When authors make their books available via Amazon’s Kindle (or Cloud) Readers, they can sign up for the standard Amazon KDP program, but this is not the same as KDP Select. With standard Amazon distribution and sales of your book, an author is still allowed to sell their digital books via other distributors, such as Smashwords and Barnes and Noble. However, with the KDP Select Program, the author must allow Amazon exclusive digital distribution for 90 days. Baker stated that although she was familiar with the KDP Select program, and knew it was a good idea to join it, she hadn’t made up her mind to do it right away. With many new authors, the program causes hesitation, due to the restrictions about using other distributors to help promote and sell your book.
Thousands of authors love and use the KDP Select Program to help market their new titles. In spite of the program’s popularity among the independent publishing community, some authors have had little to no success with the program. This could easily be attributed to a number of factors, none of which have anything to do with the KDP program itself; however, there have been online grumblings about authors feeling as though their book titles were being held captive to the program.
Baker commented that she wanted to try and use every possible distribution outlet when she first launched “Experimenting With Murder”. Joining the KDP Select Program at that time would have prevented her from offering the book to the two other distributors she had in mind. Although Baker decided against joining the program in the beginning, she failed to obtain any book sales from the other distributors. After less than one month since the launching of “Experimenting With Murder”, Baker began to rethink her decision. She joined the KDP Select program on March 11, 2014 and suspects that not signing up earlier may have been a mistake.
According to Baker, “There are so many authors and new titles constantly being added to the industry, that it helps if an author has some kind of edge. With the power and prestige of the Amazon/Kindle brand behind them, the right author and title won’t have a need for the other distributors, at least not in the beginning.” Baker is glad, now that she has her title connected to the KDP Select program, although she qualifies her feelings by saying: “It wasn’t a decision that I wanted to make because I felt pressured to do it.”
In spite of what some authors may feel about their titles being held captive, Amazon/Kindle makes it very clear that this is not the case. Authors are encouraged to read the details of service, and they will see that they are free to withdraw from the KDP Select program whenever they chose.
Go here for more information on the Amazon KDP Select Program: https://kdp.amazon.com/