KDP Select sucks

Amazon’s KDP Select sucks big time. Or; How the Amazon Grinch is stealing money from authors; the KDP Select Fund.

Amazon announced their KDP Select Fund and hoped to attract authors by suggesting financial rewards await them. BS.

Here’s what Amazon says: “Introducing KDP Select – a new option to make money and promote your book. When you make your book exclusive to Kindle for at least 90 days, it will be part of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for the same period and you will earn your share of a monthly fund when readers borrow your books from the library. You will also be able to promote your book as free for up to 5 days during these 90 days.”

So you can’t sell your book anywhere but Amazon for at least 90 days? How is that helping authors???

KDP Select helps Amazon strangle income for authors. Here it is from Amazon “2.3 KDP Select Fund. We will establish a fund on a monthly basis and you will earn a share of that fund for each of your Digital Books included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Program. Your share will be calculated as the number of times that the Digital Book has been borrowed during the month as a percentage of the number of times all KDP Digital Books have been borrowed, multiplied by the fund amount we establish for that month. This share is your total Royalty for borrows of that Digital Book through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Program. For example, if the fund for a particular month is $500,000, your Digital Book is borrowed 1,500 times, and all participating Digital Books are cumulatively borrowed 100,000 times, your Digital Book will earn $7,500 ($500,000 x 1,500/100,000 = $7,500). We will determine in our sole discretion the criteria for determining which borrowing events qualify for this calculation. A maximum of one borrowing per customer will qualify. We may publically announce the top Digital Books borrowed, including the author, publisher, number of borrows and KDP Select fund royalties earned.”

Oh boy!! $7,500!!! What author couldn’t use that money.

Oh, wait. There is a catch. What if only 100 of 100,000’s or millions of participating digital books sell 1,500 copies like you? Well, in that case you’ve already gone over the 100,00 mark and start to diminish your income.

Let’s say there are 1,000 authors who sell 1,500 copies. That’s 1,500,000.

Using Amazon formula 500,000x 1,500/1,500,000 = $500.

And that’s if only 1,000 of the 10,000’s or 100,000’s authors on Amazon sold books.

God help you if 10 authors sell 10,000 books in that period. You’d be lucky to earn anywhere near the 35% or 75% royalty you would have earned from Amazon by staying out of the Select group.

Plus you’ve lost any current and probably future sales on other retailers like Apple, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Sony, Kobo, and other retailers. Don’t be a sucker. Don’t Select.

But that’s not all.

From KDP Terms and Conditions: “1 Exclusivity. When you include a Digital Book in KDP Select, you give us the exclusive right to sell and distribute your Digital Book in digital format while your book is in KDP Select. During this period of exclusivity, you cannot sell or distribute, or give anyone else the right to sell or distribute, your Digital Book (or content that is reasonably likely to compete commercially with your Digital Book, diminish its value, or be confused with it), in digital format in any territory where you have rights.”

What impact does this legalese have upon websites or social networking sites an author uses to promote their own works? They can’t promote their own work by giving out free bits of their work! They can’t publish any part of their book anywhere except Amazon! Anytime I see legalese like ‘confused with’ or ‘diminish’ I get a headache. And so should any author.

KDP Select is a huge benefit for Amazon. It does nothing for authors. Don’t join.

I started self-publishing years ago on my own. I switched to Smashwords because of their many advantages. I’m not joining KDP Select. It sucks.

Read the KDP Terms and Conditions here. Have a box of aspirins ready.

Join the Smashwords Forum for free and meet other indie authors.