night I wondered if you could make Persimmons into a pie. You can, and it is WONDERFUL…even if I make it. I have learned lessons. For one thing, the old beer can opener on the end of your bottle opener that no longer opens beer? You can use it to crimp the edge of a pie. The words “just peel and slice the mangos” are code for make a huge sloppy mess, never really SEE a seed and come to hate mangos with a white hot burning passion…
Today, as I write this, pie #3 is in the oven … fresh mango pie. I have already baked a persimmon pie and a fresh pear pie (which was much like apple pie). Next up is either pinapple, grape, or kiwi. When I have 12, I will finish the first book…including lessons, stupid mistakes, out-takes, and more. Here are some shots of the Mango pie prior to being baked.
-DNW (AKA Pie Guy)
We just finished the basic rebuild of the Crossroad Press online store. In early December we lost it to a server crash, only to find that our backups were corrupt. The most recent good backup we had was from 2010, so I just started from scratch.
This time out, things are better. There is an “About us” page, a contact page, and a symmetry to the layout that was lacking before. Instead of audiobooks and eBooks and print books being separated, there is one page per book, and on that page you can purchase whatever formats are available. The books, instead of being organized just by genre, are separated by author now, making it possible for some coupons and sales we hope to try in the New Year.
We remain a DRM free digital publisher. You can read our books on just about any reading device, and we’ll be happy to help you figure out how to get the books ON your device if you need assistance.
Over at the Crossroad Press blog, http://www.crossroadpress.com we are nos serving up news and updates, including the most recent Crossroad Press bestseller list – the top ten from our 78 Audible.com audiobooks.
So check us out at the newly revamped CROSSROAD PRESS STORE … use the coupon code welcomeback for a one-time 25% off savings.
If you don’t see me, I’m writing – I have a Donovan DeChance novel to finish…
Recently I’ve been asked several questions by authors I hope to work with that have actually saddened me. How much will it cost me – directed at anything a publisher should be doing for their authors – gets me every time. It should cost you nothing. If a publisher tries to tell you to pay for your own cover, your own editor, or any part of the process (and this includes scanning and reconstructing a book that they plan on publishing in digital) – they aren’t a publisher. They are in business making money OFF of writers, not for them.
Traditionally publisher paid advances. At Crossroad Press we don’t do that. We have opted to keep our overhead as low as possible and to give the lion’s share of all money made to the authors. We do not charge for covers. We do not expect authors to kick in on anything, in fact. Authors create, and publishers provide that creativity to the public – hopefully to make money first for the author, and THEN for themselves. If this is skewed the other direction, you can pretty much rest assured that the “publisher” has their own interest at heart.
So, just to be clear, there is a message here. If a publisher wants to publish your work, it is THEIR job to get the cover, convert the book, edit the book – not yours. I actually heard today of an e-mail from a publisher who claimed it was no longer the responsibility of publishers to market the works of their authors? Really? How then do you suppose money will be made?
Just as the Internet has created a lot of authors, it has created a lot of “publishers”. Make sure you know your own goals when you approach them. If all you want is a book with your name on it, publish it yourself and keep what little return you get. If you go with an actual publisher, don’t pay them to publish you – that’s the same as doing it yourself, except more expensive with less return.
End very short rant. I guess I just don’t understand greed very well. I recognize it, but I don’t understand it.