I've been a self-publisher for almost a decade; writing and selling my own ebooks online since 2004. This is a good while before big retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble made publishing ebooks as simple and easy as it is nowadays. Because I blog alot about my self-publishing travails -- and have written over 50 ebooks -- I receive questions about the self-publishing process from newbies to this form of publishing.
These questions run the gamut -- from how to create cheap (but professional) ebook covers, to the technical components of the self-publishing process.
Question from a New Ebook Writer about Amazon's KDP Select Program
Following is one such question from a newbie to publishing on Kindle. It's about ebook marketing. She wrote:
I've been meaning to ask you this for a while.
Could you please let me know your reason for not joining the KDP on Amazon? I know it doesn't let you sell your ebooks anywhere else (not even on your own site) - is this the reason why? It's just that I've heard from many sources that the free promotions on KDP (which lead to higher Amazon rankings and more sales) far outweighs the exclusivity to only Amazon.
Any thoughts on this welcome!
Before I outline my response to her, let's back up a minute and run through what Amazon's KDP Select program is all about for those who may not know.
What Is Amazon's KDP Select Program?
In simple terms, this is an ebook marketing strategy that Amazon devised. The way it works is, authors enroll their ebooks so that they can be included in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library program.
This lending library allows Kindle owners to borrow ebooks - at no cost. As a lot of ebook readers will try free ebooks, you're in essence promoting your ebook - and gaining a readers for your works -- at no cost.
Ebook Marketing Via Amazon's KDP Select Program: Some Pros and Cons
All of the above sounds good in theory, no? Following are a few pros and cons.
Con: Exclusivity. You can't sell the digital version of your ebook any place else while it's enrolled in the KDP program - not even on your own website or blog.
Pro: You Get Paid. How? Via a the KDP Select Global Fund, which is a special fund set up by Amazon to pay authors based on the number of borrows their ebook gets. Amazon set up (the KDP Select Global Fund). How much you're paid is based on how frequently your ebook is borrowed.
Con: Miss Months of Sales. If you decide to enroll your ebook in the KDP program, you have to do so for at least 90 days. This means you could be missing out on three month's worth of sales via your own site/blog and other outlets.
Pro: Sell Paper Version. The program rules only apply to the digital version of your ebook. So if you publish a paper version via Smashwords, for example, you can still sell that anywhere you please.
Pro: Can Opt Out. You can do this at any time. Note though that once you sign up - even if you do so say a week later -- the 90 days still have to expire before you can start selling your ebook other places.
Pro / Con: Certain Genres Do Better. This is a pro or a con, depending on which genre you publish in. Fiction tends to do better than non-fiction in the KDP program.
My Response to Should You Enroll Your Ebook in Amazon's KDP Select Ebook Marketing Program
I have tried this program - but only for one ebook. I didn't see a big increase in sales, so I opted out after the first 90 days expired. In spite of this, I advise all those who publish on Kindle to try it at least once. Why? Well mainly because ebook marketing is all about trial and error. And with this program, you have nothing to lose because you can opt out at any time.
I hope this insight helps -- and happy ebook selling!
About the Author: Yuwanda has written and self-published over 50 ebooks, which can be found on major sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, in addition to her freelance writing website, InkwellEditorial.com. If you found the info here insightful, get more in the complete package on writing an ebook. It will not only teach you how to write an ebook (in just a few days!), but also outline some ebook marketing strategies that will have you raking in sales within a week - really!
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.
Keywords relevant to this article: Publishing on Kindle, ebook marketing, publish on kindle, publish to kindle, Kindle KDP Select Program, publishing for kindle, kindle publishing