The success of self-publishing has meant that lots of new writers have jumped into publishing so it’s time for a quick look at ways you can benefit from Amazon’s KDP Select.
Firstly however, let’s look at a pitfall: expecting things in self-publishing to stay the same. Spoiler alert: they won’t.
In self-publishing, change is constant
Change is constant in self-publishing, but the fundamentals don’t change. This means that the more you educate yourself in self-publishing, the better.
Here’s an example. Over the past few days I’ve received lots of questions because Pronoun.com is closing. It’s the latest “peripheral” self-publishing website to close down. (By peripheral, I mean websites which offer author services.)
Authors are freaking out, and it’s not necessary. Sadly Pronoun’s demise was predictable, because as far as I know, it had no discernible business model.
We talked about a mini SWOT analysis in this post on novel-writing hacks. The more your income depends on something, the more alert you need to be to threats to that income. Nothing stays the same. Once your self-publishing income becomes something on which you rely, please do a SWOT, regularly. (And avoid websites which don’t have a way of making money.)
OK, now let’s look at some tips to help you to thrive with KDP Select.
1. Be choosy about enrolling your novel or nonfiction ebook in KDP Select
If you’re not au courant, KDP Select is an Amazon Kindle publishing program in which you give Amazon an exclusive on an ebook. You’re paid by Amazon for each page a reader reads. The payments vary, a fraction of a cent per page, but as you might imagine, when you multiply your pages by the numbers of readers who read your books for free, the KENPC mounts up.
When you publish a Kindle ebook, you’re given the option to enroll in KDP Select, so when should you enroll?
You have options…
- If you decide to go all-in. I know many authors who are all-in with Select. Their ebooks are free to Kindle Unlimited (KU) readers, and their KENPC each month is in the millions. They make a healthy income.
- Your first novel. Look on it as a loss-leader.
- The first novel in a series, again, look on it as a loss leader.
- Novels and nonfiction books which stop selling — this can happen after a month, six months or a year. Enroll in Select, and you may make the ebook sufficiently visible that you kickstart sales.
2. Short stories are a no-brainer for KDP Select: they’re popular with KU readers
Enroll your short stories in KDP Select. Don’t forget to include an excerpt from one of your novels at the end of the story; the story acts as a taster for the novel.
A tip: please don’t go overboard with this, and stuff a dozen excerpts into a short story file. It may seem like a clever way to get your “pages read” count higher, but you never know when Amazon will decide to crack down. Put your readers first, as Amazon does.
3. Use your “free” days judiciously
You enroll your ebooks into Select for a 90-day period. During that 90 days, you may offer an ebook “free” for five days. These may be consecutive days, or you can split them. Your free days don’t roll over from one Select enrollment to the next — use them or lose them. 🙂
Many authors choose to promote their books on their free days in hopes of getting lots of downloads which will help them to improve a book’s sales rank.
You can promote your ebook on low-cost websites, or you can promote on Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) or Facebook.
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