Publishing Tips

Is Kindle Select Worth it for New Authors

Before I published two months ago, one of my biggest questions was: Is it worth it for a new author to sign up for KDP Select? It’s also a question I couldn’t find an answer to on the internet. There were arguments both for an against the program, but in all cases it was established authors or authors who had previously been enrolled. That left it up to me to decide for myself.

I saw both pros and cons to the idea of being exclusive to Amazon. The biggest pro was having my book eligible for Kindle Unlimited. I liked the idea that Darkness Falling would be free to anyone who was enrolled in the program, but I’d be paid for pages read. This is a big deal because as a new author it gives people the chance to read without having to risk anything but their time. If they read three pages and hate it, then I haven’t asked them to make a big contribution.

On the other hand, I’m a person of low means when it come to income. It would be nice to make some money on my book, and although the amount you get per pages read is something like half a cent, it’s better than nothing.

Of course, two months later only five-hundred pages have been read for free and all of them were on the same day: November 27th. According to the book’s page on Amazon for the digital version, it is 257 pages long. I’ve learned that if you borrow a book from Kindle Unlimited and then go offline with your Kindle, it won’t count the pages as you reconnect. Approximately two weeks prior to the 27th someone did borrow the book and read one page. That solitary page vanished on the 27th, which I assume means it belongs to the 500 page dump that appears on my graph. I’m guessing this was one borrower who read the book twice, or loaned it to someone.

Granted, I don’t have a large advertising budget. I don’t expect to loan out many books, just as I know my sales numbers have been small in comparison to those who have money for advertising. Despite that, I’m still really surprised that actual sales are 80% higher than borrowed books. I thought it would be the other way around.

This made me curious about borrowing. How many people really enroll in Kindle Unlimited? I decided to run a Twitter Poll to find out. I received exactly one response.

At this point I have one month left of being enrolled in KDP select. It does offer a few other pros, such as being able to have a free giveaway day. On Black Friday I gave away 30 books, which is a big number for me. My goal is to have my book read by as many people as possible, and that free day was a big boost.

The biggest con I have to staying enrolled is I know there are people who hate Amazon, which  means my book isn’t available to them in any format. I’d like to be able to reach those people, too.

I’d run another poll to ask my followers which platform they use to read, but right now I don’t think I’d get any data from it. If my borrowed books do not increase in the next month, and if my next free day doesn’t go as well as my first one, I most likely will be offering Book One on more platforms in February.

Thank you for reading. If you’ve had any advice on this matter, please feel free to leave a comment.


7 thoughts on “Is Kindle Select Worth it for New Authors”

  1. Like you, I’ve heard pros and cons on both sides. I’d say for where you are it’s fifty-fifty on which way is better. But mind you, I’ve put my play on KDP select and had nothing. Then again, I haven’t advertised it almost at all, and it’s a play, so it’s in a bit of an odd place. If it’s working for you, keep going. Two extra reads is better than none.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting. I’m just curious if I would get more reads from other platforms than I would from Kindle Unlimited. I might try it for a month to find out, then switch back if it doesn’t work. At this point it’s all about learning.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Keep in mind I have never self published a book before, I just talk about doing so a lot, so my advice plus a dollar will get you a cup of coffee.

    The strategy I have in mind is to go with KDP select in the beginning and then after I have a few books up on there, start branching out by putting a book or two on the other platforms and see how it goes.

    KDP does sound like it gives the best bang for the buck for newcomers but then when keeping in mind that success as a self publisher is a long term, multi year process, the end goal will be to strive to become successful on all platforms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your input. I agree that’s why I decided on it to begin with. I’m just curious if it was the right choice or not due to the low number of borrows I’ve had versus actual purchases.


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