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Joshua Edward Smith | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksIn my last post, I mentioned alfageek’s blog, where Joshua, aka alfageek, generously shares his book marketing experience with his blog’s readers. Last week, he returned to KDP Select after experimenting with leaving for a while. As a number of you have asked me in the past what the benefits of KDP Select are, it occurred to me that Joshua’s experience is a perfect way of answering that question.

Why He Left

First of all, why did Joshua leave KDP Select in the first place? He cites the following reasons, all of which are perfectly valid:

  1. Being able to run $0.99 sales at a full 70% royalty resulted in negligible royalties.
  2. His Kindle Unlimited reads had dropped to zero in October 2016.
  3. One would expect that having the book on iBooks, Kobo, and B&N would bring new sales.
  4. He thought that BookBub might be more willing to feature him if he wasn’t exclusive to Amazon.

The Results

Amazon | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Image: dailyfinance.com

After almost three months, Joshua has decided to return to KDP Select. Here is why:

  • He has not had a single sale on any store other than Amazon. This, despite publishing in iBooks, Kobo, and B&N, and investing the significant amounts of time to do so.
  • Also, BookBub rejected him yet again, suggesting he uses instead BookBub Ads (you can see how that worked out here).
  • He also tried to crank up the list price of his print editions in order to distribute through stores other than Amazon. Sadly, that didn’t work either: he didn’t sell a single print copy through any store other than Amazon.

My Take

When I am asked why I choose KDP Select for my books, I usually respond with one word: laziness. Or, to put more politely, a chronic lack of time. Consider that I have now published some 15 titles. Publishing them on five different outlets (including Smashwords) would require creating 75 different files. Making even a minor change would mean spending at least a day updating everything. Therefore, the return would have to be pretty significant indeed for me to be willing to invest the necessary time.

From Joshua’s experience, I think I’ve made the right choice sticking with KDP Select, even if I’m truly sympathetic to services like Smashwords and would love for them to successfully compete with Amazon (a monopoly is always a dangerous thing).

You can read Joshua’s entire post on the alfageek blog.