Marketing Ploy: Part 2

Is it Murphy’s Law that goes “if something can go wrong, it will”? That applies to dealing with big companies, like Amazon, also.

In my previous post, I described a marketing concept for selling books and building a reader base. It’s simply releasing a novel in serial form. For example, if your book consists of four parts, release each part separately as you finish the drafting, editing, and rewriting stages. Just be sure to label each book “Part 1, Part 2” etc. I mentioned that the object is to price the first installment at $0.00 in order to overcome any risk a potential reader may fear with an (as yet) unknown writer. If all goes according to plan, the reader will get hooked on the freebie and purchase the remaining parts of the book at retail.

The trick to making Part 1 free on Amazon—and you do want to publish on Amazon, it’s the 800 pound gorilla of ebooks—is to make Part 1 free on other online sites. Amazon won’t let you publish initially for any price less that $0.99. So you have to “force” them to match the free price elsewhere.

I did all of that, but encountered a snag. Amazon didn’t bother to note that the Part 1 published on other sites was just that—Part 1. It assumed I had published the complete book on these other sites for $0.00. The result was that Amazon bounced me from its KDP Select program, which offers marketing benefits provided the same book isn’t available on other sites. I’m still selling books on Amazon, just not in the KDP Select program.

I’ve been going back and forth with them for the past few weeks trying to get them to recognize  that “Part 1” is far from the same thing as the complete novel. I’ve even revised Part 1 by reducing its size to less than 10% of the complete novel in an effort to comply with Amazon’s arcane regulations. I get the impression Hugh Howey didn’t get this same treatment when he serialized Wool.

© John Wayne Falbey 2016 All Rights Reserved