It’s Thursday and we’re in the wayback machine, recycling a blog from 2017’s AtoZChallenge:
For today’s AtoZChallenge, the letter “K” is for Kindle Select
Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited (K.U.) in July, 2014. The subscription program (currently $9.99 a month) allows readers unlimited access to a large selection of free ebooks (only ten at a time can be taken out. It’s like a Netflix for books). Amazon gives authors the option of enrolling their books in Kindle Select, the writing side of the program that feeds K.U.
Is Kindle Select the right program for you?
Let’s look at the pros and cons, then I’ll tell you of my experience and where I stand on the issue.
- Your book will automatically be available to K.U. subscribers.
- Your book will automatically be available to be lent to other readers under the KOLL program (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library).
- You can offer your book as a free promotion for 5 days out of the 90 day Kindle Select enrollment period for non-K.U. subscribers. The days do not have to be taken concurrently.
- You can participate in the Kindle Countdown Deal, where you can run a limited sale, complete with a countdown clock, making a buy an urgency for your readers. Amazon has devoted a separate page to countdown deals, allowing alert buyers a way to check in for deals.
- Earn a share of KDP’s Select Global Fund, a big pot of money ($16.8M this month) distributed among authors enrolled in Kindle Select. The allotment is based on number of pages downloaded and read more than 10%, plus books borrowed from the Lending Library.
- Not having to format your book to different guidelines issued by distributors then individually upload them (I’m looking at you ibooks, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble).
- You can offer print books at other sites, just not a digital version.
- If you have multiple books out, offering an older title for free through Kindle Unlimited can generate interest in your backlog.
- Amazon exclusivity for 100% of your book. You can not offer it anywhere else, and no more than 10% from your website. So, if you’ve been releasing a chapter a month and now decide to publish the entire work on Amazon, Kindle Select is not available.
- You’re locked in for 90 days. Be aware: Kindle Select will automatically renew for another 90 days if you do not manually uncheck its box in your KDP bookshelf.
- Owners of reading devices other than Kindle will not be able to download your book. Of course, they can always download the free Kindle reading app, but still. (I do 90% of my digital reading on my laptop).
- You are at Amazon’s whim, which is powerful.
- You are dependent on a single revenue stream.
- The money earned per copy will not equal that of a non-Kindle Select (non-Kindle Unlimited) book.
My experience and opinion
In 2016, I and my writing partner published The Plot Thickens:21 Ways to Plot Your Novel through Kindle Select. We sold approx. 2100 copies to Kindle Unlimited users. Our income from those copies amounted to less than $50. Why? I can only guess that our 100 page book rode at the bottom of the Global Fund and/or readers did not go to the end of the book and/or saved it in their library for later (proven when we received small amount of monies months after we opted out of the program).
We are much happier, and a little richer, by keeping The Plot Thickens out of Kindle Select and offering it wide through other sellers.
Your mileage may vary. It’s a tough decision every author has to make. The good thing is, you can experiment for 90 days. Just be sure to unselect Select before the 90 days expires, because you’ll be automatically enrolled for another three months.
Have you tried Kindle Select? What’s been your experience?
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