Why KDP Select Didn’t Work For Me

The EndBack in September of 2014, I went Amazon exclusive through KDP Select, which I’ve talked about a few times before. The reason I tried it was due to the incredible things I’d heard from Select authors on how many people were using KDP Unlimited (Amazon’s book subscription service).

While it may work well for them, for me it was a disaster. And the reason is related to my strategy before then.

Up until I went into KDP Select, I had five books out. Three of them were in my Bytarend series, the first of which was free. The free book got a hundred or so downloads a day, which led to a handful of sales per day.

It also led to the review scores for the book plummeting, but I’ve been trying not to think about that. So when I went KDP Select, the first book couldn’t be free anymore. It had to be 99 cents. And the amount of people willing to try an unknown author for 99 cents is much lower than the number willing to try something free. Approximately one third of a percent.

Which meant that even if that tiny percentage liked the first book, they were still less than the number who would move on to the next book.

On top of that massive loss in sales, I also received emails from readers saying that they could no longer get my books in their favourite stores. Which left me a little angry at myself for not thinking it all through. The last thing I ever want to do is annoy a reader, since they’re why I write the books in the first place.

So, for me personally, at the moment, it was a silly decision to go KDP Select both financially, creatively (lack of control) and for readers too. That’s not to say it can’t work for other people. Particularly people who write differently to me. Writing short stories, out of series or other non-novel based works might do well.


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