So your book is finished! You’re excited to get it self published and released to the world. If you’re like most people, you’re probably going to be using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform as one way to sell your book. The real question, though, is if you should give Amazon exclusive digital distribution rights. Here’s the pros and cons of Kindle Direct Publishing Select to help you decide.
Pros and Cons of Kindle Direct Publishing Select
Most self published authors choose Amazon to sell their books because it has the biggest market share. Not only do more people use Amazon Kindle to buy their eBooks, more people have Kindle eReaders than any other brand.
It makes sense to want to put your book on the biggest platform, but does that mean it should be the only platform you self publish your eBook on?
What is Kindle Direct Publishing Select?
Kindle Direct Publishing Select (or KDPS/KDP Select) is similar to Kindle Direct Publishing but with one key difference: you grant Amazon the exclusive rights to sell your eBook. That means that you will only be able to sell your book through Amazon, and not through any other service.
If your eBook is already for sale with other retailers, you’ll have to remove them from those services before publishing your book on Amazon’s KDP Select. That includes selling through your own website or blog. You can only sell your eBook through Amazon.
How long does a KDP Select contract last?
Thankfully, choosing Kindle Direct Publishing Select doesn’t mean you will be tied to Amazon forever. Exclusivity contracts last 90 days, and your contract automatically renews at the end of each quarterly period.
Once you’re enrolled, though, you can’t remove your book from KDP Select until the contract is up. So keep that in mind as you make your distribution plans.
If you do want to cancel, you have to do it within the first 3 days of each 90 day contract cycle.
Can I still sell physical books with KDP Select?
Kindle Direct Publishing Select is only an exclusive contract for the eBook version of your work. That means you can continue to sell hard copy books through your website, with print on demand services, or in bookstores.
Since the ISBN is different for each version of a book it’s easy to differentiate between the eBook deal with Amazon and other versions.
What makes a book unique to satisfy Amazon’s KDP Select contract?
If you already have your book published elsewhere, you might think that making a few changes to give Amazon’s KDP an ‘exclusive’ book might be enough. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Books that just have the introduction changed, or bonus content aren’t going to pass as exclusive.
Can I give a book away for free while it’s on Kindle Direct Publishing Select?
If you offer your eBook anywhere else online, even for free, it can’t be a part of the KPD Select program. There are ways to send your eBook out for free, though, even on KDP Select.
First of all, Amazon allows you to send copies to professional reviewers, and to professionals for quality control like proofreading or editing. So you’ll still be able to provide free review copies if that’s part of your marketing plan.
Second, up to 10% of your book can be made available for free as a preview. This is helpful to ‘hook’ readers, especially if you’re a new author. That way they have a better idea what they’re getting with your work. This 10% can be uploaded to any site, not just Amazon.
Finally, with KDP Select you can do a ‘free book’ promotion. With that, your book is made available for free for a limited amount of time through Amazon. It’s a great way to promote a new book!
How can I put a book on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited?
This is another reason many authors agree to the Kindle Direct Publishing Select terms. Enrolment is the only way to have your eBook appear on Kindle Unlimited.
Being a part of Kindle Unlimited can help you earn royalties you wouldn’t have otherwise because it depends on pages read and not sales. Since the reader doesn’t get charged any more to sample books, they’re more likely to check out new authors.
Pros of choosing Kindle Direct Publishing (KPD) Select:
- KDP Select members get extra promotional tools. For example, you can offer your book for free or discounted for a limited amount of time (with a countdown).
- You can list your eBook on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service.
- Higher royalty rates for sales in Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.
- Your book will be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
- No cost to enrol or publish your book.
Cons of choosing Kindle Direct Publishing (KPD) Select:
- Exclusive to Amazon means you can’t publish your eBook through any other service.
- There’s no way to avoid paying commission by selling your book on your own website.
- Books are automatically enrolled in Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners Lending Library services, which don’t earn you the same royalty rates as a sale.
- 90 day commitment, you can’t opt out at any time.
Is Kindle Direct Publishing (KPD) Select worth it?
That’s going to depend on your specific needs and niche. If your book is going to sell better in certain markets that Kindle doesn’t have a big share in, it might be better to go with those services instead. Likewise, if selling on your own website is important to you then KDP Select isn’t an option.
Someone who’s looking for a ‘one and done’ type approach, though, will benefit from KDP Select. That way all your sales are within one single platform, and you’ll have access to extra promotional tools to market your book.
There are also some authors who jump in and out of KDP Select services to maximize sales, promotional opportunities, and so on. If it’s your first book there’s likely to be a bit of trial and error as you figure out what works for you.
It’s important to look at the pros and cons of Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select before making a choice, but keep in mind that you can cancel if you change your mind too.