A Guide to Kindle Direct Publishing
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing has changed the landscape of self-publishing, allowing authors to make their work accessible with a click.
Amazon KDP has grown in popularity thanks to its ease of use, and Amazon’s credibility.
If you’re considering making your book an Amazon KDP reality, there are simple steps you can take to get started. If you are just beginning, the process can seem daunting, but rest assured your book can be Amazon KDP-ready sooner than you expect.
How does Amazon KDP work?
First things first: Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is Amazon’s self-publishing platform. Once a book has been made available on Amazon KDP, customers can buy it as an eBook, or they can purchase a print-on-demand hard copy.
Amazon KDP is at the top of the self-publishing market, making it an ideal stage to showcase your work. With at least 80% of the eBook market, Amazon KDP is not to be underestimated as a publishing giant.
A writer has many factors to consider when choosing a publishing route. Traditional publishing has barriers that are not ideal for some authors and genres, whereas self-publishing with Amazon KDP can be more accessible.
If an author chooses self-publishing, selling, and getting paid with Amazon KDP can be achieved in a handful of steps. In short, these are:
- Ensure the book files have been formatted correctly for Amazon KDP.
- Upload the book files to Amazon KDP.Wholesale reselling
- Customers find your eBook (or print-on-demand book) on Amazon for purchase.
- Book royalties based on each book sold on Amazon KDP will be paid to you.
Reasons to publish with Amazon KDP
As you decide whether using Amazon KDP is right for you, there are some advantages to keep in mind:
- Fast publishing time: In comparison to traditional publishing, Amazon KDP is extremely quick. Your book could be available for sale almost immediately after you’ve completed it.
- Your rights are yours: With Amazon KDP, your author rights remain with you thanks to Amazon’s non-exclusive agreement. This is great for keeping future publishing options open.
- No dealing with inventory: Since Amazon KDP offers eBooks and on-demand publishing, you will not deal with storing, or handling inventory. This also means you won’t be paying to print copies of your book that won’t be sold.
- Robust royalties: Amazon KDP offers high royalties of up to 60%, depending on how many books are sold. This means more of your sales go to you than with traditional publishing houses.
- Enormous distribution reach: It is no secret that Amazon is a giant retailer around the world which means your book can be available across global markets.
Expenses and royalties of Amazon KDP
Publishing your book on Amazon KDP is free. The only time there is an expense to consider is when a paperback is purchased and Amazon subtracts the cost of printing the book from your royalties.
However, some self-publishing authors choose to invest in other services. This might include professional editing, formatting, cover design, or marketing.
When it comes to royalties, there are paperback rates and eBook rates. Paperback books have a royalty rate fixed at 60%, while eBooks range from 35% to 70%, depending on a number of factors.
Amazon KDP authors are paid each month, starting roughly 60 days after the conclusion of the month when the royalties came in. Remember, in order to be paid out, the pending amount needs to meet a threshold. The payment method can be wire transfer, check, or direct deposit as you prefer.
Amazon KDP Select
If you decide to give exclusive selling rights to Amazon, you can become part of the Amazon KDP Select program. When your eBook is included in KDP Select, it can only be made available for purchase via the KDP platform.
Pros of the Amazon KDP Select program include potentially higher royalties and access to promotional tools such as Kindle Unlimited. However, you will be giving up the right to publish your eBook on other platforms.
The good news is that Amazon KDP Select offers a trial period of 90 days in which you can test out the program to see if it works for you. After this time period, you can opt-out if you prefer.
Amazon KDP formatting
It’s time to get down to formatting your book so that it can be published with Amazon KDP. Though this might sound intimidating, rest assured this task is quite straightforward.
Formatting your files will generally be easiest if you use Microsoft Word. If you do not have Microsoft Word, you might consider enlisting the services of eBook formatting software, or a professional eBook formatter.
The first step you should take is laying out the structure of your book. A typical Amazon KDP eBook structure is:
- Title page: Ensure the title is centered, and the author’s name is listed below the title.
- Copyright page: You can use the format ‘Copyright © [Year] [Author Name]’ along with ‘All rights reserved.’
- Table of contents: In Microsoft Word, head to the References tab, then select Table of Contents. This will allow you to format your table of contents correctly. Remember to click the ‘Use hyperlinks instead of page numbers’ box so that your contents can be linked to the table.
- Book content: Divide your book content into chapters, using Heading 1 from Microsoft Word’s Styles toolbar for each chapter title. It is also crucial that you insert a page break after the final sentence in each chapter. This will allow Amazon KDP to present your book’s chapters properly.
- Additional information such as promos for other books, an index, or acknowledgments: This content will vary depending on your particular book.
It is worth noting that Amazon KDP will not recognize special fonts, headers, footers, tables, bullets, or text boxes. However, italics, bolding, indentations, and, of course, headings will all be compatible.
When choosing your cover image, use a JPEG or TIFF file with a minimum size of 625 pixels on the shortest side, and 1000 pixels on the longest. For best results use images that have 2,560×1600 pixels.
Create and publish your Amazon KDP file
To convert your Word file into an Amazon KDP-ready file, you’ll need to download Kindle Create. Once you have installed this program, you’ll be able to upload your book file to be converted.
After your file has been transformed, you can use the Preview option to make sure your book will appear as you planned on phones, Kindles, and tablets.
Finally, it is time to publish your eBook with Amazon KDP. To complete this process, you will be required to enter your details as well as details about your book. Then you will upload your files, confirm your publishing territories, and set your pricing.
Once you have finalized these steps, your book will take approximately 12 hours to become live. At last, your book will appear in the Kindle store, available for purchase, and you will be an Amazon KDP-published author!
Going forward with Amazon KDP
Hopefully, you won’t hesitate to follow these steps to share your book with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Your readers are waiting, and you could be closer to authorship than you think.
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