July has been a funny month for sales so far, I kept reading on the KDP forum that sales were not being reported, but that is just false hope. When you drop out of the top twenty in your best category then you know that you are not getting many sales and others are.
I questioned whether it was wise to leave the KDP select programme so I could also publish on Smashwords, but I still feel there are only so many books that you can give away free. My market is mainly in the UK, if it had been more US based then I might have continued with the KDP select.
Offering books for free is a two edged sword, on the one hand you get noticed and a boost in sales for a while. Eventually it all settle back to normal, so it is a vicious circle.
The other problem I find with free downloads is that I get someone who normally would not have downloaded my book giving me a low rating, as it really was not for them. OK they were being honest and some of them are very particular about story lines, grammar, etc. After my professional re-edit I do feel my novel is as good as it will ever be, I will never be able to compete with the likes of J K Rolland or Joanna Harris, but going by my good reviews many readers have enjoyed my book, so what more could I ask for and I am still in the top twenty of my category.
I feel there are basically three types of readers. The first will ignore simple mistakes and just get on and enjoy the story line. The second has a slightly more critical eye, notice every error, but still enjoy the book as a whole. The third type are usually tried editors, secretaries or a stickler for detail. Unfortunately the third type will not enjoy any novel that is not totally word perfect, but they do keep us on our toes!
I am not saying that we should not strive to make our work as best as it can be, but I still think there is room in the book market for amateur authors to produce entertaining novels and not be considered a waste of print.
You soon learn to have a thick skin after launching your first novel, you also realise that you will not please everyone and you should never try to.