The Pros And Cons Of Amazon KDP Select Exclusivity For New Authors

Amazon KDP Select Pros and Cons

What are the KDP Select pros and cons? Enrolling in Amazon KDP Select means you must grant exclusive selling rights to Amazon for your Kindle ebook version.

Before I start my Kindle Direct Publishing review (KDP), you need to know that you have two options.

You can use the standard Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and then optionally enroll in KDP Select.

Although only one word is different, it makes an enormous difference in how you can publish, promote, and sell your Kindle ebook.

What is the difference between KDP and KDP Select?

There are no restrictions when you publish a Kindle ebook or a print-on-demand paperback with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

You can sell your ebooks anywhere you like with other ebook retailers or from social media and your website.

Some call this open-publishing. It is the model most traditional publishing houses use. It allows you to market, promote, and sell your ebooks or books anywhere you wish.

You can use any book promotion tools you like, such as free ebooks, giveaways, or contest prizes for any version of your ebook.

You can self-publish your books on Amazon KDP and also independently publish with Draft2Digital, Smashwords, or any other self-publishing service. Then you can have your ebooks on sale with any other online ebook retailer.

With Amazon KDP, there are no restrictions on any versions of your book.

You are free to make your ebook available for sale on all Amazon Kindle stores, as well as any other ebook retailer such as Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, plus many more.

There are no restrictions on your list price other than KDP’s minimum ebook price of $0.99. But if you want to, you can offer your ebook for free, in part or in full, on any retailer or your website or blog.

If you enroll in Amazon KDP Select, there are several restrictions. There are many considerations you need to think about before you click one little tick box and enroll for 90 days when you publish your ebook from your KDP Bookshelf.

Before you do, you should consider the following self-publishing on Amazon pros and cons. Then you can decide which selection is best for you and your ebook sales.


Amazon KDP Select pros and cons to consider


Major Pros of KDP Select

KDP Select is not a publishing choice. It is a book promotion choice you can make.

Here are some of the benefits of the program.

A small potential increase in royalties because your book will be eligible for 70% royalty earnings on sales made to customers in Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Once you upload and publish your ebook and enroll your book in KDP Select, your book will be automatically available to Amazon Kindle readers who are subscribed to Kindle Unlimited (KU) in the US, UK, Germany, and France.

With your ebooks in Kindle Unlimited, you will earn royalties under the Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) program.

You will be paid royalties from the Select Global Fund based on the number of pages customers read.

But the royalty rate is usually lower than what you would receive for regular Kindle ebook sales to customers.

You can participate in Kindle Countdown Deals.

You can offer your ebook for free on Amazon stores for 5 days in each 90-day enrollment period.

This can help you with your book promotion.

You don’t have to be concerned with maintaining different versions of your manuscript for different publishing platforms because your ebook is exclusively available for sale on Amazon.

The enrollment period is for only 90 days.

So you can opt out very easily if you change your mind.


Major Cons of KDP Select

You cannot publish or offer your Kindle ebook title for sale with any other retailer or publishing service provider. Amazon demands a strict 100% exclusivity to your ebook title.

You cannot offer more than 10% of your ebook’s content anywhere. This even includes social media and your own website or blog.

You cannot offer your ebook for free in any form or on any other platform. You can only do it on Amazon stores during your 5 free ebook days. These are part of your 90 days Amazon KDP Select enrollment.

Readers and book buyers who use retailers other than Amazon will not be able to purchase your ebook.

You will be at the whim of any changes Amazon could make to the program or rules during your enrollment period.

If you are already open-published, you will have to completely remove your ebooks from sale from all other ebook retailers.

Removing your books listed on other ebook retailers can be a long and tedious process. Some retailers can be slow to act on an aggregator’s request to remove your ebooks.

Amazon KDP reviews other online retailers for new titles enrolled in Select. If it finds your title on another retailer, you will receive a strongly worded warning email.

If you have this problem, you will have to contact your aggregator or the ebook retailer direct to try to solve the problem as quickly as possible. Otherwise, your ebook could be removed from Select, or worse, your account could be suspended.

Your earnings from Kindle Unlimited will be from a monthly pot determined by Amazon.

You will have no control at all over the pricing and royalty return for your ebook on Kindle Unlimited (KU). But you will still receive 70% royalty for ebook sales.

Scammers are still rife on KU. As soon as Amazon closes one door, the scammers find another way to profit. At the same time, it can cast a shadow over reputable authors.

Sometimes, Amazon’s efforts to solve the problem of scammers have resulted in legitimate Amazon KDP Select authors being accidentally penalized. Or worse, having their titles removed or their KDP account suspended.

This was well reported when authors had their books removed from sale for putting their table of contents at the end of the book instead of at the front.

You have all your eggs in one basket and cannot exit for 3 months.

If you enroll in KDP Select, your enrollment will automatically renew for a further 90 days.

Be alert and uncheck the auto-renew tick box well before the next renewal date if you do not want to continue.


It’s your choice

If you understand the KDP Select pros and cons of self-publishing ebooks on Amazon, you can make an informed decision.

It’s a choice between exclusive or unrestricted to suit your ebook marketing plan.

For some authors, Amazon KDP Select with Kindle Unlimited is a good choice. It can work well for a new title. It also makes ebook marketing easier.

You only have one sales channel that you need to promote, and you can use Amazon keywords and categories to boost your sales chances.

Amazon has the largest ebook market share by a long-distance due in part to the popularity of the Kindle device.

If you want a simple way of self-publishing and selling your ebook title, KDP Select is a quick, easy, and effective way to do so. Many Kindle authors choose this option.

One other issue to understand, though, is that you cannot opt-out of Kindle Unlimited.

If you want to avoid a reduced royalty rate from KU subscription readers, then KDP Select is definitely not for you.

But be aware that Amazon is a huge company.

If you have a problem or need assistance, it can often take some time to get help. Working to solve issues with KDP support can sometimes be slow and frustrating.


Going wide

If you want your ebook to be available to potential readers on other retailers and in countries where Amazon Kindle does not have a store, you might want to think about open-publishing with Smashwords or Draft2Digital.

Another advantage of going wide is that you can experiment. Perhaps you would like to try a different cover design or change your book description on other retailers.

Also, you are in full control of your ebook promotion, promotional tools, and selling prices.

If you want control of your publishing, you need to consider the benefits of going wider with KDP and open publishing.

Every self-publishing author and small press has to make the decision to use KDP Select. It will be based on whether it will deliver a definite sales and earnings benefit.

For others, such as dedicated indie authors, publishing independence is a big issue. So granting exclusivity is a step too far.

If you are new to self-publishing, you should read the terms and conditions of KDP Select. Then do your research before deciding if KDP Select serves your publishing needs appropriately.

As long as you understand the KDP Select pros and cons, you can make the best choice for you and your publishing needs.


Related reading: Can You Opt Out Of KENP Kindle Unlimited With KDP Select?

84 thoughts on “The Pros And Cons Of Amazon KDP Select Exclusivity For New Authors”

  1. How to I cancel my KENP membership on Amazon. I want to remain enrolled in Kindle Select but no longer wish to be enrolled in KENP, as I believe it depresses my Kindle and hard-copy sales..

    1. You can’t cancel KENP while you are enrolled in KDP Select. The only way to exit Kindle Unlimited and KENP earnings is to cancel your enrollment in KDP Select.

  2. Hi Derek,
    I’m considering publishing my ebook with KDP but I have one question: Is there a way to opt out of Print-On-Demand feature? I have no interest in POD and only wish to publish the ebook as I already have a supply of books. In reading the terms of the agreement, Amazon states that I grant them the right to print my books on demand, which I won’t allow. If there is a way to only agree to the ebook version please let me know.

  3. I will soon be ready to publish my eBook. I have two questions at the moment:
    1: if I prepare my content in pdf format can I upload it to KDP? I prepare the content using Canva and then publish to pdf. [From what I have just read I have decided Not to use the Select version].

    2: Will using KDP allow me to add hyperlinks in my content?

    Thank you

      1. Thank you. One further issue:

        Can I use PowerPoint to supply the ebook content to KDP?

        I ask this because I am using Canva to develop the content and I have noticed that I can publish from Canva to PowerPoint. In fact I have tried it and it works and also allows me to add in my hyperlinks. I dont see where Canva allows me to publish to Word. I wouldn’t want to do this anyway because of the pictures, colours, and page enhancements that Canva allows me to use which I don’t think would translate very well in Word.

  4. I’m getting ready to publish a book, and have an audio version on my website of chapter 1. If I pick KDP Select, will this audio version of chapter 1 fall under the “no more than 10%” rule?

  5. Avatar for Noemia & Lane Poole
    Noemia & Lane Poole

    We are new to KDP. We just translated a book written by our pastor to Portuguese. It seems that most markets give 70% for eBooks, but Brazil only gives 35%. We are considering KDP Select to increase our royalty to 70% for Brazil. We have also published a paperback translation on KDP for the same book. Does enrollment in KDP Select place any restrictions on our paperback edition? Also, do you know if KDP publishes paperback books in Brazil?
    Noemia and Lane

    1. No, KDP Select does not affect print books. It’s only for ebooks.

      As for paperback sales to Brazil, I’m not sure. Perhaps you should contact KDP support and ask.

      1. Avatar for Noemia & Lane Poole
        Noemia & Lane Poole

        Hi Derek,
        Thank you for your response. This information is very helpful.
        Noemia and Lane

  6. In the sign up process; giving bank information, SS # a safe process?
    Should I have any concerns with giving them this. I understand it is for tax and deposit but skeptical of everything these days. This is my first attempt at this. Many questions. Thanks for your insight on the different KDP accounts

    1. Amazon needs your bank information to pay you for your book sales. So yes, it’s necessary. Amazon pays into my bank account every month and I have had no problems at all over many years.

  7. I have published three books with Amazon and the paperback versions were always available on ‘’ within 24-48 hours. However, with my most recent book, on the ‘’ website it is listed at “Temporarily out of Stock”. When I questioned Amazon, they first told me it normally takes 5-7 days to be available. Well, after 8 days of waiting, I queried again and was told that it would take 30 days. I was also told that they could not guarantee that my book would be available on their Global Store site.

    While on the ‘’ site, I noticed that many books are also listed as “Temporarily out of Stock” and wondered what is going on. I realize that your advice is targeted mainly toward KDP versus KDP Select, but wondered if you might happen to know what might be causing this delay in publication.

    I find that Amazon is quite helpful if you have issues with book formatting etc. but they have been quite unhelpful on this issue. I get the feeling they’ve changed their policy on foreign authors but don’t want to come right out and say it.

    Thank you so much in advance!

    1. I’m sorry Karen, but I can’t really help you with this issue. It sounds like a specific problem with ‘’ but I’m not familiar with how it works compared to the US site. I know there are differences in each region, and with Amazon UK in particular.
      All I can suggest is keep in touch with Amazon, and hopefully, it will get its act together for you.

  8. Thank you for this article. Amazon “suppressed” my ebook so I just cancelled the enrollment in KDP Select. It expires in a month. That means after the expiration date of the KDP Select period, then I can then sell my ebook on my website and with the same ISBN?

  9. Can I build a facebook page to promote my books if I am in KDP Select? I have paperback and ebook. I would like to provide the link to my Author page on Facebook. Is that acceptable under the terms of KDP Select. I would not be posting any content, just cover photos and links.

  10. Great information!
    You warned that you cannot opt out of Kindle Unlimited. Is that a part of Select only and what are the ramifications of not being able to opt out of Kindle Unlimited? Thank you!

  11. L.C.Metzner
    My historical work is complete. I wish to Open Publish on KDP. Would like to be contacted by KDP reps.
    Contact info : lonametzner at

    I’m self-publishing, not looking for a publisher. My historical work provides the reader the Prehistory of Planet Earth and the life lived upon it, the Ice Ages, the Upper and Lower Paleolithic eras, the Neolithic era, the Bronze and Iron Ages, the early civilization of Sumer (Iraq), Babylon, Egypt, and Chinese, Indian, African, Minoan and Mycenean civilization, and Meso-American civilization. It provides the world’s human beings with their Human History from the beginning of History and on into our modern era. My manuscript contains 2,390 pages, 1,119,000 words. And I’m too limited on space here to adequately describe this complete, comprehensive Human History. My fully proofread, fully edited manuscript is ready to
    be launched. (The early Greeks and Etruscans, the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire and all the Roman Emperors, the Egyptian Pharaohs, beginning with Menes (3150 – 3050 BC) and ending with the last Egyptian Pharaoh, Queen Cleopatra VII, who, along with Mark Antony committed suicide in 30 BC. The Fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, and the Fall of Byzantium (the Eastern Roman Empire) on Tuesday, May 29, 1453, when Ottoman Sultan Mehmet entered Constantinople and turned the main cathedral, St Sophia, into a Muslim mosque. I could go on, but I believe you get the idea……

  12. I published my ebook through KDP Select program. I know I fall under the 90 day restriction for my ebook.

    However, can I publish my book in Paperback with another publisher while enrolled in KDP Select?

    Thank you,

  13. so…question. First off, im thinking of publishing my crack fic on kindle. Reason why is I was contacted by someone at saying they enjoyed it and wanted to contract it. Thing is, i hear they can “suggest” what i write, hire someone else to write it for me if i dont comply, have the rights to sell the story anywhere they want, delay my pay up to 3 months, and if the contract is terminated i have to pay back all earnings i made during the contract. So not ideal. Which is why im here. Now, for my question, i want to know if i can put only a “first volume” on kindle? I read here that i cant sell or publish anywhere else while under contract, but what extent does that apply to? Does the exclusivity apply to the “story” or the “title”? And if only the latter, can i continue the latter volumes under different titles, therefore not having the entire story under the exclusivity deal? I want old readers to be able to continue the story for free as i write it, while after finishing a volume put it up on kindle and only have new readers pay if they want to.

    It’ll be essentially the same “series” but different “books.” So if i go with kindle does it mean they get exclusivity to the whole story or just whatever “book” i chose?

  14. Can i publish two or more e-books at a time on KDP select? If so, will my royalties be treated separately?

  15. I think this was slightly touched on already but I need clarification. I’ve had the WORSE time getting KDP to accept my paperback layout. Continually having to make changes to margins over and over. They accepted the ebook version right away. My question is, can I have my paperback version printed by a different publisher? If so, which one would you recommend? I no longer am interested in Amazon.

  16. Hello,
    I have a question and hope someone may help me. I am ready to upload a book written by myself on Amazon KDPS. I wonder if I have chosen to use KDP Select, may I also have the freedom to publish my book in form of paper if in case a publisher wold like to publish it in normal printed book? Am I only supposed to give the copyright of e-book to Amazon KDPS but not other copyrights?

    1. KDP Select does not affect your print book version. You are free to do as you wish. As for your ebook, you are only granting exclusive sales right to Amazon for 90 days. Amazon does not ask for any other rights to your book. When your 90 day period expires, you are free to re-enrol or leave the exclusivity. If you choose to leave, you are then free to do whatever you please with your ebook.

  17. Am I able to promote with select on my website that leads buyers to the amazon link?

  18. I am looking into KDP and went to their website and logged in using my Amazon account. I ended up at the agreement terms. As I read through it, it sounded like the Select terms described in this post. How do I know If I’m getting KDP or KDPS without getting tricked into Select?

    1. You won’t get tricked, Gordon. When you publish with KDP, there will be a very clear checkbox to enrol in KDP Select. Just don’t click the box that says, Enroll.

  19. ‘You cannot offer your book for free in any form or on any other platform.’ Just seeking a clarification with this one. I thought KDP Select authors were permitted to offer free copies of their ebooks in some circumstances such as for review purposes and as promo incentives. Perhaps I am wrong about that?

    1. Yes, you can send copies of your ebook direct to reviewers. But you can’t offer more than 10% of your ebook online. This would include promotions on your website or a book promotion site.

  20. Hi, I’m very new to all of this and opted for KDP Select while I learned the ropes. I’m not sorry about this as it gave me breathing space which I desperately needed. I have a very important question, once I opt out of KDP Select, will my book automatically be enrolled in KDP Direct?

  21. Can you publish a box set on Kindle Select even though the books included are published wide?

    1. I can’t say for sure, Vic. It used to work, but I haven’t tried for some time now.

      But in my case, I combined two novellas into one new book, so it is not quite the same as a boxed set.

  22. Relevant info, thanks! I wasn’t aware that KDP Select was an auto-renewal program. I must have agreed to it and forgotten. Now I’m stuck until June 16 before I can go to Draft2Digital, but that’s fine; the book needs a new cover anyway.

    BTW, great website. I love the look and ease of navigation.

  23. More reasons from DonM:
    1) I had people order books from AMZN in Jan 2019. They received books w/ covers from 2.2 yrs ago.
    2) I had people order books from AMZN in Jan 2019. They received AN OLD INTERIOR file.
    3) I had a significant deposit in Dec 2018. It STILL hasn’t appeared on my KDP account page, 40d later, and a several “where is the deposit” info please emails.
    4) Emails go unanswered for days at a time.

    I will say one nice thing -> depending on how you work through the “help” page, you can find a “call me” button. I did actually receive a phone call, talked to someone who sounded over seas, and when he could not answer my question he did route me to the state side support queue. I did end up talking to at least a knowledgable person in one of the Carolina’s (I asked her, she was cololcated w/ the print facility on the east coast).

  24. This is the worst of the worst. I have been using CreateSpace for ten years without a problem, and now that they have so called merged with KDP, it is a nightmare. I have tried for weeks to get several covers through their poor system, and still to no avail. When an earlier one went through, it was skewed terribly, and so was the interior pdf file. I have gone to Ingram Spark.

  25. Hi. I’d like to reiterate the question from Debra W.
    If I leave KDP Select after the 90 day period, are all book rights restored to me?
    Many thanks.

    1. You don’t lose your book rights to KDP Select, Liam. Only the right to sell your book anywhere other than Amazon. Once you are out of KDP Select, you are free to sell your book using other retailers.

  26. Reasons not to use KDP from personal experience:
    1) 60 day delay imposed on former CreateSpace authors who were migrated, while CS had a 30d royalty payment delay
    2) KDP has shipped my book with an old cover on multiple occasions via Amazon
    3) Authors cannot create a “branded cover” and sell the book themselves, books must be published through Amazon, which effectively eliminated this personal revenue stream
    4) KDP reporting has little to no granularity past a 90d threshold.

  27. So if we try “Select” for 3 months, and then leave, we retain all rights? Sounds like zero downside to giving it a try for a newbie like myself. Also, if we set up our manuscript for paperback printing is the Kindle e-book different formatting that I myself need to take care of?
    Thank you!

  28. I have gone wide with publishing my debut novel, after a year exclusively with Amazon. However, I am also writing a series in a different genre and am wondering about trying this exclusively with Amazon in the first instance whilst still leaving my first novel wide. Can I do this?

  29. The paperback my friend and I wrote has two authors. Is there an option to include both authors names on KDP?

  30. Since Kindle Select applies only to eBooks, how does Amazon know that a purchaser that downloads a book is from Mexico or any other country? My market is primarily Mexico for English speaking foreign nationals. The do not have an .mx email address

    1. Amazon tracks sales and downloads using geo-targeting. As there is an Amazon site for Mexico, it is very easy. If there is no Amazon site for a country, sales are recorded to Or in some cases, like in Europe, to the nearest site.

  31. Quite informative although this seems incorrect where you state. “so you will have no control at all over your pricing for your ebook on KU”

    Being in Kindle Unlimited for my Dragon’s Gap series I have found I have all the control I desire over the pricing of my books. I assume everyone on KU have the same freedom to change their books pricing as it suits them also.

    1. You can change your ebook price in KDP but that doesn’t control your KU royalty. That depends on how much Amazon allocates to the KU pot each month. But yes, your ebook price will show to KU readers, but that is not what they will pay to read your book.

  32. I have three books that I published with CreateSpace and they are selling in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon. First of all, I think that Amazon and CreateSpace treats their authors pretty well. I have no complaints. But regardless how one feels about Amazon, you can play with them, or starve trying to sell your books elsewhere, Amazon is the biggest outlet for selling books by far and away. I just enrolled in Kindle select and it has been going well. People are reading a lot of my pages. I will have to wait and see how much of the pot I get before I know how profitable it is, but getting people to read my books is the name of the game. I did not enroll right away when I first started publishing my books and held out for many of the reasons that the author has stated, but in the real world most of them were not keeping me from selling books. Anyway, ninety days is worth a try for me. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to how I was doing it before.

  33. Thank you for this article! Very helpful! KDP has some terms written upon signing up, but they were so vague and terse!

  34. Hi I have published my first book recently it’s doing fine so far but I wish to keep my book free on kindle how should go about it .
    Also can I publish my already published book through Amazon kindle ?

    1. No, you can’t keep your ebook free on Kindle. When you enrol in KDP Select, you can only offer your ebook for free for five days during each 90 day enrollment period. As for a previously published book, it can be published again on Amazon Kindle. But you must be sure that you have all the necessary rights to do so.

  35. Avatar for Ssemugoma Francisco
    Ssemugoma Francisco

    In cases where the author has no Bank Account, (e.g. When the author comes from a 3rd world country like Uganda in which the Banks therein are not approved) does KDP uses Western Union or Paypal as a means of payment to the author?

    1. Avatar for Ozellis Miller
      Ozellis Miller

      I have three books on amazon and I know there selling because I had people buy them right in front of me but still haven’t seen a single payment yet?
      To whom it may concern

      Ozellis Miller

    2. If you can’t give an acceptable bank account number, Amazon accrues your royalties until they reach $100 US (or equivalent) then they post you a check. By snail mail. Madness, but there you go. They haven’t yet taken to using Paypal like any intelligent international company would.

      1. Thanks a lot man for your pronto reply :), I have one more question though, the 90 days period you have mentioned, after that period can I change it back to normal KDP and then publish it on other platforms?

  36. Would you consider boycotting Amazon’s bookstore to save the publishing industry? I pose the question here because one more big “Con” that was not mentioned was the fact that giving Amazon exclusivity increases their power bringing them closer to monopoly. Indeed, as far as ebooks are concerned they are effectively a monopoly now.

  37. Can I offer my Amazon paperback book to my local library for patrons to BORROW if I am enrolled in Kindle Select?

  38. EXCELLENT guidance. As a newbie(2novels & looking at self pub), your article allowed me to conclude DO NOT DO Amazon select, yet–but rather find and proceed with a hired, self publishing expert. THANK YOU!

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