Is Exclusivity with Amazon a Good Thing for Your eBook? A Look at KDP vs. KDP Select

When you’re looking to publish your eBook it makes sense to publish with Amazon – through Kindle Direct Publishing, KDP. But then the questions comes to:

Do I enroll my eBook in KDP Select?

KDP Select means that you’re giving Amazon a 90-day exclusive to the eBook. And when they say exclusive, they MEAN exclusive – you can’t sell or make your eBook free on your own website, in any format.

For a long time, I was very anti-KDP Select. I was uncomfortable with putting all my eggs in the Amazon basket. After all, they can change the rules of publishing and any time, and you and your book are stuck until the end of the 90-days. I preferred to also publish my books on Barnes & Nobel’s Nook and Kobo’s platform.

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050515-ExclusiveToday, however, Amazon is clearly a marketing dominating force. I still get sales from Nook and Kobo – but not nearly as much as I did even a year ago, let alone two or three years past.

As best-selling author Hugh Howey explains, “Amazon has long made exclusivity a major part of their publishing campaign. With the introduction of KDP Select in late 2011, Amazon began offering merchandising opportunities to authors who published on Amazon and nowhere else. This has always been a controversial and unpopular move. The #1 decision many authors face today is not whether to go traditional or self, but whether to go KDP Select or not.”

Some of the advantages to KDP Select are:

  • Being part of the Kindle Unlimited Pool
  • People can borrow your book
  • You can run a free promotion
  • Preferential placement by Amazon*

*Nobody has hard proof around this one. BUT if anecdotal evidence from my experience and other authors can be trusted, it’s true!

Of course, all of this means that you’re locking your eBook into Amazon for 90-days – and out of any other eBook market.

When you’re evaluating KDP vs KDP Select, you need to have your over-all marketing plan thought out.

As for me? I don’t think I’ll be pulling my books from other retailers to enroll them in KDP Select. But I also haven’t been adding eBook titles to markets outside of Amazon.

Kim Galloway
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