Amazon KDP

Review

Amazon KDP is a self publishing platform used by authors and publishers, to independently publish their books. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has also added a paperback option, which uses print-on-demand technology to allow both digital and print capabilities to self-published authors through its platform. Amazon’s main pitch to authors has been the platform’s capability of publishing both e-books and paperbacks through the same platform, without charging any upfront fees and reaching the large audience who frequent Amazon.

Amazon KDP Articles on Earnings

Read our article on Amazon KDP which examines the financial success of the platform’s authors.

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Amazon KDP Articles on Getting Started

Read out article which explain how to set up your own Amazon KDP account.

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  • Ease of Monetization
  • Platform Stability
  • Integration with Self-Hosted Blog
  • Publishing Tools
  • Writer Support

Platform Details

Name: Amazon KDP
Date Founded: Nov 2007
Website: www.kdp.amazon.com

Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon.com’s e-book publishing unit launched in November 2007, concurrently with the first Amazon Kindle device. Amazon launched Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), originally called Digital Text Platform, to be used by authors and publishers, to independently publish their books directly to the Kindle Store.

Amazon KDP FAQs

This section contains answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Amazon KDP.

What is Amazon KDP?

Amazon KDP is a self publishing platform used by authors and publishers, to independently publish their books. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has also added a paperback option, which uses print-on-demand technology to allow both digital and print capabilities to self-published authors through its platform. Amazon’s main pitch to authors has been the platform’s capability of publishing both e-books and paperbacks through the same platform, without charging any upfront fees and reaching the large audience who frequent Amazon.

Why publish on Amazon KDP?

There are numerous benefits to self-publishing your book on KDP. The Amazon KDP Publishing platform has helped revolutionize the publishing industry, giving authors the opportunity to make it easier to publish a book and create a sustainable book business.

Here are the benefits to KDP Publishing:

 

  • Wide distribution. Amazon’s platform is huge, which means authors can tap into global markets across the United States, Europe, and Japan.
  • Higher royalties. With Amazon, authors can earn higher royalty rates than they typically would through traditional publishing houses. Depending on the type of book you sell on Amazon, royalty rates can be as high as 60%.
  • Author rights. Even though you publish your book to KDP, you retain the rights to your book through Amazon’s non-exclusive agreement.
  • Quick publishing time. Typically, with traditional publishing, books can take a very long time to get to market. With Amazon’s platform, the KDP publishing process is very quick.
  • No inventory. Long gone are the days when authors had to purchase printed copies of books upfront in order to sell them. With print-on-demand technology, books are printed as they are purchased.
How much does it cost to self-publish on Amazon KDP?

It is free to publish a book on Amazon KDP. It does not cost authors anything directly. However, if you are selling paperback books on Amazon, the cost to print the book will be deducted by Amazon from your book royalties. This means that when you sell a paperback book, you will essentially pay for the price to print the book.

Aside from being free to publish on KDP, self-published authors typically spend money on author services to prepare their book for publishing. This includes services such as book cover design, formatting, editing, and marketing fees.

 

How do KDP royalties work?

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing pays its authors through royalty fees. There are two royalty fees to consider: the eBook royalty rates, and the paperback royalty rates.

The royalty rate for eBooks is 35% or 70%, depending on which royalty rate your book is eligible for. To see specific requirements of each, click here.

The royalty rate for paperback books is a fixed 60% royalty rate.

For each royalty rate, this means that you will receive the % royalty rate of your book’s list price.

 

 

What is KDP Select?

KDP Select is a program for authors to give Amazon exclusive rights to sell an eBook on the Kindle platform only. This means that the author’s eBook will only be available for purchase on Amazon’s Kindle platform, and the author is not able to use another self-publishing platform to distribute their eBook.

In exchange for exclusive rights to sell the author’s eBook, Amazon provides incentives to the author, such as promotional tools, like Kindle Unlimited, and possibly higher royalty rates.

If you’re considering enrolling in KDP Select, your enrollment is not indefinite, meaning you can test it out for 90 days. KDP Select enrollment lasts for 90 days, which allows authors the option to auto-renew enrollment in KDP Select for another 90 days, or opt out.

Can I sell my book elsewhere if I self-publish it on Amazon first?

It depends on which format you choose. When using ACX, Amazon’s recommended audiobook production website, you will not be able to sell or create other versions of the book elsewhere. The company’s website specifies, “You will not produce, or authorize the production of, an audio recording of the Book in the Language for distribution in the Territory other than through ACX until you remove the Book from ACX so that the Book no longer has a Title Profile on ACX and is no longer listed as available for production on ACX.”

“Further,” state ACX’s guidelines, “if you enter into an ACX Audiobook Production Agreement with a Producer [the company allows authors to pair with Producers, who will put together the actual audio file of the book], you will not produce, or authorize the production of, an audio recording of the Book in the Language for distribution in the Territory other than through ACX until the date that is 7 years from the date the completed Audiobook is delivered to Audible in accordance with the terms set forth in the ACX Audiobook Production Agreement, unless no Audiobook is produced within 4 months after the date the Audiobook must be completed, as set forth in the ACX Audiobook Production Agreement, for reasons other than your failure to abide by your obligations under the agreement.”

More simply:

  1. If you create the audio file yourself, you must first have removed the book from ACX before publishing elsewhere.
  2. If you partnered with a Producer who created the audio file, you must wait at least seven years from the date the completed audiobook is delivered to Audible.

However, if you’re using KDP to create a Kindle or paperback version, you will retain publishing rights. For eBooks, Amazon says authors can “keep control of your rights and set your own list prices. Make changes to your books at any time.” For paperbacks, you can “Maintain creative control and own your copyright with our non-exclusive agreement.”

If you’re considering enrolling in KDP Select, your enrollment is not indefinite, meaning you can test it out for 90 days. KDP Select enrollment lasts for 90 days, which allows authors the option to auto-renew enrollment in KDP Select for another 90 days, or opt out.

AMAZON KDP KEY STATISTICS

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This chart shows the most popular self-publishing platforms among authors in the United States in 2018. The findings show that 37.2 percent of surveyed U.S. authors said that they used Kindle Direct Publishing, making it the most used self-publishing platform among authors who participated in the survey.

In 2019, authors earned more than $300 million from the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select Global Fund, totaling more than $1.1 billion since the launch of Kindle Unlimited, Amazon reported among a blizzard of other information the company delivered in connection with the release of its 2019 financial results (author earnings from Kindle Unlimited do not include their a la carte sales). Since Kindle Unlimited launched, Amazon said, KDP authors have earned more than $1.1 billion through the program, and more than 1,000 had royalties of $100,000 through KDP in 2019.

AMAZON KDP EARNING POTENTIAL

It is definitely possible to earn money using Amazon KDP. In addition to the author payment reports published by Amazon, I have personally published over 200 books on the platform. Below is a screenshot of my cumulative earnings from those books, over a several year period.

I’ve self-published many fiction and non-fiction books on Amazon, sold tens of thousands of copies, and continue to collect thousands of dollars per month in royalty checks. And I’m not alone. There are people making tens of thousands of dollars in passive income through Amazon KDP. Steve Scott is one (extreme) example, having made over $40,000 per month!

While this is one of my more volatile sources of passive income, it has increasingly stabilized as I have added more books in a wide variety of subjects. And while I’m not at Steve Scott’s level of success, Amazon KDP is one of my most successful passive income streams. Here is a screenshot from my KDP sales dashboard from the same month he wrote his post (~ $2800 that month alone, including royalties from all counties where my books sold). One of the great things about Amazon is the fact that, as an author, you can reach not only most of the US, but many foreign countries. This expands your reach and also increases your earning potential.

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