Is KDP Select Worth It?
Posted On: 2014-12-31
by: Mercedes Tabano
When an author publishes on Kindle, Amazon always asks if you want to make your book one of their select books.
Amazon makes it so easy, and the button so inviting...however, whether or not you really want to join KDP Select depends on many factors. Some authors love Amazon Select while others stay far away from it. In this article, we will look at the pros and the cons of select so you can make up your own mind.
Amazon wants you to be in their select program, so they make it very attractive. They offer all kinds of incentives to get you to sign up. Here’s where we’ll look at them.
Free Book Days
Most people love a free book. In the past, authors have become best sellers by promoting their free book days to the right people. Free books are also a great way to get reviews for your books. Reviews are numbers games. On average, you can expect one review for every 75 books sold. This is why new books are often free until a few reviews are in place.
This is a block of time (between a day to a week) where you can price your book lower than it normally sells for. This is a great way to offer a sale just for people on your list who responds quickly or for special days. Special day sales can include Black Friday, anniversaries, book launches and more. Any day can be a special day, and this can drive new people to your book.
Kindle Unlimited is the newest addition to the Amazon world. It’s a private lending library. Subscribers are entitled to get any book in the Kindle Select program for free any time they want it. Amazon has set up a general fund to pay authors for these borrows. At the time of this writing, the average money to an author for a borrow is around $2. So if your book sells for $2.99 or less, then this is a great opportunity for you.
Of course, in exchange for all these perks, Amazon demands something, too. Here is where we’ll look at the cons of the Kindle Select Program.
By far, exclusivity is the number one reason not all authors love Kindle Select. For as long as your book is in Kindle Select (which is 90 days at a time,) you can’t have it anywhere else. This includes your website as well as other indie publishing sites. You can’t even give away a review copy. Many authors feel that this restriction is too much to ask.
All Eggs In One Basket
Amazon is the biggest bookseller online. However, what’s hot today could be gone tomorrow. (MySpace anyone?) Also, if Amazon ever changes its business model (Like Ebay did) indie authors could find themselves without a site to sell on. Having your books on multiple sites, including one you control, mitigates this damage. And this is something just not possible with Kindle Select.
If your book sells for more than $2.99, than this is probably not the best idea for you. After all, you’ll only get $2 for your book (at the time of this writing). Of course, since there is really no set price for a book ‘purchased’ through Amazon select (it goes through a general fund) this number could go up or down. However, if your book sells for $9.99 you will not get the better end of this deal.
KDP Select has a lot to offer. However, some authors feel that their exclusivity restriction is far too draconian. If you publish so slowly that it will take you 90 days to get your book on another site, or you only want to sell on Amazon, then Select might work for you. Either way, knowing the facts helps you make an informed choice for your business.
Until Next Time,