A Guide to Kindle Direct Publishing

Tired of keeping your amazing stories locked up on your computer? Want an audience to share them with? Well, good news – you don’t have to break the bank or go through a million hoops to make it happen. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is here to help!

KDP has revolutionized self-publishing, making it a breeze for authors to get their work out there. And the best part? Amazon’s reputation adds a level of credibility to your book.

Thinking of giving KDP a try? Don’t sweat it – the process is simple. Sure, starting out can seem a little overwhelming, but with these easy steps, your book could be live on Amazon before you know it.

What is Amazon KDP?

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is Amazon’s self-publishing platform. With KDP, you can create both ebooks and paperbacks without any upfront costs or inventory orders, and best of all, you get to keep all the rights to your book.

Trust us, Amazon KDP is the real deal. They’re at the top of the self-publishing market, holding at least 80% of the eBook market. So, if you want to get your books out there and seen by a massive audience, KDP is the way to go.

It’s all for free. You won’t pay Amazon a dime until you make a sale!

How does Amazon KDP work?

If you’re an author and want to get your book out there, you’ve got a couple of options with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

First off, you can easily upload your eBook file, and bam! It’ll show up in the Kindle store for readers to buy and download right away.

If you want to go the printed book route, just upload your file to KDP and they’ll take care of the rest. They use print-on-demand tech, so your book will only get printed when someone buys it. And don’t worry about the printing costs – they’ll be taken out of your royalties for each book sold.

Here’s the rundown on how it works:

  1. You upload your book files to KDP.
  2. You hit publish and your book is live on the platform.
  3. Readers can instantly download your eBook or purchase your paperback book.
  4. If they buy the paper version, KDP will print and ship it to them using print-on-demand technology.
  5. You earn royalties for every book sold on KDP.

Why publish with Amazon KDP?

By now, you’ve probably figured out the biggest benefit – publishing and listing your book costs nothing. But, let’s take a look at some more reasons to sign up for KDP.

1. Multiple options to publish

With KDP, you have the flexibility to publish either a Kindle ebook or a paperback book, or both! If you choose to publish a paperback book, Amazon will handle the printing and shipping process for you, eliminating the need to purchase bulk inventory.

2. Revenue sharing

While it’s free to list your ebooks for sale on KDP, you will have to split the revenue with Amazon. The size of the share depends on the royalty option you choose and the size of your ebook file. You can find more information about royalties on the KDP help page.

3. Multiple books and pen names

Under one KDP account, you can publish as many ebooks or paperback books as you like, even under different pen names and categories. This makes it easy for authors to manage all of their publishing efforts in one place.

4. Wholesale book orders

If you’d like to have some physical copies of your book on hand, you can place a wholesale book order within your KDP dashboard. Amazon will handle the printing and shipping process, and you’ll only pay for the cost of printing each book.

5. Access to millions of Kindle users

By self-publishing on Amazon, you’ll have access to millions of Kindle users. As long as you own the rights to your book in each country it’s sold in, you can list it for sale across Amazon’s global marketplaces.

Expenses and royalties of Amazon KDP

Self-publishing on Amazon KDP is completely free. The only time you’ll have to shell out some cash is when a reader buys a paperback copy and Amazon deducts the cost of printing from your royalties.

Now, some authors opt to spend on additional services like professional editing, formatting, cover design, or marketing. But let’s focus on the royalties you’ll earn. KDP offers two royalty rates: 60% for paperbacks and 35-70% for eBooks.

So, what’s the deal with the eBook royalty rates? You’ll receive a percentage of the revenue, both you and Amazon. And you get to choose between two options: 35% and 70%. You might be tempted to choose the higher 70% rate, but there are some requirements you’ll need to meet.

  • Firstly, your eBook has to be between $2.99 and $9.99.
  • You’ll also have to pay a “delivery fee” depending on the size of your eBook. Amazon charges $0.15 per megabyte for each book sold between $2.99 and $9.99.
  • If you’re selling physical copies, the eBook price must be at least 20% lower than the paperback’s list price.
  • You must own the copyright to the eBook. Sorry, if the book is in the public domain, you won’t be eligible for the 70% rate.
  • Finally, your books must be enrolled in KDP Select to receive 70% royalties on sales to customers in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and India.

If your book is priced below $2.99 or above $9.99, you’ll receive a 35% royalty, which is pretty standard. And the best part? You won’t have to pay any delivery fees. This rate makes more sense for big books like textbooks, cookbooks, or picture books.

Amazon also has list price requirements for eBooks published through KDP, but that’s a topic for another day. Remember, the key to maximizing your royalties is understanding your options and making informed decisions. 

Amazon KDP Select

By joining the KDP Select program, you could earn higher royalties and have access to sweet promotional tools like Kindle Unlimited. Just keep in mind, you’re giving up the ability to sell your eBook anywhere else.

But don’t worry, Amazon gives you a 90-day trial period to see if KDP Select is a good fit for you. If it’s not, you can always back out after the trial.

How to sign up for a KDP account?

KDP accounts are easy to create. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Sign up: Go to the KDP website and click on “Sign up”. Fill in the required information to create an account.
  2. Choose your format: Click on “Create a New Title” and choose whether you want to publish a Kindle eBook or a paperback.
  3. Fill in book details: Provide the title, author name, description, and other relevant information about your book. Upload the manuscript, cover, and preview. Ensure that your content complies with the KDP Content Guidelines.
  4. Price your book: Decide if you want to enroll in KDP Select. Choose the territories where your book will be available and select your royalty rate and price. You can choose between a 35% or 70% royalty plan. If your book’s list price is over $9.99, you’ll only be eligible for the 35% royalty option.
  5. Publish: Fill in all the information and hit the publish button. Your book is now available for sale on Amazon.

Amazon KDP formatting

Formatting your book for Amazon KDP is a piece of cake. Trust me, I’ve got you covered.

First things first, grab your Microsoft Word or an eBook formatting software to make things easier. If you don’t have either, you can always hire a professional eBook formatter to help you out.

Here’s a rundown of the typical structure of an Amazon KDP eBook:

  • Title page: Make sure your book title is centered, with your name as the author listed below it.
  • Copyright page: Go with the format “Copyright © [Year] [Author Name]” followed by “All rights reserved.”
  • Table of contents: In Word, head over to the References tab, then select “Table of Contents.” This will make sure your table of contents is formatted correctly. Remember to check the “Use hyperlinks instead of page numbers” box so your contents are linked.
  • Book content: Divide your book into chapters and use the Heading 1 style from the Word Styles toolbar for each chapter title. Also, don’t forget to insert a page break after the final sentence in each chapter. This will make sure Amazon KDP presents your book’s chapters properly.
  • Bonus content: This could be promos for other books, an index, acknowledgments, etc. It all depends on your book.

Note that Amazon KDP won’t recognize special fonts, headers, footers, tables, bullets, or text boxes. However, you can use italics, bolding, indentations, and headings without any problem.

Finally, choose a cover image with a minimum size of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest. For best results, go with images that have 2,560×1600 pixels, saved as a JPEG or TIFF file.

How to create and publish your Amazon KDP file?

Ready to become an Amazon KDP-published author? Here’s how to get your Word file ready for the Kindle store in just a few clicks:

  1. Download Kindle Create. This handy program will convert your book file into a format that’s ready for KDP.
  2. Preview and perfect. Once your file is transformed, use the Preview option to check how your book will look on phones, Kindles, and tablets. Make any final tweaks to get it just right.
  3. Publish! Enter your details and book information, upload your files, confirm your publishing territories, and set your pricing. Then sit back and wait – it’ll take about 12 hours for your book to go live in the Kindle store and become available for purchase.

Is Amazon KDP worth it?

If you’re thinking about using Amazon KDP, I’d say it’s totally worth it – at least from my personal experience. As an author, KDP has been a game-changer for me in the publishing world. The fact that it dominates the eBook market means my books can reach a wide audience, and that’s exciting!

One of the best things about KDP is the flexibility it offers with royalty options. Choosing between a 35% or 70% royalty rate allows me to optimize my earnings based on my book’s pricing and features. And let’s not forget the marketing tools they provide! Kindle Countdown Deals and Kindle MatchBook have helped me run promotions and attract more readers, which definitely boosted my sales.

Of course, success still requires effort and marketing, but KDP provides an excellent platform to get started. For a self-published author like me, KDP’s reach, royalties, and marketing tools have made it more than worth it. Of course, you can also explore other ways to make money online

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