Sunday, August 21, 2016

KDP Select - Yes Or No?

As I'm beginning to look towards the actual release of my first book, I have a number of things to consider, one of which is the platform.  I will have a few hardcover/paperback books, but I'm sure most of my sales will come through ebooks.  Although there are a number of platforms out there, the one most seem to be in love with is Kindle Direct Publishing Select.  The real question to ask regarding this particular platform is whether the benefits outweigh the limitations.

Amazon accounts for roughly 70% of the ebook market.  Since most of my ebook sales are likely to come through that platform, it only makes sense to use it as much as possible.  However, there's something of a tiered system to publishing through Kindle.  You can publish the regular way and be buried near the bottom, hoping against hope that enough people already know about you that they'll find your work and pump up its exposure; or you can use the KDP Select program and take advantage of better algorithms to gain greater exposure and use more favorable marketing techniques - like the free download option(5 days every 90 days) and be part of the Kindle Lending Library.

Unfortunately, like with most things, there's always a catch, and with KDP Select it's exclusivity.  That's right - by using KDP Select you agree to use them exclusively and forego other ebook platforms like Nook, CreateSpace, and Smashwords.  In other words, you make a business decision about whether or not the features of KDP Select are worth not using these other avenues.  I gotta admit that that's a tough decision.

Obviously you want to get your product out to as many people as possible, but the real question is which one of those ways will get you there.  Common sense would seem to suggest that you want to spread to as many platforms as possible in order to reach the widest audience.  However, given that Amazon accounts for nearly three-quarters of the sales of ebooks, there's a balance since KDP Select can gain you greater exposure on Amazon.  If you bury yourself on Amazon and no one knows who you are or that you have a book out, does it really do you any good to get out onto other platforms?

I haven't yet made a decision, although I'm leaning towards KDP Select.  As a new author, the advantages of exposure seem greater than wider dissemination.  It appears that moving to additional platforms and having my work not as easily found on Amazon is something I can afford to do once I've sold more books and more people would be inclined to seek me out.  Does anybody else have any thoughts on this dilemma?

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