A Little Clarity on Exclusivity and KDP Select

I’m a member of multiple self-publishing forums. Writing is a very solitary endeavor, and I find it very helpful to have a place to go to “talk shop” and commiserate with other authors. These places are a wealth of useful information. However, at times they are also places where misinformation can spread like wildfire.

At least once a day I see some variation of the following questions:

  1. “If I’m enrolled in KU, can I have my book up in book funnel/book sprout/prolific works for advanced copy reviews?”

2. “If I publish with KDP, I need to be exclusive right?”

3. “Can I publish my books on KDP and IngramSpark?”

The first issue here is that there are terms being interchanged and used incorrectly. I will get into that a bit later. Secondly this poor poster often gets varied answers either because the commentor doesn’t fully understand the question, or because they received bad info and are now spreading it.

Due to the fact that this is one of the most asked questions I’ve seen, I decided to get to the bottom of things once and for all. Honestly, it wasn’t all that difficult to find the information directly on the sites in question. Sometimes getting it from the horses mouth is the best way to go.

So to start things off, I’d like to explain a few things:

Kindle Direct Publishing, (KDP) is where you go to publish your book to Amazon. For e-books, they have a program called Kindle Unlimited (KU) where customers pay a monthly fee to borrow an unlimited amount of e-books. If you, as the author, enroll your e-book in KDP Select, it becomes available in Kindle Unlimited, and you will be paid per page read. You also have other promotional benefits such as 5 free days, and kindle countdown deals. The page read payout amount varies by month. For March 2020 the payout was $0.0046 per page. You can publish both print and e-Book via KDP.

Let’s Review:

KDP – The place where you publish your book.

KDP Select – The program AUTHORS use to enroll their books in (KU)

KU – The program CUSTOMERS/READERS pay to enroll in to obtain unlimited e-book borrows per month.

If you choose to enroll your book in KDP Select, Amazon has exclusivity rights to the e-book. Therefore, you may not upload your e-book to any other site for a 90-day period. You may, however, sell your paperback or hardback wherever you please. If you publish an e-book on Amazon via KDP, you do not need to enroll it in KDP Select. You will not make money from page reads, but you will be able to make your e-book available wherever you wish.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get back to the questions from above.

  1. “If I’m enrolled in KU, can I have my book up in book funnel/book sprout/prolific works for advanced copy reviews?”

Answer: No.

I got into a lively debate with people about this one. the FAQ section on the BookSprout website states the following: “When it comes to KDP’s Select program, you agree to make your digital book available exclusively on Amazon during a 90 day period. That means that if your book is currently enrolled, then it’s against the KDP Select program terms to make your ebook available on Booksprout.” Many argued that advanced copies of your book were ok to send, and that’s true. However, according to the FAQ section on the KDP site, you may only do so via e-mail.

2. “If I publish with KDP, I need to be exclusive right?”

Answer: No. As stated above, you only need to be exclusive if you choose to enroll your book in KDP Select.

3. “Can I publish my books on KDP and IngramSpark?”

Answer: Yes. In fact, many people do. What you may not do, is use the free ISBN you receive on Amazon, and use it for Ingram or vice versa. In addition, you can be enrolled in KDP select, and still publish your print books via Ingram.

I hope you found this information useful, and I really hope this clears up any confusion that you may have. If you liked what you’ve read here, and want to know more about the world of self-publishing, my book, Self-Publishing Your Books: A Beginner’s Resource Guide comes out this month on Amazon!

As a Thank you for following my blog, I wanted to send you some awesome (and helpful) self publishing tools. Click the link below to receive the following FREE items:

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