Is KDP Select worth?
I used KDP Select when I first released Second Sight: The Decay thinking that would help me grow my audience with all these neat things Amazon will give me to push it.
Will it push my book higher in the algorithm? Nope!
Will Kindle Unlimited help me get more readers? Nope!
Will KDP Select help me get more reviews? Nope!
Will it help me do anything worthwhile? Maybe… nevermind. Nope!
Kindle Unlimited is socialism for authors.
They take the amount of money people pay them to read “free” books and you get a cut of it.
The royalty is based on how many page turns you get. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Socialism and Kindle Unlimited sound great in theory. Everyone gets a slice of the big pie. Problem is… if you don’t have a big audience then your slice will be a single penny if that.
Kindle Unlimited is so saturated with people just like you who are scared to go wide that even if you got a ton of page turns, you still would never make the money you would have on a single sale.
If you took a 300-page book, and one person read it all with Kindle Unlimited. You’d get $1. That’s right. One Dollar! Unless your book is already 0.99-1.99 right now (which it never should be unless you are doing a promotional blitz via book bub or others) you won’t return on investment.
Free Books Are Worth Every Cent!
Let’s face facts. Free stuff sounds great. It is great. I love getting things for free but do you really appreciate those things you got for free? People will get 100s of free books at a time then read none of them. The same thing goes for 99c or lower price points.
Free and 99c are only good for one thing. Promotional runs with bookbub, freebooksy, or ENT. Your book should never be free or 99c unless it’s a book that’s only worth 99c. Like a 50 page short story. That’s the only time it makes sense.
As they say “you get what you pay for” and if a book is free people aren’t expecting much and probably will not read it.
We like to hoard free stuff. If you go somewhere that has for example free DVD’s. You would take a bunch. Why? BECAUSE IT’S FREE! Then you put those DVD’s in a box and take them home maybe watch one or two of them and forget they are there.
So in summary Kindle Unlimited is pointless, because if you already have a big audience why aren’t you selling the book instead of giving it away for literally nothing. You could make the book 100% free if you wanted after you went wide and price matched it to another retailer. There is no reason to buy into the Kindle Unlimited hype.
Now, what else do you get? Countdown deals.
You can run promotions that take your book from 99c to full price over the matter of days offering an incentive for people to buy it while it’s “on sale.”
What’s stopping you from dropping it to 99c, sharing it on social media—which you would have to do anyway as Amazon will not push your countdown deal—and letting it go 99c for a week, then the next week push it up yourself. You could still reap rewards from it being full price everywhere else but it’ll be an Amazon exclusive sale. You don’t need KDP select to run discount periods. So that’s useless.
The last thing they give you is “Free days.” That means you can run a promo of the book for 100% free for 5 days out of the 90 you are under contract with them in the hopes someone will get it. Look… I already told you why FREE is a bad idea. If you are dead set on making it free, do a price match you can leave it up there for free as long as you want.
What should you be doing then?
That’s up to you but here’s what I think would be a lot more beneficial. Instead of working on making that book popular and worrying about all that nonsense on trying to get 1 sale, write your next book. Keep writing. You will have more books out there. Then one day you can save up money and run book promotions with book bub, bargain booksy, and all the others. That way you can build a fanbase and see real returns on investment instead of toiling away with “strategies” that don’t work.
I know it’s harsh. I love Amazon. I use it to buy so much stuff, including books and I am happy to give them the $119 a year for Prime. I really hate to shit on them for anything but KDP Select is just one of those things that I find useless.
Then why does it exist? Because it gives people who fear going wide an extra reason to not go wide with their book.