Amazon KDP Select Works, Like It Or Not

KDP Select

Amazon KDP Select has its lovers and haters, but…

Amazon KDP Select is probably the most discussed issue in self-publishing and has been for quite some time now.

While I am among those who dislike the necessity of having to grant Amazon exclusivity to my ebook distribution, I have to admit that it does work.

A little background first on my experience with Amazon KDP Select.

I have been in an out of KDP Select quite a few times over the years like many self-published authors have I suppose.

Each and every time I have enrolled, my ebook sales have increased.

Each and every time I have un-enrolled, my ebook sales have fallen. This is to be absolutely expected. Normal.

But what is not expected is that when I look at my ebook sales from other retailers and platforms, not one of them can provide the sales volume of Amazon when my ebooks are in Amazon KDP Select.

They do not even come close. So when I have taken my ebooks out of Amazon KDP Select, I lose a LOT of ebook sales.

Why did I take my ebooks out again then? Being an Indie author, and granting exclusivity to one retailer just do not go together on an ideological basis.

But on a realistic, rational and let’s face it, money basis, Indie and exclusive to Amazon do have to coexist. Why?

Because of the screenshots below. After having my ebooks out of KDPS for six weeks, I returned a few of them over the last few days. Do I need to write a lot of words to describe what happened after you look at these images?

It’s not the Yellow Brick Road but look at the instantly rising orange line.

Amazon KDP Select Author Rank

Amazon KDP Select Besteller Ranking

Amazon KDP Select Mystery Author Rank

Amazon KDP Select Literary Fiction

More words needed? I didn’t think so.


More reading: How To Find Amazon Keywords For Kindle Ebooks And Books


Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

8 thoughts on “Amazon KDP Select Works, Like It Or Not

  • January 2, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Grammar police: should be :
    KDP Select has its lovers and haters, but
    You left out the S

  • December 20, 2017 at 10:21 am

    There’s a nail and its head Derek. As you say it works for some and not for others. I’m in a very similar position to you and KDP having no noticeable impact at all over routine sales.
    I’m coming to the conclusion that the only general rule that applies to all publishing is that no general rules apply to all publishing.
    If at first it doesn’t succeed, try, try, try again – and then try something else…


    • December 20, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Thanks for your comment, Howard. Yes, your are right. Try, try, and then try something else.

  • December 16, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    KDP Select does work very well for some people, but not for everyone. Being wide works better for me. I write spicy contemporary sports romance. It takes a while to build an audience when you are wide. Kobo and iTunes don’t snap to the second you get there. But once I gave it some time, I found my audience growing on Kobo, iTunes, and Google Play. But I write romance and that may be different than your genre. I also have quite a few foreign translations. Everyone’s experience is different. But every time I put a book in KDP Select, it goes nowhere. Maybe it’ll get one or two thousand page reads, but that’s it. KDP doesn’t work worth a damn for me. So I stay wide and do well. Different strokes, eh?

  • April 6, 2016 at 4:28 am

    I haven’t tried KDP Select yet, so I have a few questions: 1. Have you noticed any problems with updating data in the various ebook stores as your books enter/exit/re-enter? If you recall, that was one of the things contributing to the demise of Flipkart’s partnership with Smashwords. 2. Are any of your books part of a series? I wonder what the effect might be of putting only the first book of a series into KDP Select. 3. Have any of your books ever been “perma-free” in KDP before being assigned a price and entered into Select? TIA!

    • April 6, 2016 at 8:48 am

      A lot of questions, Audrey! But, here are my thoughts.

      1. No, I haven’t had any issues such as happened with Flipkart. It’s not an Amazon problem, but other retailers such as Smashwords, B&N, Apple and Kobo usually de-list ebooks within ten days.

      2. Yes, I have a couple of series and KDP Select definitely does help sales.

      3. I had a perma free ebook for a couple of years. It did ok, but nothing spectacular. However, it took a couple of months and messages to KDP to get it back as a paid ebook.


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.