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Amazon Publishing (KDP) – The Ultimate Guide


Have you heard about Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, popularly called Amazon KDP, and still don’t know what it is about, or are you a writer looking for an excellent opportunity to self-publish your book? This is the perfect chance for you.

Amazon has created an easy platform for every writer to share their books and skills with the world and still earn money from it. Yes, for the first time in history, you can now write, publish, and sell your books on a single platform online. This guide will help you understand Amazon KDP and how to utilise it for self-publishing. 

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What is Kindle Direct Publishing? 

Kindle Direct Publishing is a platform established by Amazon to allow people to self-publish and sell their books online. Readers can print these books on demand or read them online, and the writer will get paid either way.

Amazon KDP is a leading self-publishing company holding about 80% of the ebook market. It has helped many writers develop their potential without having to do too much, so if you have been looking for a way to get your books out there, here is some good news for you; with Amazon KDP, you can now write, publish and sell your books from the comfort of your home

How Does Amazon KDP Work?

For ebooks, authors can upload an already written and edited copy on Amazon, which will appear on the Kindle store as an ebook. Then interested readers can purchase and instantly download them.

However hard copies or printed books, authors can upload the book files, which will be made available on the Kindle store for users to purchase. Still, Amazon uses print-on-demand technology to print the Paperback for buyers, and the cost of printing will be deducted from the royalties the author earns from the book sales. 

Amazon Kindle publishing works with the following steps:

  • Upload your book files to the Amazon website
  • Publish your book
  • Interested readers can purchase your ebook and instantly download it to their devices. 
  • Readers can also purchase your Paperback; the Amazon KDP platform will print and ship it to them directly. 
  • Amazon will pay you per book sold on the platform.
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Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know the basics of Amazon KDP if you want to try it, here is a short guide that can help you publish your first book.

Create an Account on the Kindle Direct Publishing Platform

Kindle Direct Publishing

Go to the Kindle Direct Publishing website and sign up as a new user; registration is free. You need to add your basic information, like a valid email, password, name, etc., and accept the terms of use. You will also need to verify your email and phone number; once completed, you can log in to see your Amazon KDP dashboard. 

Create a New Kindle Ebook Title

Kindle Direct Publishing

Since this is your first publishing on Amazon KDP, you will have to list your titles to create a new title and select Paperback or ebook. Also, remember that once you start adding information, you must click on save as draft at the bottom of the page so you can always continue from where you stopped at any time. 

Add Your Book Title and Subtitle

Kindle Direct Publishing

At this stage, you need to fill in the book title and other relevant details like description, language, series, author, etc. 

Verify Publishing Rights

Kindle Direct Publishing

If you are the original author of your book and you own the copyright, click on the button that reads, “I own the copyright, and I hold the necessary publishing rights”. If you do not own the copyright for your book, click on “This is a public domain work.” 

Choose the Age Range of Your Content

Kindle Direct Publishing

Next, you need to fill in the age range of your readers and specify if you are writing for adults only. 

Select Category and Marketplace

Kindle Direct Publishing

Choosing the correct category for your book is also vital, so find the genre that your book belongs to; readers quickly locate your book once they search the category.

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At this stage, you must also list the territories or marketplace you want your book to be available in; it is best to make it worldwide unless you have written your book for a selected target audience.

Add Relevant Keywords

Kindle Direct Publishing

Keywords are important because they can determine how fast your book will sell. So, think of the most relevant keyword your readers will search for to find your book and other related books. Note that there are so many Amazon keyword research tools available online that you can use to help you find the best keywords for your book.

Select Book Release Option

Kindle Direct Publishing

Now, you need to select the book release options; do you want to publish the book immediately or later? If you choose later, you must also specify the date. 

Upload Your Ebook

Kindle Direct Publishing

Now you can upload your ebook cover and the manuscript and preview your book; if you don’t have an already make ebook cover, you can design one on-site by clicking on the “Launch Cover” button. Also, read the KDP content guidelines before uploading your book so you will know if you are on the right track.

In addition, Digital Rights Management (DRM) will ensure no one can copy your book and sell it for free, so click the box to turn it on. Anyone who tries to steal your book will be subjected to copyright infringement.

Add Kindle Ebook ISBN

Kindle Direct Publishing

An ISBN is an international standard book number, you can publish your book without it, so it is not compulsory, but if you have one, you can still add it. 

Royalties and Pricing

Kindle Direct Publishing

Royalties are your reward when your book is sold on the KDP platform. Amazon displays your royalty rate based on your list price, so choose the 70% option or the 35% option then you are set to publish your book. 

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Amazon KDP Publishing Costs and Royalties

Publishing your book on Amazon is free; you only get to spend money when there is a paperback to print, and Amazon subtracts this money from the book sales, so you still don’t get to add any personal funds to the platform.

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However, for royalties, paperback books have a fixed rate of 60%, while ebook ranges from 35% to 70%, depending on a number of factors.

Amazon authors are paid each month, but your pending balance must reach a certain threshold to get paid. The payment can be through wire transfer, direct deposit or check, whichever you prefer.

What is Amazon KDP Select

With Amazon KDP Select, you are giving Amazon the exclusive rights to your book, which can earn you some benefits like higher royalties and access to some promotional tools. Still, you won’t be able to publish your book anywhere else outside Amazon. However, Amazon KDP Select has a trial period of 90 days, so if you later feel you made the wrong choice, you can go back on your decision.

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Publishing on Amazon KDP is not difficult, and it is not for big authors; anyone, including big or small authors, can publish their writing with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Even if this is your first time writing a book, the Amazon KDP platform has enough room for everyone.

You can see from this guide that this is the simplest method of publishing ever; you can upload a book, add all the necessary details, create a book cover, and publish it. Then again, you don’t need to struggle to get readers or buyers for your book because Amazon KDP already has millions of readers worldwide. So with Amazon KDP, you no longer need a third-party retailer or a huge capital to write and publish a book. 

If you find this guide helpful, share your thoughts in the comment section below and feel free to add your contributions as well. 

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