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So what is Amazon KDP? Simple: it’s a full-fledged publishing platform.

Have you ever dreamed of being a published writer, but you find the world of publishing too complex and don’t know where to start? Well, Amazon KDP might be the perfect solution for you.

Amazon KDP offers a literary landscape where every storyteller holds power to craft their destiny. This launchpad for ideas not only allows users to enjoy a sanctuary for creativity. It also enables them to make money on Amazon as their works of art grace the digital bookshelves. 

Let’s review the basics of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, including how to start your journey as an author.

What is KDP on Amazon?

Before we discuss how to start publishing on Amazon and offer important tips for success, let’s clarify the definitions.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is a  platform that allows authors and publishers to independently publish their books directly to Kindle and Amazon’s vast marketplace.

Is Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing a self-publishing platform? Yes, it is indeed, and it breaks down the traditional barriers of the publishing industry, allowing for immediate access to a global audience.

Data reveals that Amazon’s paid royalties reached over $520 million to more than a million authors who choose to self-publish via Amazon KDP.

KDP royalties paid per year (Source - Wordsrated)
KDP royalties paid per year (Source – Wordsrated)

This number underscores how lucrative KDP on Amazon is and why it’s a business idea worth exploring. 

Initially focused on eBooks, KDP has grown to include print-on-demand services, allowing authors to offer physical copies of their books without the upfront costs associated with traditional printing.

This expansion has significantly broadened the platform’s appeal, making it a comprehensive solution for digital and print publishing.

The variety of content commonly published through KDP encompasses, but is not restricted to, the categories listed below as per the KDP help page:

  • Novels
  • Children’s Books
  • Book Series
  • Comics
  • Journals
  • Cookbooks
  • Poetry
  • Textbooks

 

Your KDP bookshelf can include many kinds of books, which you can self-publish in 46 languages. 

Note that you’ll hold the IP rights to any book that you publish on Amazon KDP. This will allow you to sell your book on Amazon with full protection.

Only make sure that you respect the book’s ISBN, title, author name, and binding type. If you wish to change any of these features, you’ll need a new ISBN.

 

Benefits of Amazon KDP for Sellers and Businesses

Is Kindle Direct Publishing a good idea? The answer depends on each author’s goals, preferences, and resources.

Here are the key benefits that make Amazon publishing an attractive option:

 

Accessibility and Ease of Use for Beginners

Much like Amazon Handmade opens the door for artisans to a global marketplace, Amazon KDP offers a user-friendly gateway for authors to publish their work

The platform is designed to guide users through each step of the publishing process, from manuscript upload to setting the perfect price.

 

Global Reach and Visibility on Amazon’s Platform

By choosing Amazon KDP, authors tap into Amazon’s vast global network, ensuring their books are visible to millions of potential readers worldwide. This level of exposure is unparalleled, offering a golden opportunity for authors to make their mark on the international stage.

 

Flexibility in Publishing Options (eBooks and Paperbacks)

Amazon KDP doesn’t just cater to one type of reader or author. It provides the flexibility to publish in multiple formats, including eBooks and paperbacks, all from the same platform.

 

Control Over Pricing, Royalties and Rights

One of the most empowering aspects of Amazon KDP is the control it grants authors over their work. From setting their own prices to retaining the rights to their books, authors are in the driver’s seat. 

 

Speed to Market Compared to Traditional Publishing

The journey from manuscript to published book can be a long one in the traditional publishing world. Amazon KDP, however, streamlines this process, making books available on Amazon within days of submission.

 

Amazon KDP Fees and Potential Earnings

How much does it cost to publish a book with Kindle Direct Publishing? Here’s the good news: it’s free! KDP operates on a royalty-based model, meaning Amazon takes a percentage of each sale rather than charging fees for publishing services. 

When publishing eBooks through Amazon KDP, authors have the choice between two royalty structures: a 35% option and a 70% option. 

Your choice directly influences the earnings from each eBook sale, calculated based on the list price set by the author, excluding VAT.

Amazon KDP eBook Royalties (Source - Amazon KDP) 
Amazon KDP eBook Royalties (Source – Amazon KDP)

You can also consult the Amazon KDP royalty calculator to get accurate rates before publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing.

Amazon will transfer royalties on a monthly basis. Only remember that you’ll need to meet a fixed threshold, and wait around 60 days after you earn your royalties. Once that’s done, you can get paid via check, wire transfer, or direct deposit.  

 

35% Royalty Option

Under this plan, authors earn 35% of the eBook’s list price for each sale. The royalty is calculated by multiplying the royalty rate by the list price minus any applicable VAT. 

  • Example. If an eBook is listed at $0.99 in the US and sold to a customer where the VAT rate is 0%, the author earns $0.35 per sale. However, if sold to a customer in a region with a 20% VAT rate, the earnings adjust to $0.29 per sale after accounting for VAT.

 

70% Royalty Option

This option increases the potential earnings to 70% of the eBook’s list price, minus any delivery costs and excluding VAT, for sales in designated 70% territories. For sales outside these territories, the royalty reverts to 35%.

It’s crucial to note that the 70% royalty rate applies only to in-copyright works sold in specific countries listed on the Pricing Page. It does not apply to public domain content unless it includes substantial original content or an original translation.

  • Example. An eBook priced at £1.99 in the UK, with a file size of 1 MB and a 20% VAT rate, would yield a royalty of £1.09 per sale after deducting VAT and delivery costs. 

 

Authors should also be aware that Amazon may adjust the selling price of an eBook to match lower prices from third parties or Amazon’s price for a physical edition of the book. 

In such cases, the royalty will be based on 70% of Amazon’s sale price for books sold in the 70% territories after subtracting delivery costs and any applicable VAT.

 

What is KDP Select?

 We mentioned Amazon KDP Select before. This is a unique promotional service for authors, and it’s exclusive to eBooks.

KDP Select offers unique marketing tools for sellers.  For example:

  • Kindle Unlimited. A subscription-based service for avid readers. Think of it as a Netflix for eBooks.
  • Free Promotions. Offer a book for free, over a 5-day period. You can renew this promotion every 90 days.
  • Countdown Deals. Stage a 7-day price drop to entice a sale surge in the Kindle store.

But here’s the catch of KDP Select. Amazon requires 100% exclusivity from authors. That means you can’t publish your book elsewhere until your KDP Select contract expires.  

Also, Kindle Unlimited works on a pay-per-page model. This means Amazon will pay royalties only for each page users read.

That said, you may earn as much as 70% royalties when using KDP select. But if the program seems too restrictive, you can opt out 90 days after enrollment.

 

How to sell on Amazon KDP

Here’s an Amazon KDP for beginners step-by-step guide to sell your book on the platform:

 

1: Create Your Amazon KDP Account

Visit the Amazon KDP and click the “Sign up” button. Use your Amazon account to sign in, or create a new one if you don’t already have an account.

Amazon KDP Login

Image source: Amazon

 

2: Set Up Your KDP Account

Complete your account information, including your tax details and bank information, to receive royalties. 

Familiarize yourself with the KDP dashboard, where you’ll manage your books, track sales, and access resources.

 

3: Prepare Your Manuscript and Cover

Format your manuscript according to KDP’s guidelines to ensure it displays correctly on Kindle devices and apps. For assistance, use tools like Kindle Create. This is a free program that allows you to do the following:

  • Set up chapter titles and order.
  • Create a content page to ease navigation.
  • Include front and back matter pages, such as copyright or “about the author” sections.
  • Set themes and styles for your book and chapter titles.
  • Insert images and links into the book content.

 

Kindle Creator optimizes your books to offer users the Amazon Kindle experience. You can check out an Amazon KDP publishing tutorial here.

KDP Create (screenshot)
KDP Create (screenshot)

Design your book cover to meet KDP’s specifications. You can use KDP’s Cover Creator or design your cover externally.

Once you’re happy with the formatting, export your book into a KDP file.

KDP’s Cover Creator (screenshot)
KDP’s Cover Creator (screenshot)

4: Create a New Title

In your KDP dashboard, select the type of material you want to create to start the publishing process. You can choose between:

  • Kindle eBook
  • Paperback
  • Hardcover
  • Series page

Create a New Kindle Book

Image source: JungleScout

Fill in your book details, including title, description, keywords, and categories.

Amazon KDP eBook Details

 Image source: JungleScout

5: Upload Your Manuscript and Cover

 Upload your manuscript file. KDP accepts various formats, but .docx or PDF are commonly used. Upload your cover image, ensuring it’s high-quality and represents your book’s content. Only ensure that your manuscript complies with Amazon KDP content guidelines.

Amazon KDP eBook Content

Image source: JungleScout

You also need to upload a book cover, in JPEG or TIFF formats. Make sure it’s at least 625 x 1000 pixels in size. The best quality measure is 1,600 x 2,560 pixels.

Here, you can also decide to enable digital rights management (DRM) for your books. This can protect your content from illegal copying, among other things. 

 

6: Choose Your Rights and Pricing

Select the territories where you hold distribution rights. You can choose worldwide rights or specify territories. Choose your royalty plan (35% or 70%) and set your book’s list price. Consider your book’s length, genre, and competition when pricing.

Amazon KDP eBook Pricing

Image source: JungleScout

7: Publish Your Book

Review your book’s details carefully. Use the “Preview” feature to see how your book will look to readers. Once satisfied, click “Publish Your Kindle eBook” or “Publish Your Paperback Book”.

Your book will typically appear on Amazon within 72 hours.

 

8: Promote Your Book

Utilize Amazon’s promotional tools like Kindle Countdown Deals or enroll in KDP Select for additional marketing options. Market your book outside of Amazon through social media, your website, and email newsletters.

 

9: Monitor Your Sales and Adjust as Needed

Keep an eye on your sales dashboard. Use the insights to adjust your marketing strategies or book pricing. Gather and respond to reader feedback. Reviews can influence potential buyers and help improve your book’s visibility.

 

Maximizing Your Earnings with Amazon KDP

 Books are among the most sold products on Amazon. Once you understand what Kindle Direct Publishing is, and how to use it, there’s no limit to your bookselling success. 

For readers, Amazon KDP represents an endless hub of learning. For brands and authors, it’s a chance to offer knowledge, with the click of a button.

Here are a few quick tips to catapult your Amazon KDP project to success:

  • Price strategically. Explore various pricing tactics to discover the optimal balance that enhances both the number of sales and royalty profits.
  • Leverage Amazon’s Marketing Tools. Utilize Amazon Advertising to target potential readers and drive traffic to your book’s page, enhancing visibility and sales.
  • Optimize your book description. Craft a compelling and keyword-rich book description to improve searchability and entice readers to make a purchase.
  • Expand your reach with multiple formats. Offer your book in both eBook and paperback formats to cater to different reader preferences and tap into wider markets.

 

As the digital bookshelves continue to grow, your unique voice and story have the potential to captivate readers across the globe. Embrace the opportunity, and let Amazon KDP be the launchpad for your publishing aspirations.

 

Authors

Esteban MunozEsteban Muñoz is a content writer at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on Amazon for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts, and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.

 

Carla Bauto DeñaCarla Bauto Deña is a journalist and content writer producing stories for traditional and digital media. She believes in empowering small businesses with the help of innovative solutions, such as e-commerce, digital marketing, and data analytics.

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