KDP Select – Is It a Good Idea for eBook Authors?

Are you wondering whether or not to enroll your eBook in the Amazon KDP Select program?

Have you been told it’s Amazon’s way of locking up the rights to your sales and holding you captive?

Do you think Smashwords might be a better way to go?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of KDP Amazon.

Think a bit before you decide.

KDP Select – Is It a Good Idea for eBook Authors?

KDP is an acronym for “Kindle Direct Publishing.” Amazon says it’s their way to help you make more money and reach more readers. Some authors, though, are hesitant to sign on. After all, one of the rules is that you can’t sell your eBook anywhere else while it’s enrolled in Amazon KDP Select.

If exclusivity is the downside to KDP Amazon, though, what are the upsides? Do they justify losing other sales platforms?

Let’s take a look. Then, you decide.

KDP Select – The Primary Benefits

Here are the main reasons why you would want to allow Amazon to maintain exclusive rights to the digital edition of your book:

  1. Amazon sells more eBooks than any other platform on the planet (over 70% of the market belongs to Amazon)
  2. You can earn royalties on books that are borrowed via KDP Amazon via Kindle Unlimited
  3. KDP Amazon enrollment gets your book eligible for Kindle Countdown Deals
  4. You can set your book to FREE during special promotions periods
  5. You can reach more readers and earn more money with KDP Select

For most eBook authors, KDP Select is a no-brainer — at least most of the time. I’m a big believer in the value of testing, so my advice is to pull a book from KDP Amazon now and then and test it on other platforms. Try Smashwords, for instance. Try selling it from your own website. Dive into data-driven marketing and see what you come up with. You stand to learn a bunch and lose little.

KDP Select – How to Get Enrolled

As with the other components of getting your eBooks listed on Amazon, the methods and tools are fairly straightforward and simple to navigate. A good place to begin, though (a place most people ignore) is by reading Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Terms and Conditions. Far from boring, the document isn’t only for lawyers, it includes hints and tips that can help you do a better job of marketing your eBook.

For instance, the current Terms and Conditions contain several important references to a 90-day period:

  • Your election to enter a book in KDP Select expires in 90 days
  • Your book will automatically renew for another 90 days — unless you or Amazon choose to pull it
  • You can take advantage of a Kindle Countdown Deal or a free promotion during the 90 days
  • Your book can be free for up to 5 days during the 90-day period (and they don’t roll over)
  • You can enroll a book (pre-release) in KDP Amazon during the 90 days before its release

Here’s something else to consider: Amazon sometimes makes changes to the Terms and Conditions. Keeping up with those changes is a really good habit to form early on.

KDP Select – What is Kindle Unlimited?

Amazon Kindle Unlimited members are able to read certain books FREE — those books are the ones you and other authors have enrolled in KDP Select. Members can check out up to 10 books at a time and can keep them in their personal eBook library as long as they wish.

Your eBooks may still be sold in the Kindle Store, and you get royalties on [your] books Kindle Unlimited members read. The KDP Select Global Fund proportions out the available funds.

Amazon Prime members don’t have to be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited to get a free book each month. They are eligible via the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Your KDP Select eBooks are automatically enrolled in both programs.

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KDP Select – Strategy Considerations

Many authors simply enroll in KDP Select, look forward to the royalty checks and do nothing else. That’s a mistake. The promotional capabilities of KDP Select can help you sell more books and reach a larger audience.

Here are some of the tactics and considerations to help leverage Amazon KDP:

  • Take advantage of your 5 free days every enrollment period
  • Schedule books to go free several times during the 90 days, not 5 days in a row
  • Keep record of your eBook titles and their 90-day enrollment periods
  • Set a reminder during the 90 days  to move books to free status
  • Get the word out to potential readers before the free promotion begins
  • Promote heavily during the free promotion

The idea is to get eyes on your eBooks and generate interest. The more people who choose your book when it’s free, the higher your book will rise in the  Kindle ranking system.

KDP Select – An Good Way to Promote Your eBooks

So, the question remains: Is Amazon Kindle KDP Select a good idea or not so good. And the answer, of course, is “It depends.”

It depends on whether you take steps to leverage the promotional tools Amazon KDP Select gives you.

Are you up to the challenge?


Let me know when your book goes live in the program, and I’ll help you promote it.