07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Great Amazon KDP Select Experiment

by Madelle Morgan

My romantic suspense is now available on Amazon in digital format! 

Diamond Hunter was originally published by a small press as Diamond Lust (with a cover that I loved, BTW, but perhaps few readers did). I got the rights back, updated it, commissioned a new cover, and reduced the e-book price from the original $7.99 to $3.99 USD. Tra-la! 

As of January 31, Diamond Hunter is in the KDP Select program for 90 days. I'm so excited! But I'm also baffled.

In the first week, with no promo or reviews, the book has sold copies in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. One Kindle Unlimited subscriber downloaded it. Admittedly one copy was purchased by my supportive husband. :) 

But still! The same book on Amazon has attracted more readers in one week than sales in 60 days as a small press ebook on Amazon and many other distribution sites, with good reviews. 

In regards to promo, the publication of Diamond Hunter was announced on my own Facebook page last week, and that's it so far. 

It's the same book, with essentially the same book description, and no reviews. (The original reviews are not connected to Diamond Hunter on Amazon because I changed the title.) 

For comparison, below is the original Diamond Lust cover.

Excluding reviews as a factor, I would really like to know if the increase in sales due to the:

  1. different title?
  2. new cover with a couple on it?
  3. much lower price?
  4. Amazon algorithms?

I would love feedback from readers of this post. I wonder if other authors who got their rights back have had the same experience?

Assuming that you read romantic suspense, would you have passed on the original Diamond Lust due to Title, Cover, and/or Price? Please share your opinion.

Happy Valentine's Day!




Judith Ashley said...

Hi Madelle, My guess is the price. I actually prefer the Diamond Lust cover because it has more bling. I know those are diamonds! The new cover looks more like rocks which is more like what diamonds look like before they are cleaned and cut, etc. The new cover is darker and implies a darker story that involves both of them. The old cover implies he (by the way his hand is gripping her wrist) is stopping her from getting the diamonds. Because of the lighting on her hand and the bling of the diamonds it doesn't denote the same level of darkness - or that's my take on it. Still think it's the price. There are people who will not pay $7.99 for an ebook unless the author is a best seller like Nora Roberts, Madeline Hunter, etc. Fingers crossed this experiment gives you the visibility so your sales soar!

Madelle Morgan said...

Thanks for the feedback, Judith.

I am also one of those authors who won't pay $7.99 for an unknown (to me) author. On the other hand, I sometimes begrudgingly pay $12.99 for the next book in a series because I can't wait for the price to drop.

An update on Diamond Hunter sales: so far the book loans via Kindle Unlimited equal the sales - something I predicted in last month's post. http://tinyurl.com/l5erpn3 It costs subscribers nothing to try an unknown author.

Sarah Raplee said...

This is great information,Madelle! Thank you for sharing!

I suspect your increased sales are due to all four items on your list.
Diamond 'Hunter' refers to the hero/heroine, rather than the bad guy's motivation. The title font is easy to read in thumbnail size. The couple on the cover implies romance. People are more likely to take a chance on a new author at a lower price. And those who participate in Amazon special programs probably get a boost in the search algorithms.

Looks like you have a winning combination!

J. Jade Jordan said...

Hi Madelle,

Well I bought it and am having trouble pulling myself away long enough to get my own writing done!

As for why you are selling more on KDP, I have no idea but I can tell you that I did no, and I mean zilch (not even an announcement on Facebook!) promo for my book when I launched it in July, yet I had sold 11 by 9:00 a.m. the next morning! (And not one from any known person because no one knew my pen name) My sales were very good for the first three months (300+), as were the loans (400+), and then I opted for another 90 days (I wanted to focus on getting my next book out, so I did it out of sheer lack of time to worry about launching it on a wider scale.). That was when the sales and loans dropped down to a trickle… and not one sale in December though more than 10 loans. (It seems this year many authors have been surprised by the lack of good sales in the Christmas rush. It being my first year, I have nothing to compare it to, but I had been told that sales would pick up in December.) January brought me five sales and 12 loans and so far I’ve sold four this month, but no loans.

I can’t say I’m unhappy by how the book has done because I put no effort into publicizing it, other than the guest blog I did here on January 31st. The way I have reasoned it out is that I will wait until I have more than three or four books launched (the next ones will be part of a series) to do a big push on promo. I must say, though, that after seeing the way it did those first three months (when KU had just been introduced) I plan on going the KDP route for the first three months on my next book too. And I have now removed The Viscount’s Counterfeit Wife from KDP and am in the process of putting it up on Kobo and D2D, as well as a POD on CreateSpace. So we’ll see if any sales result from that. It is an exciting time to be publishing, isn’t it?

Coming back to your book, I agree with Judith; I like the first cover better, perhaps because it implies suspense. But Sarah’s right in that having a couple on your new one shows it has romance in it, which is perhaps more important in attracting sales. I do think KDP has most to do with it, though.

Good luck with your continued experiment! (Whew! Sorry for being so long-winded!)