Amazon KDP Select Dips Its Hands In Authors’ Pockets

is KDP Select picking authors pocketsAmazon introduces pay-per-click advertising as a benefit of KDP Select exclusivity.

But, is paying a benefit?

Over the years, I have gone from being a KDP Select lover to a devout cynic.

From the outset, KDP Select has been about promising marketing opportunities for self-published authors, yet with each addition to the KDP Select armoury of tools, the cost for authors increases.

At first, it offered ‘5 Free Give Away Days’, which initially had some success for authors, but at the cost of giving away one’s work. Then came the rest. Kindle Countdown, which reduced the price of an ebook, and Price Match, which again reduced the price.

A killer blow came with the introduction of Kindle Unlimited, an ebook subscription service.

There is no need for me to go into the damage this has done to author earnings at the time, as a quick Google Search will find hundreds of blog posts about the loss of ebook sales and royalty revenue author’s suffered upon its introduction.

However, there has been some rectification by KDPS since KU V2, which now pays per page read and will hopefully turn out to offer a better return for authors.

If this trail wasn’t evidence of the fact that KDP Select has slowly eroded author earnings, the most recent addition to the KDP Select set of author marketing tools certainly confirms in my mind that Amazon is turning their demand for exclusivity into a prison of ever diminishing returns.

Amazon Kindle now offers KDP Select enrolled authors and publishers ‘Pay-per-Click’ advertising. While this may sound like good news, once one reads the fine print, it becomes less than appealing.

Firstly, there is a frightening $100.00 minimum budget, but this does not mean that it needs to be spent. Confusing?

Then there is the auction model of gaining clicks, which will ensure only the highest paying bidders win decent placement of their ads. In addition to this, payment is made per click, and there is no connection at all to actually making an ebook sale.

Lastly, the cost per click can be very expensive when tallied against the return on one ebook. For a $2.99 ebook, a click, without any guarantee of a sale could cost anywhere between $0.50 and $2.00.

For the price, Twitter and Facebook offer much better value and have a very low minimum budget, and they don’t demand any exclusivity!

Yes, I may be a little biased in my opinion, and I am open to being proved wrong, but I really do think that KDP Select is becoming less about selling ebooks, and more about taking money from self-published authors’ already lean pockets.


More reading: Are Your Amazon Books Merged On Your Book Sales Page?


Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

2 thoughts on “Amazon KDP Select Dips Its Hands In Authors’ Pockets

  • February 9, 2015 at 10:35 am

    There’s no doubt that Kindle-unlimited-for-authors is a disaster for longer novels priced 2.99 and more. It is possible to make more if you are writing short stories though. For the first time since 2012 I’ve used Select – for a short story I would feel guilty if I charged 99 cents for since it’s just 12 pages of ‘story’. I’m quite happy to see it free on Kindle Unlimited. If readers just read the first page that’s 10% and I get $1.40.
    Of course I’d like to think they will read the full story, in about 10 minutes, and at the end they’ll find links to my other books.
    The jury is still out but after 1 day it was in the top 20 of ‘time travel’.

    • February 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Great idea, John! Give only a little to gain more. I think I’ll try your approach.


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