That’s a pretty big stat considering that “Select” is so new. Check out the rest of the release for more stories how it is changing author’s lives. Of course, that’s only half of the story. In the piece I did for Huffington Post I examine the authors who don’t agree that Select is working for them.
Amazon.com, Inc. today announced that 16 of the top 100 best-selling paid Kindle books in March are exclusive to the Kindle Store and available for Prime members with a Kindle to borrow for free through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. These 16 books, which include only paid units and do not take into consideration borrowed or free units, include Kindle Singles “An Unexpected Twist” by Andy Borowitz and “Bearded Lady” by Mara Altman, “Easily Amused” by Karen McQuestion, books 1-3 in Michael Wallace’s Righteous Series, and independently-published books from T.R. Ragan and A.K. Alexander. Other popular Kindle-exclusive books include Kurt Vonnegut’s new Kindle Single “Basic Training” and Stephen Covey’s groundbreaking business book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
More than 100,000 books are now available in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, including over 100 current and former New York Times Best Sellers. The vast majority of these titles are exclusive to Kindle and published using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) — a self-service, easy-to-use platform for independent authors and publishers. When KDP authors choose to participate in KDP Select, their books are automatically included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
In March, each time Kindle owners borrowed a KDP Select book from the lending library, the author received $2.18, leading to significant increases in income for independently-published authors. One example is Martin Crosbie, the independent author of “My Temporary Life.” After enrolling the book in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in February, he earned over $45,000 in one month from paid sales and loans combined — a huge increase from the $100 he earned the prior two months when his book was not enrolled in the program. “Because of Amazon, and KDP Select in particular, I can now call myself an author — before my experience with this program that was only a dream,” said Crosbie. “Through KDP Select, I have been able to get my work to thousands and thousands of readers quickly and effectively. My experience with KDP Select is truly life-changing.”
“Stories like Martin’s are becoming increasingly common and a great benefit of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. “KDP authors get a new way to reach more readers and customers discover great books. Every time a customer borrowed an independently-published book in March, the author earned $2.18. That’s more than many authors earn when their books are sold.”
Early sales data indicates that inclusion in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library not only generates additional revenue from loans for authors, but actually increases customer purchases of authors’ work as well.
— In the case of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, 24% of customers who borrowed “The Hunger Games” bought “Catching Fire” and 24% bought “Mockingjay,” despite the entire series being available to borrow for free in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
— Debora Geary was one of the top 10 KDP Select authors in February, and 51% of customers who borrowed one of her books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library went on to buy one of her titles.
— L.J. Sellers, author of the Detective Jackson Mystery/Thriller series, saw that 25% of customers who borrowed one of her books also bought one of her books, all of which are also available in the lending library.
— Since the launch of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in November 2011, the paid retail sales of backlist trade titles in the library have seen 229% higher growth than corresponding titles that are not enrolled.
Other independent authors who’ve experienced success with KDP Select include:
Contemporary romance writer Kathy Dunnehoff earned nearly $9,000 from the KDP Select fund in February, and her royalties from paid sales increased more than 18 times month over month. “As an indie author, I count on KDP Select to help put me on the radar of my readers,” said Dunnehoff. “Through the free promotion days and exposure in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, all three of my novels continue to find a wider audience.”
In February, romantic thriller writer Nina Bruhns earned over seven times more money from paid sales of her KDP Select books compared to January. “KDP Select is another great example of the innovative and game-changing opportunities that Amazon has provided to every single person out there with a dream to be a published author,” said Bruhns. “I am thrilled to be part of KDP with my indie titles, and have loved the results of my venture into KDP Select.”
T.R. Ragan is the best-selling thriller author of the Lizzy Gardner Series and was the number one KDP Select author in February. She earned over $11,000 from the KDP Select fund, and her royalties from paid sales of her books increased by more than four times from January to February. “My goal from the start has been to reach as many readers as possible and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library has made it easy for me to do exactly that,” said Ragan. “Every time I enroll a new book in KDP Select, my expectations are blown out of the water. I can’t wait to see what Amazon will think of next!”