« Common Ebook Publishing Questions | Main | Are You Ready for the Ebook Gold Rush? »


Jim Kukral

Amazon is the new WalMart with Jeff Bezos channeling Sam Walton with these moves :)

Time will tell if this makes sense for authors and I believe that it will be beneficial to some, but not most. Remember though, it's optional for everyone.

One thing is for sure with all this. Amazon means business.


Dana Lynn Smith

Thanks for your comments, Jim.

I think it's important for authors to weigh the pros and cons for themselves before deciding to enroll in this program.


Eisley Jacobs

Wow! That is some serious fine print! Thanks for breaking this down for us!

Dana Lynn Smith

Eisley, I'm glad you found it helpful.

I have seen some comments online asking why anyone would want to give their ebooks away for free. Free ebooks are a promotional tool. For example, a novelist might give away their first book free to get people interested in the other books in the series. A nonfiction author may give away an ebook to promote other books, products or services that they offer.

Dee for D.I. Telbat

Hi Dana,

Thank you for the heads up. We've been mulling this offer over but it just doesn't feel right to us. I think we'll continue on with our plans to submit to B&N and Smashwords. It'll be interesting to hear how it works out for those who accept.

Have a great Christmas!



I am glad you brought this up, Dana. I have been VERY upset with Amazon's policies over the past year. They really are getting pretty close to violating anti-monopoly laws. I wrote an article about a different issue, wherein they mark Print-on-Demand titles as being "out of stock" and labelling them as longer than usual delivery times (Dana, please do come along and comment on that article at http://spiritauthors.com/news/becoming-an-empowered-self-published-author/) .

As far as Kindle Select is concerned, I totally agree with what you are saying. In principle I disagree with it strongly, and I really think Amazon are itching for a bunch of lawsuits over the next year. I only signed up for "Select" right now because I don't intend to publish my eBooks on other sites until after the 90 days anyway, as I'm (frankly) too busy to format them right now, lol. ;-)

Matt Patterson

Great stuff Dana! For me the Select program has been very beneficial! I approached this step with a great deal of fear, but each of us as self-published authors have different needs and situations. Everyone should do their homework. One of my goals was to get it into as many hands as possible and give it visibility. My book will serve as a source of revenue for a foundation, so whatever visibility I could get would be worth it. My Nook sales were minimal at best compared to the Kindle prior to my entry into the Select program. For me - I approached it as a 90-day marketing study. I just completed my first free days on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Over the two-day period My Emily was downloaded 4,200 times. I was astonished and very happy. I figured - well after the two free days - things will return to the status quo and initially it did. I stopped refreshing my download counts every 15 minutes (smile) and left it alone til the next day when someone told me about the rankings on my book's page and looked - and sales were there! Sold more the first day than I sold prior to being in Select. The sales have been steady all week. For me, I'm happy. Very happy. My advice? Do you homework. Think it through.


Just to say (I just checked) Kindle Select has a 3-day "cooling off" period where you can cancel your arrangement with Kindle Select before you are committed to stay the rest of the 90 days. guess that's to ensure you don't get "buyer's remorse".

Dana Lynn Smith

Thanks so much Matt and Lynn. I think it's important for authors to understand the Select program and make a decision based on their particular situation.

Personally, I am bothered by the anti-competitive nature of this program, but I also recognize its promotional value. My current Kindle books are not eligible because they are also sold in PDF format from my own website.

However, I have a new short book coming out soon that I'm going to enroll in Select as an experiment. You can pick and choose which of your Kindle books to put in the Select program.

Kent Weber

Good advice Dana. It sure seems like "Proceed with Caution" is going to be a recurring theme. Apple's product release on Thursday of course sings the same tune. If you create an eBook with their new fabulous software, the fine print says you are signing up to sell through them only. Ouch and ouch. These decisions appear to be getting hard and harder. Anything that doesn't have an obvious end to a short lockout period is pretty risky.


I think that KDP is a good publishing option. I was considering using that channel for my free ebook 'From Bruises To Beauty'. After doing the research I decided not to use it and go with Smashwords. i chose to do that because 1.) This is my very first book and I want it available on more than one sight to improve visibility and 2.) I want to give my ebook away for free and there isn't an option for that using KDP.
I may use KDP in the future when I am in a better position.

Dana Lynn Smith

Rashida, thanks for your note. If your goal is to make your book available for free, then Smashwords is the best option. The KDP Select program would make your book free on Amazon for only five days in each 90-day period.

If your goal is the get the greatest visibility, then publishing on both Kindle and Smashwords (with expanded distribution to Nook, iBookstore, etc.) is the best course. The Kindle store is responsible for the majority of ebook sales, so they offer the most exposure. But you can't offer your book for free on Kindle and you can't join KDP Select unless you publish exclusively on Kindle. So, it's a tradeoff.


Anyone have experience using KDP Select in serial fashion? I'm contemplating a series and would like to do 90 days on KDP Select then drop to my site after. Second one, 90 days on KDP Select, then drop to my site, and so on. Questions: what format do you get your ebook in when you opt out? PDF? With images? Any experience with this? THanks for a good overview of this!

Dana Lynn Smith

Jacqueline, thanks for your note. You could drop a book out of the KDP Select program after 90 days (to give you the freedom to sell it elsewhere) but I don't think it makes any sense to remove it from the Kindle store entirely. Amazon's Kindle store is responsible for the vast majority of all ebook sales, probably close to 70%.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "what format do you get your ebook in when you opt out?" If you are asking in what formats you could sell your ebook on your own website, I would offer fiction in Kindle and epub format. For nonfiction PDF works well, and you could also offer Kindle and epub format.

I hope that helps. Good luck with the books! Dana


Thanks for the prompt response. I didn't realize you could keep in Kindle after dropping the KDP select. And format question was about how one downloads from KDP select to sell on one's own site. Wasn't sure if they allowed a download in the Kindle format. Thanks! I'll have to reread the Kindle Terms (couldn't get past it w/o signing up and accepting) so I'm still guessing at what the formatting tool looks like etc. (not a Kindle owner)

And if it is in Kindle format, can others download and read if they don't have a Kindle? (the "my mother" test.)

Dana Lynn Smith

Jacqueline, if you're publishing fiction, I don't think there's any point in trying to sell directly from your website. Just point people to Amazon from your website - that's where people would prefer to buy a Kindle book. If you are doing nonfiction, there might be business reasons to sell in PDF format from your website (as I do).

Anyone can download a free Kindle app to read Kindle books on their iPad, computer or smartphone (although my mother would not want to).

The issue of how to format and publish an ebook is more complex. You can hire someone to do it for you or do it yourself. If you published paperbacks through CreateSpace they can do your ebooks. There are some articles on this site with tips and I also offer an ebook publishing training course at http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/savvy_book_marketer/ebook-publishing-success.html

Also, you can enter to win a free ebook conversion service from Middleton Book Conversion at http://www.middletonbookconversion.com/freeoffer.html

If you are interested in some private coaching, please contact me through the email link below my photo in the right column of this page.


Lisa Ard, Author of the Dream Seeker Adventures

Thank you everyone. I will enroll in Sept with my new middle-grade book 'Saving Halloween'. I'd like to promote heavily before the Halloween holiday. If you have a listing of websites that help advertise the 'Free days', please advise. Also, does anyone know if free mobi files can be given to reviewers during the 90-day period without violating the terms?

Dana Lynn Smith

Lisa, that's a great idea! I have a group where you can post free ebooks at http://on.fb.me/FreeEbookGroup. Also, I ran across an ebook this week that may be helpful to you: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0088FUG1M. And here's an article you should find of interest: http://bit.ly/OqnZ7D

Good luck with your book!

The comments to this entry are closed.

About the Author

Praise for The Savvy Book Marketer

  • "My business book recently had the good fortune to land on the best seller lists. You are one of the people I've followed over the previous year to learn about book promotion . . . obviously it works!"

         — Kevin Kruse, author of We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement

    "You have the best, most useful site for authors that I've ever come across! Thank you for all your hard work and for sharing your expertise!"

         — Christine Bode, Social Media Manager at Scully Love Promo

    "You are such a treasure, a wonderful asset to all of us who write . . . thank you again for all you do."

         — Maureen McDermott Gill, author of January Moon

    "Your site is so packed with good information I've been absorbed with it most of the day. Thanks!"

         — Mystery Author Billie A. Williams

    "You are one of the few true, knowledgeable book marketing experts online or probably anywhere else!"

         — Juli Schatz, Author! Author! Book & Author Marketing Network

    "Special thanks to Dana Smith, who is an angel in disguise for new authors, sharing her valuable resources and excellent tips."

         —dedication page from Take a Peep Inside Our Lives by Roberta Blango

    "Words can’t express my gratitude toward you! You are the best at marketing and helping authors promote themselves."

         —Bridgette L. Collins, author of Imagine Living Healthier: Mind, Body and Soul

    "Like all great teachers, Dana’s step-by-step approach shows how big projects become manageable when broken down into individual tasks."

         —Roger C. Parker, Published and Profitable

    "I took a seminar on marketing with social media today. Dana Lynn Smith filled up the hour with excellent information."

         —Joy DeKok, author coach

    "Dana, you give such amazing, detailed content. It's great to know that there are still people online who are willing to give like you do."

         —Erin A. Kurt, author of Juggling Family Life: A Step-by-Step Guide to Stress-Free Parenting

    “During the year before publication, we used Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual as a primary reference book. As much contact as I had with Poynter's book, the information on your website is equally valuable to me!"

         —Pat Garrison, for Dr. Gayle Rozantine, author of At Ease, Soldier!

    "I shared your website with a number of my writer/author Facebook friends . . . every comment included the word AWESOME."

         — Wanda Winters-Gutierrez, author of The Search for Peace

    "Dana Lynn Smith is a multi-talented book marketing consultant."

         —Rabbi Ed Weinsberg, author of Conquer Prostate Cancer

    "All of Smith’s books are easy reads and exhibit her ability to use creativity in a practical way in book marketing. Following her marketing advice is sure to boost your sales."

         —MaAnna Stephenson, author of BlogAid and The Sage Age

    "My book sales have increased since I put into practice the things I learned . . . You are a great help to newbie authors as well as those who have been marketing books online for a while."

    —Yvonne Perry, author of Whose Stuff Is This?

    "I highly recommend Dana as a speaker and resource for authors."

    —Shelley Hitz, Self-Publishing-Coach.com

    "I have one word to sum up my feelings about Boost Your Book Sales with Social Networking teleseminar — Fantastic!"

         — Jennifer Aderhold, writer

    "If you want to get up to speed with using Facebook as a promotional tool, I highly recommend Facebook Guide for Authors. It's definitely going to be my "bible" where Facebook is concerned from now on."

         —Nick Daws, author of 80 books

    "Finding the Savvy Book Marketer website has been a blessing. Dana's clever tips and informative ebooks have been a great way for me to extend my knowledge of how to market myself."

         — Debi Slinger, author of Poppy Pretzel - Passage into Puberty

    "Dana, what a wonderful tool you have created for authors!"

         —Tony Eldridge, Marketing Tips for Authors blog

    “You are fast becoming my only go-to place for book marketing guidance!”

         —Frances S. Ponick, author of Only Angels Can Wing It

    “I am really loving your newsletter. Keep up the good work.”

         — Sharon Williams

    "This is a great new ebook from Dana Lynn Smith on maximizing your sales on Amazon. Her ebooks are so easy to understand and implement!"

         — Barbara Techel, author of the Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog books

    "I always enjoy and learn something new through your newsletter. It is one of my favorites."

         —Carole London, Lifetime Chronicle Press

    “I really enjoy the Savvy Book Marketer website and newsletter. The information is upbeat, concise, well written, and practical.”

         —Carol Schultz-Weil, author of In The Trenches: Financial Survival During Times of Hardship

    "The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Successful Social Marketing is absolutely amazing."

         —Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of The Frugal Book Promoter and the Sharing With Writers blog

    "After you read The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Selling Your Book to Libraries, you'll be able to tap into this valuable market with ease. Highly recommended."

         —Lynne Klippel, Managing Partner, Love Your Life Publishing

    "I'm amazed at how awesome your newsletters are and how much I get from them every time."

         —Jenni James, author of Northanger Alibi

    "This is one of the most helpful marketing websites out there for debut authors (such as myself). Great advice, timely as well. Keep it up!”

         —Lynn Dove, author of Shoot the Wounded

    "I enjoy your newsletters. I must say, they're the only ones from various book marketing 'gurus' that I actually read, because there's usually something very practical I can use."

         —Timothy James Dean, author of TEETH - The Epic Novel With Bite

    "Thank you SO MUCH for sharing the Savvy Book Marketing Secrets ebook. I used some of your hints the first day I read the book and they helped so much! I recommend it for every writer BEFORE they publish their first novel!"

         —Carol Morgan, novelist

    “I have learned so much from your writing and I feel truly indebted to you for your generosity.”

         —Marcie Lovett, author of The Clutter Book

    "I enjoyed reading your article, The 7 Deadly Sins of Online Networking. As always, a great article with specific advice!"

         — Marsha Toy Engstrom, The Book Club Cheerleader

    "Thanks for your work helping budding authors, please keep it up!"

         — Heather Woods, author of Finding Anna

    "You continue to be one of the few marketing bloggers and consultants I consistently read."

         — Babette Donaldson, author of The Emma Lea Books and Family Tea Time

    "Your blogs are a total education. I usually don't gush, but I can't tell you how much help you have given me."

         — Pat W. Kirk, author of Escape from the Prison System: Finding the Narrow Door

    "Thank you for your support and motivation...you are an inspiration and really make it easier to continue on with the writing process."

         — S. Thomas Bailey, author of The Gauntlet Runner: A Tale from the French and Indian War

About This Site

  • Copyright 2008-2015 by Texana Publishing Consultants, LLC

    Affiliate Disclosure

    Learn More About This Site