Should You Enroll Your Book in KDP Select?

As you may know KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing – the platform that Amazon uses to publish your Kindle books. It is good to know that you can publish your books through KDP, but you can also publish your books elsewhere – such as Ingram Spark or Smashwords or Lulu or some other platform. You are not required automatically to have your books on the KDP platform exclusively. It is your choice whether you want to do this or not. 

You can also choose to be part of the Select program on KDP which offers a few perks and benefits when you choose this option, such as five days when you can offer your book for free, kindle countdown deals, etc.  But if you choose to be in the Select program, you can only publish your book on Kindle.  

So what are the benefits that makes it better for you to enroll in the select program? 

  • KPD offers you the opportunity to run sales for your book 
  • You get 5 days in a 90-day period where you can offer your book for free.  When you are on the Select program you can offer your book for free (as opposed to the lowest price you can offer without the select program being $0.99). 

Why is it a good idea for offer your book for free?  

The simple answer is, for promotional benefits. Take your book that you just launched – and say after its launch you offer it for free. This helps to build ‘hype’ for your book, get lots more downloads and helps you move up in the rankings. When you move up in the rankings, your book shows up more often so people searching for new books can find it easily. 

Your goal as a new author is to find buyers (readers) for your book and get publicity so that others are interested in it. When people read your book and like it, many will leave a review – which also helps sales and rankings.   

There is also something that is known as a KENP payout. This refers to the pages read – and you get paid through Kindle, a small amount for each page people read. It is only a small amount per page, but you will still be earning some money on your free book.  Offering your book for free will also get you ‘sales bumps’. When your book is free, a LOT of people will download it and that will in turn revert to sales for the book.  

Here’s an example of how it works: 

You run a one-day FREE promotion for you book. If you advertise a little (through email campaigns, social media posts, paid advertising, etc.) you will get a lot of eyes on your free book. Say the book was downloaded 1500 times. Because of the free downloads, your book has some ‘hype’ attached to it and therefore sales will happen automatically – copies of your ebook and print books at regular price (remember the free promotion was only for one day). Also you have earned money from pages read. And when your book has been read, some people are bound to leave reviews which in turn helps you in your book’s rankings on Kindle.   

OK – so that’s the benefits of running a free book promotion. What are the downsides? 

Although it sounds like a fantastic way to get your book in front of buyer’s eyes, the free downloads are not treated the same as purchases. The jumps in rankings because of those downloads are short-lived. What you need to do is take advantage of the free day promotions and provide links to your email list, Facebook page, groups, other books, your website, etc. so that you can follow up with the people who download your free book and turn them into buyers for other products.  

It is not recommended that you have your free book promotion day be on your launch day. If you have a regular client base or fans and readers, they will automatically pay money and buy your book on your launch day. You don’t want to give up those sure sales on your first day. Plus you will be in the ‘hot new releases’ category and you don’t want to give up sales that may come about from that. It is recommended that about a week or so after your book’s launch is a better time for a free book promotion.  

A Bit About the Kindle Lending Program 

If you are enrolled in KDP Select, your book is also eligible to be loaned out for free by Prime Members who participate in the program. And the good part of this is that you get a cut of the earnings. You only get paid, though, on a percentage of the book that is read. So if people download your book but don’t read it, you don’t get paid. You want your book to be one that people will open and read.    

What is the down-side to enrolling in KDP Select?   

For many it is a good option because of the benefits outlined above. However, you cannot sell or provide your book on any other medium at all during your 90-day commitment.  That means that if you want to offer your book for sale on your website, you cannot do it. If you have a popular blog and you already have a ton of traffic coming from that source, it may make more sense for you NOT to enroll in KDP Select so that you are able to sell your book on your own website. If your research shows that most of your other books have been read or purchased elsewhere (such a Nook users, a library digital lending space, ibooks, etc.) it might make more sense to opt out of the KDP Select program and keep your options open. Also if you want to use your book as promotional material or a free give-a-way to gather more email addresses, KDP Select is not the right choice for you (you won’t get email addresses from the free books people read on KDP Select).   

The bottom-line is that you need to decide what is right for you and go from there. Will the benefits of the KDP Select program as outlined above garner you the best results for your book?    

Whether your book is a full length novel or a short low-content book, you are still eligible for the KDP Select program – provided that you have written content for someone to read.    

If you need book covers for your books – novels or low-content books search the book covers offered on Imagination Design Arts for many options.     

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