Short answer: the promotional period is great, but the borrowing aspect is not great for a book with a low price point.
Here’s the longer answer …
Recently, I decided to enroll my book in the Kindle Select program. I loved the idea of lending my book to readers somehow. The requirement that the book be exclusive to Amazon didn’t bother me, because I wasn’t selling any copies through Barnes and Noble or Apple’s iBookstore, anyway.
At the same time, however, I decided my price point was too high. $2.99 for an unknown author’s oddball collection of weird and depressing stories? Maybe $0.99 was a bit better fit. This proved to be the case, as sales instantly improved at the lower price.
The trouble is … at $0.99, is it really worth it to anyone to borrow the book through Kindle Select? Turns out, very few people borrowed it. I understand why. It’s just not a very compelling or cost-effective use of the borrow option, which to my understanding is a once-a-month kind of affair. I actually ended up feeling guilty when people borrowed it.
However! The ultimate silver lining are those five days where you can give your book away for free through Amazon. I loved seeing the numbers skyrocket during my free promotional days, and I realized: I like readers more than I like money right now. I’d probably leave the book free if I could.
It’s going to be a tough call for me after the ninety days of exclusivity are up to see if I keep my collection as a Kindle Select book or not. My guess would be not. While I wish I could offer the book for free more often, the 85 days of borrowing don’t add up to much for me, and I’d rather it be out there in more places.
If I could stomach pricing my book at $5.99, maybe it would be a different story.