Another “snap” post, prompted by Other People’s Blogs. (Yes, that is what I call them; I do track the time I spend on those as part of my professional work day.)
But the title tickles me… I think it will become an (ir)regular feature here – as I gather things of particular interest during the week, I’ll build up a post.
Anyway, this “tidbit” is today’s article by Amanda Green over on Mad Genius Club – KDP Select or Not?, where Amanda lays out all of the reasons for a writer to consider enrolling in the Amazon KDP Select program. Read, absorb, think about it. Amazon is the 800 pound gorilla out there. At some point in your career, you will have to deal with them. Comments too – as usual, many other writers chime in with their thoughts and experiences.
Now, for myself, going into KDP Select was a no-brainer. I’m just publishing the Sybly Whyte short stories at this time – and exploring the Amazon environment along the way. I can make a couple of bucks (literally, so far) while doing so. Sybly Whyte is teaching me things – about formatting for Kindle (yep, couple of mistakes so far, nothing egregious, but I’m happy they weren’t on a the first novel). About getting WordPress to cooperate for composing effective marketing posts (had some trouble over the weekend, now thankfully past). Giving me time to set up decent sales tracking spreadsheets (still some work to do there, but I at least know the problems).
The biggest consideration, though, is that I’m hitting the biggest market first, and the easiest one to change – when (and if) it looks like a good idea to branch out into several marketing channels, the most I have to wait before injecting a book into other channels is ninety days. Amazon doesn’t have a barbed harpoon stuck into me, keeping me tethered forevermore to their platform. (Actually, right now, I don’t think they care – from everything I see from other writers, they know that no matter what you do, they are still going to get the lion’s share, by far, of your sales.)
So, my reasons. Your Mileage Will Almost Certainly Vary. Read Amanda’s piece and decide for yourself.
Oh, I do have a bit of “extension” for Amanda’s post – getting at the “KENP page count” for something you have put into the lending system (either KOLL or KULL, see Amanda’s explanation if you don’t know yet what those Amazon programs are). I’m a stickler for precise user manuals…
To find out what your KENP count is:
1) First wait for your book to go completely “live” – a lot of things are done by Amazon after the book is made available for purchase. Right priority here, IMHO – get it on the virtual shelves first, then figure out the fiddly paperwork for the back end.
2) Once it is live, go to your Bookshelf. Way over to the right of your book, you’ll see a label Book Actions:, below that a button Promote and advertise, and then a button with an ellipsis (…) to the right of that. Hover over that button – clicking all day won’t do a blessed thing… Click the link for “KDP Select Info.”
3a) Now, you’ll get a popup. One of two possibles. If you’re within 48 hours of enrolling the book in KDP Select (and you have not done a free promotion), you can change your mind and withdraw from the program. Note that you will still be published on Amazon, just not enrolled in KDP Select.
3b) Once you’re not able to withdraw your book (for the next 90 days), the popup will ask you whether you want to automatically re-enroll at the end of the 90 day term. The box is checked by default – uncheck it if you are just doing Select as a trial or promotional period. (I leave it checked for all of the Tales By The Road pieces.)
4) Close the popup – if you aren’t changing things, just click the Cancel button. Now you are into your “control panel” for KDP Select. I’m not going over everything you can do here (right now; expect a future post as I learn about them). For your KENP count, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, to the section labeled Earn royalties from the KDP Select Global Fund.
5) At the bottom of this section, you’ll see your page count. Note: this is where the “fiddly paperwork” may not be done yet – you may see a notice like mine on The Simple Man and The Lass that the Start Reading Location hasn’t been set yet. If you have this, plan to check back again in a few days to get the final page count – the one that Amazon will using.