Almost all self-publishing authors use Amazon KDP Select, either regularly or periodically to take advantage of the extra promotional services Amazon offers in return for exclusivity.
While for some authors, they are happy to leave their ebooks permanently enrolled in Amazon KDP Select.
However, many authors like to get the best of both worlds and opt for a mix of open publishing and Select exclusivity. To do this, however, requires a little forward planning and attention to a few details that can cause problems.
Amazon applies its KDP Select exclusivity rules vigorously, so to avoid getting its nasty enforcement emails, switching an ebook from open publishing to Select needs to be carefully planned and implemented.
Slow acting ebook retailers when you want to enrol in Amazon KDP Select
By far, the biggest problem lies with other ebook retailers. If you have published your ebooks through Smashwords or Draft2Digital, delisting your ebook on either site does not necessarily mean that your ebook has been removed from sale.
This problem caused Smashwords to end its agreement with Flipkart, and from my recent experience, there is a similar problem now with Page Foundry.
In a previous post, I wrote about how pleased I was with the publishing options offered by Draft2Digital, and I still am. However, after a couple of months now, I have discovered repeated issues with publishing and delisting ebooks to Page Foundry, or Inktera, as it is also known.
After delisting two of my ebooks on Draft2Digital in readiness to enrol them into Amazon KDP Select, I waited a week or more, and while all the other retailers had removed my two ebooks, Page Foundry had not.
This causes a lot of problems, as until Page Foundry delists my ebooks, I cannot enter Amazon KDP Select, and in addition, my ebooks are not now available on Apple, B&N and Kobo. As Smashwords also distribute to Page Foundry, I would imagine that the same problem may exist there as well.
As I like to rotate my ebooks in and out of Amazon KDP Select through the year, this issue with Page Foundry causes a lot of problems.
Only use the fastest reacting retailers and forget the rest
The only ebook retailers that delist promptly are Apple and Kobo, while B&N takes a few days. These are also the only three retailers that regularly sell ebooks. In my case, most of my ebook sales apart from Amazon, come from Apple iBooks and B&N.
So the best solution for me in light of this Page Foundry issue is to delist all my titles from all other retailers, other than Apple, Kobo and B&N. It would be nice to distribute wider, but the lack of sales, on top of the hassles these small retailers can cause, is not worth all the problems.
If you are already open published through Smashwords or Draft2Digital and plan on using Amazon KDP Select in the near future, I would suggest delisting your ebooks from Page Foundry now, or at least well in advance.
It might also be a good time also to review the number of sales you are getting from other small retailers. If they haven’t been delivering any sales at all, is it really worth publishing with them?
This may seem harsh on these smaller retailers, but it is worth noting that if you un-publish an ebook on KDP, it happens immediately. So if Amazon can act promptly, there is no excuse for other retailers.
If you plan on using Amazon KDP Select, save yourself a lot of headaches by only publishing to ebook retailers that react to your needs in a timely manner.
More reading: The Pros And Cons Of Amazon KDP Select Exclusivity