The Kindle Direct Publishing program is the Amazon.com e-book publishing program and KDP Select is a voluntary program designed to help you promote your books. There are both positive and negative results from joining this program and we will cover them in this article.
Enrollment into the program is easy and you can enroll one book or all the books you've published. The reason most people enroll in the program is for the publicity benefits that include a Kindle Countdown Deal and a Free Book Promotion program. In this article we will focus on the Free Book Promotion program.
The KDP Select program is available for 90 day increments. It automatically renews unless you tell it otherwise. During each 90 day period your e-book is enrolled in the program you get a chance to give it away for free for up to five days. You can run all five days at once, go one day at a time, or offer your book free for multiple days in a row.
The benefits for giving your e-book away for free are: the possibility of getting good reviews from people who downloaded your e-book, eligibility for 70% royalty earnings on sales to customers in Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico, and inclusion in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners' Library where you will be paid a small sum per page read. Our clients who enroll non-fiction books in the program often see a corresponding rise in sales a few weeks later. Many non-fiction books are better suited for note taking or highlighting text and people often realize this after downloading the free version.
Enrollment in KDP Select is a 90 day commitment. From the beginning of a new 90 day period you have the chance to cancel during the first three days. Your e-book may not be published anywhere else in digital form during that 90 days but this does not impact your ability to sell your physical books. You may give away your e-book during this time to reviewers without jeopardizing your enrollment.
If the digital version of your book appears to be available for pre-order, for sale, or for free elsewhere (such as on your website or blog, or a third party's website), then it is not eligible for KDP Select. Adding new content (such as bonus content, author's commentary section, etc.) to a book that is available elsewhere will not satisfy the exclusivity requirements.
You will not receive a notice that your KDP Select enrollment is about to renew or end. You must keep track of the days yourself if you want to leave the program in the future. The only books that may not be enrolled are those for which you do not have exclusive rights for the primary content of the book (ie, this content is in the public domain or others may also have the right to publish this content).
Promoting your free e-book for Kindle is a time consuming and you must start promoting the giveaway at least two weeks in advance. There are dozens of Facebook pages and groups that will promote your free e-book upon request and other websites devoted to e-books accept submissions for free e-books as well. A few sites will promote your free giveaway for free but many of them ask for a small payment for guaranteed listings.
The KDP Select program certainly has benefits but it also has some drawbacks. You need to consider the topic of your book, your target audience, your schedule and your budget to make a decision on using the free giveaway program.
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