Friday, August 18, 2023

Why Authors Should Choose Expanded Distribution on KDP


When authors publish their works through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), they have a critical choice to make regarding distribution: to limit the distribution to Amazon platforms or to expand their reach through KDP’s expanded distribution. The choice might seem insignificant, but it carries significant potential to bolster an author's success. Here's why authors should consider the latter.

1. Reaching a Wider Audience:

The fundamental reason to select expanded distribution is simple: it allows authors to reach a more extensive set of readers than they would by sticking solely to Amazon. By choosing expanded distribution, authors can access online retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, and other outlets that might not traditionally deal with KDP.

Example: Imagine a local library wanting to stock a new book that's been garnering attention. With expanded distribution, that library can order a copy, further boosting the book's visibility.

2. Expanding into Physical Retail Spaces:

While the digital world dominates, there's still a tangible feel to physical books that many readers cherish. Bookstores, both independent and chain, play an essential role in the reading ecosystem. Expanded distribution offers authors the chance to get their books on those crucial shelves.

Example: A traveler walking through an airport bookstore picks up a title they’ve never seen online. This incidental discovery can lead to direct sales and further word-of-mouth recommendations.

3. Earning Additional Royalties:

Yes, the royalties from expanded distribution might be lower per unit than direct sales on Amazon. However, the cumulative effect of having books available in various outlets can lead to an increase in overall sales, thus increasing total royalty earnings.

Example: If an author sells 100 copies on Amazon and earns $5 per copy, they'd make $500. But suppose they sell an additional 100 copies through expanded channels at $3 per copy. That's an extra $300, leading to $800 in total. Even with the reduced rate, the aggregate earnings rise.

4. Diversifying Revenue Streams:

It's never wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Relying solely on Amazon for sales can be a risky strategy. Diversifying revenue streams ensures that if one channel faces a slump, others can potentially make up for it.

Example: During holiday sales or special bookstore events, there might be an uptick in physical book sales, benefiting those who've chosen expanded distribution.

5. Gaining Credibility and Reviews:

Being available in multiple platforms can enhance an author's credibility. Furthermore, it offers more avenues for readers to leave reviews, essential for indie authors trying to build their reputation.

Example: A student using a book for research in an academic institution can recommend it to peers, professors, or even cite it, enhancing its credibility in academic circles.

6. The International Appeal:

Amazon, while massive, doesn’t dominate every market internationally. In certain regions, local or specialized online bookstores might have a more significant presence. Expanded distribution helps authors tap into these markets.

Example: An author writing a book with themes relevant to readers in Europe might find more traction in local online retailers than on Amazon.

7. Catering to Specialized Markets:

Certain books cater to niche markets. These specialized markets often rely on specific distribution channels for their reading material. By choosing expanded distribution, authors ensure their books are available wherever their niche readership might look.

Example: A book focusing on advanced robotics might be of interest to academic institutions offering courses on the subject. Expanded distribution can ensure that these institutions have access to the book.


KDP’s expanded distribution isn’t just a tick box in the publishing process. It's a strategic choice that can significantly boost an author’s reach, sales, and reputation. While Amazon is a titan in the publishing world, the reading ecosystem is vast, with numerous nooks and crannies where readers discover their next favorite book. By opting for expanded distribution, authors ensure they aren’t missing out on these valuable opportunities.