Publishing on Amazon KDP: A Beginner’s Guide

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publish your book on amazon kdp

Publishing on Amazon is pretty easy, and this is why a lot of authors have jumped on the opportunity, especially as traditional publishing has become a huge roadblock at the start of their author journey. 

The advent of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing has made it possible for authors to self-publish a book with the click of a button.

However, the process – from formatting your book to book launch can be quite overwhelming, especially if you want to ensure you do it correctly all through the entire process.

In this article, I will guide you through the entire process of publishing a book using amazon kindle direct publishing.

By the end of this article, you should have your first book published on the kindle store, available to a global audience of readers.

publishing on amazon kdp

What is Amazon KDP?

This is amazon’s book publishing platform that anyone can use to self-publish a book online. Such books can be purchased by readers either as an ebook or paperback (print-on-demand book). Amazon KDP is one of the top self-publishing companies online and they currently have the largest market share of the self-publishing book market.

The launch of Amazon KDP in 2007 left modern writers with an important decision to make as it relates to how to become an author.

Book authors now have two options for publishing their books: traditional publishing or self-publishing. The ease of self-publishing coupled with the higher royalty rates offered on KDP has tilted the choice in favor of self-publishing.

How does Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing work?

We have already established that Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is a platform created for authors to self-publish their books as ebooks and paperback books.

For ebooks, authors can upload their book files directly on the platform and it will appear in the Kindle store as an ebook to be purchased and downloaded by readers.

In the case of printed books, authors can upload their book files and amazon kdp will use its print-on-demand technology to print the paperback book once a customer pays for the book. However, note that amazon deducts the printing costs from the royalties that accrue to you from every book sold.

This is how Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing works:

1) You upload your book files to the KDP platform.
2) Publish your book to the KDP platform.
3) Readers purchase your ebook and instantly download it to their Kindle device.
4) Readers can also purchase a paperback copy of your book and amazon will use its print-on-demand technology to print and ship your book directly to the reader once it is purchased.
5) Amazon pays you royalties on each book sold on their KDP platform.

Reasons Why You Should Publish Your Book on Amazon KDP

The benefits of self-publishing your book on amazon KDP are quite enormous. The KDP platform has given authors the opportunity to self-publish their books, reach a large audience worldwide and make money self-publishing on Amazon.

The benefits include;

1) Fast Publishing Time. With traditional publishing, your book can take too long before it gets to the market. But with Amazon KDP, the process is quite fast. Your book can get to the market in 24-48hrs.
2) You don’t have to keep an inventory of your books. With amazon’s print-on-demand technology, books are printed as soon as they are purchased.
3) With Amazon KDP, book authors can expect higher royalty rates than they would typically get from traditional publishers. Your royalty rates can be as high as 60% depending on the type of book you sell.
4) Amazon has a huge worldwide audience that authors can tap into. Amazon gives authors access to marketplaces in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, India, Japan, etc.
5) Authors who publish their books through Amazon KDP retain the rights to their books via Amazon’s non-exclusive agreement.

Is Publishing a Book on Amazon Kindle FREE?

Publishing on Amazon KDP is FREE. There is no cost to authors directly. But if you’re selling paperback books on Amazon, they will deduct the cost of printing the book from your book royalties.

How do KDP Royalties Work?

Amazon pays its authors on the KDP platform in the form of royalties. The KDP platform offers two royalty rates: ebook royalty rates (for kindle books), and paperback royalty rates (for print-on-demand books).

For Kindle books (ebooks), the royalty rate is either 35% or 70% depending on which rate your book is eligible for.

For paperback books (print-on-demand), the royalty rate is fixed at 60%.

The royalty rate is the percentage of your book’s listing price that you will receive from each sale.

When does Amazon KDP Pay?

Amazon KDP pays earned royalties every month, approximately 60 days after the end of the month in which you earned the royalties.

For example, if you earned $300 in January, you will receive your royalty by March 30.

What is KDP Select?

The KDP Select is a program that allows authors to confer exclusive publishing rights of their ebook on Amazon. This means that the author will not be able to use any other self-publishing platform to distribute their ebook. Hence, the author’s ebook will be available only on Amazon for readers who want to purchase it.

As a reward for giving up exclusive rights to your ebook, Amazon provides promotional tools such as Kindle Unlimited and the lure of higher royalty rates.

Enrollment into KDP Select lasts for 90 days, after which the author either opts out or auto-renews for another 90 days.

Now that you’ve understood what KDP entails, let’s move to the publishing process.

Before you can publish your book on Amazon KDP, you must first ensure that your book is properly formatted using Microsoft word.

Some things to take note of include;

No text boxes should be in your ebook file
No headers and footers are allowed
Your cover image size should be at least 625 pixels by 1000 pixels. For best quality use 2560 by 1600 pixels.

To get full details of the proper formatting specifications for Amazon KDP, check this guide

Steps to self-publishing your book on Amazon KDP

After you have successfully formatted your kindle book following the required specification, you can now proceed to self-publish your book on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

There are three sections that you need to complete in order for your book to be live in the Amazon Kindle Store.

Section 1

Log in to your KDP account here:

Once logged in you will see your empty dashboard. 

Click on Create (at the right of your dashboard) 

publishing on amazon kdp 

Next, Click on Create ebook. 

NOTE: Open your text file where you have all your book details so that you can just copy and paste your details into the boxes provided. 

Choose your book’s language from the Language drop-down menu 

Type your book title in the Book Title field. 

If you have a subtitle, type this in the Subtitle field. 

Type your name in the Primary Author or Contributor field. 

Type your book’s description in the Description field.

If you’re publishing an original work that you wrote, select the “I own the copyright and I hold the necessary publishing rights” button 

The next section is your keywords. These are the terms (keywords) that prospective buyers will use to find your eBook while searching in the Kindle Store.

You can enter up to 7 keywords – double keyword phrases count as 1 keyword, e.g. self-publishing and self publishing are considered as 1 keyword. 

To learn how to choose the right keywords for your book, see this resource

Next, click the Set Categories button, and choose the category for your book (there are many).

Amazon defines a browse category as the section of the Kindle store where users can browse to find a book.

how to choose your book category on amazon kdp 

If your book has a specific age group (e.g. children’s books), choose the Age Range using the relevant Minimum and Maximum drop-down buttons.

Similarly, choose the U.S. Grade Range if this is applicable to your book. 

If you are ready to go live with your eBook, select the “I am ready to release my book now” button

Then click the Save and Continue button. 

Section 2 

On the next page, you’re going to upload your book files. 

uploading your book files on amazon kdp 

Click on Upload ebook manuscript and select the book file. 

Next, if you already have a book cover designed, select the “Upload a cover you already have” option. 

Select the cover file and upload it. 

Then click the Save and Continue button. 

Section 3

The third part of publishing your book on KDP, is focused on the pricing of your book. 

book pricing on amazon kdp 

Select a Royalty Plan (either 30% or 70%) 

Next, choose a price for the marketplace 

Note: Amazon uses the price you choose for the marketplace to automatically calculate the prices for other marketplaces. 

If you are satisfied with everything, you can click the Save and Publish button. If you’re not ready to publish your eBook, click the Save as Draft button. 

On your dashboard, you will see that the status of your eBook is now In Review, and you cannot access your book details.

That’s it – your book is now uploaded and published to KDP. 

Congratulations – you’re now a self-published author on KDP! 

Your Kindle eBook is now published to Kindle Direct Publishing. It will take about 12 hours (if your book is in English) to be live in the Kindle store (about 48 hours for non-English books).

After everything is uploaded to KDP, you will receive an email confirming that your book is available in the Kindle Store.


Originally posted 2022-05-05 15:46:16.

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