KDP Select is a new program allowing authors of Kindle e-books to earn money by allowing their titles to be lent out to American (only) Amazon Prime customers.
Authors do not have to be USA-based themselves. “Prime customers” are allowed to borrow one Kindle e-book free of charge per month under the KDP Select program.
However, authors don’t get any royalties from this program – as their books are loaned out free – but Amazon has set aside a substantial fund (an estimated $6 million during 2012), which is shared out every month according to how many times each e-book has been borrowed. With low-cost e-books your earnings per loan are almost certain to be higher than your royalties per sale. During the last two or three months it hoovered around $1.60 and $ 1.70 – even for books that were priced at $0.99.
Terri Reid, author of several paranormal mystery books, earned over eight times more money from paid sales of her KDP Select books compared to the month before she joined KDP Select. She also earned $8,000 from the KDP Select fund in January. “KDP Select has added a wonderful boost to my sales – many new readers have written to me mentioning they have borrowed my first or second book and then purchased the rest of the books in the series,” said Reid. “I’ve also found that the ability to offer my books for free has brought my sales to a whole new level. I highly recommend the KDP Select program.” Other authors are not so happy about their figures.
The KDP Select program has been the cause of much discussion among Kindle authors, with some contending it offers a poor deal for authors. This is largely because, if you want to take part, you are barred from selling your e-book digitally through any other outlet during the (minimum) 90-day period your title is available through the program.
It’s estimated that 27,000 titles were registered in the first 24 hours. When Amazon launched the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library it contained around 5,000 books. There are now over 100,000 Kindle titles available on Prime.
David Gaughran wrote: “Aside from being listed in the Lending Library, and having those borrows positively affect Sales Rank – which leads to increased visibility on the various Bestseller Lists, coming off a successful free run can massively affect your position on the Popularity Lists, often putting you on the first page or two overall . As a lot of Amazon customers believe that the Popularity List is the Bestseller List, this can be a huge driver of sales.”
Don’t forget: Whenever a book is free (to “buy”) on Amazon, often other titles by the same author see a spike in sales.
Read more about the KDP Select Program: