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From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach

Should Self-Publishers Enroll in Amazon’s KDP Select Program?

Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDP Select) is a special program that Amazon offers independent publishers, authors and self-publishers to be a part of the digital Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. You can earn a share of a $6 million fund based on how often your ebook is borrowed through the program. In addition, you can use Amazon’s special marketing tools, which include offering your ebook for free to readers for up to 5 days in each 90-day period. You can also earn up to 70% royalties on sales in Brazil, Japan and India. Ebooks not in the KDP Select program only earn 35% on sales in Brazil, Japan and India.

90-day Exclusivity

The caveat is your ebook must be exclusive to the Kindle store during the 90-day program. This means you cannot have your ebook for sale on Barnes & Noble, Apple, Google, your own website, blog or any other website or retailer. Please note this restriction only pertains to the digital format of your book (the ebook), not the printed version of your book.

If you are setting up your own ebook publishing accounts directly with retailers (and you get paid directly by Amazon, B&N, Apple, Google, etc.), you should be able to control when your book is available for sale. But if you are working through a third party aggregator it may be very difficult or impossible to “unpublish” your ebook for 90-day periods. In addition, some aggregators charge fees every time you change or update your listings.

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is available only to Amazon Prime members. The members can borrow a book once a month for free. There are no due dates. The advantage to you is your book is visible in a new target market—the members of Amazon Prime. Members can also purchase your book in the Kindle Store.

5 Free Days

You can pick the start and end dates for your 5 free days. The days can be consecutive or spread out within the 90-day period. When an ebook is offered for free, a large number (in the thousands) of readers will download it. Many publishers who use their 5 free days to blitz publicize their ebooks see a surge in their book’s ranking on Amazon. When a book is in the top 10 or even the top 100 spots it has much more exposure. Higher rankings push up future sales.

Here’s a Link to Learn More About KDP Select

KDP Select is great way for new authors and publishers to cultivate a large readership, but there are strict rules to follow. You need to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Here is a link to sign up for the program: