With the ever-growing number of self-publishing authors, effectively marketing your ebook really is the key to success. There are so many tools and methods available already, from self-promotion on social media to freebie chapters, that this entrepreneurial part of book publishing may seem really daunting (especially to us, creatives). The good news is, there are toolkits out there, such as Amazon KDP Select, to make your life much easier and keep your ebook from getting lost in the online waters. The bad news is, it does come with a price.

So what is KDP Select?

It’s a promotional toolkit program, offered by Amazon Kindle, to all authors and publishers, regardless of what their price, genre or royalty options are. However, ebooks for which you don’t have exclusive rights for the primary content of the book (i.e. the content that’s in the public domain) will not be accepted.

How will the program help me?

Since KDP Select offers several different ways to promote an ebook, it will surely help you reach more readers and make more money. For example, one of the tools is offering your book for free for a certain period of time, which works best if you have more than one book already written. Additionally, more readers mean more reviews; and more reviews mean higher overall credibility of the book, and therefore sales. If this isn’t good enough, Amazon also promises 70% royalties of your sales to customers in Brazil, Japan, India and Mexico.

On the downside, though, KDP Select requires you to grant Kindle Store complete exclusivity of your book. This means that you will not be able to sell it on any other digital platforms, and you’ll be allowed to offer only up to 10% of your book for free (for example, a couple of chapters). In addition, many authors suggest that the program will be most beneficial to authors whose books are already selling quite well on Amazon, ie they are visible on one of the browsing categories, meaning that authors with fewer sales might not gain as many benefits as promised.

Nonetheless, Derek Haines, Just Publishing Advice, who has had an on-and-off ‘relationship’ with KDP Select, and who is definitely not a fan of the exclusivity rule, has noticed an interesting trend during his ‘on’ part: whenever he was enrolled with the program, his sales increased so much, no other retailer selling his books could match it. Not even close, he says.

I want to give KDP Select a try. What should I do?

To enrol a new ebook, click ‘Enrol’ in KDP Select while you’re entering your book details.

To enrol an ebook that’s already been published:

  • Go to your ‘Bookshelf’
  • Click on the ellipsis button (“…”) under the ‘Kindle EBook Actions’ menu next to the book you want to enrol
  • Select ‘Enroll in KDP Select’
  • On the screen that appears, click ‘Enroll in KDP Select’
  • Continue re-publishing your book

You can change your metadata (royalty options, book descriptions, etc) without affecting your enrolment in KDP Select. You can also unpublish KDP Select-enrolled titles at any time during the term and republish them on KDP later.

Your book’s enrolment will automatically be renewed unless you choose to decide not to have this option.

To find out more, visit https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200798990