Amazon KDP Select Exclusivity Works – For A While

Amazon KDP Select Exclusivity

Enrolling your ebooks in Amazon Kindle KDP Select exclusivity can definitely increase sales

However, from my experience of having my ebooks in and out of KDP Select exclusivity many times, I have to say that the benefits only last so long.

While the first 90 day period always results in a sales boost, for each recurring 9o day enrolment period, sales and KENP page reads gradually fall away.

I have now had my all of my ebooks in KDP Select for three consecutive 90 day periods but I am in the process of removing my ebooks from KDP Select and moving back to open publishing over the next month.

The reason is exactly the same as my previous times I have enrolled my ebooks with Amazon KDP Select.

After about six months, sales gradually, and in some cases, rapidly fall away.

This time, however, I also noticed a dramatic decline in KENP page reads during the last three months of enrolment, as the graph below clearly shows.

KDP Select KENP page reads

While it is impossible to know the precise reasons why a decline has happened every time I have been in Amazon KDP Select, it is probably a logical assumption to say that it is due to Amazon’s algorithms, and its need as a retailer to promote fresh products.

I have to say, though, that re-enrolling after a break of six months or more seems to get some type of reward from Amazon, as sales always increase again in the first new enrolment period.

How does Amazon promote KDP Select ebooks?

Getting accurate data and information regarding how Amazon promotes KDP Select ebooks is impossible, so experience and anecdotal evidence is all I can bring to this topic.

But after five or six times in and out of Amazon KDP Select exclusivity, I can honestly say that I believe the benefits of KDP Select diminish towards the end of the second enrolment period and then decline further in the third.

As Amazon only asks for 90 days of exclusivity, perhaps this in itself explains the sales drop-off.

Amazon obviously needs to reward publishers for granting KDP Select exclusivity. Otherwise, there would be no point in the exercise.

So, perhaps Amazon is only prepared to reward for a certain amount of time, which would explain why the required exclusivity period is quite short, and why the consecutive second and third enrolments are less successful.

Whatever the reasons, I can only offer my conclusions on Amazon KDP Select from my own experience.

Firstly, yes KDP Select certainly does increase ebook sales. Plus, by gaining access to Kindle Unlimited readers via KDP Select, page reads should start to happen in the first 90 day period.

Secondly, there is still a flow-on benefit in a second consecutive 90 day period.

But lastly, leaving your ebooks permanently enrolled has limited benefit, as sales and page reads seem to slowly fade away. It would be better to consider returning to open publishing as it could be a better option.

That is the route I am taking at present through Draft2Digital, but I will certainly return some of my ebooks to KDP Select exclusivity in the future, and hope for another sales and page reads spike.

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

2 thoughts on “Amazon KDP Select Exclusivity Works – For A While

  • Thanks for posting this, We’ve had similar experiences and as of this year we’ve pulled the plug on KDP select as it’s not providing much value to us the self-publisher. In fact given the page read requirements it’s not much return value. While we’re still with Amazon we’re not going the route of exclusivity any longer given the lack of incentives.

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  • I will pull all my books out ot KU because of the long-persisting click-farm-problem, that Amazon doesn’t get under control. In the contrary, KDP-accounts of authors are deleted in the process when click-farms try to mask their shady activities by clicking the books of real authors too. KU is too risky.
    In October 2016 Amazon changed the algorithm in favour of the own imprints. This may influence your KU sales & borrows as well.
    There are reports on Kindle boards from Pauline Creeden too. And on the page of David Gaughran.

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