Amazon took another leap into another growing market- the Indie market. Over the last years, Indie authors have grown. With the publishing field becoming increasingly harder and harder to break through, authors turned to self-publishing. Moreover, these Indie authors have become quite successful. Amanda Hocking. Michael Preston. Barbara Freethy. Darcie Chan.
Some had previous success. Now its becoming even more common place for established authors to take the leap into the Indie field. Just recently two more added to the ranks of Indie releases- Annette Blair and Brenda Novak.
Amazon created Kindle Direct and Create Space for self-publishing authors. Self-publishing is quite simple now if one knows what one is doing. Places such as Kindle Direct, Pubit (Barnes and Noble) and Smashwords offer simple self-publishing options. Over on Smashwords they have a wonderful marketing guide. In it is the suggestion for unknown authors to give away a book free. It's a marketing ploy, an extremely smart one at that. Give away a sample of your writing to bring in readers. It works. Example in case that I know of is Ruth Cardello with her Legacy Collection series. I have used Ruth as an example before and if you want to see her numbers and her success check out her blog.
And I'll give you an example of myself and the difference giving away books for free. I went Indie under my pen name, Carrie James Haynes, back in the middle of October with my Whispers of a Legend series. Whispers of a Legend, Part One, Shadows of the Past went free most places. It has had thousands of downloads. I can't give you an exact figure because I don't have the numbers at Barnes & Noble yet, but its ranked #2000 on Barnes and Noble overall and the last time I looked #218 in fantasy. The second installment, The Path Now Turned, numbers are climbing on Barnes and Noble. Most authors I've talked to online say their numbers are much better on Amazon than Barnes and Noble. Mine aren't. No where close. The reason. Whispers of a Legend, Part One-Shadows of the Past isn't free on Amazon. I waited and waited for it to go free. It didn't and it won't. Why? Kindle Select.
Amazon figured out that giving away a sample of an authors writing was a great way to sell books. So they came up Kindle Select. I'll give you the exact requirements from their page-
What is KDP Select?
KDP Select is a new option that features a $6 million annual fund dedicated to independent authors and publishers. If you choose to make a book exclusive to the Kindle Store for at least 90 days, the book is eligible to be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and you can earn a share of the fund based on how frequently the book is borrowed. In addition, by choosing KDP Select, you will have access to a new set of promotional tools, starting with the option to offer enrolled books free to readers for up to 5 days every 90 days. Authors and publishers can enroll a single title, their whole catalog or anything in between within KDP Select.
So whose the winner here. Amazon, of course, but I believe readers are the big winners. How lucky can you get being given a sample to read for free.
Case in point- National bestselling author Annette Blair. Her book Undeniable Rogue is available free today!
It's free now through the 8th! If you have never read a Annette Blair book, what better time to start. I spotlighted Ms Blair last May on Novel Works. Love her books. The Vintage Magic series, Works like Magick Novels, Accidental Witch Trilogy and the Historical Amish series.
I also believe its a good thing for authors to have options. Options are always a good thing whether one wants to go the traditional route or Indie. It gives us a semblance of control.
I may have missed out with Whispers of a Legend on Amazon, but I have a plan. Always have to have a plan, don't you? My next Indie, Daughter of Deceit, I'm going to put on Kindle Select. I was going to wait until the spring, but I'm going to publish it before the next installment of Whispers of a Legend.
But in the mean time, go and get your free copy of Undeniable Rogue by Annette Blair. I am.