Time to Leave KDP Select?

KU DashboardI think my love affair with KDP Select—where you sell your ebook exclusively on Amazon and they give you some benefits—has come to an end. Some of the benefits (like getting 70% royalties in markets where nobody buys my books) have never done me any good, but there were two things that did work for me:

  1. They keep you at the full 70% royalty when you put your book on sale, instead of dropping you to 35%.
  2. They let people borrow your book in Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, and pay you per page read.

The dollar value of the first one hasn’t actually been that big for me. Getting twice the royalty on something you are selling for only a buck still isn’t much of a royalty. Getting full royalties on sales has netted me a whopping $17 extra in the last year.

The KU thing has done a little better for me. As of today, 16% of my revenue has come from KU. But as you can see from that chart I started with, that seems to have ended. I didn’t earn a single dime from KU in October.

So I think it’s time to leave KDP Select.

My commitment to Amazon ends mid-November, so that’s when it will become official. At that point, I’ll use Smashwords to get the e-book version of Entropy distributed far and wide. (Duality will have to wait until January for its exclusive contract to expire.) Getting into more stores certainly can’t be a bad thing, and perhaps doing so will let me get that BookBub promo they keep rejecting at least partly because I’m in KDP Select.

In other news, I’ve started putting my poetry onto Wattpad, as I suggested I might in a previous post. They are all poems that I’ve previously published here, but this blog has gotten unwieldy and I’m betting most of you didn’t even know there were poems here. So I’m taking the best ones and putting them over on Wattpad, so they are easier to find.


6 thoughts on “Time to Leave KDP Select?

  1. Joshua, there was some glitch in Amazon’s system (or something else problematic due to changes it made??, can’t remember right now what) exactly it was during October that resulted in many KU authors not getting paid. So don’t blame your poor October numbers on the program – might be this. I’m hoping it’s all getting ironed out. But not sure. Can’t even remember where I read this…but I know I did. However, I keep reading about how Wattpad is the future of publishing so I’d keep moving head-on into that! I am with one of my books, as soon as its KDP Select enrollment is up end of December. All the best.

    • I read all about that glitch. The theory is that when they rolled out “Page Flip,” the payment would reflect one page read instead of the whole book. (Because when you are in Page Flip mode, it only counts the first page read, but you can read in that mode very easily and some people do.) However, that’s not what is happening with my reads, because I’m getting zero (not one) page reads. My overall sales are pretty slow now, too, since Entropy’s been out for 14 months and Duality for 6 months. So I think it’s just a reflection of that. 16% of a number approaching zero is going to be zero.

  2. My KU borrows took a plunge in October as well and I haven’t figured out the cause. I feel somewhat better knowing I wasn’t the only one. KU had been extremely good to me up until this point I do have to wonder if there is something else going on. Maybe it is the algorithm?

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