What is Amazon KDP? Everything You Need to Know

Table of content

Amazon KDP can provide additional and passive income for online sellers. It is quite beneficial for marketplace vendors who already sell physical things and are considering expanding their online businesses to include digital goods. But what is Amazon KDP?

With at least 80% of the market share for eBooks at the moment, Amazon KDP is a significant player in the publishing sector. Authors today must make a crucial choice on how to publish their work, thanks to the 2007 introduction of Amazon KDP.

This comprehensive guide incorporates everything you need to know about Amazon KDP, including the steps to publish ebooks using Amazon's KDP service.

What is Amazon KDP, and How Does It Work?

The Amazon self-publishing tool, Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP, enables authors to sell their books directly to the site's huge customer base without having to deal with a traditional publishing house.

Authors can publish ebooks and paperback books using KDP without paying any upfront fees or placing inventory orders. Additionally, unlike a traditional publishing business, KDP grants authors full rights to their novels, which most publishing services wouldn't do.

Amazon self-publishing tool, Kindle Direct Publishing

Several helpful features are included with KDP, such as free file conversion, sales tracking, and extra tools for particular formatting kinds of books, such as textbooks and children's books.

The self-publishing interface on KDP is quite simple and user-friendly. When you first enter the KDP dashboard, you are prompted to create a new title. Make sure that everything is prepared before beginning the publication process. When submitting your book, you'll need the following:

  • Your book's title, subtitle, and series name
  • Author name you want to use
  • A book description
  • A book cover
  • The text of your book
  • The price

What Type of Content Can You Publish With KDP?

black amazon e book reader

The KDP help page states that you can publish the following types of content with KDP:

  • Novels
  • Children books
  • Book series
  • Comics
  • Journals
  • Cookbooks
  • Textbooks
  • Poetry

Best Sellers on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

On Amazon KDP, there is a lot of potential for sales in the following niches;

i. Small Business and Entrepreneurship Niche

man reading magazine

Small business entrepreneurs want to learn how to maintain their ambition, discipline, and organization. You can refine your target by concentrating on the type of business, such as a tech start-up.

ii. Personal Development

This market has the potential to improve people's lives. But given how crowded the market is, it's crucial to narrow it down to a specific niche.

iii. Food

During the pandemic, baking and cooking became increasingly popular.

iv. Fantasy and Science fiction

kindle book

Magic, unicorns, castles, dragons, fairies, elves, aliens, and much more can make you lose control here.

v. Sports

Winter sports, tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, cricket, table tennis, gymnastics, and figure skating are just a few of the numerous sports available. However, designs for certain sports teams or sportspeople are prohibited since they would violate copyright laws.

vi. Travel

In this market, there are countless ideas. Every city, nation, state, and continent might have a design created for it. It may be about taking a road trip, flying, sailing, taking a train, or traveling with friends or alone.

vii. Music

Music playing on a smartphone

You can target music lovers/listeners, music instruments, or a particular music genre, such as rock, metal, punk, EDM, country, or pop. However, watch out for copyrighted music or lyrics in this market.

viii. Religion and Spirituality

You can include motivational or insightful quotes, provided the copyright is allowed.

ix. Pride, LGBT, and Queer-friendly

Even though this market is crowded, there are numerous strategies to stand out. Ensure your book has content that stands out and is copyright free.

x. Crafting

During the pandemic, crafting became more and more popular. Knitting, crocheting, quilting, beadwork, woodworking, painting, and origami are a few examples of craft specializations.

Benefits of Publishing on Amazon KDP

1. Amazon is the Biggest Online Book Retailer For Readers Who Speak English

Having access to millions of Kindle customers is a key advantage of self-publishing on Amazon.

black Samsung Galaxy smartphone displaying Amazon logo

Due to its global reach, it has become a popular place for authors to self-publish their work. Self-publishing on Amazon can be a huge advantage for authors if you own the rights to your book.

2. You Can Publish Both Paperback Books and Ebooks

pile of assorted-title books

You can publish a Kindle ebook format, a print book, or even both with KDP. If you make a decision to sell a paperback book, Amazon will print and deliver the book to the buyer on your behalf. No need to buy large quantities of products in advance.

3. Multiple Books May Be Sold From a Single Account.

You can publish many eBooks and paperback books with a single publisher account. The incredible thing is that your novels can be published under many pen names and genres.

4. On the Kindle Store, Your Books Will Have a Sales Rank Similar to's.

This is great news for all Amazon sellers because it means you, a small author, will have the same chance of succeeding and generating sales as bigger, more well-known authors.

black Amazon Kindle e-book reader on white surface

The Kindle store on Amazon is algorithm-oriented, which is good for upcoming authors. Kindle lacks a merchandising team in contrast to other online book shops. As a result, the algorithm will only consider data and not well-known authors.

5. No Upfront Fees

It is free to put your ebooks up for sale on Amazon KDP. However, Amazon will share a portion of the proceeds. The royalty option you decide on, and the size of your ebook file will determine how much of that share you receive.

6. You Can Order Your Paperback Books at Wholesale Prices

You can order wholesale books from your KDP dashboard if you want to have some hard copies of your book to sell or lend to friends.

You will be responsible for each book's printing cost after Amazon prints the number of copies you purchased and ships them to you.

How to Create a KDP Account and Self-Publish a Book on Amazon

With KDP, you can make your print-on-demand paperback version and list an ebook for free. If you're any kind of upcoming author, it only makes sense to sell your books on Amazon through KDP.

1. Create an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Account

Creating an account is incredibly easy, and you can publish your ebook immediately. Visit Kindle Direct Publishing and select "Sign up." You need to fill out the information, including your email address and password, as this is your new account.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Sign up page

You can now view your Amazon Author dashboard.

2. Create a New Kindle E-book Title

Click "Create" to get started, then select either Kindle eBook or paperback.

Create a New Kindle E-book Title

Next, enter details about your book, including its title, edition, author, summary, publishing rights, and keywords.

Details required on Kindle Direct Publishing

Click the option "Save as Draft" at the bottom of that page once you start adding information, but you want to take a break.

Select the radio button "I own the copyright, and I hold the appropriate publishing rights" if you are the book's owner of the copyright.

Also, add the most relevant keywords you believe your audience will use to find the books you create. Doing an Amazon Keyword Research will help you find the most relevant terms for your specialty.

Keywords section for Kindle ebooks

Remember to select "Yes" next to DRM rights. Digital Rights Management prevents anyone from copying your book and giving it away for free. If they do, they will be charged with copyright infringement.

3. Upload your eBook

You will need to upload your manuscript, ebook cover, ebook preview, and a Kindle eBook ISBN in the following section.

Upload your eBook

Before submitting your ebook for publication, be sure to read the KDP Content Guidelines.

4. Pricing and Royalties

You can decide here whether you want to join KDP Select, the regions in which you want to list your book, your royalty rate, and your book's pricing.

You can also select either the 35 percent plan or the 70 percent option under "Royalty and Pricing." Based on your list price, Amazon will show you what your royalty will be.

After you've entered all this information, your book is ready to publish. Simultaneously, your ebook or paperback will be listed for sale on Amazon.

KDP Formatting Guide

Since Microsoft Word is one of the simplest programs to use, we will discuss the exact formatting procedures for your book for KDP in this tutorial.

computer screen showing microsoft word

Word is a program used by most authors; thus, most of them already have experience using it. Still, if you don't want to use Microsoft Word, you could want to use another book formatting program or contact a professional eBook formatter.

Now, if you still want to format it yourself in Microsoft Word, you can do so by following the instructions in this guide.

Preparing Your File for Kindle Direct Publishing

You must structure your book manuscript for the KDP platform to be published on Amazon's KDP service. When structuring your file for Amazon's KDP, adhere to the following guidelines for your cover image:

  • The cover image should have a minimum width and height of 625 pixels and 1000 pixels, respectively. The optimal resolution is 2,560 by 1,600 pixels.
  • TIFF or JPEG should be used as the file format.

Kindle Create Tool By Amazon

You can edit your Word document with Kindle Create, add more features, and then produce a .kpf file that you can submit to KDP. However, if there are problems with your Word file when you preview it in Kindle Create, you must fix them in Word before doing another Kindle Create preview.

Kindle Create Tool By Amazon

Use the known Kindle styles, the third new call to action. If you've already used character or text styles in your Word document, pay close attention to the following guidelines.

Any of the following styles are not supported by Kindle or only to a limited extent:

  • Text fields
  • Bullets
  • Automatic Numbering
  • Unique fonts
  • Footers and headers
  • Unique Word styles
  • Tables

You can format your Word document using the following methods:

  • Indentations
  • Italicized and bold
  • Headings

Although you can post your Word document directly to KDP, it is recommended first to turn it into a .kpf file.

The file extension used by Kindle Create is .kpf. This enhances the reading experience of your eBook on Kindle devices by optimizing the typefaces, line spacing, margins, etc.

Structuring Your book for KDP

Having all the front and back matter structured for your book is a crucial step in publishing your book file to KDP. The following 5 elements should be present in your book's structure for KDP:

i. Title page

title page

Your book's title will be in the center of the text on your title page, followed by your name as the author and a page break.

II. Copyright Page

How To Create A Book Copyright Page (Free Template)

Your copyright notice can be included on your title page or a separate copyright page. You can include the following format on your copyright page:

Copyright @[Year] [Author Name]. All rights reserved.

III. Table of Contents

When your book's structure is prepared for KDP publication, Word's auto ToC tool will work fine.

IV. The Body

opened book on table

Your book's body pages will come after the front matter pages. To be sure that the next chapter begins on a fresh page, always place a page break at the end of a chapter.

V. Back Contents

Back matter is listed in that order (Acknowledgments, Index, Promo for Other Books, etc.)

KDP Publishing Cost & Royalties

The Amazon Kindle Publishing Royalty Rate is a predetermined portion of the money you and Amazon will get from the sales of your eBooks.

One of its main disadvantages is the high royalty rate for self-publishing on Amazon's Kindle. On the other hand, a traditional publishing house typically allows you to keep a far larger portion of every sale of your book.

KDP Publishing Cost & Royalties

There are two different royalty rates available: 35 and 70 percent. You may think that choosing the option with a 70% royalty is obvious, but there is more to this. You are eligible for the 70% royalty rate only if your book satisfies the following requirements:

  • Your eBook must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99.
  • You must pay a distribution fee for each sale, sometimes known as a "delivery fee." The amount of costs you are required to pay is based on the size of the digital file for your book. Fortunately, Amazon reduces the size of the eBook file to lower your delivery charge.
  • The book should be copyrighted and not in the public domain.
  • Physical copies must have an eBook price of less than 20% of the advertised price of the paperback edition.
  • For your eBooks to be seen by more people in Japan, Mexico, Brazil, and India, you must enroll them in KDP Select.

You are qualified for the option with a 35 percent royalty rate if your eBook satisfies the following requirements;

  • The digital file for your ebook is too big.
  • There is no shipping fee to pay.
  • Your book's pricing falls between $2.99 and $9.99.

Paperback Royalties

For paperback books, the royalties system is different. KDP offers a fixed 60% royalty rate for paperback books sold on Amazon.

After that, Amazon will deduct the printing expenses from your royalty, depending on the number of pages, the type of ink used, and the Amazon marketplace where you purchased your paperback.

Paperback Royalties

Use this helpful equation or Amazon's printing cost estimator to determine the precise price you will receive for your paperback book:

(Royalty rate x list price) – printing costs = royalty

Creating an Amazon Print Edition of Your Book

You can increase your sales by publishing your printing your kindle books. However, your Kindle version may appear to be a better deal when compared to print books due to the differences between them.

printed edition of a book

People's perceptions of the book's worth are raised when they see that the paper version costs $8.99. They consider it an excellent deal if they can purchase the Kindle version for just $4. Sell books by making your Kindle price appear to be a great deal!

How to Advertise Your Digital Products on Amazon KDP?

There is a lot of marketing involved with self-publishing a book. Fortunately, Amazon provides resources to help authors market their works in the Kindle store.

person on facebook

To advertise your digital products and develop your author brand on Amazon KDP, you should;

  • Create a private Facebook group and an author page Facebook to share some of your best content and insider knowledge. You can also share your books in the Facebook marketplace.
  • Create an author website to advertise your books. Set a URL forward that points visitors to your Amazon author page.
  • Make free content (a small ebook, a checklist, or an audiobook) and include it inside your book for free.
  • Incorporate your books into blog posts and guest posts. Promote your website or Amazon author page by accumulating backlinks.
  • When you publish numerous books, compile them into a virtual bundle.
  • You should be familiar with sponsored ads and pay-per-click campaigns if you have physical products listed on Amazon. Consider Amazon Advertising and the AMS Advertisement Course for Authors.
  • Run a Goodreads book giveaway.

KDP Select

Authors can access broader Amazon benefits for their eBooks through KDP Select, including;


Your eBook will be accessible on the Kindle Owners' Lending Library through KDP Select.

Members of KOLL, a program available to Amazon Prime members, are given one free download each month if they have a Kindle. This is an excellent way for readers to find new authors.

ii. Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select also adds your eBook to Kindle Unlimited, a monthly subscription service that lets Kindle users borrow books from a library-like system.

iii. Increased Royalties

KDP Select

By joining KDP Select, your eBook becomes eligible for 70% royalty payments on sales to clients in Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

iv. Promotional Initiatives

KDP Select also gives you access to marketing resources. For example, you can plan a free book promotion or a limited-time promotional discount for your eBook.

If you consider publishing your books with Amazon using normal KDP or KDP Select, follow their publishing terms and conditions and thoroughly understand their program regulations.

Above all, remember that no one solution is a miracle cure. Neither can be sure you of quick success. Therefore, you should carefully consider your options, as with any sales platform.

Make sure your pick is in line with your aims and used in conjunction with a strong marketing strategy to fully benefit from Amazon's many advantages.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing

1. Is KDP for free?

For writers and publishers using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to publish their Kindle eBook, KDP Select is a free and optional program. However, this is not applicable to print books and is only available for individual books.

2. What's the difference between Kindle Unlimited and KDP Select?

Authors can use KDP Select. They can add in their books and benefit from page reads. A program for readers is called Kindle Unlimited. They can read be able to many books as they like in a single month.

3. How often do you get paid with KDP?

As long as you reach the minimum payment criteria, royalties are paid every month, roughly 60 days after the end month of when the sale was reported (90 days for Expanded Distribution). Payments made via direct deposit may take 1 to 5 business days to appear in your bank account after the payment date.

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