KDP Select, is it worth it?

KDP Select


Okay, so we are a year and half or so into KDP Select.

KDP Select is a program Amazon offers for authors who publish through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).  The “Select” component requires authors to make a particular book exclusive to KDP during ninety-day intervals that renew automatically unless the author opts out of them.

The primary benefits of KDP Select to the author are: 1. Five free days each ninety-day period, i.e., days he can offer his book for free.  Ordinarily, an author cannot price her book below 99 cents, and 2. borrows. Amazon Prime members can borrow KDP Select books for free, but the author receives a payment of approximately $2.00 for each borrow.  This is not an insignificant royalty payment, especially for Indie authors who often price their books in a $2.99 range and receive about the same amount for a sale as they do for a borrow.

I have toyed with KDP Select for a year now.  During that time I have had many thousands of free downloads of my books and seen some good sales follow after, all of which dwindle when the promotion period wanes.

I have opted out of Select on some of my titles and left others in.  Until March 29, 2013, I have two books still in that category.

That is why I had some free days to burn in March and decided to make the most of  them.


I ran Next Best Hope free for three days earlier in March and have The Revelation Effect scheduled to run free March 24-26. These are books two and three of The Revelation Trilogy, so my thinking has been that running them free gives me a bump on all of the trilogy books and also on some of my other works.

That has in fact proved to be the case, because I have seen sales in a number of my titles surrounding the free promo of Next Best Hope.

Say what you will about free books devaluing eBooks generally, the hard fact remains that readers are much more prone to download books for free than for any other price, even 99 cents.

However, it is also true that sales from other retailers figure into the equation.  I have seen an increasing number of sales through Barnes & Noble (BN). These outweigh the “borrows” on KDP Select and tend to make me think that it makes more sense to move away from the exclusivity of KDP Select.


The jury is still out for me.

I’ll report in again the end of the month.

In the meantime, if you want to pick up a free copy of The Revelation Effect, please visit the Kindle store between March 24th and 26th.

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