KDP Select and Instafreebie – a caution
I’ve been talking to people a lot about the new promotional methods out there while we revamp the blog (you’ll notice that all bar a few articles are still up on the site for now – they need updating, to the point that we’re actually setting up some new projects and doing something new for y’all. It’s a huge revamp, but I’ll talk about that in a separate post later in the week.). For now, let’s talk about Instafreebie and how it could get you into a lot of trouble with Amazon.
Amazon’s KDP Select/KU rules are set up that they’re supposed be the only place your book is available from – bar those that you personally supply to reviewers.
I’ll repeat that. The only place you should be sending your books out are personally FROM YOUR EMAIL or from a site such as Netgalley (for now, that may change), through your blog tour team if you’re using one and KDP select.
What’s the difference between KDP and KDP Select?
KDP allows you to publish to the KDP platform, gives you lower royalties on certain territories, and no promotional tools. It also allows you to go ‘wide’, that is, publish on every existing writing distribution platform.
KDP Select means you’re ONLY on Amazon. It gives you access to KU, which allows people to borrow your books (which is paid for from a subscription pool), and you earn a set amount per page, which they announce monthly. It gives you promotional tools. And it means that you don’t drop royalties from 70% to 35% in certain territories. KDP select is a rolling unless opt out 90 day period. You can enroll, run for a few days, then tick the box to leave after 90 days, but many authors don’t, and frequently notice after 90 days have passed.
Well, what about Instafreebie?
Until recently, I thought Instafreebie was fine, but I’ve recently had to look into it when it was asked on a page and I was available to answer.
Believe it or not, Instafreebie says no. They’ve ALWAYS said no. KDP select was introduced in 2011 (late 2011, I believe, possibly as late as November and December), and Libboo, which later became Instafreebie’s first archived terms and conditions page shows up in March 2014.
Here’s the clause in it’s entirety. It exits on the current site, but for the purposes of research, I went through the Way Back Machine to look up it’s terms and conditions. (May 2nd, 2014)
3.7 Amazon KDP Select and other Exclusive Programs. By creating a Freebie campaign or giveaway on InstaFreebie, you represent that you are not forbidden to do so by other Programs in which you are enrolled, such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Select program. InstaFreebie holds no responsibility for parties who violate the Terms and Conditions of other Programs by using the InstaFreebie service. Please check the Terms and Conditions of other Programs in which you are enrolled before creating a Freebies campaign on instaFreebie
Here are the current terms.
Libboo owns Instafreebie – note that the orange site is Instafreebie by Libboo, while the Green site appears to simply clarify the brand to Instafreebie, and acknowledge Libboo in the terms and conditions.
What does this mean for me?
It means that if your book is in KDP Select or KU, it’s important NOT to use Instafreebie. Instafreebie has always had that clause in and while it’s possible it’s just a protection, it’s equally possible that it’s not allowed. Everything I’ve read in fact suggests that it’s completely not advised, so if you’re in the position of doing an Instafreebie right now and you’re in KDP select/KU, I would recommend removing the Instafreebie immediately. The only way around this is to change it to 10% or less of your book and then give away it as a sampler, because that is within KDP’s rules surrounding exclusivity.
What do you think? Does this affect you?