Amazon Sweetens Deal for KDP Select Authors to the Tune of $1.5 Million

Amazon is sweetening the deal for Kindle Direct Publishing self-published authors who opt to make their books available only on Amazon for a limited period of time.

Every month, Amazon pays KDP Select authors a percentage of a $700,000 fund based on how many times readers borrow their titles from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. The more borrows in comparison to other authors, the more money they get. Over the next three months, Amazon will add $1.5 million to that pool, juicing the deal for those authors.

In addition to adding money to the KDP Select fund, Amazon announced some milestones for the program, including that “KDP Select books have been purchased, borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, or downloaded for free through KDP Select promotions over 200 million times.”

The company also touted several authors who have benefited handsomely from the program, including Carolyn McCray, who has earned $45,000 from KDP Select since joining a year ago.

[Press Release]

 Kindle Direct Publishing Adds $1.5 Million Holiday Bonus for KDP Select Authors

With millions of Kindles bought (and many gifted) this holiday season, authors can earn a share of both the regular monthly fund and the bonus every time their book is borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library on,, and

In the first full year of KDP Select, Amazon will pay authors more than $7 million from the KDP Select fund; over 500 KDP Select books have reached the top 100 Kindle best seller lists around the world, Inc. today announced that a bonus of $1.5 million has been added to the KDP Select global fund this holiday season. This is on top of the regular monthly fund during the three-month period from December-February. December’s regular monthly fund is $700,000, plus $700,000 of the $1.5 million holiday bonus will be paid out for December, doubling the total amount available to authors in December to $1.4 million. The remainder of the $1.5 million bonus will be paid on top of the regular fund in January and February as well. Authors worldwide can earn a share of the total global fund every time their book is borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library on,, and, and reach more readers than ever before.

“This holiday season, millions of customers will open new Kindles, and if they’re Amazon Prime members they can borrow a book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for free. The unusual thing about KDP Select is that when this happens authors get paid. With record Kindle sales worldwide, and the recent expansion of the lending library to Europe, we expect the number of books borrowed this holiday season to increase significantly,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. “We’ve seen authors experience incredible success with KDP Select – in only a year it’s become commonplace to see KDP Select books on our best seller list.”

KDP Select was introduced in December 2011 to enable independent authors using KDP to reach the growing audience of millions of Amazon Prime members and earn more money through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Here’s how it works: if a KDP author or publisher enrolls any of their books in KDP Select, which may be done in 90-day increments during which their books must be exclusive to the Kindle Store, those books are eligible to be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. They can then earn a share of the global fund every time their book is borrowed, and borrows from the lending library count toward a book’s sales rank on Amazon. Authors can enroll any of their titles, including their full catalog. They also have access to a self-service promotional tool which gives them the option to offer their enrolled titles for free for up to five days every 90 days, which many authors have found to be a great way to engage more readers and find new audiences.

First-Year Milestones

KDP Select has proven to be an entirely new growth opportunity for authors and publishers. Milestones over the past year include:

—    After enrolling in KDP Select, over 500 books have reached the top 100 Kindle best seller lists around the world, including “Stop the Wedding!” by Stephanie Bond and “The Unwanted Wife” by Natasha Anders.
—    KDP authors will have earned more than $7 million from the KDP Select global fund through November, on top of increased royalties from paid sales.
—    KDP Select books have been purchased, borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, or downloaded for free through KDP Select promotions over 200 million times.

Author Successes

During the past year, authors have experienced incredible success after enrolling books in KDP Select. Here’s what some of them are saying:

—    Andrew E. Kaufman is the author of “The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted,” one of the most-borrowed independently-published books in the US Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. “Traditional publishing told me that my dream would never come true – KDP Select not only told me it could, they made it a reality. From hundreds of rejections, to hundreds of thousands of sales, the numbers tell the story. KDP has helped me live the dream.”
—    Carolyn McCray, author of paranormal romance novels, historical thrillers and mysteries, has earned more than $45,000 from the KDP Select fund since joining the program a year ago. “KDP Select is an author’s workhorse. There is no better marketing tool out there to launch a book and help it grow. Recently KDP Select helped propel one of my books, ‘Plain Jane: Brunettes Beware,’ into the Top 20 Kindle best seller list. As I always say, you have to play to win and KDP Select is by far the best game in town.”
—    Joel Goldman is a best-selling thriller/mystery writer who has earned more than $20,000 from the KDP Select fund to date. “In December 2011, KDP Select changed everything. The combination of free giveaways and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library helped my sales take off like a rocket – both were instrumental in the growth of my business because they enabled me to reach thousands of readers who might not otherwise have considered buying my books. I’ve heard from many readers who’ve told me how glad they are to have had the chance to discover me. None of that could have happened without KDP.”
—    Martin Crosbie is the author of “My Temporary Life,” and after enrolling it in KDP Select he earned over $45,000 in one month from paid sales and loans combined – a huge increase from the $100 he earned the prior two months when his book was not enrolled in the program. “It’s really simple: without Amazon, and more specifically KDP Select, I would still be receiving rejection letters from agents and publishers. I tried releasing my book through other outlets and tried numerous ways to promote it but nothing has come anywhere close to the opportunities that KDP Select has given me. I have readers anxiously waiting for my next novel, and, I never get tired of saying this, I’m a full-time writer.”

Authors can learn more about KDP Select and enroll their books now at To learn more about the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, visit

About, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection., Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle Paperwhite is the most-advanced e-reader ever constructed with 62% more pixels and 25% increased contrast, a patented built-in front light for reading in all lighting conditions, extra-long battery life, and a thin and light design. The new latest generation Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, now features new, improved fonts and faster page turns. Kindle Fire HD features a stunning custom high-definition display, exclusive Dolby audio with dual stereo speakers, high-end, laptop-grade Wi-Fi with dual-band support, dual-antennas and MIMO for faster streaming and downloads, enough storage for HD content, and the latest generation processor and graphics engine—and it is available in two display sizes—7” and 8.9”. The large-screen Kindle Fire HD is also available with 4G wireless, and comes with a groundbreaking $49.99 introductory 4G LTE data package. The all-new Kindle Fire features a 20% faster processor, 40% faster performance, twice the memory, and longer battery life.

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3 thoughts on “Amazon Sweetens Deal for KDP Select Authors to the Tune of $1.5 Million

  1. Dan Marvin

    These few success stories are great, but I don’t think the vast, vast majority of authors who enroll in the KDP Select program will see similar results. I have had two Kindle books for sale for the last three years and have just this month enrolled my third in KDP Select. In the first two weeks it has not had any downloads despite heavy publicity. Hopefully in the upcoming holiday season it will start to move. Since I have to keep it on KDP exclusively for 90 days, I’m hoping I’m not burning through the most important 90 days of marketing my book for nothing.

  2. Anna Merrill

    KDP Select was pretty much useless. So many authors are now enrolled that on any given day, your ‘FREE’ book is competing to be given away with between 38,000 and 68,000 other ‘FREE’ KDP Select authors (if you don’t believe me, go on different days of the week and put ‘free kindle book’ into their browser and see how many books pull up). Even with a significant marketing push directing my own contacts towards Amazon, the best I ever got was around 700 downloads the first time and around 100 each subsequent time. Worse, it neither translated into sales or at least reviews. Mind you, I was pushing the thing like mad. Just to experiment, I put it on KDP Select one time without a marketing push to see how much of that was Amazon’s own marketing versus how much was me. I think I got 18 Free downloads. I -never- got a single download or loan through the Amazon KDP lending library, not one in 6 months.

    If my book was crap, I could see, but I’m running a solid 4.38 rating on Goodreads and NONE of those reviews is by people I know.

    Now I’ve got it on Smashwords and Kobo as well as Amazon and run occasional FREE days on Smashwords (in conjunction with other marketing pushes of my own). Sales are up. Free downloads are also way up. I can take it on and off a promotion as I see fit. I can see what marketing tactics work on what platform because the other vendors are more transparent. Basically, when I sell, it’s due to my own efforts, and I’m selling a lot more now than my efforts + Amazon KDP Select.

    Amazon is sweetening the deal for ‘free’ content because they want to woo people to put a Kindle under their Christmas tree this year and not a Nook, Kobo, iPad or Google Nexus 7. I used to adore Amazon, but have come to realize they are building their market share on the backs of their self-published authors desperate enough to give their work away for free. With them now deleting customer reviews on new books (often hard won for a self-published author) because of the sock puppet scandal, they have gone from neutral to a bit Big Brother scary in my opinion.

    There are OTHER places to give your work for free and YOU will bear the fruits of your hard work, not Amazon.

  3. LJBooker

    No one seems to be mentioning the fact that the bestselling books that are in Amazon’s select program are not exclusive, like, for example, the Harry Potter books. Those are for sale at Barnes and Nobles Nook store. It seems that there are two sets of rules. Only the indie authors have to give up their rights to sell elsewhere. This way Amazon gets to brag ‘exclusive’ books, while undercutting the other stores with free popular books. And those free bestsellers are getting all the funds in the pot. This whole promotion is about putting everyone else out of business. Has no one else noticed this?



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