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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

Be a Published Author for FREE - Your Guide to Amazon KDP

Updated: Apr 8

If you're an author looking to self-publish your book, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a great platform to consider. With KDP, you can publish your book in both print and digital formats, retain ownership of your content, and set your own list prices.


Let’s dive into the details and help you get published on Amazon!


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What is Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing?


Amazon KDP is a self-publishing platform that allows authors to publish their work and make it available to millions of readers worldwide. KDP allows you to publish your eBooks, paperbacks, and hardcover books for free. By using KDP, you can also create a product detail page for your book and have direct access to your book on Amazon.


To set up an Amazon KDP account, you will need to provide your personal and payment information. Once you've set up your account, you can start publishing your books on the platform. You can also manage your KDP account by accessing your personal, tax, and financial information.


One of the benefits of using Amazon KDP is that you can earn up to 70% royalty on your eBook sales. Amazon KDP also allows you to choose between two royalty options: 35% or 70%. The 70% royalty option is available for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99.


In addition, Amazon KDP offers a program called KDP Select. This program allows you to enroll your eBook in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. By enrolling in KDP Select, you can earn a share of the KDP Select Global Fund, which is a pool of money that is distributed among KDP Select authors based on the number of pages read by Kindle Unlimited subscribers.


Creating Your Amazon KDP Account

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started with Amazon KDP.


Step-by-Step Account Set Up

  1. Go to the KDP website and click on "Sign up" to create an account.

  2. Enter your email address and password, then click on "Sign in". If you don't have an Amazon account, click on "Create your KDP account" and follow the instructions.

  3. Once you're logged in, you'll be directed to your KDP Bookshelf where you can start uploading your book.

Choosing Your Pen Name

When setting up your KDP account, you'll need to choose a pen name. This is the name that will be displayed on your book's detail page. You can use your real name or a pseudonym. If you choose to use a pseudonym, make sure it's not already in use by another author.


Navigating the KDP Platform

There are two main ways to access the KDP platform: through the KDP website and through the Kindle Direct Publishing Dashboard. Here's what you need to know about both.


Understanding the KDP Dashboard

The Kindle Direct Publishing Dashboard is where you'll find all the information about your published books. When you first log in, you'll see a summary of your account, including your sales and royalties. You can also access your reports, which show you how many books you've sold and how much money you've made.


The Dashboard also allows you to manage your books. You can add new books, edit existing ones, and track your sales and royalties. You can also access the KDP Help Center, which provides answers to common questions and troubleshooting tips.


Using the KDP Website

The KDP website is where you'll go to upload your books, create new titles, and manage your account information. The website is divided into several sections, including:

  • Bookshelf: This is where you'll find all the books you've published on Amazon.

  • Reports: This is where you can access your sales and royalty reports.

  • Community: This is where you can connect with other authors and readers.

  • Help: This is where you can find answers to common questions and get help with any issues you're having.

When you're uploading your book, you'll need to provide information about the book, including the title, author name, and description. You'll also need to provide a cover image and select the categories and keywords that best describe your book.


Publishing Your Book

Once you have set up your Amazon KDP account, you can start publishing your book. Here are the steps to publish your book on KDP.


Uploading Your Ebook

To upload your eBook, you will need to format your manuscript according to Amazon's guidelines. You can use Amazon's Kindle Create tool or other eBook creation software to format your manuscript. Once your manuscript is formatted, follow these steps to upload your eBook:

  1. Go to your KDP Bookshelf and click on the "Create a New Title" button.

  2. Enter your book's title, subtitle, and series information (if applicable).

  3. Upload your eBook manuscript and cover file.

  4. Preview your book to make sure it looks the way you want it to.

  5. Save and publish your book.

Choosing Your Book's Language

Amazon KDP supports publishing in over 40 languages. When you create your title, you will be asked to select the primary language of your book. This language will determine which Amazon marketplaces your book will be available in. If your book is in a language other than English, you may need to provide a translation of your book's title, subtitle, and description.


Setting Up Your Paperback or Hardcover Book

If you want to publish a print version of your book, you can do so through Amazon KDP's print-on-demand service. Here are the steps to set up your paperback or hardcover book:

  1. Go to your KDP Bookshelf and click on the "Create a New Title" button.

  2. Choose the paperback or hardcover option.

  3. Enter your book's title, subtitle, and series information (if applicable).

  4. Upload your book's interior and cover file.

  5. Preview your book to make sure it looks the way you want it to.

  6. Set your book's price and distribution options.

  7. Save and publish your book.

By following these steps, you can publish your book on Amazon KDP and make it available to millions of readers around the world.


Understanding Royalties and Payments

When you publish a book with Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you are entitled to receive royalties on every sale. This section will help you understand how royalties work and how you can set up your payment information.


Setting Up Your Bank Account

Before you can receive your royalties, you need to set up your bank account information on KDP. To do this, go to your KDP account and click on "Account" in the top right corner. Then, click on "Payment Information" and follow the prompts to enter your bank account details. Once you have entered your account number and routing number, you will be able to receive your royalties.


Understanding Your Royalties

Your royalty amount will depend on the format of your book (e-book or paperback) and the list price. For e-books, you can choose between a 35% royalty rate or a 70% royalty rate. The 70% rate is only available for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99 and sold in certain countries.

For paperbacks, you will earn a royalty based on the list price minus printing costs and a distribution fee.


To see how much you will earn for each sale, you can use Amazon's royalty calculator. This tool will help you estimate your royalties based on the format of your book, the list price, and the royalty rate you have chosen.


Providing Your Tax Information

To receive your royalties, you will also need to provide your tax information to Amazon. If you are a US citizen, you will need to provide your Social Security number (SSN) or your Employer Identification Number (EIN). If you are not a US citizen, you may need to provide additional documentation to verify your identity and tax status.


To enter your tax information, go to your KDP account and click on "Account" in the top right corner. Then, click on "Tax Information" and follow the prompts to enter your details.


Do you also understand how and when you get paid for your sales on Amazon? Read our article on Amazon Seller Payout schedule here.


Optimizing Your Book Sales

To sell more on Amazon KDP, make your book easily discoverable by optimizing it for search engines. Here are two things to keep in mind:


1. Keyword Research: Use words or phrases people use to search for books on Amazon in your title, subtitle, and description. Find relevant keywords using Amazon's search bar, Google Keyword Planner, or KDP Rocket.


By the way, do you have a long-tail keyword strategy to find the right audience for your books? You might want to explore our article on long-tail keywords here.


2. Understanding ISBN: An ISBN helps track sales and is useful if you plan to sell outside Amazon. Get one from Bowker or your country's ISBN agency. Alternatively, use Amazon's ASIN for books sold on their platform.


Amazon’s Terms and Conditions

Before publishing on KDP, understand their rules:

  • Ownership: While you retain content ownership, Amazon gets a non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, and distribute it globally.

  • Pricing: Follow Amazon's pricing requirements for e-books or print books, depending on your country. Utilize Amazon's royalty program based on various factors.

  • Program Policies: Comply with Amazon's program policies on content, copyright, and customer reviews.

Understanding these aspects will ensure a smooth and successful publishing experience on Amazon KDP.


If you need help with determining the correct pricing for your published book on Amazon, our article on Average Unit Retail is the perfect resource for you.


Final Notes

Amazon KDP stands as a beacon of opportunity for authors worldwide. Its user-friendly platform, vast global reach, and flexible publishing options empower writers to share their stories and knowledge with a vast audience. With the potential for higher royalties, creative control, and the ability to adapt to evolving market trends, KDP is a valuable tool that can help authors achieve their dreams of becoming published authors.


So, whether you're a seasoned writer or just starting on your literary journey, Amazon KDP is a powerful ally that can help you bring your words to the world and embark on a rewarding publishing adventure. Happy writing, and may your stories continue to captivate readers around the globe!



Frequently Asked Questions

1 - Where can I find the KDP cover calculator?

The KDP cover calculator is a useful tool that helps you design a cover for your book. You can find the KDP cover calculator under the "Resources" section on the KDP website. The cover calculator is free to use and provides you with a template that you can use to create a cover for your book.


2 - How do I set up a bank account for KDP payments?

To set up a bank account for KDP payments, you will need to provide your banking information to Amazon. You can do this by going to the "Royalty Payment Information" section on your KDP account and entering your bank account details. Amazon will then transfer your royalties directly to your bank account.


3 - Can I use my personal Amazon account for KDP or do I need a separate one?

You can use your personal Amazon account for KDP, but it is recommended that you create a separate account for KDP. This will help you keep your personal and business activities separate and make it easier to manage your royalties and taxes.


4 - What are the costs associated with starting an Amazon KDP account?

There are no costs associated with starting an Amazon KDP account. You can sign up for free and start publishing your books immediately. Amazon takes a percentage of your royalties as commission, but there are no upfront costs or fees to publish your book on KDP.


5 - Is it necessary to have an LLC to sell on Amazon KDP?

No, it is not necessary to have an LLC to sell on Amazon KDP. You can publish your book as an individual and still earn royalties. However, having an LLC can provide you with certain legal protections and tax benefits. It is recommended that you consult with a lawyer or tax professional to determine if setting up an LLC is right for you.




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