I decided to self-publish 43 Seconds on Kindle Direct Publishing because I loved the idea of owning the project start to finish. KDP is remakably easy to use. It’s really just a few screens of selections, followed by pushing the “publish” button. The steps were:
Create an account
Upload my story (in this case, a .mobi file generated from Scrivener)
Upload my cover art
Enter my product details (title, blurb, author name, etc)
Choose if I wanted to enroll in Kindle Select (90 day exclusive contract with Amazon) or just Kindle Direct (non-exclusive)
Select my markets/royalty options
Once I clicked “publish”, the story went into Pending status. After thirty minutes, it was live.
The main decision point was Kindle Select versus Direct. I chose Select (90 day exclusve contract) for the following reasons:
People with Kindle Unlimited can read it for free (more people may see it, and potentially leave a review)
I can choose five promotion days where I can offer the book for free, or at a discount. The days do not need to be consecutive. I planned offering them the first weekend after launch to try and get more people to see it, and potentially leave a review.
I don’t have any other markets yet (iBooks, epub) for the story, so I wasn’t losing anything by limiting myself only to Amazon for 90 days. I can always add other markets after the 90 day contract.
Once the book was live, I was able to create an Author Central account and begin filling in my bio. This is the page people see when they click your name on Amazon. It has options to link your personal website/blog, so I hooked those up to my blog.
I made a Facebook author page, invited my friends, and posted updates about the upcoming free download weekend
I’m also an artist, and have an established Facebook page for selling art. It’s taken me years to grow it to 500+ fans. I did a bit of self cross-promotion and announced the upcoming free download weekend along with links to my writing page. Based on demographics I didn’t think there were many sci-fi fans in my art group, but even if I picked up one or two it was helpful.
I added a banner to my website announcing the free download dates, with a direct link to the Amazon page.
I ran a three day free promotion on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Amazon doesn't disclose who bought your books, but it does tell you which Amazon regional site sold them. The results were:
Books sold during the free promotion:
- Amazon.com, 7 sales
- Amazon.de, 4 sales
- Amazon.com.au, 1 sale
The first day after the free promotion I had my first paid sale:
- Amazon.com, 1 sale
Sales in the US, Germany and Australia. Cool! Thanks.
Surprisingly, the 12 weekend sales were enough to get me listed at #23 on the Amazon bestseller list for the category Kindle Short Reads->45 minutes(22-32 pages)->Science Fiction & Fantasy. I noticed the list is dynamic and changes hour to hour. Today, for example, with only 1 sale, I'm listed at #911. Doh. But it was fun being at #23!