Is Kindle Direct Publishing Worth It? Learn How KDP Works in Our 2021 Guide

Do you like to jot down your personal tales, however want you had an viewers to share them with? Getting your e book printed could be a tough and costly course of — however not with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) on Amazon. 

 With KDP, you may publish your personal book or paperback on Amazon at no cost, the place it’ll be obtainable to the tens of millions of Amazon customers who use Kindle readers. With Amazon’s free print-on-demand service, you can even provide your prospects a bodily paperback copy of your e book. 

Ready to get began? Let’s go over:

  • The advantages of utilizing KDP
  • How the royalties work
  • How to arrange an account and publish your personal books


What is Kindle Direct Publishing?

Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP, is Amazon’s self-publishing platform that enables authors to promote their books to Amazon’s large viewers—with out the effort of going by way of a conventional publishing firm. 

With KDP, authors can create ebooks and paperback books, all with none upfront prices or stock orders. On prime of that, KDP provides authors full rights to their books, one thing {that a} conventional publishing home usually gained’t do.

If you might be an creator of any variety, KDP is a good way to get your books printed and listed on the market — at no cost! You gained’t pay charges to Amazon till you make a sale — however we’ll go over that in a later part. 

What are the advantages of KDP?

At this level, I’m certain you’ve deduced the most important profit — zero value to publish and checklist your e book. But let’s go over extra the explanation why it’s best to join KDP.

  • You can publish ebooks and paperback books

With KDP, you have got the choice of publishing a Kindle book or paperback e book—or each! If you select to promote a paperback e book, Amazon will print your e book and ship it out to your buyer for you. No must buy bulk stock forward of time. 

  • No upfront prices in alternate for a income share

While it’s free to checklist your ebooks on the market on Amazon KDP, you’ll cut up the income of the book sale with Amazon. What that share is is dependent upon which royalty possibility you select and the way giant your book file is. I’ll clarify that extra quickly. 

  • You can publish as many ebooks as you need

Under one account, you may publish as many ebooks or paperback books as you may write, even below completely different pen names and classes. 

  • You should purchase your personal paperback books wholesale by way of KDP

If you wish to have some bodily copies of your e book readily available to promote or give to associates, you may place a wholesale e book order inside your KDP dashboard. Amazon will then print the variety of copies you ordered and ship them to you — you’ll pay the printing value for every e book.  

  • Your books can have a gross sales rank on the Kindle Store identical to

This is nice information —  as a small creator, you’ll have the identical alternative as bigger, better-known authors to rise in rank and make gross sales. 

  • Sell worldwide to Amazon’s large viewers

Obviously, a significant profit to self-publishing on Amazon is the truth that you’ll have entry to tens of millions of Kindle customers. As lengthy as you personal the rights to your e book in every nation it’s bought in (which Amazon refers to as territories on its KDP assist pages), you may checklist your e book on the market throughout Amazon’s world marketplaces. See the royalty help page for extra data. 

What sort of content material are you able to publish with KDP?

According to the KDP help page, content material usually printed utilizing KDP embrace however are usually not restricted to the next:

  • Novels
  • Book Series
  • Children’s Books
  • Comics
  • Cookbooks
  • Journals
  • Poetry
  • Textbooks


Kindle Direct Publishing Royalties 

When you publish ebooks by way of KDP, you’re going to get paid in royalties — each you and Amazon obtain a proportion of the income. 

There are two royalty charges to select from: 35% and 70%. I do know what you’re pondering: properly, clearly, it’s best to go together with the 70% royalty possibility, proper?   

It’s not that easy. In order to qualify for the 70% royalty price, you could meet sure standards:  

  • Your book will must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99
  • You might want to pay a distribution charge or “supply charge” for every buy, which can rely in your book’s digital file measurement. Amazon expenses $0.15 per megabyte for every e book bought between $2.99 and $9.99. Amazon compresses book recordsdata, so your charge might not be as hefty as you assume. You can check out their fee calculator on the pricing web page after you checklist your e book. 
  • If you promote bodily copies, the book value should be at the very least 20% under the paperback’s checklist value.
  • You should personal the copyright to the book. If the e book is public area, you can’t obtain a 70% royalty.
  • Your books should be enrolled in KDP Select to be eligible for 70% royalty on gross sales to prospects in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and India.

Here are the necessities for the 35% royalty price possibility: 

  • If your e book is priced under $2.99 or above $9.99, you’ll obtain a 35% royalty. 
  • You won’t pay a supply charge when selecting this selection. 
  • 35% royalties make sense for giant books equivalent to textbooks, cookbooks, or image books with large file sizes. 

Amazon additionally locations checklist value necessities on ebooks printed by way of KDP. 

List Price Requirements for (USD)

Royalty Rate Option Minimum List Price Maximum List Price
35% Less than 3 MB $0.99 $200.00
3 MB to 10 MB $1.99 $200.00
Over 10 MB $2.99 $200.00
70% $2.99 $9.99

Paperback Royalties

The royalty construction for paperback books is completely different. 

KDP gives a set 60% royalty price on paperbacks bought on Amazon. Amazon will then subtract the printing prices out of your royalty, which rely on web page depend, ink kind, and the Amazon market your paperback was ordered from.

To work out precisely how a lot you may be paid in your paperback e book, you should utilize Amazon’s printing cost calculator or this helpful equation: 

(Royalty price x checklist value) – printing prices = royalty

For instance, your checklist value is $15. Your e book is a 333-page paperback with black ink bought on the US market:

(0.60 x $15) – $4.85 = $4.15

The $4.15 is what you may be paid for that sale. 


How to promote your e book

Luckily, you don’t simply should checklist your e book and hope it sells. Amazon gives cool advertising instruments to get your books in entrance of potential patrons. One of them is Amazon Advertising

If you promote bodily merchandise on, you ought to be accustomed to Sponsored Product adverts, a sort of Amazon pay-per-click advertising (PPC). Here’s the way it works: you arrange an advert marketing campaign in which you goal particular key phrases related to your e book — key phrases your supposed viewers will probably use in the Amazon search bar. Then, when a buyer searches for these key phrases on Amazon, your advert could seem throughout the search outcomes, the place the client can click on by way of to your e book’s product element web page. With PPC, you bid on clicks for these focused key phrases — the higher your bid, the extra probably your advert will seem. 

For instance, say you printed a comic book e book a few new superhero by way of KDP.  You’d wish to goal key phrases equivalent to “comedian books”, “superhero comedian e book”, and “superhero tales”. With the best bid, your advert may seem inside search outcomes — and even on product element pages for comparable superhero comedian books. 

This is a good way to get your new e book title out in entrance of potential readers who’re already in shopping for the sorts of books you write. 

KDP Select

KDP Select is one other approach book sellers can get observed on Amazon. This program is optionally available and solely eligible for ebooks, not paperbacks. 

According to Amazon, “KDP Select is a free Kindle e book program that offers you the chance to succeed in extra readers and earn more cash at no further value. All authors and publishers, no matter the place they reside, are eligible to enroll their Kindle books in KDP Select.”

While the “attain extra readers and earn more cash at no further value” half sounds nice, there’s a catch. 


  • Higher royalties in choose nations
    Make your Kindle e book eligible for 70% royalty earnings on gross sales to prospects in Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico. If not enrolled in KDP Select, your royalty will likely be 35% for these nations.
  • Access to further promotional instruments
    Kindle Countdown Deals: Only KDP Select authors can limited-time discounts on their ebooks to prospects on and Customers will see each the common value and the promotional value, together with a countdown clock for the low cost.

    Free Book Promotions: Authors can provide their e book at no cost for as much as 5 days out of every 90-day KDP Select enrollment interval. While you gained’t earn royalties by way of a Free Book Promotion, it could possibly assist you earn a ton of downloads and evaluations and construct social proof round your e book to entice paying prospects when your promotion ends. 
  • Kindle Unlimited
    Your e book will likely be enrolled into Kindle Unlimited, which permits prospects of this program to learn a vast quantity of books for a month-to-month $9.99 charge. You gained’t be paid the same old royalty value by way of Kindle Unlimited — you’ll be paid per page that the client reads out of your e book. This could seem counterintuitive, however it could possibly repay. While Kindle Unlimited customers might not be prepared to pay for a e book by an indie creator outright, they will attempt a couple of pages, then get hooked, and go away a social proof-boosting evaluation. 


  • Potentially decrease earnings than from e book gross sales
    Since Kindle Unlimited royalties are paid per web page learn, you might not make as a lot cash as you’d if somebody purchased your e book outright. 
  • Your book should be unique to Amazon
    There is a minimal 90-day enrollment interval throughout which your e book can solely be bought on the Amazon Kindle retailer—not your personal web site, on one other market, and even given away at no cost. 


How to join a KDP account

With KDP, you get to checklist an book at no cost AND create your personal print-on-demand paperback model. This all sounds fairly nice, proper? If you’re an creator of any variety, it solely is smart to supply your books on Amazon by way of KDP. 

Signing up for an account may be very easy, and you may have your personal book printed in no time.

First, go to the Kindle Direct Publishing web site and click on “Sign up.”

Once you fill in some fundamental data, you may start importing your books!

To begin, go to “Create a New Title” and select Kindle eBook or Paperback. 

Next, you’ll fill in details about your e book equivalent to Title, Edition, Author, Description, Publishing Rights, and Keywords. 

In the subsequent part, you’ll add your Manuscript, eBook Cover, eBook Preview, and an optionally available Kindle eBook ISBN. 

Make certain you learn the KDP Content Guidelines earlier than importing your book. 

Next is pricing your e book. In this part, you’ll select if you wish to enroll in KDP Select, select the territories the place you wish to checklist your e book, and choose your royalty price and value.

Under “Royalty and Pricing”, you may select the 35% plan or the 70% plan. Amazon will present you what your royalty will likely be primarily based in your checklist value. 

Remember, in case your value is over $9.99, then you might be solely eligible for the 35% royalty. 

After you fill in all this data, your e book is able to be printed! Just like that, your very personal authored book or paperback will likely be obtainable on the market on Amazon. 


Start promoting your books on Kindle Direct Publishing

Hopefully this helped provide you with a greater understanding of how KDP works and the way any creator, large or small, can publish their very own writings. Whether you write thriller novels, bedtime tales, or scientific textbooks, KDP can assist you attain the lots. 

Have you printed a e book by way of KDP? Let us know under, or share a query you have got about promoting your books on Amazon.


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