Kindle Ball, Money KDP or KDP Ball … I can’t decide?
I enjoyed the film Money Ball though and thought the concept was cool. If you don’t like Baseball, Brad Pitt or both, stay with me here, I’ll reveal all in a second.
I’m English so Money Ball was something of a complex storyline for me to understand. Like trying to explain cricket to an American! I had to work it out as I have no knowledge of baseball or the politics/systems involved in pro ball and how players move from one team to another – which was the basis for the screenplay and the story. Even so, I really enjoyed the movie and I thought there were lessons in there…somewhere.
Then I read a non-fiction piece on Money Ball and how it related to another sport. It was interesting, and thought provoking, then the idea that a writer could apply the idea of statistical analysis to promotion of their work using the KDP platform made complete sense.
For the most part I am skeptical of systems in the arts. Nothing is worse (to me at least) than something that comes off as forced or self conscious. I am as guilty of this as the next writer … and I know when it’s bad. But, when it comes to doing the promotion side of the business (the devils work) then having a system is actually a pretty neat tool.
Using the Money Ball concept…I now have to stop to briefly explain: the main idea was to buy players for the Oakland A’s who could get to first base. I’m not going to go any further than that just in case I make a fool of myself, though it’s safe to say that getting to first base in baseball seems to be pretty important if you want consistent results.
There is another element of baseball that is essential to the story and I find unique plus it lends itself to the KDP concept. Baseball Pro’s use statistics to make decisions about the team. The essence of Money Ball is that if you can fill your team with players who can get to first base then you can compete. They might not be able to do much else, but the Oakland A’s proved that they could compete with the teams that had real money – tens of millions more. So Brad Pitt and the kid that used to be fat spend a super small budget buying old, attitude ravaged, burn outs that ‘statistically’ could get the team to first base. It worked. Cool. They made a movie. Adapt or die was their motto.
Okay, what’s this got to do with KDP. Well, the first thing I needed was statistics, and the stats had to relate to KDP only. Along came the report from Freebooksy. They had carried out a study 72 Authors who had enrolled on the KDP Select Free program and were happy to reveal their numbers. Good, I had some stats as a point of reference. Step One complete.
The next thing I needed to understand: What is a Writers first base on KDP Select?
This may come as a surprise but after working through all the statistics in the Freebooksy report one of the most significant factors was the number of reviews that your novel in the KDP system had – just the volume. In fact the actual report states “The number of free downloads was most positively correlated with the number of reviews a book had.” Not the average reviews score, though the median from the study was 4.2. The study was clear that the number of reviews was the perfect correlation.
This was an Aha moment. The first stage then (first base) in getting a high number of sales via KDP was punting a high number of reviews. I went back and looked at my own figures, this stat and concept was validated. I always (without fail) got a higher number of downloads with the books that had the highest number of reviews, and vice versa.
Take from this what you will, but if you are entering into the fray of KDP Select Free promotions then you should look to have at least ten reviews or higher. Haven’t got that many? Maybe you need to give Auntie Gladys a ring, she might be happy to oblige.
I’ll talk about getting reviews and stuff of that nature in the next post, just in case Auntie Gladys doesn’t want to help out.
NOTE: For God’s sake, please don’t give yourself reviews from a dummy account(s). That’s why the accounts are called ‘dummy’ accounts!