How to Increase Your Amazon Kindle Book Sales by 600% in a Week

This is a guest post from Tristan King, an entrepreneur and writer who recently published his first book on learning langauges on the Amazon Kindle store. Tristan loves learning and teaching foreign languages, and travelling anywhere he can use them. You can read more at

Note from Sean: While I haven’t personally jumped into the world of self-publishing, a lot of people have lately.  Some have seen success, and others not so much.  For that reason I was really excited to hear about Tristan’s experiences and the strategies he’s used to grow the business and exposure for his new book.  If you’re looking for a creative take on learning languages, I can’t recommend Tristan’s book and blog highly enough.

Recently, I experimented with Amazon’s KDP Select Program, a new system on the Kindle Store which increased my book’s sales over 600% within one week. First I’ll tell you the story, then I’ll share how you can do it too.

Hitting the Button: The Scary Part

“What have I done? What if no one likes my book?” I thought, finger poised on the yellow ‘Publish’ button. After 9 months of writing, the moment had finally arrived to send my book out to the world. Remembering the encouragement of several ‘real’ authors much braver than I am, I hit the button.

Soon after, an email arrived saying that I was now live on the Kindle Store. No going back now!

Over the next few days, sales trickled in slowly, and I even had one positive review. This was extremely exciting. I wondered what the next step was: How can I get the book into more peoples’ hands?

Iíd read about a program called KDP select, Amazon’s lending program, at which they’re throwing lots of money and promotion:

  • Paying members can ‘borrow’ books as part of their membership;
  • Everyday Amazon users can buy the book as normal; and
  • Authors can give their book away for free, as a promotion, for 5 days during a 90-day period. (The rest of the time, it remains paid for people who aren’t part of the lending club.)

The catch: it must be exclusively sold on Amazon. No Apple, no B&N, no PDF website sales. Exclusivity? Sounds like a tough decision, right? It wasnít for me.

Up until that point, through the Apple iBooks store, Barnes & Noble, and Sony’s Nook eBook store, I had sold a grand total ofÖ zero copies. Every single sale I’d made was on Amazon.

Given I wasn’t making any sales on the other platforms anyway, why not try it? I unsubscribed my book from Smashwords faster than you could say “why haven’t I sold any copies through you?“, and enrolled in KDP Select, making my book free for a 24-hour period.

Then, things got interesting.

The KDP Select Experiment: Results

After the first hour of “free” promotion, I checked how many copies had been downloaded. 50 copies in an hour. I almost fell off my chair. Yes, they were free downloads (i.e. I didn’t make any money off them), but I was ecstatic because it meant a) my book now had the chance of helping 50 new people learn a foreign language (this is the whole point!), and b) at least a few people were interested in what I had to say.

2 hours down, 80 downloads. While I slept at night, it was downloaded around 200 times.

At the end of the 24 hour period, my book had been downloaded 400+ times – a lot more than I’d sold during six weeks of being in the Kindle store.

After the freebie period was over, people continued downloading the book. Not at the same rate of 20-50 sales per hour, but in the following week I had a 600% increase in sales.

To be clear, weíre not talking Stieg Larsson numbers here, but for me as a first time author and newbie to Amazon, this was a breakthrough, and made me grin like a little kid.

Here’s what my sales figures have looked like:

  • Sales December 28th – Feb 15th:  25 (six weeks)
  • Sales Feb 15th – Feb 28th, straight after KDP Select promotion day: 30 (one week).  Sales have continued to trickle in since then at a much faster pace than before.
  • Total downloads in the month of Feb: 513 (some free, some paid)

Why Sales Increased By 600%

In my experience, four things contributed to the increase in sales:

1. People like freebies, and they like “expensive” freebies.
If you won a car in a competition and had two choices – a $20,000 car for free, or a $2,000 car for free, which would you pick?

Prior to this promotional period, my book was $7.99. When it went “free” on the Kindle store, it said $7.99 FREE. This meant an $8 ‘discount’ during the free period, as opposed to books which were normally 99c, and are then free during promotion (99c discount).

This, of course, doesn’t mean my book is better than anyone else’s which is lower priced: but it gives the impression of a larger discount. I suspect this increased the number of downloads.

2. Getting in the top twenty lists, and staying there after the promotional period
When someone downloads your book (for free or paid), it moves up the charts. My book was #1 in the “Bilingual” section for a while, even though most people downloaded it for free. This meant a lot more people saw it, compared to when it was down in the dungeons of Amazon’s search listings. Amazon does not kick you off the charts after your free promotion ends.

Being in the charts when it reverted back to a paid download meant more people saw it, and resulted in more sales.

[Please note:  Since this original post was written, Amazon has changed their ranking system.  Your book will no longer stay in the normal ‘best sellers’ based on free sales.  Only paid sales now count towards permanent rankings.  Also, sometimes the price no longer displayed next to the word “Free” for some books.  Whilst much of this article is still relevant, we’d also suggest consulting some more recent reviews of the KDP program to make sure you have a balanced view.]

3. Increased cross-promotion
When people download your book, it starts appearing in the “People who bought this book also boughtÖ..” and “Recommended for you” sections, further increasing visibility. This is similar to eBay’s “We recommend..” or Youtube’s “Recommended videos” cross-promotion: addictive, aren’t they?

4. Reviews bring more authenticity to your book
More downloads = more people reading = more reviews. I still don’t have a ton of them, but a few stars next to your book makes a difference for fence-sitters.

How you can increase your sales 600%

Below are some basic guidelines on how to get a book into the Kindle Store, as well as how to approach the KDP Select program to boost your sales.

1. Write your book (report, exposË, whatever) in Microsoft Word, or any other word processor.

2. Format it using Amazon’s quite strict but very logical Formatting Guide.
I’d suggest reading this guide first in order to set up your MS Word file for minimum re-work. After my book was finished, it took me around 6 hours to format it to their guidelines. This can easily be outsourced for under $100 on eLance, too. Minimalist formatting is necessary because users can increase or decrease the text size on their Kindle / iPad, so font size, page numbers and coloured headings become irrelevant.

You can find all of Amazon’s formatting guidelines here.

3. Create a cover, or get one designed.
eLance or 99 Designs are good for this, or you can do it yourself if youíre game. I purchased a photo from for $80, which gives me license for up to 499,999 book sales.

Details of Amazon’s Image Guidelines are here.

4. Convert your MS Word Document to Amazon’s format.
First, “Save as” Filtered HTML, and then into Amazon’s format (PRC) using Mobi Pocket Creator. This sounds complicated, but takes less than 5 minutes.

The Guide to Conversion and Formats is here.

5. Create an Amazon KDP account, upload your book and set the price.
Your book will be available on Amazon in the US, UK, Spain, France, Italy and Germany. You can opt out of some if you want.
For prices $2.99 – $9.99, Amazon gives you 70% and takes 30%. For anything outside of that, Amazon takes 65%, and you get 35%.

6. Create an author page on Amazon Author Central
Write a bio and add a photo – you are now an author!

Amazon’s Author Central page can be viewed here.

7. Enroll in the KDP select program, making sure your book is available exclusively to Amazon (or they won’t pay your royalties!). Enrolment is by clicking one button. Make sure to set a promotion day to see the effect of free downloads on your paid sales.

If your book is borrowed by KDP members, you’ll also receive a share of the borrowed royalty pie. (For me, this is so minute as to not be relevant – yet.)

For all the info on the KDP Select Program check this out.

8. Experiment with different promotions.
I tried my first free promotional period on a weekday. The second time, I tried it on a weekend, where I figured more people would be lazing about on the couch browsing the Kindle Store. The second time around, free downloads were lower overall, but I did see another big increase in downloads after the promotional period ended. Iím still experimenting with this.

Bonus resource:
A fantastic, easy-to-read post from Notes In Spanish about how Ben Curtis published his book (this is what got me started):

The Wrap Up

Will this work for everyone? Iím not sure yet. Your mileage may vary, and everyoneís book will be different. I do believe that KDP Select is, if nothing else, a fantastic way to experiment with price points, get your book out into the world, and have some fun. Hopefully, your message will get into more peopleís hands than it would have otherwise: thatís the whole point, right?

That’s all, folks! It’s not difficult to publish an information product onto the Kindle Store. Authors and information agents – go make it happen!
Questions, or any other resources I should add to this post? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.


Tristan’s book, Conquering Foreign Languages, is a practical guide explaining how he learned Spanish, Japanese, German and French, and how anyone can skyrocket their language skills by making the language part of their everyday lifestyle. He blogs about his passion for foreign languages at

Image Credit: Kindle by Pixabay/Unsplash

Rich February 25, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Any ideas on publishing outside of the U.S. Im based in Thailand and wandering if you can use amazon global with KDP direct and any policies regarding tax and payment. Its easy to set up paypal here but logistics and laws are a different matter.
Thanks for the useful info….


John Kuypers February 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Thank you for an excellent posting. I appreciate how you shared the details of your results and the experiences you gained. As an author on Kindle myself, marketing is our number one challenge! You’ve made a difference and I pray your work will be rewarded! Ciao!


Robin March 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Getting reviews for your amazon books can be hard but they really do help sell your books on the marketplace. If you need an honest review in less then 24hrs of your book I can do that for you :).


Tiki March 25, 2014 at 7:26 am

This is a wonderful technique, thank you!
I had 900 downloads between two books, in just a few days, I was ecstatic! In just a few days one of my ebooks was on page 2 for search terms pertinent to the book!
But the minute the free promotion ended no one bought the book. I am dumbfounded why. I have one negative review from some grumpy person, it seems he is ruining my e-book sales. I don’t know how to find reviews, this book had about 650 downloads (during the free promotion) but not one of them left a review.


Peter January 14, 2015 at 2:20 am

I find that most people cannot be bothered to review books, even when they have enjoyed them. I don’t know what the subject of your book is, but why not offer it to friends, and others, asking them to give it a favourable review? I did this by looking at reviewers of similar books to my own. I picked one which had given an unfavourable review to a book I considered very poor, contacted the reviewer and sent a copy via e-mail. As it happened, I had contacted a professional proof-reader and editor, who kindly pointed out some proof-reading problems, read my book and gave it an honest review and 4 stars.


Damion Monaghan March 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm

What you should do is two things, firstly get the book edited. Secondly put a call to action right at the end prompting your readers to review your book.


Enki Ruthven April 4, 2014 at 1:00 am

I have published my first eBook on KDP “Advance to Ataraxia” on 18 March2014. So far only one were sold, no reviews. Could you suggest some forums where I can promote this book?
Regards and thanks for useful info


Gordon April 8, 2014 at 9:41 am

Tremendous issues here. I am very glpad to peer your article.
Thanks a lot and I am looking forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?


Madge Williams April 25, 2014 at 6:22 am

Just want to that was great information that you shared. My book is already on Amazon in book form and on Kindle and I have not had a single sale. To me it is very discouraging but I trust that things would be better. Thanks again.


Andy Lamb April 26, 2014 at 4:32 am

Hi All,

I’ve happened upon an interesting little tool to keep track of your links (how often they’ve been clicked and roughly where) produces a shortened URL and keeps track of how often it has been clicked.

Really very useful if you have been running any specific promotions – you’ll be able to tell how successful they have been in terms of getting your message across.


Sue Edwards May 11, 2014 at 4:41 am

Thanks for an interesting article. Having sold a small amount (300) paperbacks nearly 4 years ago I’ve just revised my book with a smart new cover & uploaded it to Kindle. And now I promote and wait! Im not expecting miracles. Time will tell.


Andy Lamb May 12, 2014 at 11:19 am

Hi all,

One very good way of getting your name around is to do as many interviews as possible, especially if the topic is related to your book.

Here’s today’s edition of the Spectral Times, a free downloadable Paranormal magazine. I’ve got an interview in there on page 18. Here’s the Link



Clive May 15, 2014 at 12:07 am

Hi. Great article.
Does exclusive to amazon also forbid paper copies?


Alejandro Moreno S. (@__Alejandro__) May 29, 2014 at 5:05 pm

From what I read yesterday, it’s digital format only where Kindle wants exclusivity during the first 90 days.


kimberley July 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Great story and advice with regards to your success in publishing for Kindle through Amazon…Cheers!


Angela Reuss July 9, 2014 at 11:20 pm

This is great info for new authors like me. Thank you!


Christopher Seddon July 14, 2014 at 9:34 am

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what does happen. I had 110 free downloads on the first day, 45 on the second & my book was charting at No 1 in both its categories. Just hours after the promotion ended it was nowhere.


Abby July 20, 2014 at 8:35 am

I am hearing more negative results from the KDP 90-day giveaway than positive. Sounds to me like you are cutting yourself off at the legs in doing this. Have you ever thought that those hundreds of free downloads could have resulted in actual sales? To illustrate; I love a particular writer and was waiting for her next novel to come down in price. Even her eBooks were around $6.99. I was about to buy it anyway, when I saw it was being offered for .99cents. I immediately bought at that price. Had it not been reduced, I was going to buy it anyway. The author just lost out on $6.00 by reducing it. Most people buy books in rotation. In other words, they buy 5-10 books, read them, and then buy another group. If your book’s sales are slow, just be patient. As I said, people buy books in rotation and your book might be next in that rotation. But if you give it away for free, you’ve lost those potential sales. As an author myself, the only way I would personally do the KDP free giveaway, is if I had a series and was giving away that first book of the series. Then I could see doing it to get readers interested, which could result in sales for the rest of the series.
Just my two cents.


Amy July 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Thanks for this great post Sean!
To enrich the marketing strategies for authors, in addition to what it is mentioned here, I’d like to include the following which I could test with good results:

1. Take advantage of the launch of a new site to give your work a shock of publicity tools and also obtain honest reviews on the platform where you have published your books. The platform has a paid membership but they are offering free memberships for a limited time. I can’t guarantee that they’ll still be available so you should try to take advantage while it lasts.
2. Fill in your author information on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc. It’s really important that we connect to the reader, especially when they don’t know us.
3. Regularly edit and improve the description of your book on those online stores. The description doesn’t just tell what your book is about IT’S ALSO THE READER’S FIRST IMPRESSION. A reader judges your writing based on your description. It’s important not only to inform the reader, you have to seduce them.
4. Create visual support for your book through a website so that when you post on social media you have a visual connection. If you can’t afford the investment in a professional web page, create a blog. There are tons of tutorials.

Well friends, that’s my mini summary of what I have experienced first-hand.
I’m already putting it into practice daily with my book and I’m seeing my sales increase daily.

Stay well,


Peter March 24, 2015 at 11:37 pm

Sound advice.



Susie Mander August 19, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Thanks for sharing this. I’m looking at running my first give away and found this useful. I’m also hearing a lot of negative results re the select program but am willing to give it a go.


Alex August 23, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Excellent article. I found that Amazon Kindle market is getting really crowded these days (there are more than 2,7 million titles). The guys from K-lytics did an excellent 10-minutes video on the Kindle market: in case anyone is interested. Definitely worth seeing before publishing the x-thousandth Paleo Cookbook 😉


John May 11, 2015 at 4:19 am

Interesting. Just watched it. These guys provide great Kindle market insight.


Steven September 20, 2014 at 8:50 am

This is a really good article thank you for taking the time to write it Sean. I was going to publish my book via Amazon’s KDP scheme – but I decided not to. A few reasons why this came about…

1) If you don’t get your tax details right and fill in the correct forms Amazon can withhold 30% if your a non US citizen.

2) The KDP publishing set up doesn’t allow you to have your book on other platforms such as ibookstore, Barnes & Noble, Google etc.

I decided on publishing with another company located in where you are living now Sean(Thailand). You get the choice of platforms for your book to appear on and they pay monthly via pay pal. Actually for me this is more convenient than dealing with Amazon. If you’re interested just click my name to see.

Anyways, great post and Khopkun maak!


Maria Moldovan September 25, 2014 at 4:12 am

I published my book via KDP select and it’s not really sold much at all. I think the advice to give it for free for a little bit might be useful. I might try that and see if it helps my sales. I don’t really want to make much money from it, but I’d like people to read it. I didn’t write it to just sit on a shelf.


Crazy Eyes December 11, 2014 at 7:44 am

“I don’t really want to make much money from it”–Maria Moldovan.

Maria, you don’t WANT to make much money from it, or you don’t think you CAN make much money from it, so the thought of earning money is secondary?


Lavonte Martin October 1, 2014 at 11:29 am

Wow EXCELLENT blog post on how to increase kindle sales. I started my Kindle Publishing career in June making $60 that month. I did not let that discourage me so I continued to learn and grow my “book inventory”. In the month of August I was able to generate alittle over $500+ from 14 good selling Kindle Books. Last month (September 2014) I gotten real lazy and basically slacked off doing nothing for my kindle business and guess what? Was still able to make $482 that month despite me slacking off.

The income I’ve claimed to earn can be found on my website so that way people know that I am telling the truth about the little success I been having on Kindle. ANYONE can make money Kindle if there willing to put the work in.

Again, thanks for the article!


Dave October 6, 2014 at 10:33 am

I really haven’t noticed any uptick in sales post free days. I think it’s due to the free & paid ranking system being completely separate now.

But, I have noticed my sales increasing by a few sales here and there for one of my books. It’s not a lot of course, but it is something. The other books still fairing the same and they’ve all had their run in a recent free campaign.


Steven October 30, 2014 at 3:10 pm

If this used to work, it no longer does. I’ve done 10 or so free promos and have noticed a rise in sales sometimes, but only by 1 or 2 books a week. And sometimes no rise at all. And sometimes a decrease.


alison November 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I would have to agree with you- the day of promoting free books is pretty out-dated now. It use to work but not so much any more. Instead the trend is towardss using subscription services like which Amazon uses to help you find readers for your book.


Crazy Eyes December 11, 2014 at 7:47 am

I couldn’t find the “Kindle Book Promotions” website you just mentioned. It says “Server Not Found” :(( I wanted to see it. Oh well. I guess it’s day has come and gone too like the free Kindle giveaways.


Marty Christopher November 14, 2014 at 9:01 pm

I’ve had by book up now for just under a year. I know it will take off. Its patients, timing and getting that step up, that mini break where it gets viewed by many. I’m guessing the key is for the book to be pretty brilliant or innovative so it has a foundation and then it’s preserving until a small mass sees it.

To get it looked at I’ve priced my book at .99 just to get it out there. The book was originally a film script that I’m trying to sell in LA, now a book, and I don’t care which one comes first! My book is below…


Crazy Eyes December 11, 2014 at 7:52 am

Marty, I love the cover. That is beautiful. But I want to say it looks more like an audiobook cover than a book cover because it’s too wide. Book covers are usually longer with a shorter width. And then the title of the book is a little hard to see on the cover because the black lettering blends in with her black hair and some shadows sometimes. I think you might want to choose a lighter font so people can see the name. I didn’t look at the “Look Inside”. It’s a really beautiful cover though. Congrats to you on that.


Marty Christopher May 13, 2015 at 9:42 pm

Hey Crazy eyes, thank you for your wise comments. Funny I recently did adjust the cover as the previous one fell short of Amazon’s requirements when going into their new advertising campaign – the girl on my cover was a bit too naked! I was unable to place it/advertise it on amazon.

Steve December 2, 2014 at 2:41 am

Interesting article, this but looking at some of the grammar and punctuation within it and that in some of the replies, I wonder if some people are cut out for creative writing.
I don’t mean to sound negative but poor standards can often make the difference between a good, bad or mediocre book.
Good luck all.


Crazy Eyes December 11, 2014 at 7:55 am

Steve, I can appreciate what you’re saying as far as online material in general, but you should look at your own comment here. There are some odd sentence structures and missing commas. I’m serious. And my comments aren’t perfect either. This is all self published. This blog, our comments, some of these ebooks we’re discussing here. No editor has combed this page for errors, which are in your comment as well as mine. Cheers!


Peter Allerton December 19, 2014 at 11:00 am

Trawling through the dross on Fiverr until I found a great combo of an illustrator who listens and a cover designer with a creative flair has been key for me (I’d buy the book anyway, let’s see who else will!). Have also signed up for Select, partly thanks to this post. Cheers for the advice!!!


Suren December 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Goodness, Sean
I was of the opinion, I had devoured everything on your site and now I discover this. My line of writing is poetry, and it does not sell well but I do have a few short stories and I think I need to try a shot at that. KDP is on my my mind now. So now I need to turn my thoughts from SEO to KDP :)

It looks like I am going to be not only an LR but also a publication rebel! KDP is my my goal.


Lisa Biesiada December 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Thanks! I just published my book on Amazon two days ago and have been racking my brain trying to figure out the best way to promote it and I saw the promotions, but wasn’t sure anyone else had been successful.


Salvatore Capolupo January 5, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Very useful, I agree… thanks for sharing!


Jim Liston February 22, 2015 at 3:02 pm

You can also list your free eBook promotion on


Angela Tuck March 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm

But can you do this Jim, if you belong to KDP Select? I thought you couldn’t advertise anywhere else?


Jim Liston March 24, 2015 at 3:55 am

If you belong to KDP Select you can’t have your book for sale anywhere else. You can advertise it everywhere.

Angela Tuck March 1, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Wow thank you so much for writing this. My book a thriller called ‘A Son to Die For’ went on Amazon last week and I did join KDP select, I was beginning to wonder if I had done the right thing, but after reading your post I’m glad I have, my free 5 days is in a few weeks time. Thanks again.
Angela x


Abel March 4, 2015 at 8:59 am

I heard about kindle self publish and just published my 3 books on kindle select. Yet to make any sells. What do you advice? Thanks


Gary Weston March 5, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Rule number 1, 2 and 3. NEVER go exclusive with anyone. It is possible to get a book perma free on Amazon without going select and that it is to get it price-matched free by putting it free on other sites. Then use the “tell us of a lower price” thing on Amazon for your book pasting the other sites URL in it. Not guaranteed but stands a good chance. Putting a book out free does not mean it will get picked up and if it does, it might not be liked and even if it is it probably won’t get reviewed. If your ebook is ok, you could get about one review per 300 hundred reads.
Assuming your book is an ok read with an ok cover, etc, there is little point doing all this if you don’t have at least one other book hanging onto the coattails of your flagship book. Two or three would be better still.
Get your book on smashwords. Don’t “dream up” reviews off your mother, son or the bloke down the road. Be grateful if any reader gives you their time not just to read your book but comment on it. If the review is scathing but genuine, learn from it.A few sad reviewers love to dis a book just because they can. If you have a book you feel has been held back by a rubbish review, just un-publish it and then republish it. Reviews go away and it kicks off all over again. But if it was crap before, it will still be crap. It is sometimes hard for us to accept that truth. Happy writing.


mission March 6, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Awesome post.


Dave April 18, 2015 at 8:47 am

Do you think that higher priced books in the lending library would increase lending? It seems like it should – which could be a win win for authors with books that aren’t selling at lower prices.

I tried it and saw an influx of lending over buying which pays me more than I was making per sale. I raised the price of a .99 cent book that wouldn’t sell to 7.97 and although I’ve sold a few copies at the higher price, lending went through the roof. What is you’re take?


J.S. Harbour April 29, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Selling for FREE is not a “sale”, it’s a marketing expense and tax deduction.

So, any REAL advice for increasing sales by 600%? Or even 100%? That doesn’t involve a lousy gimmick?


Love May 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

I’ve written about 29 books so far. The best way to get tons of traffic is, go to traffic section. There is one seller who will help you reach 4.5 million facebook people… it worked I got about 200,000 hits. Also, there is a seller who will post your book to 101 pages on backpage. That worked for me as well. In one week I had about 400,000 hits for $10, not bad.


J.S. Harbour May 5, 2015 at 5:52 am

Thank you for the suggestion, Love.


GiryaGirl June 14, 2015 at 8:31 am

Do you know if Amazon allows Kindle-only publishers to maintain an Amazon “store” ? If so, how do we set-up/edit it?


Mark Cairns July 15, 2015 at 3:59 pm

I sold a 1000 hard copies of my book and people seem to love it. I put it up on Kindle ages ago and have NO sales! Its totally flat lined. Not one! As far as I can see its available. Could you take a look and tell me if I’ve done something horribly wrong? Its called the The Glass Trumpet.
Any advise gratefully received!

Mark Cairns


Melita Joy August 3, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Your book seems fine to me. Have you tried lowering the price? I just mentioned in another post that the cover can make all the difference. The blurb on your book sounds interesting. The cover is nice but not very reflective of a mystery/thriller. Maybe revamp it and I think you’ll find better sales. I had my daughter teach me the basics of Paintshop and I now purchase pictures from sites such as Shutterstock. To be honest it takes me hours upon hours to complete but I feel that the effort has been worth it.


Melita Joy August 3, 2015 at 9:22 pm

I ran a free campaign and it did boost sales slightly over the next few weeks. However, the game-changer for me was revamping my cover. I don’t think I really believed what a difference it would make until I tried it. I’m not earning enough to live off, but I’m getting between $500 and $800 USD p/mth. I’ve now used that money to invest in an editor. Something, I should have initially done as a few bad reviews on grammar can impact sales.


Emma August 18, 2015 at 3:02 am


Great article. I released 3 ebooks a year ago and they did no good. I promoted it on Facebook and and got a few sales. Sales are still going after the promotion ended. but it hasn’t done miracles.
I would say new authors should not expect miracles. Because it hurts when hopes are shattered.


Jonathan September 9, 2015 at 7:15 am

Great read, thanks for the info.. I will be trying to publish a few books on amazon soon!


Rob Buckman September 22, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Hi: I read your article about Amazon KDP with great interest. I tried the ‘free’ giveaway for a weekend, and did see a jump in downloads of my book ‘A Thousand Time’. After that it slumped back down to one or two sales a day or week sometimes. All told, I have eight books on Amazon at the moment, some doing well, others not so much. However, an interesting thing happened after I published my first book on Amazon, ‘He Who Dares’. Being a newbie, I made all the classic mistakes, didn’t get it properly edited, wrong format, bad cover art, priced wrong, too long, you name it I did it. After several months, I sat back and took another look at my book. The first thing I did was split the 900 hundred-page book into two, Book One and Two. I found a much better book cover art on line, re-edited (haha) and reposted the books. Surprise, surprise I started getting sales, and a lot of bad good reviews, or good bad reviews, I’m not sure which. One reviewer said that I failed high school English, but I wrote one hell of a story. Much motivated I did get an editor for the next book ($3,500 worth) and posted that, again with an off the shelf book cover art (bad mistake). I also made all three KDP Select, but more of that a little later. Right now, Book three of ‘He Who Dares’ is selling well, and over the last nine months I’m averaging about $5000 a month, with some months as high as $10,000. I now have my book proofread/edited by several reader/reviews that do it for free, just to read me books and new works before they come out. Getting your reader to help you edit your works is a great way to get free editing services. The trick here I think is selecting the right, eye-catching cover for your book, then the blurb to catch your readers interest, price it in the medium range, say about $5.oo (depending on your particular book) as that seems to be the break point for many readers. You can always increase the price for your next book once you have a following. I’ve been told by some of my reader that they’d buy my books even if they were double the price. Also, if you get a review on Amazon, for goodness sake, use the ‘comment’ to reply to your readers, even if it’s a bad review and tell them you appreciated them taking time to write a review in the first place. Readers appreciate that. Many of them will them revise their review and/or stars, and even offer proofreading services for free.
As to KDP Select. After seeing the number of books downloaded under this service, it’s a bit upsetting to see the number of sales lost, as the amount Amazon pays for KDP sales is pitiful, penny on the dollar. All in all, if I could find a way to do direct sales to my reader through my own website and not have to give Amazon 70% for US sales I would, especially when you consider I sold 1500 copies of my new book ‘He Who Dares’ Book Three just this month at $4.00. of which I get 35%. That’s a hefty bite out of my profits. In addition, I did not enroll it in the KDP Select program. On Book Two of ‘He Who Dares’, I sold 371 copies this month while Amazon gave away for free 194,000 pages (that’s about 485 copies of the book). So, there are good and bad points about using Amazon KDP, but for a new author just starting out, it’s a way to get your books out there. One further words of advice. Even after all this time (18 months) people are still downloading that original story. It never goes a way, so be careful what you post on Amazon, as no matter what they say, it’s still out there haunting you till the end of time. (lol)

Rob Buckman


Annette October 22, 2015 at 7:30 am

Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips!


Patrick November 19, 2015 at 3:37 am

Hey dude,

I don’t understand why you bought the extended license for $80?

You actually don’t need to get the extended license unless you are selling over 500k units.

All the covers I purchase are no more than $15. I use fiverr for the design (usually $5) and paid stockphotos sites for the image (which I never pay more than $10 for.)

All my publishing friends stick to this as well. Even Stefan Pylarinos buys the covers for $5-15 (last time I looked inside his course that is what he was teaching).

I’m not sure when you published this article so this could be some new information of some strict policy changes you received. Curious to hear your response. Maybe my friends and I are misinformed? That’s why I’m asking. Lemme know. Thanks for the article. It was really helpful. Cheers.


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