"Here's how KDP Select works:
When you make any of your titles exclusive to the Kindle Store for at least 90 days, those with US rights will automatically be included in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and can earn a share of a monthly fund. The monthly fund for December 2011 is $500,000 and will total at least $6 million in 2012. If you haven't checked it out already, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library is a collection of books that eligible US Amazon Prime members can borrow for free once a month with no due dates.
You'll also now have access to a new set of promotional tools, starting with the option to promote your KDP Select-enrolled titles for FREE for up to 5 days every 90 days."
Sounds like a good deal, right?
Ah, but there’s always a downside and authors need to be aware they are giving up their rights to distribute their books elsewhere.
Writers Beware Blog had this to say:
"Also important to consider, if you're thinking of participating: you must be willing to distribute your work exclusively on the Kindle. Here is the relevant language:
1 Exclusivity. When you include a Digital Book in KDP Select, you give us the exclusive right to sell and distribute your Digital Book in digital format while your book is in KDP Select. During this period of exclusivity, you cannot sell or distribute, or give anyone else the right to sell or distribute, your Digital Book (or content that is reasonably likely to compete commercially with your Digital Book, diminish its value, or be confused with it), in digital format in any territory where you have rights.
This is a grant of rights and a non-competition clause all in one, and authors need to think carefully before agreeing to it."
When authors enroll a title in the program, they're contractually obligated to remove their books from all other distribution channels.
Wow. Most indie authors appreciate their independence. This rule is quite restrictive.
Impact on authors:
* Forces the author to remove the book from sale from the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Smashwords and others, thereby causing the author to lose out on sales from competing retailers.
* By unpublishing a title from any retailer, the author destroys any accrued sales rank, making their book less visible and less discoverable when and if they reactivate distribution to competing retailers.
* Makes the author more dependent upon Amazon for sales. Do you want to become a tenant farmer, 100% dependent upon a single retailer?
Amazon wants to do it all - publish and distribute - and in the end, control. And when one company has total control, it’s not good for consumers, retailers, or the economy.