Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon’s eBook publishing unit, which enables writers to sell their books directly to Amazon’s readers without ever having to develop an online website. Both Kindle and KDP were introduced simultaneously in 2007, setting the stage for Amazon’s long-term ebook empire that now holds nearly 80% of the U.S. market.
In this article, we will talk about “Kindle Direct Publishing”, the self-publishing service offered by Amazon. According to us, it’s the most convenient solution for Self-Publishers authors, because of its extreme simplicity.
Once you have written and corrected your book, you are finally ready to publish it. You just have to choose the self-publishing platform that best suits your needs.
A New Frontier
When you publish through Kindle Direct Publishing, you won’t have to deal with traditional publishers, since the Kindle store is where your book will appear.
Many aspiring indie authors dream of getting their first book published, and Kindle is simply perfect for them because it eliminates most of the traditional mistakes you may encounter.
For example, it could happen to accidentally spell the book title wrong and then publish it without realizing the mistake. Viceversa, if you publish through Amazon’s Kindle store, all mistakes are caught before the book is even sold.
Kindle Direct Publishing also offers more opportunities than just selling ebooks. Having an own publishing house brings about greater freedom because you can set your own pricing, create your own distribution network and have full control over your works.
The Solution To Your Needs?
We all know that the main needs of an author are often three: earnings, distribution, and costs.
You can’t choose a self-publishing platform if you don’t know what the royalties are, where your book will be distributed, and what the upfront costs are.
Kindle Direct Publishing can truly satisfy all these needs. It provides an environment in which self-publishing authors can thrive without the hassles of traditional publishing houses.
This has opened doors for aspiring authors as well as established ones, as they can showcase their work before the general public and have it published exclusively through the kindle store.
It’s becoming more convenient than traditional channels and many authors have noticed a significant increase in sales when using the KDP feature.
There are many reasons why you should consider Kindle Direct Publishing as your next publishing venture.
One of these is that you can decide the format in which to publish your book. The platform allows you to choose whether to publish your work as an ePub or a regular book, depending on which will best suit your text and your personal tastes (the most popular formats are doc, docx, rtf, ePub).
Once you have filled in all the preliminary information, the system will convert the chosen file to the format provided for Amazon e-books (which is the “mobi”).
Then, it will make you upload the e-book and the cover. Insert an existing one (if you already have it) or create your own using the KDP Cover creation system. It’s user-friendly, but we recommend using more advanced software or seek the help of professionals, for a better result.
On the other hand, there are some cons related to this format. One of these is the fact that it doesn’t allow the full flexibility and customization of an Adobe-style publishing platform.
Since the format is so similar to PDF (which is what most e-books are written in), some authors are finding it difficult to create the interactive experience that goes beyond the standard text and image editing that most books are offered with.
This makes reading a kindle book much less attractive than reading an illustrated ebook, full of images and color.
Royalties & Taxes
Kindle uses a royalty rate system that is clear and’s displayed on the homepage of the website. Royalties go from ten to forty-five percent, with many authors qualifying for more than fifty percent too!
You can set up your own website and get paid by credit card or Pay Pal, which is very popular among common people. In this case, we recommend creating a brand new page with the right graphics, including a clear navigation bar for your buttons and book sales buttons, as well as a complete description of your e-book, with (possibly) illustrations.
Furthermore, with KDP there is no need for the ISBN because the system applies a unique code to each e-book, the “ASIN” (Amazon Standard Identification Number). If your book is printed and has an ISBN, it’s still better to purchase a new code for the e-book.
Regarding taxes, you don’t have to worry about them. Whether you’re in the United States or the United Kingdom, taxes are calculated differently based on where the book is published.
In the United States, they are applied to the retail price of the book, and Kindle Publishing automatically deducts them from your earnings before paying you (in the UK, all sales are tax-free).
Lack of Reviews?
Maybe, it’s one of the negative aspects of Kindle Direct Publishing.
Since the format is still relatively new, there is currently no meaningful way for readers to evaluate the quality of the books that are published. As a result, when a reader purchases an ebook for which he’s not familiar, he may not get the full value of the price.
There are currently many examples of disappointed customers after spending money on something they weren’t sure about. While this may not affect most authors, it should be considered a significant drawback for readers.
As KDP gives full access to anyone willing to try a new adventure, a drawback is certainly the lower quality overall of the books published (something quite rare in traditional publishing).
The lack of reviews, however, hurts aspiring authors as well. For those trying to make themselves known it’s quite impossible to reach a wider audience without an adequate number of reviews.
If you don’t have experience in marketing, publishing, and promoting books, you may want to consider investing in some professional Kindle publishing tools. By using them, it’s more probable to appear on the first search page results, and attract a considerable amount of readers interested in your content, if it’s well presented at a first glance.
Seriously consider this option if you want to maximize your sales.
Let’s Sum Up!
Amazon is undoubtedly the best-known and most-used platform. So many authors today are using it and giving KDP exclusivity by taking advantage of the Kindle Unlimited service.
It often happens that many writers earn more with Kindel Unlimited than with copies sold themselves. In fact, this seems to be one of the main advantages of Kindle Direct Publishing. The disadvantage is that you won’t be able to publish the e-book in other stores.
However, what we recommend is to run some trials on the other stores and see how sales and earnings are going.
Two Great Print On Demand Companies for Self-Publishers
Lulu is a company founded in 2002, specialized in all kinds of books and novels.
Their platform is user-friendly and provides many customization options, from the choice of paper to cover designs and illustrations.
With Lulu, you can also take advantage of their many distribution channels, and have access to a larger customer base, like the Amazon one.
However, they can charge you extra fees for this service, so you may use their channels to build a loyal customer base and then move to a cheaper provider, for the most cost-effective solution.
Blurb is a self-publishing service, based in San Francisco, that makes you create illustrated projects with eye-catching graphics, like magazines and photo albums (the flagship products).
Blurb provides the best cover type for your book, or if you want an on-cloud solution, the best e-book templates.
Depending on the chosen features, Blurb will charge you a corresponding fee. On this, you can apply your margin at absolute discretion.
If you create a book through Blurb, you can sell it through the Amazon marketplace for free.
This is a great advantage to take into consideration.
Pros Of Self-Publishing
1. Full Control
With self-publishing, you can control your destiny, as you’re the author, the editor, and the main promoter of your book.
Nobody else can influence your decisions like usually happens in the traditional publishing industry.
Independence is a value and it’s a price you want to pay if you feel competent in what you do and what you wrote.
2. Higher Margins
Typically, traditional publishing gives you from 7 to 25% of royalty fees. Self-publishing, instead, around 70%.
Imagine the incredible boost in profits you could make if you decide to become an independent author.
3. Quick Fulfillment
With self-publishing, the period that separates the ending of the book and its publication is less than a week. There’s no third-party editor who reviews the contents and delays the process.
When you’re ready to print, go, and print your book.
If you’re the editor and the promoter of yourself, it will be much easier to create a fan base and collect an email list. It’s way more personal than passing through traditional systems that you don’t control and don’t know basically how they work.
Many authors became successful with self-publishing because they were capable to establish a durable connection with their audience through social media marketing.