There is a program called KDP select that you are free to join when you publish Kindle books. The biggest question is why would you join? Well there are some benefits.
- It is free to join if you are a Kindle publisher.
- The potential to earn higher royalties.
- Make your Kindle book available to readers for free for a limited time (free promotion).
- Reach a larger audience by being able to lend your Kindle book out.
- Amazon helps promote your book.
These are the main benefits so let’s look at some in more detail.
Amazon Prime Customers
If you have ever purchased anything on Amazon then you should be familiar with the Amazon Prime promotion – become a prime member and get benefits. It costs you to be a prime member but there are lots of benefits and many people do join. This is a good source of income for Amazon.
One of the benefits of being a prime member is that you can borrow Kindle books – but only the books that are in the KDP select program. Therefore the more books in this program the better it is for Amazon as they can provide more books for their prime members. So Amazon like authors who are in KDP select and help increase the visibility of these books.
For example, your book will have the prime badge next to it so prime members know they can borrow it for free. This makes it stand out.
Kindle Owners Lending Library – Revenue Potential
This is a collection of books that Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle can borrow once a month with no due dates. If your Kindle book is borrowed then of course you don’t earn any money – no one has actually purchased it. However, Amazon has a way round this. Each time your book is borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library you will earn a share of the global fund.
So what is this Global Fund?
Well, it is a fund that Amazon set aside each month for the specific purpose of making the KDP select program appealing. This is what they say “The size of the fund is determined to make participation in KDP Select a compelling option for authors and publishers. We will review the size of the fund each month to consider adjustments.”
How does it work?
It is based on the TOTAL number of borrows in a month and the number of YOUR books which were borrowed. You then receive a portion of the fund. The more borrows you have the better your share of the fund.
Total fund for the month = $100,000
Total borrow for the month =10,000
Total of borrows of your books for the month = 10
Your share = 10/10000 x 100% = 0.1% = 0.1% of $100,000 = $100 for that month.
However, you only receive money if at least 10% of your kindle book has been read. This isn’t difficult to achieve if you have written a good book.
Is There A Downside?
If you join KDP select then you are not allowed to sell your kindle book anywhere else except through Kindle publishing. I read a blog post from someone who found that in fact this is not bad. The reason being that Amazon help to promote your Kindle book if you are a KDP select member and so your sales tend to be higher using that platform rather than using for example Barnes & Noble because they don’t do anything to help promote your book.
Currently KDP select lasts for 90 days after which you can rejoin or decide not to. If you decide not to rejoin then you can start selling your kindle book on other platforms.
Let me make sure you understand this. If you are in KDP select then you can of course promote your book anywhere on the internet. However, you should send people to Amazon to actually purchase it – no where else. You can’t allow people to purchase it anywhere else – that is what it means by being exclusive to Amazon.
The reason why I decided to join was because I wanted a way to be able to promote my book for free to my subscribers! And that is the way to do it. The other thing about this is that you get a report that gives you information about how many downloads you had during your free promotion period which is very helpful.
If no one wants your book for free then you can be pretty sure you won’t make any sales! It’s a good way to find out if your book has the potential to be profitable.
It really is up to you if you want to join KDP select but if you use kindle publishing as a way to build your subscriber list and you have other products (training programs, coaching, information products, etc.) for sale through your email campaigns then using free promotions for your kindle books via KDP select is a great strategy.