Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Explained

If you are an author and have a book ready to publish, you have two paths you can follow: traditional publishing where a publishing house accepts your manuscript and publishes your book – or self-publishing where you publish and market the book yourself.    

If you choose to go the self-publishing route, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is a fantastic way to go seeing as Amazon holds at least 80% of the ebook market. You definitely want to include your book on the KDP platform.   

The above assumes you have written ‘the great American novel’. Perhaps you have and are in for a great career in writing books, another Stephen King perhaps. Maybe, though, you have written a children’s book. Can you still use KDP to market your book? Yes, of course you can – and you can offer it on their platform as a hard cover book that is sold and shipped to the customer (without you having to pay the price of creating the hard cover book and shipping it out) and/or you can also offer the same book as an ebook. Think how this can expand your market. The great part about using KDP is that you really don’t have the expense of the book printing or the shipping costs. Amazon does it for you.   

In another scenario, maybe you haven’t got a lot of writing talent. But you may have a lot of ideas or information that the general public can use. Or perhaps you are super creative and have a knack for determining trends. KDP also has a space for you on their platform. In this case, you can have someone else write your book and you publish it. You can create a fact book about any subject of interest and publish it. You can create a unique interior that will answer the needs of a particular niche – and publish it. Or you can create a fantastic cover (perhaps you are an artist instead of a writer) and you can publish it with a no or low content interior (see my other blog post on what ‘no content’ and ‘low content’ books are). You can also make money like this on the KDP platform.   

There is even a place for you to sell books, even if you never write a single word or create a single book cover. All of this can be done by someone else and you can publish it in your own name. That is how flexible KDP can be.    

OK – so you have a book ready that you want to publish (written by you or not).    

How Authors Publish Their Books Using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)  

Amazon’s KDP is a fantastic tool that you can use to publish books online. KDP makes your book or ebook available in the Amazon store to  book buyers and Kindle readers and provides a host of useful features - including free file conversion, sales tracking and help in formatting your books.    

The interface is very straightforward and easy to use. You start by opening the dashboard and the first thing you are prompted to do is to create the title of your book. All you have to do from there is follow the prompts on what is required for your book to be published. You determine the price of your book and the category in which it will be published. After all the prompts are fulfilled and accepted, your book will be reviewed and when accepted, shortly after that your book will be available for the Kindle browsing public to purchase.    

What are Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited?   

As you are going through the prompts to publish your book, you have the option of enrolling your book into KDP Select. This is a program that offers a series of additional tools to authors.    

Enrollment into Kindle Select makes your book exclusively available for Kindle readers – meaning that it cannot be available for sale in other platforms such as Nook, Apple or Kobo retail platforms. This gives your title the opportunity to earn higher royalties, see more book sales and reach wider audiences.    

There are other benefits to Kindle Select, such as having access to Kindle Count-Down Deals and free promotions. (Note that these promotional tools are limited to a certain number of days out of every 90-day enrollment cycle. You need to plan in advance to make the best use of these tools.)    

To further understand how Kindle Select works, here are the basics:   

KDP has a global fund, which is a pot of money, that goes to authors who are enrolled in the program. An author downloads one of his books into the Kindle Select platform and allows readers to access his book for free. Out of the pot of money set up by KDP, the author gets a percentage from the total amount of books read, proportionally divided amongst the authors who downloaded their books.    

Kindle Select is the authors side of the equation, and Kindle Unlimited is the reader’s side. With Kindle Unlimited readers pay a monthly subscription fee that allows people to borrow books just like they do at the library. They can read as many books as they want and keep them as long as they like. If authors enroll their books into Kindle Select, they are automatically available for Kindle Unlimited readers.    

So now you know a bit more about the KDP platform. Whether you are the author of ‘the great American novel’ or just want to make money selling low content books, there is a place for you on KDP. Whichever you choose, consider the book covers available at Imagination Design Arts – premade book covers that make it easy for you to sell your books.    

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