Review of Amazon KDP Self Publishing

By on Mar 3, 2014 in Self-Publishing Platform Reviews

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Amazon is undoubtedly the biggest name in books, for both print versions and eBooks. Amazon developed the Kindle e-reader, which is a great way to read books on the go. The free Kindle app is also available for various other platforms, making it possible to read Kindle eBooks on virtually any personal electronic gadget you have.

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) self-publishing platform is now the top choice for authors to self-publish their eBooks. Here is everything you need to know about Amazon KDP self publishing.

Royalties and Payment with KDP

Unlike traditional publishers who pay between 5- 15% royalty to authors, KDP offers up to 70% royalty for your eBook. There are a few basic criteria in order to be eligible for the 70% royalty option- your eBook has to be priced between $2.99 and $9.99, and has to be of a certain minimum length. In India, the 35% royalty option is standard. In order to qualify for 70% royalty, Indian authors have to sign up for the exclusive KDP Select program (explained in next section).

You can easily monitor your earnings, number of sales and other stats as they will be shown on your account page. Amazon can make payments directly into your Indian bank account. However, you will receive your earnings only 60 days after the month end sales are tallied.

KDP Select Program

This is Amazon’s clever strategy to get exclusive rights to sell your eBook. It involves allowing your eBook to be included in Amazon’s lending library, and having your eBook available only on Amazon (you cannot sell it even on your website).

There are many advantages to the Select program: you earn a small amount every time your book is borrowed from the library, you get the opportunity to make your book free for up to 5 days (a great promotional activity for new authors), and also you get the 70% royalty option for many countries.

Self-publishing your eBook with KDP

KDP is actually extremely easy for most authors to use, even the ones who are not tech-savvy. All you need to get started is an Amazon account, and of course your manuscript (carefully edited, and with a cover image). You will need to have the manuscript in a Word document file (.doc) for uploading on the site.

There are a series of simple steps to go through before your eBook becomes available on Amazon. You will need to provide some personal information, your eBook pricing information and your tax information (Indian authors are eligible for the 15% tax treaty benefits, and need to apply for this separately before you get a payment).

After completing all these steps and uploading your eBook for publishing, it will be converted into the eBook format by Kindle. The eBook will become available in the Kindle book store within 24-48 hours, but usually it is a lot sooner.

Formatting and Editing your eBook

You can log into your account and edit your eBook at any time, but this will make your eBook unavailable to customers for a while. So, it is best if you catch any errors before you upload your eBook.

Do download the free Amazon KDP guide which explains the entire process. Format your manuscript according to their guidelines, and then do a final round of edits. After uploading your eBook for publishing, it will be available as a preview. Take some time here to ensure that the formatting, fonts, images and other details are not affected during the conversion process.

Great Marketplace for your eBooks

Apart from the ease of use, Amazon KDP offers authors its great marketing ability. When your book has sold a decent number of copies, Amazon will show your eBook to random shoppers as a ‘suggested buy’. This is a great way to get your eBook seen in the world’s largest virtual shopping place.

Image credit: Bladeflyer on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0

CS Rajan is a freelance writer who loves to write on various topics, and is currently working on her first novel.

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