Publishing a book is hard. There are so many decisions to be made on a daily basis. But the most important decision you will ever make is whether you will go the traditional or self published route.
As you may have guessed, this post is for those who are considering self publishing.
For most self published authors, Amazon is a treasure trove of possibilities. They have an easy to use platform, it’s free topublish through them, and they get over 70% of the world’s books sales through Kindle. If that wasn’t enough to convince you to go with KDP then consider the fact that they have programs designed specifically for authors like ACX audio book production platform, Createspace for physical book copies, Kindle Scout, KDP Select, and they allow you to choose your royalties based on your books purchase price (either 35% for books price $0.99 and up or 70% for books price $2.99 – $9.99).
All of these features are completely free to use for authors which is why Amazon is leading the ebook revolution and other platforms are struggling to compete.
KDP Select is probably the most popular Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) feature for authors. It allows authors to drop the price of their books for a limited time (5 days per 90 day commitment) to boost book sales and exposure.
Authors have a choice to either offer their book for free for up to 5 days (they don’t have to be consecutive) or drop their price to $0.99 and let it slowly rise over the next 5 days until it’s back to the normal price.
Sounds amazing huh?
But wait..there’s a catch! When you enroll in KDP Select you sign a 90 day agreement as mentioned above. For those 90 days KDP has exclusive publishing rights to your ebook. This means that while enrolled in KDP Select you can’t offer your eBook for sale on any other online platform until your 90 days are up.
This agreement only applies to eBooks. You can still sell physical and audio book copies anywhere where you want.
So what if you only have one book and you are trying to grow your email list by offering a free copy of your book? The good news is that this is perfectly fine.
According to Amazon, you are allowed to give away free ebook copies or ARC’s via your website or email so there is no need to worry if you already have this offer set up and are considering going with KDP.
KDP Select is a great feature for new authors. In addition to Kindle free days and Countdown days, being in KDP Select also puts your book in Kindle Unlimited which allows thousands of new readers to read your book for free.
I know alot of new authors who’s majority of royalties come from pages read through Kindle Unlimited (mine included).
So what’s the downside?
There isn’t really a huge downside. If your a new author and have no following or fans I highly suggest enrolling in KDP Select and utilizing all of the other features as well until you have a big enough fan base that you can stand on your own two feet. You definitely aren’t going to be hitting the USA Today Bestsellers List with your first book anyway.
Another downside is that if you do end up putting listing your ebook on another site you loose access to KDP Select for 1 year. This also means that if your book happened to be pirated and posted onto a torrent site and amazon finds it you may have your account closed and your books pulled from the online store until the situation is resolved. I suggest setting up a Mention.com account and monitoring you book title/S. It’s free for the first keyword but you have to pay for others. You should also set up Google alerts for as many keywords as you want. The service is far slower than mention.com and it doesn’t monitor many of the social media sites for those keywords like mention does, but at least it’s free.
If your a veteran author who wants to shoot for the USA Today Bestseller List I suggest going wide. Since your book has to be on at least 2 separate platforms to be considered for the list, being KDP exclusive won’t help you achieve that goal.
There are some authors who bash KDP Select and say Amazon is monopolizing the industry, others say that the Kindle Unlimited is destroying the market and a waste of time, but ultimately it comes down to you and what’s best for your career.
Each author must weigh the pros and cons of each service. Only you can decide if KDP Select is the best choice for where you want to go with your career. Do your research. There is tons of information about the program online. Ask other authors about their experience with KDP Select, visit the Kboards and read all of the comments and questions, and make the decision that’s right for you.
Want to learn more about becoming an author? Visit my Aspiring Authors page.