I've been reading some Kindle Community Boards to see how independent authors who have enrolled with the KDP Select program are faring. It seems to me the "big draw" of the program to many authors is that Amazon allows the book to go free for a couple of days before being put into the lending library. Authors are jumping up and down with joy at all the downloads they have received..."OMG, I can't believe I'm number xx on the (insert genre here) best seller list!!!"
My question is...how can a FREE download put you on a best SELLER list? You haven't sold anything. Your book is free! I can't wrap my brain around that concept. I think it's a ploy, a scheme dreamed up by Amazon to feed the ego of a writer. I know a lot of indy authors disagree with me. They feel that by getting put on a best SELLER list, even if their book is FREE, validates their work. I think it just gives the author more exposure. Numbers are numbers after all. The author's book is brought out of the forest and onto Amazon's front page, instead of the dark woods where a book like Fractured Facade is hidden. And that's a good thing.
But, what happens after the freebie period is over? Now that the book is ranked way up there, does that cause readers to continue to rent it, or more importantly in my view, finally buy it? Do these authors have other books that are not free, that are now being sold because of the exposure? Do these authors charge more than $3.99 for their book, and get it? If so, then maybe their marketing strategy is working, and more power to them. But until the book is bought and winds up on a best SELLING list, I think it would be more accurate to say, "Yay!!! My book is number x on the MOST FREE DOWNLOADED list!!!"