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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just published the second book in a series (still vibrating from pushing that publish button!) and now I want to send out my newsletter to the people who've subscribed to my "new release" mailing list.  It's a very short list - about twenty people have signed up so far.  I plan to make use of my Select free days to make the first book in the series free, but for the newsletter, my gut feeling is that it's better to say "To celebrate this release, I'm giving away free copies of the first book in this series. Please let me know if you want your copy :)"  and send these individually to anyone who responds. 

Or am I wrong, and would it be better  to do it via Select, and put the following in the newsletter: "For the next x days, the first book in the series will be free. Click here..." etc.

Is there any significant advantage to getting them to download the free copy via Select free days, rather than just sending them a copy direct? Or am I just fussing about nothing here?

I've never made a book free through Select before and I don't know how likely there is to be a mixup - e.g. I send out the newsletter and the book doesn't go free for the right period of time.
 

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A major advantage of the Amazon free downloads is that your book gets "purchased" on Amazon.

This means it will have "Also Viewed" references from the books that your readers also looked at or bought on Amazon.

Though I understand they rank "free sales" differently from paid sales, they do help in your ranking as well.

That said, I don't do Select and I use my mailing list and my own website store with coupons to give away books to my readers. I do that because I offer Mobi, ePUB and PDF format, and it gives me more direct contact with my readers. I just feel better this way - though I know it doesn't help my Amazon ranking at all.

I have an issue with giving Amazon exclusive access to my books through Select, so...

My readers across all eBook sellers are about 50% MOBI, 40% ePUB and 10% PDF, so I already know a large portion of my readers are not buying from Amazon anyway.  I know others see just the opposite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thewit, I wondered about the sales and ranking aspect of it.  That is one of the things making me hesitate.  I didn't think of also boughts. Hmm.

About Select - because I'm in South Africa, it's really difficult to get into any of the other stores. Some of them explicitly don't accept non US/UK/Canada etc writers, others do but it's such a runaround that I eventually removed my books from there.  I'm not really happy being only on Amazon, but for the moment being it seems to be my best option so I figure I might as well make the most of it and enroll for Select...
 

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Masha du Toit said:
Thewit, I wondered about the sales and ranking aspect of it. That is one of the things making me hesitate. I didn't think of also boughts. Hmm.

About Select - because I'm in South Africa, it's really difficult to get into any of the other stores. Some of them explicitly don't accept non US/UK/Canada etc writers, others do but it's such a runaround that I eventually removed my books from there. I'm not really happy being only on Amazon, but for the moment being it seems to be my best option so I figure I might as well make the most of it and enroll for Select...
I'm in Japan and the only store I've had any difficulty getting my books into was Barnes & Noble. But that's why the book gods created aggregators like Draft2Digital.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Perry Constantine said:
I'm in Japan and the only store I've had any difficulty getting my books into was Barnes & Noble. But that's why the book gods created aggregators like Draft2Digital.
I tried using aggregators for a while - I used Smashwords and XinXii (I think that's what it was called?) I also put my books on Kobo. I just had too many little glitches and problems and finally gave up.
 

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Perry Constantine said:
Try Draft2Digital. Far easier to deal with than Smashwords.
I agree with this. You can upload an ePUB to Draft2Digital if you don't want to go through their formatting - but they try to format your book without any special rules, so quote often they do a fine job with your DOC file as well. Much easier to use than Smashwords formatting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've heard good things about Draft2Digital, and maybe it's time to look into that again.
But I wasn't really asking about how not to be in Select :)  Anyone else have any recommendations about whether, since I am in Select at the moment, it would be worth using Select Free days as opposed to just giving away free copies to those who email me?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Frank Tayell said:
I'd do both. Say its free on Amazon and include the link, but also include a line of text in your newsletter saying 'To celebrate the release of Book 2, Book 1 will be free from x to y. If you've not got a copy yet, now's your chance, and if you have, please feel free to share the link with your friends. If this book isn't free in your local Amazon store please email me and I'd be happy to send you a copy.'

But write it better than that. I've really not had enough coffee this morning. - I'm guessing, you see, that most people who're on your list have read Book 1.

As to whether Select Free days are worth it - Having Amazon advertise it (even in a small way) does help with visibility outside of Amazon.com. (My experience is about a 50% or 200 download increase in downloads against a non-select free promotion (whichever is lower).

Do remember that if you are in Select you can't offer your book for sale (even at free) elsewhere. However you can offer 'review' copies etc. Hope that helps. I really do need more coffee though.
Thanks Frank, that does help. That is exactly what I was planning to do - take advantage of the Select free days for a more general promotion, and offer free copies for replies on my newsletter. It feels more personal, somehow, since they did choose to sign up for it. I did wonder if giving a way free copies like that would be in violation of Select's TOS, but I think it would fall under the "giving free copies for review" kind of thing. It's not like I'll have a "download my free book" link on my blog or something like that.

Enjoy the coffee! :)
 
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