Sunday, December 11, 2011

Confusion about KDP Select’s Program

Have you seen the email that’s been circulating from Amazon regarding its KDP Select program? Here’s an excerpt:

"We’re excited to introduce KDP Select – a new option dedicated to KDP authors and publishers worldwide, featuring a fund of $500,000 in December 2011 and at least $6 million in total for 2012! KDP Select gives you a new way to earn royalties, reach a broader audience, and use a new set of promotional tools.

Here’s how KDP Select works:

When you make any of your titles exclusive to the Kindle Store for at least 90 days, those with US rights will automatically be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and can earn a share of a monthly fund. The monthly fund for December 2011 is $500,000 and will total at least $6 million in 2012. If you haven’t checked it out already, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is a collection of books that eligible US Amazon Prime members can borrow for free once a month with no due dates.

You’ll also now have access to a new set of promotional tools, starting with the option to promote your KDP Select-enrolled titles for FREE for up to 5 days every 90 days.

How your share of the monthly fund is calculated:

Your share of the monthly fund is based on your enrolled titles’ share of the total number of borrows across all participating KDP titles in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. For example, if total borrows of all participating KDP titles are 100,000 in December and your book was borrowed 1,500 times, you will earn $7,500 in additional royalties from KDP Select in December. Enrolled titles will remain available for sale to any customer in the Kindle Store and you will continue to earn your regular royalties on those sales.

What this means to you:

KDP Select gives you access to a whole new source of royalties and readers- you not only benefit from a new way of making money, but you also get the chance to reach even more readers by getting your book in front of a growing number of US Amazon Prime customers: readers and future fans of your books that you may have not had a chance to reach before! Additionally, the ability to offer your book for free will help expand your worldwide reader base."

I’ve been following several threads from authors on who’ve tried the program, and the feedback is interesting. In fact, some cautionary tales are cropping up. First and foremost, by opting into KDP Select, you’re putting all your eggs in one basket because you’re giving Amazon exclusive rights to sell your books. In other words, they can’t be sold on Smashwords, or through other venues while you’re in the Select program. Secondly, authors are noticing that the sales rankings are becoming increasingly skewed because rented books count as sales in Amazon’s world. Therefore, those who don’t use this program might see (and some have) a significant drop in their rankings because their books aren’t in the program. It’s confusing and uncertain situation that seems to making a number of authors unhappy. Keep in mind that this is simply anecdotal information from a handful of authors. Since I’m not in this program, I really don’t know if it’s worthwhile. I want to stress, however, that if you are considering this option, research it before you commit. Talk to others who are in the program. You’ll find several of them at in the Writer’s Cafe forum, and a few have been sharing stats from their experiences.

If anyone is using KDP Select, I’d love to hear if you think it’s a good option for authors.

THE OPPOSITE OF DARK, now available for iphones, iPads, and iPodTouch at Also available in paperback at



While all three of my novels have been Kindle paid genre bestsellers, they have sold squat via other platforms (B&N, Smashwords, etc.) So, I'm willing to give it a shot. The way I look at it, I've got little to lose. So far, Amazon has been very good to me and also very responsive with my queries, troubleshooting, etc. I'll decide after 90 days whether it was worthwhile and whether or not to renew. It's nice not beeing treated like chopped liver as an author.

Debra Purdy Kong said...

Thank you very much, for your comment, James. And let me know how it goes! If you find it a positive experience, I think readers would like to know.