Self-publishing can be a daunting endeavor, regardless of your level of experience. Amazon is a huge, trusted marketplace—and a powerful search engine—with global reach and a large footprint in publishing. Seems like a match made in heaven, right?

If you’re an author, chances are you are familiar with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Amazon’s publishing platform. If not, swing by there and take a look around. Considering Amazon’s reach, it makes perfect sense for any author to want their content available to such an enormous market.

Let’s take a quick look at what KDP offers.

The Benefits of KDP

We’ve already touched on the biggest benefit of utilizing KDP: access to Amazon’s worldwide customer base. Of course this doesn’t guarantee that your book will sell but, if you present a quality product with a solid description and hook, your chances go up exponentially.

Amazon also offers a free program called Kindle Create, designed to allow authors to format and preview their work in ebook form. This includes basic design tools as well as the ability to easily export your work into KDP. This can be a timesaver as well as an additional layer of quality control.

KDP also gives you the ability to create paperback versions of your works. Believe it or not (and, if you’re an author, I have no doubt you believe it) there are tons of readers out there who prefer physical copies of books. Yes, e-readers are a fantastic bit of technology, but nothing matches the feeling of opening up a new—or used—book.

The good news? Your ebook file from Kindle Create can also be uploaded to create a paperback. No separate editing, just upload the same file, create a cover, set your pricing, and you’re good to go. Your work is now available to millions of readers!

The Herman Ingram Series

What About KDP Select?

First, let’s go over what, exactly, KDP Select is.

The standard KDP program is non-exclusive, meaning your can sell your ebook through Amazon and any other platform(s) you like (Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo).

KDP Select, however, is an exclusive agreement between you and Amazon that states your book(s) can only be sold through Amazon for as long as your book is in the program.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

The Benefits of KDP Select

So, given the restrictive nature of this agreement, is it worth it?

That, unfortunately, is a tricky question. As I said earlier, there’s no guarantee of success. However, if you spend time putting out the best book possible and spend some time (and money) on marketing, KDP Select does have its benefits:

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So, Should I Do It?

Honestly, the best advice I can give is to try it, just make sure that any books you want to enroll aren’t available anywhere else first. There are many authors who make good money via Amazon and Amazon alone. Conversely, there are those who do well selling their books through many different channels. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, so give it a shot and see how you feel about it.

Another idea is to enroll one of your books and keep the others wide, though having a series available in KDP Select can prove to be lucrative. Like many things with self-publishing, it comes down to experimenting, trial and error, and tracking results.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Are you considering KDP Select? Do you already use it? How is it working for you?

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