I hate it. I really do. You write for months, edit for longer, struggle to get legit beta readers, pay for editing, then realize that people only take chances on new authors if they can get a book for super cheap–if not free.
I listened to authors say that KDP select was the way to go. Make your book free, shoot up the rankings, then sell a bunch of books when you come off of the free promotion. It didn’t happen like that. I was number one or two in many free categories, and gave away 2,500 total, but that didn’t translate to sales after the promotion. I’m hoping that It’ll translate to reviews, but you never know.
99 cents is a frustrating price when you’ve worked hard to put out a professional quality book, but if it’s the only way to get an audience, it’s something that you have to do. I plan on writing many more books, so gaining an audience is my #1 priority right now. As much as I hate the fact that writing, music, and art in general is devalued these days, I concede to the strategy of giving some work away in order to gain an audience.
For now, I’m taking the drug dealer approach–the first one is free (or almost free).