KDP Select and you
As an indie author the self-publishing process can seem like a long and daunting road, from the moment you finish writing your manuscript you are faced with countless choices on how to bring this masterpiece to the public. Selecting editors, proof-readers, formatting, book cover design, advertising and of course, a printer or print on demand service, it can seem endless.
Being one of the industry leaders, KDP is a very popular choice with self-publishing authors looking to utilize the publishing wing of Amazon for their own book. And being part of Amazon, it does give you a large reach to wide range of readers in multiple countries.
If you have decided to use KDP for your book, then you will have noticed an option they offer with KDP select. So, what is KDP select and is it work signing up for?
Okay, KDP Select is a program where you opt to sell the digital edition of your book exclusively via KDP for a 90-day participation period, this means that your eBook cannot be sold anywhere else (that even includes selling it on your own website or blog), you can see the full terms for the fine details.
After this 90-day period you can choose to auto-renew or leave the program, what’s great is that your printed version of the book can still be sold via KDP and can also be sold via any other distributor while enrolled in KDP select, again, KDP select is just for your digital version of the book.
So, why would you enroll in KDP select?
Well, the first benefit is it makes the book available through Kindle Unlimited, this being a subscription program allowing users to read as many books as they like (and of course, your eBook will still be available to buy as normal). It also makes the eBook available to borrow to many international readers.
This can help in the ranking of your book, and you can also earn royalties from Kindle Unlimited, these royalties are paid on a per page read basis, so the more of your book that gets read, the more you can earn.
Earn 70% royalties on eBooks sold to readers within certain countries.
The program is also free to join and gives you great promotional tools to sell more books, promos such as countdown deals, free book promotions and Amazon’s literary contest.
These come out of KDP’s select global fund each month, this is based on multiple factors which include exchange rates, customer reading behavior, and subscription pricing. Author’s earnings are then calculated by their share of total pages read (up to 3,000 pages per title).
The example KDP uses is of a total fund of $10 million for a month with 100 million pages actually read, if this were the case, then:
An author’s eBook with 100 pages which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1000, calculated as follows: 10 million (KDP total fund) x 10,000 (total pages read for this author) ÷ 100 million (total pages read via KDP select)
However, and author’s eBook which had 200 pages and was only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000, again, they base payments on pages read. You can see their in-depth details on royalties here.
How do they calculate pages read of your eBook?
They use a system called KENPC (Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count), this calculates a count using standard formatting settings for font, line height and line spacing etc. non-text elements such as images, charts, graphs illustrations will also go towards page count. The system has been created to work across all devices and user settings upon those devices, all geared towards giving a more accurate count for each book and author.
So, is it worth joining?
If you are only selling your eBook via Amazon, then yes, however, if you are planning to sell the eBook via multiple other websites (including your own) then KDP select may not be for you.
KDP Select does offer some great promotional tools and benefits (along with having your book on a platform with a massive reach with Kindle Unlimited), it is certainly worth considering, even if you only use it for the 90 days.
The Alliance of Independent Authors describes the self-publishing industry as “a beautiful, bubbling, chaos, typified by abundance and diversity, driven by authors [...] from all sorts of backgrounds and approaches, bringing together the most forward-thinking creative minds in an environment where they can freely create.” Although most self-publishing platforms don’t release data on their book sales, the numbers are likely higher than we know because this method of publication enables authors to reach more readers than traditional publishing allows.
One interesting market that has thrived in self-publishing is horror fiction, with sub-genres like supernatural, post-apocalyptic, slashers, and the vampire/werewolf/zombie niches. Self-publishing works well for horror writers because they have the freedom to publish work which may not find a home in traditional presses. Although horror is a highly versatile genre with dedicated fan bases, it’s found to be difficult to sell. Self-publishing opens doors for horror writers to get their ideas out into the world. Here are three tips if you’re thinking about self-publishing horror fiction:
Learn from the masters of horror literature
First, writers working within a genre should be intimately familiar with its best storytelling techniques. It helps to read beyond horror novels themselves, as there is plenty of good advice available from leading authors. Case in point, On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King offers not only perspectives from the life of a bestselling horror writer, but also examines crucial aspects of the art of writing — including tips on plot, character development, work habits, and rejection. By looking at the experiences of people who came before you, you can avoid similar pitfalls.
You should look into different formats of horror as well, like comics and movies; for instance, films like Get Out and Midsommar have raised interest for the genre by examining relevant social themes. In the self-publishing industry, you have a broad allowance for original ideas, so it helps to cultivate a deep understanding of what has been overdone and what else you can possibly do. Once you’ve polished your draft to perfection, you’re ready for the next step.
Choose the right self-publishing platform
When it comes to horror, self-publishing is the fastest way to get your story to a wide audience. Of course, this involves significant investment on your part; not only will you have to write a good book, but you will also need to pay for editing and cover art design.
Research how the self-publishing industry works, because factors like royalties and publishing dates may differ. The Book Business: What Everyone Needs to Know could be a good reference to start with, as it can answer key questions you may have on publishing. You should also look into the self-publishing platforms available. Although there aren’t any prominent platforms for horror specifically, many writers turn to Kindle Direct Publishing by Amazon, which publishes your e-books immediately, in exchange for a commission from your sales.
Promote your work across channels
The last step in self-publishing is to promote your work across channels. Publicity is just one of the many tasks you have to manage, and you’ll need to work hard to stand out. Before, online message boards and a website were the only tools; now, social media has expanded your options. There are plenty of Facebook groups and Reddit threads dedicated to horror fans, although you can try TikTok if you want to reach younger readers. The goal is to actively engage with readers and market your work through these forums.
Before you get into the bulk of your promotions, it’s best to ensure you have good promotional materials. As we discussed in our post called How to Promote Your Book in 2022, you need to have consistent branding across channels. High quality images of your amazing cover, plus professional-looking banners and ads that will catch readers’ attention.
JD&J can help you with this aspect of publicity. Since 2013, we have supported indie writers with well-crafted designs so they can have the same advantage as best-selling authors do. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
Specially written for JD&J.com
By: Rebecca Juliana
Book cover designers.
All information within this website (including its blog) is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. JD&J Design LLC does not make any warranties about the reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information in this website is strictly at your own risk. JD&J Design LLC is not liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of this site and information.