The Pros and Cons of KDP Select

As mentioned in my previous post, The Different Platforms to Publish on, Amazon offers a special program for authors to enroll in called KDP Select. In exchange for keeping your book exclusively for sale of Amazon, you get a number of benefits. I briefly touched on these benefits in my previous blog post, but I’ll be going more in-depth into these benefits today.

The two primary benefits of KDP Select are the promotional tools offered to you and increased earnings. The promotional tools offered to you are the ability to create sales campaigns for a total of seven days and a free book promotion for a total of five days. You can only use one of the campaigns for your book over your three-month contract with Amazon that you agreed to when you enrolled your book in KDP Select. These promotions will obviously cut into your royalties per sale, but they can also be a wonderful tool to drive traffic and increase your audience, boosting the total number of sales you make in both the short term and the long term.

The second benefit is the inclusion of your book in Kindle Unlimited (KU) and the Kindle’s Owner’s Lending Library (KOLL). The way these work is that they allow readers to use your books without actually having to buy your book. In exchange, you get paid by Amazon for every page of your book that is read. This allows you to earn royalties off of readers who wouldn’t have looked at your books otherwise. Unfortunately, the payout per page isn’t very high. The payout per page for June 2018 was $0.0046, which comes to $1.38 for a 300-page book read cover to cover.

Another benefit that may interest some readers is the chance to receive a KDP All-Star Bonus. If your book is among the highest-earning books in KU and KOLL in a given month, you win receive a bonus from Amazon. These can range from $250 to $25,000. Unfortunately, you’ll be up against every other book in KDP Select, so you’re chances of winning any money are remote. Still, it’s always nice to try!

As with everything in life, however, KDP Select doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Namely, it requires you to keep your book exclusively on Amazon. If you didn’t plan on publishing your book on any other platforms, this one is a no-brainer. For everyone else, this requires you to make the decision of whether you want to sacrifice sales from different markets for the benefits of KDP Select. Once you’re in KDP Select, you can’t change your mind and leave until your 90-contract is over as well, so you’ll have to choose wisely. Be sure to look out for my next blog post where I discuss my own views on whether KDP Select is worth enrolling in!

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