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What I Learned About the Kindle Select Program

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It’s my pleasure to welcome guest contributor, Tea Silvestre, aka the Word Chef (http://thewordchef.com), as she shares her recent experience with Amazon’s KDP Select program.

Now that my book is published, I’m finding more and more authors expressing opposing sides of the Yay/Nay debate on joining the Kindle Select Program.

My thought is this: if Amazon is THE 100 lb publishing gorilla, why wouldn’t you try it out?

Funny how when you know you’re going to be publishing a book, you start to see relevant thoughts and opinions everywhere.

That’s what happened to me and how I found my way to the Kindle Direct Publishing page and its Select Program

My experience with Kindle Publishing (and their Select program) has been pretty cool.

I reached #57 on Amazon’s list of nonfiction free e-books on my first day.

Not sure that the free day has increased subsequent sales, but that’s okay with me. I really just wanted to get my book into the hands of new people. To get exposure to new prospects.

KDP would work best for folks who have a series of books (where you give away the first in the series, and then folks are prompted to get the next one).

My biggest headache? Formatting the manuscript. And really — it wasn’t a full-blown migraine type of headache. Just the kind of dull sort of ache that happens after a long day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started

  • I used to teach people how to use Microsoft Office software for a living (waaaay back in the day); so even though I’m not intimately familiar with the current version of MS Word, I know the functionalities and what they’re capable of accomplishing.
  • I’m comfortable with technology and don’t freak out when I need to learn something new; this is a state of mind you need to cultivate if you’re going to feel successful in the digital publishing (DIY) world.
  • I know how to use Google to look for answers to my questions. Need to know how to do a particular thing? Google it!

So that’s the place where I started from (technology-wise) in terms of launching this book.

Here are my tips for making your experience just a little bit smoother

  • Read the directions. My honey is constantly teasing me about my habit for not doing this. Yes, I’m a bookworm. Yes, I love to read. Just not directions. Those? I skim those (if at all). In this case, it’s a good idea to read the directions thoroughly before you start. Had I done that, I would’ve known that I needed to save my manuscript not just in html, but in html filtered. Apparently there’s a difference.
  • Zip your final files before you upload them. Html projects create a separate file for things like images. Your html doc needs to be zipped with that folder to keep everything together nice and tight.
  • Format your pages to 3.5″ x 5″ so you can see what your book will look like (roughly) at those dimensions. It helps to see if you need to fix any line breaks. (Then put the margins back before you save and upload them to Kindle.)
  • My best advice? Don’t rely on the Select program as your sole marketing channel. It’s just one tiny piece of your entire book marketing plan. And when my 90-day contract expires, I’ll be adding my book to Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iTunes and Smashwords (not to mention my own website!).

Until then, if you’d like to get my book for free, my last free download day is Wednesday, June 6th (24 hours only).

Bio: Tea (pronouced like Tay’ah) Silvestre is the author of “Attract and Feed a Hungry Crowd: How thinking like a Chef can help you build a solid business.”  She’s also the founder of the Tastiest Small Biz Brand Awards and a sought-after marketing consultant and speaker.


  1. Thanks for sharing what you learned! I plan to publish a free eBook about my Scamp adventures this summer, and your post gave me things to think about. Best of luck with “Attract and Feed”!

  2. Deonne,

    I know that Tea will have a successful launch with “Attract and Feed.”
    I’m glad that you got ideas that will help you with your upcoming free ebook about your Scamp adventures.

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