Guide to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
Those were the days when getting your book published was like a catch-22 situation, where the authors need to get past the most difficult gate. They spend months writing a book proposal and contacting agents in order to pitch their books up to great publishers. Who again are never satisfied with what they write and comments that it may not make good money.
So, when agents reject their book authors either abandon their dream of getting their book published or instill great confidence through contacting directly with publishers. Now publishers in turn send a rejection letter or quite a bad offer. Which is why Amazon created an incredible thing for authors as they can be a self-published author. This sounds great right!!! It actually paves the way for indie authors to bypass the traditional publishing method and be independent.
In this article we will get into the in depth knowledge of KDP like:
- What actually is KDP?
- What is KDP Select?
- What is CreateSpace?
- What is Amazon Associate?
So, let’s see what the hype is all about Kindle Direct Publishing that it became the most positively reviewed and recommended site for publishing your book.
What actually is KDP?
Kindle being the most convenient and preferred way for readers all across the world. It also unfolds a way for indie authors to publish their book digitally so that it is read and acclaimed more digitally.
KDP gives access to the authors to connect with readers across the world without getting into the traditional method of publishing and waiting until your book reaches different countries, making it more costly.
So, any author can quickly create an author’s account, publish their book in the most famous website i.e., Amazon and that is too free of cost and finally sell it. Through this author's now have a clear view of what genre/category their books fall in. While publishing your book on KDP the most important question is in which category an author is going to publish their book, like if their book is finance related, of romance genre, thriller, sci-fi, self-help and many other topics.
Kindle Direct Publishing uses the format known as ‘mobi’ which is a digital format used by Amazon. In this authors can also upload a file through Doc, HTML, ePub and RTF. But mobi is especially for kindle bookstores where any changes you do in while formatting, creating and fixing an image stays unscathed.
If you have written your book in word and wanted to be converted into mobi then a software named Calibre can be used. And if you are someone who doesn't know how to convert a word file into Doc then a professional can be hired for this purpose. Though it will cost you but then the results will be in perfect manner. And you can also preview your book before uploading it and can change something if found unreasonable.
So this was about format and another best thing about KDP is that you can upload your digital file anywhere else you want. There is no compulsion of exclusivity that Amazon KDP asks for. Don’t get confused as exclusivity is asked by KDP Select which is another topic we will discuss further.
What is KDP Select?
So, it is not only about being a self-published author and publishing your book through KDP. The question is whether your book is being read and demanded or not. Here comes the promotional part where you don’t get simply from KDP. The Amazon Marketing Services are offered to those authors who are ready to give 90 days exclusivity to Amazon.
After granting Amazon the exclusive rights to sell your book only on Kindle, authors will have greater facilities that Amazon provides like that of giving almost 70% of royalties. And it allows books under KDP Select to be part of the library especially for prime members. Authors can get the percentage of total amount that is lent out by each prime member.
Since you selected the KDP Select option, authors get access to all the book promotional activities. Like as a part of a promotional campaign, KDP Select makes your book free for five days which will obviously attract more people towards it and help increase the ratings. Though there is no earning through it but it creates a great buzz at the launch time reaches to a wider audience.
It has been recorded that authors see more sales after their books are at a discounted price and even more when they're absolutely free. There are quite a lot of downloads and sales during this period which obviously helps make people aware of the availability of their books.
What is CreateSpace?
There are a lot of people who are traditional and like reading print books. Now this can be a big trouble for self-published authors who publish their book on kindle. Well Amazon has solutions to all the problems and introduces print-on-demand service through CreateSpace.
So all the Indie authors can actually sell a paperback copy of their book if demanded through CreateSpace or Amazon.com directly. Amazon in turn suggests a base price for your book and then authors need to make a print price over that. Then a PDF can be uploaded based on how much you’d like to make out of it.
Here you don’t actually have to pay for the books being printed and authors get the commission as soon as it makes a sale. Now the question is how does it work and you don’t have to pay. As already discussed Amazon sets a base price lets say $2.50 for a 200 page book.
Authors can set their book price above this range like $6 print price. So, whenever you make a sale Amazon keeps its base price including the delivery charge and you get the rest of the book price and can earn $3.50.
You can link the kindle version of your book along with the paperback through CreateSpace. So, readers willing to buy a kindle version will directly click the link from that same page. If an author is already a member of KDP or KDP Select Amazon will automatically link their kindle version on the same page of their website.
It is the best feature that an indie author can get as nobody knows how well your book will do. Some authors tend to order paperback books in huge numbers, adding to a lot of expense and finally regretting it as nobody is willing to buy. So, it'd be the better option where you don’t have to spend in the printing service and will also earn when there’s an actual demand from the readers.
CreateSpace indeed removes all the obstacles in front of the author's pathways. But it also consists of a limitation as there is no option for hardcovers. Many readers love to buy hardcovers so through CreateSpace you don’t get that and also have to publish their book in a particular size mentioned in the options.
What is Amazon Associate?
Many authors tend to earn extra through the affiliate service that Amazon provides. Like Amazon can pay you for linking a product on Amazon.com and likewise you can also link your book and earn through it. It works like this, if someone lands on a product page using your affiliate link then you get some commission.
Amazon Associate links cannot be used in PDFs or any article, emails as it is against the rules. And one of the major pitfall of selling on Amazon is that the royalty that authors get from Amazon is lesser than what authors will earn from their own website. So, these points need to be kept in mind.
Returns & Refunds
Authors need not have to worry about the returns and refunds as they all are handled by Amazon itself. If someone buys a kindle and doesn't like it then the money is refunded within seven days. Similarly, paperbacks can also be returned easily. So, there’s an easy returns and refund policy by Amazon.
Though this policy is not liked by numerous authors of Kindle eBooks returns but Amazon gives the readers freedom of choice that if they don’t like it they can return it. Indie authors also get benefited from it as readers can at least try reading their book and if they like it then obviously they will recommend it to others.
Amazon lets you create an author’s page keeping aside the fact of you being an indie author or your book is published traditionally. All your reviews can be added through this page along with your biography and photos. Authors can cross-link their other books through this marketing tool. Readers can also sign up to get direct notification for any upcoming events. Authors whose books are on Amazon can simply notify them that they are a recognised author and their Amazon central page will set up. For this it is certainly not necessary to be a KDP author.
So, self-publishing in its own way gives authors an opportunity to explore themselves. There are many merits and demerits too but then you get to be an acclaimed author on Amazon. Authors can simply choose KDP if they are not willing to give exclusivity to Amazon. But it is just the matter of 90 days and one can at least explore it.