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Why I’m Dropping out of Amazon KDP Select

I’m delighted to announce that my debut novel, INVASION OF PRIVACY, is now available on all major eBook retailers!

Like most indie authors, I was seduced by the benefits of exclusivity with Amazon KDP Select. But, after two 90-day periods, I’ve decided the benefits aren’t enough for me to continue with exclusivity:

  • The ability to run a 5-day Countdown promotion (while retaining 70% royalties) was a major attraction and was one I took advantage of at the end of December, resulting in a major boost in sales and rankings. But it required lots of paid book promotion to be effective and I’ve decided that I’d rather have the ability to run promotions whenever I want, rather than once each 90-day period of exclusivity. I’m willing to accept 30% royalty rates as the price for this freedom.
  • Inclusion in Kindle Unlimited is a major inducement for most authors. This makes your book available for free to subscribers who pay a monthly fee to download up to ten books at a time. Authors receive payment for the borrow a month later. However, because my novel is a shade short of 500 pages, it’s not the best profile for Unlimited where readers typically favour shorter novels or novellas. As such, I only had sporadic borrows. I can live without these and will hopefully replace them with sales from the other eBook retailer platforms.
  • Just recently, Amazon introduced the ability to pay for advertisements to members of KDP Select. I tried this out in my final three weeks and achieved 13 clicks from over 12,000 impressions, resulting in a total of (insert huge drum roll………..) zero sales directly from the adverts! I can live without this or may return to using Facebook advertising.

After 180 days of exclusivity with Amazon, I have decided it’s now time to make the novel available to the widest readership possible. I know Amazon’s dominance means that it will continue to make up the lions share of my book sales, but there are lots of readers who aren’t on Amazon, and I want to reach them too.

More than anything, it just feels like the right thing to do!

Click here for links to all the various retailers.

Am I crazy? Do you believe the benefits of exclusivity with Amazon outweigh the benefits of being available everywhere? Or have I made the right call? 

5 Responses to Why I’m Dropping out of Amazon KDP Select

  1. nickripp says:

    Best of luck with the new outlets

  2. You have made exactly the right call, I’d say, and I am due to follow you out of KDP on 28th February. KDP has not worked for me, so I feel I’m restricting availability of my Balvaig Trilogy for no advantage whatsoever.

  3. Jake Jackson says:

    Hard to argue with the logic of this. You tried it, measured it and moved on!

  4. That’s me out of KDP select too; won’t know for a while if it makes much difference, but I haven’t experienced any benefits at all from KDP select, so nothing to lose!

  5. KDP Select really favors certain types of books – usually short fiction that is priced quite low and can be written in a month or so. These are books that usually appeal to quantity rather than quality, or with nonfiction are used to promote ancillary products for sale, such as consulting, business prospects, etc.

    I opted out of KOLL and KU because I write rather long historical novels. I found that KOLL and KU were cannibalizing my sales; instead of a $9.99 sale I was getting a $1+ lending royalty. I can’t survive on such low royalties. It’s like expecting print authors to rely solely on library purchases. But I never get many sales from other distributors, including iBooks and B&N and Smashwords, so I don’t mind Amazon exclusivity. I don’t know the percentage shares but I suspect up to 90% of ebooks are sold through Amazon.

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