Are you a budding author seeking the perfect platform to launch your book into the world? You’ve probably heard about Amazon’s KDP Select program, but the big question remains: is KDP Select worth it? In this article, we’ll dive deep into the pros and cons of KDP Select to help you make an informed decision about whether this program aligns with your publishing goals.


In the vast landscape of self-publishing, Amazon’s KDP Select stands out as an intriguing option. This program offers authors a chance to gain exposure, earn higher royalties, and tap into promotional opportunities. However, it also comes with a catch—exclusivity. Let’s break down the factors to consider when evaluating if KDP Select is worth it for you.

Understanding KDP Select

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what KDP Select entails. KDP Select is a program that gives Amazon exclusive distribution rights to your eBook for 90 days. This means you can’t sell your eBook through other platforms during this period. In return, you’re granted access to certain promotional tools and potentially higher royalties.

Benefits of KDP Select

Increased Royalties

When considering whether KDP Select is worth it, the potential for increased royalties is a major selling point. With the rise of digital reading and subscription services, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) offer a unique way for authors to earn money. As readers engage with your book, your share of the global fund increases. This can be a game-changer, especially if your book gains popularity.

The beauty of KDP Select’s increased royalties is that they’re directly tied to reader engagement. This means the more people read your book, the more you earn. Unlike traditional publishing models where royalties are fixed, KDP Select allows your earnings to grow organically with your book’s success. So, if your story has the potential to captivate a wide audience, the increased royalties through KDP Select could definitely make it worth your while.

Promotional Opportunities

One of the undeniable benefits that can make KDP Select worth it is the array of promotional opportunities it offers. As an author, it’s not enough to just write a great book; you need to get it in front of your target audience. KDP Select helps you achieve this through tools like Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotions.

Imagine this: your book, prominently displayed on Amazon’s website, catching the eye of readers who might not have stumbled upon it otherwise. That’s the power of KDP Select’s promotional features. The program gives you the chance to create buzz around your book, potentially leading to a surge in downloads and purchases. If you’re looking to make a splash in the competitive eBook market, these promotional tools could be the boost your book needs.

Drawbacks of KDP Select

Exclusivity Requirement

While KDP Select might seem like a promising avenue for self-published authors, one of its main drawbacks is the exclusivity requirement. This means that for the duration of your enrollment in the program (typically 90 days at a time), you’re agreeing not to distribute your eBook through any other platform. This exclusivity can be a double-edged sword.

On one hand, it can provide a sense of focus by channeling your efforts into Amazon’s ecosystem. On the other hand, it limits your reach and potential income from other platforms. So, the decision of whether KDP Select is worth it greatly depends on your goals. If you were planning a multi-platform approach to maximize your book’s exposure, the exclusivity requirement might be a hurdle.

Unpredictable Royalties

Another factor to consider when evaluating the worth of KDP Select is the unpredictability of royalties. While the potential for increased royalties is a notable advantage, the actual earnings can be a bit unpredictable. Your royalties are tied to how much readers engage with your book, measured in pages read.

This means that even if you have a fantastic book, if readers don’t engage with it as much as you hope, your earnings might not match your expectations. It’s like a rollercoaster ride of uncertainty, where one month you might see a surge in earnings, and the next it could dip unexpectedly. If you’re someone who prefers a more stable income model, the unpredictable nature of KDP Select’s royalties might give you pause.

Limited Marketing Control

While KDP Select offers promotional tools to boost your book’s visibility within Amazon’s platform, it does come with a trade-off: limited marketing control outside of Amazon. If you had dreams of an expansive cross-platform marketing strategy, KDP Select’s limitations might not align with your vision.

The promotional tools are designed to draw readers within Amazon’s ecosystem, which can be fantastic if your primary focus is on Amazon. However, if you were hoping to leverage other platforms or social media channels, you might find yourself with less flexibility. It’s like navigating a ship within a specific channel rather than sailing freely across the open sea of marketing possibilities.

Comparing KDP Select with Other Platforms