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KDP Select Offers More Money for Exclusivity

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Kindle DIrect Publishing

Amazon’s KDP Select program offers more money to book publishers if they publish exclusively with Amazon. But is the exclusivity worthwhile?

The answer lies with the performance over time with each individual book. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is Amazon’s wildly successful platform that allows writers to self-publish Kindle electronic books, paperback books and even audio books. Writers can produce the entire book content and format or get help for a fee.

With Select, writers get a share of income from Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which are subscription-based services. Amazon puts a share of that subscription money into the KDP Global Select Fund. From there, writers get a flat rate for every page of their books that subscribers read.

How to Measure KDP Select

Any kind of online content and marketing is more effective if it relies on quantitative analysis, such as ratios and other kinds of comparisons.

This concept also applies to Select. Writers should take the total sales of ebooks in their other distribution channels and divide it by total Kindle sales. Then they should do the same thing with Select sales versus total Kindle sales.

Some writers have said they make as much money with the KDP Select subscription program as they do with book sales. Others get a fraction of that amount.

This author is one of those writers who gets only a small fraction of sales from KDP Select. However, the money from KDP Select is still higher than the money from other distribution channels. That’s why it’s important for writers to test the KDP Select program with other distribution options.

The ratio also depends on whether the author has both an ebook and a paperback version. In the case of this company, KDP Select produces about 10 percent of the total ebook and paperback sales revenue. But KDP Select is 47 percent of ebook sales.

Better Marketing for Select

An effective Kindle marketing strategy that will lead to more Select sales has five stages for new writers:

  1. Produce only a Kindle ebook version, learn how to market it, update it on a regular basis and track sales results. Producing any ebook is easy. Writing it takes up most of the labor.
  2. Create a separate ebook in PDF and other formats and distribute to other ebook publishing channels such as SmashWords.
  3. Produce a Kindle paperback version if the ebook sales are promising and once the writer has more confidence in the process. This company has found that people buy more paperbacks than electronic editions. But paperbacks require much more labor to produce.
  4. After tracking ebook performance in other distribution channels for at least one to three months, switch over the exclusive Select program if sales from other channels are weak.
  5. Compare the performance of the KDP Select program with the previous performance with other ebook distribution channels. If Select produces more revenue, stick with it. If not, cancel KDP Select and resume other sources.

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