Who’s Using Kindle’s KDP Select?

DutchMasters-adjusted

What Is KDP ?

KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing. In a nutshell any ebook that is formatted for electronic publication and then published on Kindle e-readers through Amazon is part of  Kindle Direct Publishing. To be part of KDP your little e-book can be available on other venues (i.e. Nook, Smashwords, Apple, Sony etc.)…..but there has to be uniform pricing. Many authors have opted for this route in the brave new world of Indie publishing, especially those with a high online profile and a good marketing plan.

Mona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouched
The Mona Lisa, a painting by Leonardo da Vinci

How About KDP Select?

In addition to the basic Kindle publishing platform, Amazon now has a special option for self-pubbed writers that offers 90 days of exclusivity on the Kindle. To participate in this relatively recent program, the author has to remove the e-book from all competing markets and only have the electronic item available on Kindles. After the 90 days is up, the author has the option of renewing the Select program for another 90 days. In exchange Amazon makes the title available to its Amazon Prime members. Membership in Amazon Prime must fork out 80 bucks a year, but in exchange, they receive access in the form of free downloads at any time to any title published on the KDP Select program. In return the author receives a fee directly from Amazon that comes out of a separate fund. I know this may seem hokey, but so far in 2013, each Amazon Prime download (or borrow as Amazon calls them) is worth about 2 dollars US. In other words, a popular writer with a 1,000 borrows would receive approximately $2,000 for those downloads.

Última_Cena_-_Da_Vinci_5
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

Is It Working?

Though there seems to be some skepticism about the long term future of this arrangement, many authors seem to be content with the KDP Select program so far. Some of the advantages of this program appear to be its ease of entry,Amazon’ts prompt tracking of online sales and the possibility of high volume sales for popular authors. As a result Kindle millionaires is a new buzzword for those who have been following the rise of e-book Indie authors.

It should also be noted that Amazon has some pricing guidelines for those who participate in KDP Select. Also they allow the author to choose 5 days of free promotion during each 90 day period. These free promos are available to anyone with a Kindle E-reader or compatible computer program, and not just  those who signed up for Amazon Prime. On these chosen days prospective readers can download the ebook for free. This results in a large number of downloads on the free days. These free downloads may or may not  result in sales after the free period has ended. The main drawback for the free promotion days is that the situation creates a large body of e-readers who expect every electronic title to be free……. More about this later.

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