Publishing your novel with Amazon and KDP Select

This post is the forty-eighth in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.

During this series, I have covered writing, editing, and formatting your novel for publishing as an e-book. And while I have briefly covered your publishing options, I thought I would take these next three posts to delve a little more into your three biggest options for publishing your e-book.

Of course, I should start with the largest e-book retailer out there – Amazon.

Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon’s platform for self-publishers. Here you can find all sorts of help on formatting, uploading and marketing your book through Amazon. And with just a click, you can be selling your book in the UK, Japan, Italy and over nine other countries.

You have the choice of either 35% or 70% royalties based on the selling price of your novel.

They also offer a program called KDP Select, which means you exclusively allow Amazon to publish your book. That means it won’t be on Barnes & Noble, I-Tunes or anywhere else. Some authors don’t like the idea of limiting their book to only one retailer, but then again, it is the largest e-book retailer out there so that may not be a bad thing.

Here are some pros and cons of KDP Select.

Pros

As I said your book is available from the largest e-book retailer, and it is also available to Amazon Kindle readers who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited (a program that for $9.99/month allows readers access to over a million titles.) You earn royalties on the number of pages read.

There are several book promotions that you can do with KDP Select, including offering your book for free or as part of a Kindle Countdown Deal, where you can lower the price but keep a higher royalty rate.

You can’t opt out of KDP Select after 90 days, or it will automatically renew for another 90 days. Each set of 90 days allows you to do one promotion – either free days or Kindle Countdown Deals. (More on these promotions and my results with them in the coming weeks.)

You also receive higher royalties on sales to Brazil, Japan, India and Mexico.

Your book participates in the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library program, which allows Prime members to ready one book free each month. Again, you are paid for the pages read.

Cons

The biggest con is cannot publish or offer your book for sale with any other retailer.

You cannot even offer more than 10% of our book’s content anywhere, even your own website.

Readers who typically use other retailers other than Amazon will not be able to purchase your book without having a Kindle app or Kindle for the PC.

You are at the whim of Amazon regarding any changes they make to the program or rules.

All your eggs are in one basket for a minimum of three months. (Remember you must opt out, or it will automatically keep renewing.)

Conclusion

Whether it is worth it to enroll in KDP Select, it depends on the author and situation. New titles might do well in the program. It is simple and an easy option. But if you want more control over promotions and selling price, then KDP Select may not be for you.

Remember you can publish on Amazon and NOT be in KDP. I will say that for all of my books, I have enrolled them for 90 days in KDP Select. Afterwards, I typically pull them out of the program and publish through Smashwords (which will be covered next week). The only exception is my last novel which I left in KDP Select for three rounds because I enjoyed the royalties from Kindle Unlimited.

Previous topics

#1 – Deciding to write a novel – Writing Myths

#2 – Three areas to develop before starting to write a novel

#3 – Finding a Story Idea and How to Know if it “good enough”

#4 – Developing Characters for your Novel

#5 – Major characters? Minor Characters? Where does everyone fit in?

#6 – Developing the Setting for your Novel

#7 – The importance of developing conflict in your novel plot

#8 – To Outline or not to outline 

#9 – The importance of a story arc

#10 – The importance of tension and pace

#11 – Prologue and opening scenes

#12 – Beginning and ending scenes in a novel

#13 – The importance of dialogue…and a few tips on how to write it

#14 – Using Internal Dialogue in your novel

#15 – More dialogue tips and help with dialogue tags

#16 – Knowing and incorporating back story into your novel

#17 – Hinting at what is to come with foreshadowing

#18 – Tips for writing different scenes in your novel

#19 – Dealing with Writer’s Block

#20 – Killing a Character in your Novel

#21 – Keeping things realistic in your novel

#22 – Establishing Writing Goals and Developing Good Writing Habits

#23 – Using the five senses and passive voice in your novel

#24 – The benefit of research in fiction writing

#25 – Novella or Novel, Trilogy or Series – decisions for writers

#26 – Avoiding Plot and Character Clichés

#27 – Novel Writing – Endings and Epilogues

#28 – Fantasy Novel Writing – World Building, Dragons, Magic and More

#29 – Finishing your First Draft

#30 – Your Second Draft and Beyond

#31 – Picking Stronger Words and Watching out for Homonyms

#32 – Omitting unnecessary words in your novel

#33 – Beta Reader, Proofreaders and Copy Editors

#34 – Knowing your grammar or at least using a grammar checking program

#35 – Using a Revision Outline during your Novel Editing

#36 – Editing Techniques: Taking a Break and Reading Aloud

#37 – Publishing Options for your book

#38 – Self-publishing an ebook decisions

#39 – Picking Your Book Title and Your Pen Name

#40 – Investing in an eye-catching book cover

#41 – Writing an awesome book blurb

#42 – Deciding on Front Matter for your novel

#43 – Deciding on Back Matter for your novel

#44 – Formatting your eBook for publication

#45 – Pricing your e-book

#46 – Selecting Categories and Keywords to improve your Novel’s visibility

#47 – Book Promotions: Cover Reveal and Pre-Orders

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