Does Amazon Reward You For Joining KDPS?

Do Amazon Reward You For Joining KDP Select?

Have you given exclusivity to Amazon KDP Select, only to see sales go down?

I have used Amazon KDP Select many times over the years, and one thing that is becoming clear to me is that there is clearly a very rewarding carrot offered for joining, in the way of favourable treatment by Amazon’s algorithms, but that it can be short lived.

If it happened once or twice, I would be doubtful, but after enrolling my ebooks in KDPS in April of this year, I am now starting to see the same trend that I have seen many, many times before.

After a short honeymoon period, Amazon’s KDPS algorithms stop treating you as if they love you, and all of a sudden, you are just one of the pack again.

I’ll share my Amazon author ranking chart with you for the last twelve months, and I’m sure you will be able to tell exactly when I re-enrolled in KDPS, after having my ebooks available on multiple retailers for a year.

What happens when you join Amazon KDPS?

So now, after five months of being favoured, the little orange line on the right tells the story. Amazon doesn’t seem to love me anymore, and without favourable treatment from their algorithms, my rank is heading south.

As has happened so many times before, I finally give up on KDPS after six months and go back to listing on multiple retailers through Smashwords. It’s a silly game, really.

But it does prove to me that you can get a very big sales boost on Amazon Kindle, by enrolling in KDP Select. To have to rinse and repeat, by un-enrolling and re-enrolling every six months or so to get preferential treatment is all a bit stupid though.

But then again, we are talking about algorithms here, which are not human, and are only programmed to react to certain hard data events.

Newly enrolled? Ok, give ’em a nice carrot!

Un-enrolled? Hit them with a stick.

But stay with Amazon KDP Select, and like all love affairs, the initial excitement fades quite quickly.

It’s a difficult relationship, isn’t it?

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

4 thoughts on “Does Amazon Reward You For Joining KDPS?

  • I’m wondering how long you have to pull your books out of KDP Select before re-submitting. Are you actually uploading with the other retailers in the between time? I’m not currently using Select but am feeling the crack of Amazon’s whip for not going exclusive with any of my books. Would love to be a little better informed before I get in too deep. :)

    Reply
    • I don’t think there is any set period of time, Christa. Of course, you have to keep your book enrolled for 90 days in KDPS, but I don’t believe there is a problem in re-enrolling at any time, so long as the book is exclusively available on Amazon. However, to gain any benefit from using other retailers, I think it would need to be at least three to six months to allow time to gain some traction with other retailers such as Apple and B&N.

      When I have withdrawn any of my ebooks from KDPS, I usually do not return them for up to a year.

      Reply
  • I’m no statistician, but here are a few quick observations. 1) Your book sales (according to your rank) are not high enough to really pull out a trend. If you’re below 100k, that means you’re not even selling 1 book per day. That means a single, finicky reader could throw your rank by a large margin.

    2) September has been brutal to my sales/KENPC too, and to a lesser but still noticeable extent my ranking. Remember your readers are going back to school, or their kids are, or they’re no longer on summer vacation reading on the beach. You’re not selling a textbook, right? September sucks if you’re not selling textbooks.

    3) That little orange line is really small. Alone, it doesn’t look like a trend.

    I know the feeling you’re feeling. I’d suggest limiting how often you check your sales/reads/rank and focus on what you like about this business: writing! That’s what I do to stay sane and not start looking for nonexistent trends on my author page.

    Reply

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