Publishing with KDP Select Followup & Thoughts from Author MK Williams

Hello friends, I have done several videos on Amazon and KDP and I wanted to circle back on one specific topic today and that is Kindle Unlimited aka KDP Select. As a reader, if you are subscribed to Kindle Unlimited you can reach any books enrolled in that program for FREE (well with your monthly subscription). For book lovers, this is a HUGE benefit. For an author to have their books in this program, they have to enroll in KDP Select. Why they have two different names, no one knows, but it just is the way it is. Also, as an author, you have to sign off that your book is not available as an eBook ANYWHERE else.
This definitely limits the reach of your book (con) but you are part of this service that gets you in front of book lovers (pro) and you get paid for every page of your book that is read (pro!). So if you wrote a great book, a real page-turner, you will make more money in this program than someone who wrote a dud. That’s fair. However, the amount that is paid out per page is small. (con).
Many people who talk about using self-publishing as a side hustle or a way to make a lot of money are referring to publishing book and enrolling them in this service. If you think about, someone who writes a 9 book romance series and gets a reader hooked from book one can make a lot. But, those books aren’t available to readers who have a Nook or use iBooks, or Google Books, or any other service. So that author might be an Amazon success, but if Amazon goes away, or if they continue to decrease the revenue per page read (which they have) this overnight success could vanish.
When I published my first book in 2015, I knew that Amazon had an exclusive service and that I needed to be careful to not opt into it. I didn’t use KDP Select for my first two books at all. I immediately put them out with Amazon and used Smashwords to get them on several other platforms right away.
When I published my third book in 2017, I figured that I should give KDP Select a try. I enrolled in the program and set a reminder for 90 days exactly. The enrollment period for Kindle Select is only ever 90 days at a time, so you can opt-out of the program and publish wide after you unselect this option and the time period expires. I did see a fair amount of pages read within the first 90 days. I had solid book sales for the digital and paperback version and overall the third book was a much bigger success than the first two. So I kept the book in KDP Select for a year and a half. After the launch and the publicity for the book died down, I would notice that someone would read through the book once or twice a month. So it wasn’t nothing, but it certainly wasn’t enough to justify keeping the book in the program for that long. I also cut back on marketing because I had a full time job and had two clients who I was trying to help with their books, so I definitely could have been promoting the Kindle Unlimited option a bit more.
So that is my take on KDP Select. If you are an author who has had a lot of success with KDP Select, because I know that many of you have, please feel free to add your perspective in the comments. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to publishing. Genre and personal preference play a role in making this decision.

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Have a great day and now you can get back to writing your book!

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