Does KDP Select Make Sense Anymore?
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program has gotten a lot of pro and con coverage lately. Some of it involves the Kindle Unlimited subscription program. For $9.99 a month, subscribers can read as many books as they want (among the 700,000+ titles in the program), and authors receive payment only if the reader gets through 10% of the book. Many authors say their Amazon royalties have decreased substantially, and are opting out of the program.
Amazon’s KDP Select also requires authors to sell their book exclusively through the retailer for 90 days, and some authors feel they are better off listing their book wherever they can. Additional sites include an author/publisher website, Smashwords, Kobo, Nook, Google Play, iBooks, and more.
It’s also a case of too much of a good thing. In the glory days, the KDP Select promotion, which gives participants 5 free days, was a great way to launch a book. Authors reported thousands of downloads and dozens of reviews right away, and this helped boost all of their books. Now, the field is so cluttered with free books that some authors don’t feel the promotion is effective anymore.
I still think KDP Select makes sense for new authors who are publishing their first book and haven’t built a fan base or email list. But you should go into KDP Select understanding how it works. Simply joining the program and assuming Amazon takes care of the rest is a big mistake.
A few key points:
Get some reviews first. Then get your KDP days. Use a combination of free and paid Kindle promotion sites to get the word out about your freebie days – and use social media, too.
This blog post by Erica Verrillo offers some good tips and links to Kindle promotion sites:
Free Publicity for Your KDP Select Free Days http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-to-get-free-promotion-for-your.html
Author Sandy Appleyard has a great post on why she’s not going to use KDP Select anymore, and she makes some great points:
Why I Chose to Untick the KDP Select Box http://www.sandyappleyard.com/2015/01/26/chose-untick-kdp-select-box/
And, in the latest twist, Amazon adds advertising for KDP Select authors: http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/01/amazon-adds-advertising-for-kdp-select-authors/
There are pros and cons to an exclusive arrangement with Amazon. Consider your options, and where you are in your writing and publishing career. If you’re starting out, it may make sense to use KDP Select. If you’ve got more than one book out, a growing fanbase, and an email list so you can market to fans directly, you may be better off making your ebooks available at as many retailers as possible.