What is Amazon KDP Select?

Since I started writing, sharing and informing you guys about my Amazon KDP journey and how I make a little extra passive-income every month from it (see proof below in this article I previously wrote), it’s proven to be a rather popular topic. Therefore, I thought I’d turn it into a whole series and share everything I know and have learnt so far, in the hopes that it can help you too!

A common question I get asked when people are just starting to ‘dabble’ with Amazon KDP is ‘what is Amazon KDP Select and should I enroll my book in it?’

Unfortunately if you’re looking for an easy ‘yes’ or ‘no, definitely not’ answer…you won’t find one here. It depends on a few factors, such as what you’re trying to build, whether you plan on selling your Ebook on multiple platforms and so on.

Let’s start with the basics…

What is Amazon KDP Select?

When you’re going through the self-publishing journey of Amazon KDP, you’ll have to enter much more information than you might initially expect on your book. As well as uploading the book context itself, a well designed cover, you also need keywords, detailed descriptions and to know whether or not you want to enroll in Amazon KDP Select. In simplest terms this means that if you join KDP Select the digital copies of your book cannot be sold anywhere else and are exclusive to Amazon. You can however distribute hard copies elsewhere (important to know).

Pro’s of KDP Select

  • When you enroll in KDP Select your books are automatically included in Kindle Unlimited which is a subscription program for readers that allows them to read as many books as they would like. When readers who pay for Kindle Unlimited read pages from your books, you therefore receive higher royalties from something called the KDP Select Global Fund.
  • You also receive higher sales rate of 70% when a customer from Japan, India, Brazil or Mexico purchases your book.
  • A lot of self-publishers don’t seem to realize that when you opt in to KDP Select, that ‘membership’ only actually lasts for 90 days. After the 90 day period you can choose to opt out or auto-renew for another 90 days.
  • You have access to certain promotional tools that others don’t. Mainly ‘Kindle Countdown Deals’ – For one week every 90 days, authors may discount their book or book’s by putting it on a ‘countdown deal’. You continue to earn up to the 70% royalties on the discounted price. Authors who run promotions outside of KDP Select may only earn 35% royalties depending on the price point of the book.
  • Finally, Amazon is the biggest online marketplace and still growing every day. You don’t have to do all the advertising and requesting or ‘begging’ of retailers to sell your books to as many people as possible. The customers are there already searching for books, you just have to create that great content and Amazon sells it for you. Imagine the millions of eyes that could glance over your book or Ebook every day.

Con’s of KDP Select

  • Although Amazon has the millions of customers, some individual authors and publishers would still wish to ‘go wide’ so they can list their book with as many ‘e-retailers’ and distributors as they’d like.
  • In some countries believe it or not, Amazon isn’t as dominant of a force as it is in the UK and USA which could make building a presence outside of Amazon important.
  • The high competition – Although Amazon might get the most digital foot traffic, you’re also competing with an incredibly high number of other authors and books. Some have been around for years and figured out the perfect strategy to cracking selling through KDP and often newer authors and publishers give up because of this, they think they don’t stand a chance; but let me tell you, they do!
  • Automated algorithms – Amazon is all about automated algorithms, which can change daily and be constantly revised, in turn along with your books rankings. Where as with non Amazon platforms they are curated in a different way, often by human merchandising teams.
  • The ability to hit best-seller lists can be out of reach because a lot of these ‘lists’ require that the author isn’t exclusive to Amazon, which you would be if enrolled in KDP Select.

Is KDP Select Right for you?

Honestly, it really depends on the marketing strategy you’ve created for your book or Ebook. It’s also quite a personal decision because if you’re someone like me who is involved in every aspect of creating your book, writing the content, designing the book cover, writing all your descriptions and keywords etc then it can be quite difficult to just let go and hand it over to Amazon.

Of course there’s things you can do to help increase sales yourself, like sharing on your social media accounts and running Amazon Ads (we’ll get into those another time) but you have to trust Amazon to do ‘their’ part.

Luckily, as mentioned previously the terms for KDP Select last for the 90 days and then you can opt out if you don’t see the results you were hoping for. Sometimes it’s best to figure it out for yourself and test the waters. If you have more than the one book ready to go you can enter a couple into KDP Select and not the others and compare what happens over the 90 day period. It will give you an idea of what’s going to work best for you moving forward with other books.

Ultimately, whether you decide to go with KDP Select or open publishing you’ll get out what you put in.

KDP in general is a long-game for most, you have to do a lot of work in the beginning to reap the benefits later.

I hope this post about Amazon KDP Select has been informational for you and helps you decide what is right for you.

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