It took me a few weeks to make the decision of whether I would participate in the new Amazon promotional opportunity called KDP Select. The program requires that you make your ebook available to Kindle exclusively for a minimum of three months. In exchange, your book is made available as part of the Kindle lending library for PRIME members and you share in a proportional amount of a $500k to 600k pot that is divided among all lenders participating. Lastly, you have the opportunity to make your book available for free for up to five days per three month commitment. Here is my logic and decision:
1) After analyzing my data and confirming that more than 95% of my eBook sales are via Amazon.com, I decided that it would be worth "unpublishing" my book from all other online sources and signing up with KDP Select. The chances that I would lose more sales than I would gain were very slim (and this proved true once I signed up). I also had the benefit of managing all non-Amazon.com distribution via one provider, Smashwords, so all it took was the click of a button and a few days wait to comply with this part of the KDP Select deal.
2) I was intrigued by the concept of a sales pot for the lending library. In the first month the payout per lent book was $1.70, which is less, sure, but not that much less than the $2.09 I make if I sell a book.
3) The free book promo seemed the riskiest part to me, because I have just a single book available so if I give it away, that's all I've got. At the same time, I had a friend who'd had great success with the free promo, and I reasoned that a big part of my purpose in writing is to find readers -- not just make $ -- and I believe there are some people who would never buy this book but who might enjoy it. The big benefit from doing a giveaway is that your book rises substantially in the rankings and then others are more apt to find it. (My sales increased dramatically after the free promotion.) I don't think I will do additional giveaways, but it was a great thing to do once!