Why You Should Not Publish Exclusively With Amazon

Many authors only publish/sell with Amazon and add their books to Amazon KDP Select. KDP Select requires the author to sign up with Amazon on an exclusive deal (lasting always three months and automatically renews unless canceled). The author is not allowed to list/sell anywhere else, not even on his/her own website.

Many novice authors agree to this as they see no other opportunities elsewhere or simple do not know how to upload with other retailers. Some argue that their sales are much better with KDP Select and saw no sales anywhere else.

Amazon makes it easy for you to have your book listed, and not much technical knowledge besides writing in MS Word is needed. They automatically convert your file to kindle format. You can create the cover using Amazon’s cover templates within 10 minutes and even be assigned a free Amazon branded ISBN.

I never understand authors having spent months or years writing and then neglecting the last steps of publishing (editing/layout formatting/e-book file conversion/ISBN/uploading) and opting for the easy route. If you wish to have your e-book look as professional as one of the bestselling authors who work with big publishing houses, then you cannot let Amazon take control of your book with their automated software. Not only that, but you cannot agree to any exclusive deals (unless you get paid a big lump sum upfront of course).

Most of your sales will come from Amazon (yes, they are they most important retailer for e-books by a wide margin), but that does not mean that your reader discovered your book there. Your reader might have found your book on Google, Apple, kobo, Barnes & Noble or some other smaller website but then decided to purchase it with Amazon. 

If you wish to try out the exclusive Amazon KDP Select deal, then why not release your book across all retailers for a few months and then switch to KDP Select to compare results?

Recommended strategy:

  1. Get your own ISBN which you use across ALL retailers (do NOT use Amazon’s assigned ISBN as you can NOT use this ISBN with other retailers)
  2. Get all eBook files (Apple/kobo/BN/Google/Amazon) professionally done
  3. Upload to ALL major retailers
  4. Keep for 3-6 months with ALL major retailers
  5. Switch to Amazon KDP Select for a 3 month period (you would need to temporarily halt sales with all other retailers)
  6. Compare total sales/income and then decide what is best for you

Hope you found this article useful.

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