In October, along with un-publishing my entire backlist, I also went all in with Amazon KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited.
October ended up being my best month ever just due to doing that and telling my email list.
I couldn’t believe how much I started making right away. Double or more what my daily sales had gone down to after launching in August.
Even with a Bookbub, my sales at the wide retailers were never amazing, and then they fell right back to where they were before the Featured Deal. I was bringing in $200 or so every month total on wide retailers, but it just doesn’t compare to being in KU and getting those page reads.
Now I see why the vast majority of the top indie authors in my genre are in KU. Our readers are essentially voracious romance readers, even if it is YA. They like KU.
So these top authors are killing it in KU and most importantly, staying sticky. That was my biggest challenge before. I could pull off a big and successful launch, but then my book inevitably sank.
I don't like the thought of putting all my eggs in one basket, especially with some of the horror stories you hear, but I thought: hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Being wide is hard. If your genre generally does well in KU, it’s even harder. It’s hard to figure out how to promote or get visible on the other sites when they don’t have the same charts and algos that Amazon does.
it is possible (I can think of one author in my genre who is absolutely killing it with Apple), but right now it's easier for me in this season of life to just go into KU and get the huge added visibility and promo you get with being exclusive.
I also have plans to do a big monthly promo to keep my books up in the charts along with releases every 2 months. Maybe alternating the two. But I need to build up my backlist again. :)
I still don’t love the idea of being exclusive with Amazon. So I’m hoping for the best (and working for it) plus planning for the worst. I’m paying off my business credit card and also setting aside money each month into savings in case something big and bad happens to me or a ton of people.
I think we all know it’s not a perfect program, but here we go.
How do you decide if you should be in KU?
Here are some things to consider.
Are the top indie authors in your genre in Select or wide?
What are they doing?
There’s something to be said for zigging when everyone else is zagging, but you also don’t want to reinvent the wheel especially when you have limited time and energy if you’re like me and are a mom or have a full time job still.
You can be successful wide, but it usually takes more time making ads, having a huge backlist, asking for promos there, etc.
KU has so much marketing built in, like the popularity list and the boosted rank, not to mention the page reads income (which can be a big chunk of money).
But so much depends on your genre, what’s working there right now, your values, and how much work you’re willing to put in.
Either way, set aside money in case something happens to you or everyone. Be ready to pivot (PIVOT! Lol), and have a mailing list, so if the worst does happen, you can let your readers what’s going on and where to find you.
Got any questions? Want to see me cover a specific topic? Let me know in the comments!