Number nine on my list of why you should try self publishing is any contracts with Amazon / Lulu / Smashwords are for as long as you want and there's no pressure to earn back the advance that you would normally get with a traditional publishing house. As soon as you break even against your own outgoings invested to get the book published (which will be smaller than an advance), you start profiting!
We've been focusing primarily on Amazon, so we're going to continue with that for the moment and take a look at the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select service and how you can get the most out of it.
What is KDP Select?
This is Amazon's service for indie authors and self publishers where you enroll your book/s for 90 day cycles. When 90 days is up, you choose whether to go again. For each 90 day cycle, there are five days available where you can offer your eBook for free. You control these five days. You can either run a consecutive free one to five day promotion, or choose up to five separate days throughout the 90 day period.
Amazon demands exclusivity while eBooks are enrolled in KDP Select. You won't be able to sell your eBook or give it away anywhere else online or offline. They won't even allow you to give away review copies!
When I received my Kindle, I had one month's free Amazon Prime membership and took advantage of it. Prime customers can borrow one eBook per month for free and they choose from KDP Select eBooks. You, the author, get paid if someone borrows your book (only a quid, but hey, it all mounts up).
Why give my eBook away for free?
If you can get your head around it, the point of giving away books is to ultimately help you sell more copies. This is a tough strategy to run with when you've got little or no cash flow and just starting out in the business, but don't underestimate the power of word of mouth. Use your free book as a stepping stone in your overall marketing plan. Shout about your promotion. It's also a great way to secure those all important reviews.
Tactics for KDP Select
And now for a few tactical moves for the KDP beginner:
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.