Friday, April 8, 2016

Kindle Select: is it worth it?

free ebook ad banner for children's book on Kindle

If you've ever published a title on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, you know what KDP Select is. For those of you who hasn't - it is a deal the platform offers to publishers, which basically states that if a publisher agrees to sell a book exclusively on KDP for a renewable period of 90 days, he or she will get 70% royalties (instead of the basic 35% rate). 

The lowest price the book can be listed at on Select is $2.99. Additionally, the publisher is charged for 'delivering' the ebook to the reader. This cost is calculated by the size of the file. It doesn't seem to be a problem, when publishing a text-based novel. Children's books, however, are mostly images, so very often publishers do their best to cut costs by lowering quality of images. Sometimes they find the sweet spot, and sometimes you might find a book that will look sweet only on an iWatch. 

Having a book enrolled in KDP Select, you have two options for a promotion (once per an enrollment period of 90 days): Kindle Countdown Deal, which is a price discount, and Free Book Promotion, which is a free ebook giveaway for up to 5 days. 

I've read a couple of opinions on FBP as a marketing tool. Some authors claim they had a huge success with it. Others say it didn't change a thing. At all. 

While I do believe that having a book for free on Amazon can boost sales for some authors, personally, I am far from falling for the hype that FBP or any other miraculous marketing tool, trick or tip will make your book an over-night bestseller. And I think neither should you (ever wondered why the most successful books are books on how to be successful? exactly!). 

That's my 2 cents - a little rant after seeing all those annoyingly enthusiastic salesmen promising to tell you the Illuminati's best-kept secret. Only for $99.99. 

So, should you enroll your book into Kindle Select

My answer is -- of course! If you are an aspiring author and this is your first, second gig, you literally have nothing to lose, yet something positive to gain, whether it's experience in managing your first promo, getting feedback from people other than your moms and pops, or - who knows - maybe lots of sales afterwards? You need to try it out to be sure if it's right for you. 

At this moment, Julie and I have two children's books enrolled in the program, ''Der Kleine Fuchs'' and ''Лиска Ириска'' (which are actually the same book in German and Russian).

Der Kleine Fuchs bilderbuch kindle Лиска Ириска электронная книга для детей

With all the time and effort put into creating ''Der Kleine Fuchs'', it was really important to us to share the book with others and have them experience it. FBP seemed to be a good opportunity to do so. 

The book will be available for a free download until April 11. Feel free to get your copy by clicking here

As for our plans for these two titles, we've decided not to renew their enrollment in KDP Select once the current terms end in early June. 

After a little research, it appears that there's not that much of active engagement in the German children's ebooks section of Kindle. Obviously, it is not non-existent, but neither it is anything even close to titles in English. And the Russian book? Well, it turns out KDP doesn't support Russian. It used to. Not anymore. Although you can easily find titles marked as 'Russian edition', and the Russian literature section is quite rich, you can not properly add a new book into the catalog, which - yes - still allows the book to be found, but makes it much harder to be discovered. Not to mention there's still no Amazon Russia, Amazon Belarus or Amazon Ukraine.

Therefore, when the current Select's enrollment period expires, we are going to expend our list of distributors to other major stores, such as Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Germany's Tolino, just like we did with our new children's book, "I Learn Fruits". 

If you are willing to learn more about this indie publishing journey, stay tuned for new updates. 


''Der Kleine Fuchs'' got to nr 1 in Kindle's Top 100 Free among German Children's eBooks. Gotta enjoy small victories. 

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