First off, let me explain to you what KDP is for those who do not know.
KDP Select is part of Amazon Kindle’s ebook promotion. If readers invest in Kindle Unlimited, they have access to all the Kindle Select books for free. It does cost, right now, $9.99 a month. If you are a big time reader of Kindle ebooks, this is probably a very good option for you.
For an author, entering your book in KDP select means you are put your book out there for free – but not really for free.
What does that mean?
Well, KDP has what is called a “Global Fund”. It is a slush fund of all the money brought in by the KDP program. Authors who are entered into KDP Select get a % of that Global Fund per pages read of your books. All I need, as an author, is for people to go read some pages, as many pages as possible, and I will get a tiny fraction of that enormous slush fund.
Only problem is, for me anyhow, has been bupkis. I’ve made nothing from it nor have I attracted any attention to my books although they are free to Kindle Unlimited users. I’m still finding that is comes down to finding buyers on my own and the KDP program has not helped.
Has it harmed?
Well, slightly, in a way.
When an author puts their work in KDP, it is agreed that the ebook version will be sold nowhere else for 90 days. That means only Amazon can sell my ebook for 90 days.
Not everyone uses Amazon and Kindle. There are many other outlets out there for book buyers including Barnes & Nobles, Apple ibook, Oyster, Baker & Taylor, Kobo, Scrib, Gardners and Toliono, to name a few.
And how do authors get their books out to all these various vendors?
Smashwords. Smashwords will distribute an author’s works through all these places when you download it into their site. It is that easy.
While Amazon has a large audience, the other distributors have loyal, buying customers who don’t want to be part of the Amazon brand.
It should also be noted here that, although ebooks dug into traditional book sales for the first couple of years, some people thinking they may destroy the traditional industry, it seems ebooks may have hit a ceiling. Paperback and ebooks seem to be on more balanced ground again as people are rediscovering the solace to be found in a physical paper copy.
I actually hope that holds true and better. I prefer to have a book in my hands, tangible pages, bookmarks, charts and maps.
As for me, I do not think I will be using KDP for my future books. Right now I have two still caught up in it – The Grand Transition and Little Chamber Shorts – and there is no benefit to it.
Those who self-publish and have limited budgets for advertising, if we have any budget at all, find that direct contact and word of mouth from fans and supporters generate the most sales. In other words, we need you. We need the readers to help us. Every day, there are literally hundreds of new books being published because the ease of access is there. Sadly, there is a lot of rubbish. There are a lot of people who are obviously putting little energy, time and research into their work, clogging up the system. Good self-published authors who invest their time into creating a decent, well-thought-out project, need your help telling others.