A few years ago when KDP let you offer free downloads and paid you for each page read the royalties came rolling in. You promoted you free kindle, readers downloaded hundreds of your book. Authors jumped on the band wagon and made more than ever before.
Recently I've seen a disturbing trend. I promote my free downloads and maybe thirty to forty readers take me up on the offer but they didn't read the book. It still works a bit for a new release but after that it's a really hard job to get readers to actually read the free book you are trying so hard to promote.
Enter Smashwords and now Draft2digital.
Amazon and KDP had you over a barrel. You could only offer free downloads if you were exclusive with them. As royalties slipped I had to try something new.
I've taken my three stand alone titles, Blood Orange, Honey Tree Farm and Bottle Alley out of Kindle select. I'm no longer exclusive with KDP.
Taking a leap of faith, I've taken those titles to Draft2Digital. The royalties are better and you can still promote your eBooks just not for free. Free wasn't getting me anywhere anyways. I also like the set up in Draft2Digital. You upload the word manuscript and they do the converting. Even creating a table of contents for your chapters along with several other options. I trolled around on their webpages and really like the way it's laid out and what you can do there. They even supply codes for readers to click on that will take you directly to the sell page for your eBook. What surprised me was I misspelled a word in the description and before they would publish I received an email to correct it. KDP prints everything, errors and all.
Like I said this is a test. I'll give it six months and see what happens to my royalties.
I'm not necessarily in this for the money and getting awards is great but I would like to break even at some point. My husband would be ecstatic.
So you can play around with giving your books away to readers who don't read them or cross your fingers and hope they buy your eBooks.
I've charged authors to teach them how to use KDP and promote their eBooks. Some were very successful. Some not so much. Let's see if I'm still recommending KDP in six months.