Kindle Unlimited Amazon’s Newest KDP Select Program

Amazon has a new subscription program for books enrolled in KDP Select and U.S. readers called Kindle Unlimited. Books already enrolled in KDP Select are automatically placed in the new program, though authors can opt-out if preferred. Readers pay a $9.99 monthly fee for access to unlimited books (that are enrolled).

From their email;

Today we are excited to introduce Kindle Unlimited-–a new subscription service for readers in the U.S. and a new revenue opportunity for authors enrolled in KDP Select. Customers will be able to read as many books as they want from a library of over 600,000 titles while subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. All books enrolled in KDP Select with U.S. rights will be automatically included in Kindle Unlimited.

KDP Select authors and publishers will earn a share of the KDP Select global fund each time a customer accesses their book from Kindle Unlimited and reads more than 10% of their book-–about the length of reading the free sample available in Kindle books-–as opposed to a payout when the book is simply downloaded. Only the first time a customer reads a book past 10% will be counted. (I’m confused–doesn’t that last sentence seem to contradict the first sentence in the paragraph?)

KDP Select books will also continue to be enrolled in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) available to Amazon Prime customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Japan where authors will continue to earn a share of the KDP Select global fund when their book is borrowed. KOLL borrows will continue to be counted when a book is initially downloaded.

For July, we’ve added $800,000 to the fund, bringing the July fund amount to $2 million.

Learn more about Kindle Unlimited. Visit your Bookshelf to enroll your titles in KDP Select, and click on “Manage Benefits” to get started.

Best regards,
The Kindle Direct Publishing Team

For an indie author, it’s hard to bite the hand that feeds you, but you also notice when a monopoly grows ever stronger. Is this move “ultimately” for a reader’s benefit, the author’s, Amazon’s, some combination or does it benefit everyone? I’d ask some Big 5 publishers, but I have a feeling they’ll decline to respond.

Share any thoughts in the comments.

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KDP Select for Amazon Kindle Exclusive Authors

kdp selectKDP Select has just been created for Amazon Kindle authors who are willing to have their ebooks be exclusively available on Amazon. Authors who participate must keep their ebooks in the program for at least 90 days to be eligible for a rewards sharing bonus through the Kindle Owners Lending Library and can earn a share of the $6 million fund in a year’s time. Both Indie authors or those traditionally published can enter a single book or multiple titles, but they can’t distribute them elsewhere as ebooks. They can, however, sell them elsewhere as paperbacks. December’s monthly fund is $500,000. KDP Select just launched today with many top authors already enrolled including; J. Carson Black, Gemma Halliday, J.A. Konrath, B.V. Larson, C.J. Lyons, Scott Nicholson, Julie Ortolon, Theresa Ragan, J.R. Rain and Patricia Ryan.

The way it works sounds similar to how some waiters “pool their tips” in that the greater sales for the whole group creates greater money for each individual although there are ratios involved and not every author makes the same bonus. Amazon monitors the proceeds from the collective revenues of the group and then distributes the extra money made to all participating authors with a sharing percentage factored in.

From the press release; The monthly royalty payment for each KDP Select book is based on that book’s share of the total number of borrows of all participating KDP books in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. For example, if total borrows of all participating KDP Select books are 100,000 in December and an author’s book was borrowed 1,500 times, they will earn $7,500 in additional royalties from KDP Select in December. Amazon expects the fund to be at least $6 million for all of 2012, in addition to the $500,000 allocated for December 2011. Enrolled titles will remain available for sale to any customer in the Kindle Store and authors will continue to earn their regular royalties on those sales…. …With KDP Select, authors and publishers will also have access to a new set of promotional tools, starting with the option to promote their enrolled titles for free for up to five days every 90 days.

Have to admit, it sounds tempting. But what if an author already has multiple titles for sale at Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Smashwords, Sony, Kobo and other retailers? Those authors will certainly be reluctant to pull their ebooks from those shelves. Additionally, many Indie authors will not appreciate this move by Amazon to attempt to get authors to list books with them and nowhere else. (Although I’ve always been a huge supporter of Amazon, it appears this idea could really backfire in public perception.) And how might Barnes & Noble and Apple respond? Probable there are some intense board room meetings happening right now to counter attack this effort from Amazon to further dominate the market. It wouldn’t surprise me if other retailers come up with a similar fund-sharing scheme or some new ideas altogether.

Feels like the battle for ebook supremacy just went into overdrive and makes me very interested to know how the others will respond.

More from Amazon on this announcement at their site;

  • Reach a new audience – Distribute books through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and reach the growing number of US Amazon Prime members.
  • Earn a whole new source of royalties – Earn your share of $500,000 in December and at least $6 million throughout 2012 when readers borrow your books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
  • Promote your book for free to readers worldwide – The newly launched Promotions Manager tool will allow you to directly control the promotion of free books.
  • Instant feedback – Check real-time performance of your books in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

For Indie authors who want to enroll in KDP Select: You can enroll existing books by visiting the bookshelf. You’ll be able to enroll a single book or easily enroll multiple books at the same time.

In my opinion, this makes the most sense for authors introducing new titles. New books can be enrolled during the publishing process. Simply select the “Enroll this book in KDP Select” option and proceed to publish the book as you normally would.

Interested? Visit the website at or get more info at


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