All you need to know about KDP: Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Expounded

Writers who have a book that they are prepared to publish have two ways to do that: customary publishing, where a publishing house publishes the book, or independently publishing, where the writer publishes the actual book. On the off chance that you’ve done an examination into independent publishing, you might have known about Amazon KDP, or, Amazon arouses Direct publishing.

Since Amazon holds a higher percentage of the digital book market, you most certainly need to ensure that your book is accessible on its platform. Yet, what is KDP, and how might creators exploit it? In this article, we will investigate the intricate details of KDP and KDP Select.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP): How an Author can Publish his Books

Amazon’s KDP is one of the instruments publishers can use to publish their work on the web. Distributing through KDP makes a digital book available on Amazon to Kindle readers. KDP incorporates different valuable Features, including free document conversion, sales tracking, and extra devices to assist you with formatting unique kinds of books, like textbooks and kids’ books.

KDP’s Self-publishing interface is very straightforward and easy to use. Once you log into the KDP dashboard you’re greeted with the prompt to Create a New Title.

Prior to starting your Self-publishing journey, you need to ensure that you have everything prepared. The things that you’ll require while uploading your book are:

1. Your book’s caption, sub-caption (if pertinent) and series name (If relevant), as well as the publisher’s name you need to utilize (whether it’s yours or a nom de plume).

2. A market-optimized book description.

3. The classes and catchphrases you need to utilize. (More data here)

4. The text of your book.

5. A book cover.

6. Which cost you might want to sell your book for.

Whenever you’ve presented the above data and hit “Distribute” your digital book will be available to the Fuel perusing public! For all book modifications, such as exchanging covers, refreshing depictions, and changing costs for advancements, writers can utilize KDP.  Be that as it may, what might be said about KDP Select?

KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited

  • Whenever you have transferred your digital book in Fuel Direct Distributing you have the choice of enlisting it in KDP Select. KDP Select is a program that offers a progression of extra instruments to its sharing creators.
  • To enlist a title, go to your KDP “Shelf” and select the circles button to one side of your component. The fourth choice recorded is “KDP Select Data.”
  • Amazon’s rules for the digital books it acknowledges into KDP Select are rigid, so knowing these prior to choosing to enroll would be ideal. Some significant things to know include:
  • 1. Enlistment makes your digital book solely accessible in Fuel, meaning it can’t be ready to move on to Niche, Apple, or Kobo retail stages.
  • 2. Enlisting your title in KDP Select offers you the chance to procure higher eminences, see more book deals, and contact more extensive crowds.
  • Whenever you’ve enlisted, you’ll approach Fuel Count Down Arrangements and Free Advancements, two special devices accessible just to individuals from KDP Select. Be that as it may, these special devices are restricted to a specific number of days out of like clockwork enlistment cycle, so advancements of material in KDP Select ought to be coordinated and arranged well ahead of time.
  • A potential clarification of this case to higher deals can be tracked down in the agreements. For books signed up for KDP select, Amazon holds the option to advertise those titles as they deem fit.

Any books put out in KDP Select are also accessible to readers through Kindle Unlimited.

Assuming you’d like some more data on Amazon KDP, Kindle Unlimited and what it means for authors you can read more about that here.

Keep in mind, authors do not need to place all their books in KDP Select. Authors can pick and choose which titles they’d like to enroll. We decided to enroll our Holiday cookbook in KDP select, so you can see on the Amazon listing that it is available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Peradventure you are looking to self-publish your book, KDP is undoubtedly one of the tools you should use to make your book available to readers. If you’re looking for help with marketing your eBook, enrolling it in KDP Select will provide you with promotional tools and a wider reach at the cost of exclusivity. If you’d like to learn more about how to self-publish, check out the 5 best guides on self-publishing.


Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon’s publishing platform allowing independent authors to access readers worldwide. In a matter of hours, anybody can create an author account, upload their book, and sell paperbacks, hardbacks, and ebooks through Amazon — without any setup cost. It’s unquestionably the most accessible platform for self-publishing authors.

What is Kindle Direct Publishing? An Essential Guide for Beginners

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the experience of publishing on KDP, from setting up your book to mastering keywords and categories. But first, let’s take a bird’s eye view and try to see how Amazon has become the go-to retailer for self-publishing authors.

KDP ignited the self-publishing revolution

Launched concurrently with Amazon’s ebook reader in 2007, KDP opened up the publishing world. Readers could now not only buy indie ebooks through but also directly from any Kindle device.

Thanks to KDP, authors of niche genres have gained access to readers that previously could have only reached through traditional publishing.

Any author can reach larger percentage of US readers

Amazon is the largest bookstore in the world, full stop. While they don’t have the same iron grip in non-English language book markets, one retail news site suggests that in the US, Amazon held an 83% market share of ebooks in 2019 — with the remaining 17% spread between its competitors.

If you’re looking to sell books in the United States and the United Kingdom, KDP is a platform you can’t afford to ignore — especially once you see how they can help you reach readers across different formats.

Instant ebook publishing

Through KDP’s author platform, you can set up an account, upload a manuscript, and publish it by the end of the hour. Of course, you’ll likely want to format and edit your book to a professional standard first, but the publishing process on Amazon is otherwise very straightforward.

Once it’s live on the Kindle Store, readers can purchase your digital book and read it on their tablets, e-readers, phones, or desktop computers — just as they would any ebook published by a major press.

Guide to Kindle Direct Publishing | KDP’s homepage interface

Publishing is as simple as uploading a book, adding a few details, and hitting “go.” (Screenshot:

Paperbacks and hardcovers through KDP Print

Despite the ebook revolution, print books aren’t going anywhere. Several print-on-demand (POD) services are available for self-publishing authors who want a handsome paperbound edition to put in their bookcases (or, you know, to sell to paying customers). With POD, a supplier will churn out copies only when someone orders them — making this system an affordable alternative to large-scale print runs.

Kindle Direct Publishing offers a service called KDP Print (formerly known as CreateSpace), which manages print-on-demand. Authors need to upload immaculately formatted print files (different from the ebook format), after which they can start selling physical copies from their existing KDP account.

Get in your readers’ ears with Audible

Indie authors can also tap into the ever-growing audience of readers who want to listen to their books with Audible, the world’s largest audiobook distributor (as of writing). Of course, recording, narrating, and producing a quality audiobook does require specific skills and equipment, things not every indie author has. One option available to Amazon authors is ACX (Amazon Creative Exchange). In this service, authors can match up with audiobook narrator-producers to collaborate on an audiobook for an even split of the royalties. Audiobooks | An author recites her book, and it is heard across the world.

As a one-stop-publishing platform, KDP allows authors to focus most of their efforts on a single retailer without fear of losing out on too many potential sales — plus, you’ll only have to handle taxes on your earnings made from a single source.

As you’ll learn later in this guide, it isn’t always the best idea to sell exclusively on KDP, but it certainly is convenient — and the royalties that Amazon offers can be rather sweet.

Earn royalties of up to 70%

In the traditional publishing model, authors expect a royalty of around 5-15% on print books and 25% for ebooks. On KDP, authors will regularly receive 40-60% on print books and up to 70% for ebooks. This means that authors self-publishing with KDP would make five times more than a traditionally published author who sold the same number of copies.

While these percentages are by no means exclusive to KDP (you can expect similar royalties with Kobo or Apple Books), Amazon is the market leader and has effectively cemented these as the prevailing rates.

Terms and conditions apply

These royalty rates may sound pretty attractive to you, but you should be aware of certain limitations. For example, the 60% royalty on print-on-demand books will look a lot slimmer once you subtract the actual printing costs.

On the digital side of things, the premium 70% ebook royalty isn’t available in all territories and requires you to price your title between $2.99 and $9.99. So if you change your book’s price to above $9.99 on Kindle, your royalty rate will suddenly drop to 35%. This is fine for most authors (if your ebook costs more than $10, you might be doing something wrong), but if you’re selling a box set — where you bundle multiple books into a single product — you’ll be penalized. In contrast, Apple Books and Kobo have no such price ceiling.

Kindle gives unprecedented visibility to indie authors

As we mentioned at the start, one of Kindle’s big innovations is that they’ve effectively leveled the playing field for self-publishing authors 一 but what does it mean, exactly?

An algorithm-led store levels the playing field

Where Apple Books, Kobo, and other online retailers have groups of humans who choose new titles to promote (or authors whose backlist they’ll feature), Amazon doesn’t have a merchandising team 一 they let their algorithm decide which books to feature and promote.

Why is this good news? Won’t the algorithm just promote famous authors and big new releases?

Amazon Algorithms for Authors

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Well, actually, that’s not always the case!

It’s as if The Terminator worked at Barnes & Noble: the algorithm is a heartless book-selling machine that doesn’t get star-struck by big-name authors. It looks purely at data to determine — in its cold, calculating way — which books to put in front of more readers. Indie authors have an equal chance of seeing their book rise in its category — as long as your book page is optimized to generate pre-sales, sales, and user reviews. This may sound like a big ask, but it’s much easier than calling up every bookseller around the country and begging them to stock your book.

Guide to KDP | The Terminator as a metaphor for Amazon’s Algorithms

The ups and downs of going ‘exclusive’ with Kindle

Kindle Direct Publishing offers free promotional opportunities that can be accessed through their KDP Select program. You can check out our deep dive into KDP Select for all the juicy details, but in short, they include access to:

Kindle Unlimited – Amazon’s subscription-based service (Netflix for books)

Kindle Free Promotions — Turbocharge your downloads by making your book available for free (for five out of every 90 days)

Kindle Countdown Deals — Run a week-long price drop that will see your book promoted in the Kindle store’s Countdown Deals section.

As you might expect, there are minor downsides to enrolling in KDP Select. To get your hands on all these delicious marketing tools, you must make your ebook exclusive to Amazon. This might sound like no big deal (after all, most books are sold on Amazon). However, Kindle’s market share isn’t as all-consuming in countries outside the US and the UK. If you aim to reach the broadest possible audience of readers, then being tied to Amazon — if only for the length of a promotion — might be less than ideal.

So far, the downsides of publishing with KDP could be best described as “inconveniences” more than anything else. But before you throw your lot in with Amazon, it’s worth acknowledging the bigger picture.

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