About Me

Tollesbury, Essex, United Kingdom
I was born in the Summer of 1969 in Dagenham, just on the border of East London. School was largely unproductive but enjoyable, setting me up for something of a wayward but interesting life! On leaving school I had various jobs including putting up stalls at Romford Market, working in a record shop, putting up ceilings, gardening and road sweeping. After resigning from an insurance company to play in a band, I found myself unemployed for two years. Then finally I got back on my feet and I've been a psychiatric nurse since 1997. I wrote A Cleansing of Souls when I was 22 years old and followed it up with Tollesbury Time Forever almost twenty years later. I started writing The Bird That Nobody Sees in September 2011 and it was released in July 2012. In terms of writing, my heroes are Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck. I would also include Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits as literary influences. So that's me I guess - scruffy, happy and in love with literary fiction, music and life...

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

My KDP experience so far...

Just to clarify, lest you be disappointed, KDP is not some newly formulated street drug with which I have been experimenting for the edification of the scientific community. Although there is certainly an addictive nature to some of its elements as my poor F5 key will testify!

KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing and is a platform devised by Amazon that allows anybody to upload anything from documents to novels, set a price and sell it via Amazon for download by others onto a Kindle. Their free Kindle for PC app that can be downloaded onto a PC and the equivalent for an iPad opens up the potential readership to encompass a large proportion of the known reading world. With the increase in sales of eReading devices, the Kindle being the current front-runner, KDP is a wonderful opportunity for any would-be author to get there work out into the marketplace.

I have divided this experience into sections for the sake of clarity.

Blog Post 1
Uploading Your Book 
 KDP Select
The Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL) 

Blog Post 2
The Sales Reports
The KDP Community Forum
KDP Customer Service
Summary

Uploading Your Book 
The initial task of uploading my book was simultaneously exhilerating and nerve-wracking. In order to do this you have to have a prepared cover formatted to the correct size and a properly formatted document. I followed the guidelines in Writers Monthly for both the cover and the text and found them quite simple to follow. There are various options with regard to the document formatting. Many people recommend MobiPocket Creator but I couldn't quite work it out. I simple loaded up my Microsoft Word document (.docx) and that was that. I set the price, put in my UK bank details (you have to go for the cheque option if you're outside the US) and pressed the magic button. Within a few hours the book went from 'In Review' to 'Publishing' to 'Live'. So there it was - a novel I had written now for sale on Amazon to anybody with a Kindle. Great stuff!

Positives: 
  • a simple process if you do some hunting around on the internet
  • full control over pricing
  • the ability to edit your work whenever you choose
Negatives:
  •  the cheque only option if you're outside the US 
KDP Select
This is an option that you can take up at any time, either on initial download or subsequently. Ticking the requisite box gives you the ability to use up to 5 days within a 90 day period during which you can give away your book. When I first saw this I thought it was all a bit odd to be honest. As an unknown author trying to sell your work why would you give away your book for free thereby potentially draining your little customer pond? Well, again, scanning the internet it became clear that the increased exposure given to a book that is downloaded free in large quantities can have a good knock-on effect on potential sales. So I gave it a go after about a week. Whilst it was fun watching the numbers rack-up I must say I did not see any real subsequent increase in sales. People speak of the success or lack of it as 'catching the wind' or some such thing, maybe it's a wave. Not sure. Either way there doesn't appear to be a huge amount of logic to what gets a book downloaded free in its thousands and what doesn't. This could be because KDP Select has only been around a few months so the hard data just isn't there yet. Although sales didn't really increase for me, what did happen was that a few people on internet forums, namely Goodreads UK Amazon Kindle Forum  and Kindle User Forum got to read the book.This alone has been a massive help in getting my book read and talked about and for me has made enrolling in KDP Select worthwhile.

 
Positives: 
  • people who would not otherwise have heard of you or your book will get the opportunity to take a chance on it
  • there is a chance that people will read your book, like it, talk about it and leave a good review
Negatives:
  •  you run the risk of people getting your book because its free and, maybe because it is not one that they would ordinarily have chosen, they may leave a bad review
  • you could be using up your pool of paying customers!
If anyone has any experiences they would like to share about the two topics covered above, please comment below. The whole Indie Author thing is a new enterprise for many of us so by sharing our experiences and helping each other we can all learn so much more about this wonderful game we're in!
 

1 comment:

Mike Evers said...

This is a fab insight into the KDP world. I'm on the cusp of self publishing a novel. The pub comparison is priceless:o).