Thursday, December 8, 2011

Amazon's New KDP Direct Program - New Opportunities for Self-Publishing Authors!

Amazon keeps moving forward in new ways to compete in the publishing market. While undoubtedly some of these new ideas will need re-working or will vanish, they do present interesting opportunities for authors who choose to self-publish their work.

Today I enrolled several of my books that are available in Kindle Editions in the newly announced KDP Select program. This opportunity means I have a chance to share in the $500,000 Amazon has set aside for this program (not that I expect to rake in huge royalty payments) and starting in January my books will be eligible to continue in the program and earn additional royalties.

What exactly does the program entail for authors who self-publish and the readers who choose to participate? Here is some of the information direct from the Amazon site promoting the new program to authors:
  • Reach a new audience - Distribute books through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and reach the growing number of US Amazon Prime members.
  • Earn a whole new source of royalties - Earn your share of $500,000 in December and at least $6 million throughout 2012 when readers borrow your books from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
  • Promote your book for free to readers worldwide - The newly launched Promotions Manager tool will allow you to directly control the promotion of free books.
  • Instant feedback - Check real-time performance of your books in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
I am particularly interested in the promotional aspect of this program for authors. Being able to launch a new Kindle book and make it available for FREE for five days is a great way promote a book and generate some sales rank positioning early in its life on Amazon.

Enrolling your titles in the program is easy and done from your Bookshelf in your KDP Member Dashboard page. It took me less than one minute to enroll the books I decided to make available in this program. You can just as easily cancel the enrollment of the book from the Bookshelf as you entered the title.

Just what is the Lending Program? Again, directly from the Amazon website describing the program, here is some basic information: 

What is the Kindle Owners' Lending Library?

The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is a collection of books that Amazon Prime members who own a kindle can borrow once a month, with no due dates. For more information, click here.

How is my share of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library fund calculated?

Your share of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library Fund is calculated based on a share of the total number of qualified borrows of all participating KDP titles. For example, if the monthly fund amount is $500,000 and the total qualified borrows of all participating KDP titles is 100,000 in December and if your book was borrowed 1,500 times, you will earn 1.5% (1,500/100,000 = 1.5%), or $7,500 in December.

If my books are distributed in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, can customer still buy it?

Yes, your books will still be available for anyone to buy in the Kindle Store, like they've always been, and you will continue to earn royalties from those sales like you do today.

What does it mean to publish exclusively on Kindle?

When you choose KDP Select for a book, you're committing to make the digital format of that book available exclusively through KDP. During the period of exclusivity, you cannot distribute your book digitally anywhere else, including on your website, blogs, etc. However, you can continue to distribute your book in physical format, or in any format other than digital. See the KDP Select Terms and Conditions for more information.

To learn more about this new opportunity, click here!