As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I hoped to help those thinking about publishing their books online themselves, by sharing some of the pitfalls and troubles I have experienced with the process of publishing my novel with Amazon. My first post related to forgetting to enter the author name. I’m still amazed at how I managed to fall for that one but from what I’ve read online in the Kindle support forum, it’s a fairly common mistake. At least that is what I keep telling myself.
Today’s post is not about forgetting names, but is about Amazon’s option to publish through their program, KDP Select.
What is KDP Select?
It took me some time to understand, but in summary, KDP Select is a large fund for authors who enroll their books in the program. I believe that this month’s fund is $600,000.00. The amount is adjusted every month based on how many participants have signed into the program. What the fund covers are the books that are “borrowed”. The books that are eligible to be borrowed are those where the author has chosen to participate in KDP Select. Every time a book is borrowed, it is assigned a portion of the fund. It is a very small percentage so to make any decent amount of money; a book would have to be borrowed a lot.
It took me some time to decide if I wanted to enroll in the program. Not because I thought the earnings would be minimal on borrowed books – I believe that by participating in the Kindle library it in increases a book’s reach, but because Amazon requires that an author make the book exclusive to Amazon for ninety days. This means that the author’s work cannot be posted anywhere else electronically for that period of time.
To help sway people to still participate after the exclusivity contract, Amazon adds in a five day promotional period that can be used at any time during the ninety days. I read that section and thought, “Great! I’ll do it!” That was until I read the next statement that any books bought during a promotional period are free.
A lot of people swear by the program and an equal number of people hate it. So why do it? I’ll save that for another post.