Pros and Cons of Enrolling In the Kindle Select Program
Kindle Direct Program and Self-Publishing Your Book
Having an e-book is the new norm for self-publishers.
The Kindle Select Program, offered for self-published books, is something you will have to consider carefully for your soon to be published book, but you will have to consider what your future readers will read with, and in this case, the Kindle Direct Publishing program. It has a lot of potential value to a writer.
What are the pros and cons of the Kindle Select Program?
Answering this question will go a long way to earning you money, and this should be done only after using a professional editor (someone who not only goes over your content, but shows you how to improve your writing.) Then you go and find a self-publishing company, such as CreateSpace or Lighting Source. There are many out there, so don't be scared to ask as many questions as you need.
It is the format that you will have to consider, for example, if you self-publish you can decide to only publish your book in a paperback format or expand to the e-book format. This particular format has become more popular as e-readership grows. E-readers won't go away, although the popularity has tapered off. One of the e-book readers out there is the Kindle and they have a company which self-publishers can use called the Kindle Direct Program.
This program is meant for independent publishers to submit their e-books to. Kindle also has a program which you can enroll your newly uploaded e-book to. On the surface, Kindle Select this is a great choice for many writers, but it isn't for everyone, and this is true for many niche writers.
The Basics of the Kindle Select Program
Why should you use the kindle select program?
Before you consider joining the Kindle Select Program there is one thing they make clear: while you are enrolled in this program, your income and revenue sources are limited to Kindle. The idea of the Select program is that you will only have your book on the amazon websites which sell Kindle e-books. You cannot put your e-book on any other place.
This also includes your websites and blogs. You cannot direct people to your e-book through your blog, but this does not mean you cannot promote your paperback books on your blogs or websites. The one you are not allowed to promote is the Kindle edition, some will argue you can but this is an area when the TOS do state you can have 5 days of promotion on amazon for free, where people can download your book at no cost, and you don't earn any income.
You are allowed-- if you do not re-enroll-- to begin to market your e-book anywhere you choose after the 90 day contract is over. This is something to note if you believe your market is a niche market. You might not be able to get readers to simply find and buy your e-book. You also are a part of the Kindle Unlimited Program, and this has caused controversy with pages read.
The other thing about this is that if Kindle Direct publishing does find out that you have placed links or promoted from your website, or any place really your royalties will be deducted based on how long your promoted your book. This is a very big thing to think about, and it is reasonably simple for them to check since you give them information about you when you apply for the Kindle Direct Program.
My own book: In Search of The Lost Ones was, as a published e-book, enrolled in the Kindle Select program to begin with. What I didn't consider was the impact of this program on my ability to sell both book formats which I had published in. The paperback is still selling well, but the Kindle edition, even priced at $2.99 in the US is slowing beginning to see some sales. (UPDATE: as of June 2015, the e-book price is 99 cents is is selling better due to the newly published book.)
The other thing to note is that while the Kindle select program allows you to market your newly published paperback book, and that allows you to link, it also means you cannot link to your Kindle edition on amazon, so people will have to take another step in clicking the Amazon.com, or Amazon.co.uk or any other link to go and buy it.
A Pro and Con: Publishing Your E-Book At a Low Price
If you do self-publish with Kindle and its self-publishing program, you will have to decide what proce to set. It is very easy to get lost in the "it's worth the price-- I wrote it." After doing your research know what the best price is.
When I began writing I thought that I should price my book and e-book close to the same price. For some, this is a good strategy, however I am a new author, and my book is self-published, which means that there are already a few things that people "look down on." However, I did create several business plans that seemed to have helped in this process. I also used the book Aiming At Amazon for some advice.
While my e-book is priced at $2.99 on the amazon.com website and on the amazon.co.uk and the many other amazon websites, the low price is both a benefit and a challenge. For one thing as a first time author the price is reasonably low, on the other hand the book- at least the kindle version is only now slowly getting noticed.
The benefit to having a price low is that once you get people buying it, they will be more willing to tell others about this newly published book. However, my personal niche market is an older generation who are more likely to buy a paperback.
With this fact in mind, the paperbacks are selling well, but the Kindle editions, even after the low price, are slowly moving with a sale of about one Kindle per week. This level of slaes means that while I will have a bestseller on my hands it does mean that people are now beginning to find my Kindle edition.
If It's Harder to Market there why Enroll?
I am not suggesting that there isn't a time when you should not enroll in this program, but if you know in advance that you will have to work with an expanded market, who if you can't promote to will not buy your books, then you are in a bind. You need to let people know about this market even if it is on social networking sites.
It is great to be published, but it's harder when after you are in a program that doesn't let you promote to your audience, then you have a bit more of a challenge.
There is however a means to market on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de and all the other Amazon site which have Kindle on them. You can allow your book to be promoted for free, for up to five days on the Amazon websites.
This little push is good, but this is also something that can affect your earnings- you simply do not make a penny when you promote your book during that time period. This is both a pro and a con, as a free book will get some epople downloading it, but this does not mean a large push in sales after the end of the promotion.
Some publishers decide to spred the promotion days out over the ninety days, and I did that. By doing that, I found that a one day promotion where my book was "sold" free meant that for the next few days I had sales afterwards.
This is at first glance not the best of all deals, but the key to this is planning. I looked around the Kindle forums to get suggestions as to how to proceed with the five day free book promotion. Most did suggest the breaking of five days over the ninety days. Some suggested that the last free book promotion should be about a week before the ninety days are up.
I think, that they had a point, I did my five days, and my last one was about a month before my ninety days ended. From there people did have to find my book. Again fortunately I was able to promote my paperback version and I did that on my blogs. So, by doing this I kept the sales from falling too badly.
Of Amazon and Sales
Do not misunderstand- in my mind having several choices in terms of promotion is a good thing. I believe that you need to have many different formats out for your readers. Simply publishing a book in paperback or as an e-book is not a great idea.
At least is was not for me based upon the marketing and business plan. I was able to come up with a basic idea how to get people to come to Amazon to see my book, but then it was getting people to buy my book.
It is reasonably easy to get paid by the Kindle Select Program-- if you have a bank account based in the countries where you Kindle book is selling. Otherwise be prepared to wait a while. (To have a cheque sent you will need to sell over $100 US or $100 Euros or 100 Pounds) Sales and making money with your writing should be something you think about. For most people, at least those who are new to either writing or self-publishing, they think big sales.
Amazon, however, thinks in terms of individual sales. They have a sales rank on your books, and in general the lower the number the better the sales. This is something anyone who has a book should think about, marketing it so that your book increase its sales.
With Kindle Select, this is a bit different, what most new writers will rely upon is the five day free book promotion to get some sales. This is harder to get, but it is also something that will give you Amazon sales. (And an amazon sales rank for free books.)
Through all of this it is also important to note that you cannot sell your e-book anywhere else other than on Kindle. So, if you want to get your book on iPads or Nooks or Kobos or Sony e-readers you will have to think about the 90 days contract long and hard. While it will help with yoru Amazon sales (because your e-book is only on Kindle and nowhere else) it also doesn't give others the chance to read on any other device for those 90 days.
A Short List of the Pros and Cons.
Pro: You have an e-book published online on Amzon.com, Amazon.co.uk and several other countries.
Con: You can't promote it anywhere else for 90 Days.
Pro: This teaches you a lot about how you promote your book, and other upcoming titles of yours.
Con: If you have a niches market this might not be the way to go if you want sales at a good pace in the first 90 days.
Pro: You e-book is on Amazon, and people can purchase it directly from there.
Con: It can't be anywhere else. This includes your blog, websites and all other types of e-readers.
Again publishing a book is something that all writers should do, and it is something that you have to consider what you're goal is: making money, selling a specific number of books, writing more books, improving your writing. The Kindle Select Program is a means to get your book out there.
It is also something that you should not enter in lightly. But when your sales do come, it is like music to your ears. Happy publishing.