Is Amazon Kindle publishing the best way to self-publish a book? Learn how to publish a book on Amazon for free with these Amazon KDP publishing tips.
If you’re reading this article, you already know something about self-publishing options and are probably interested in becoming a self-published author on Amazon.
So how does Kindle direct publishing work? What are the pros and cons of self-publishing with Amazon? And how do you publish a book on Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing platform?
This Amazon self-publishing guide will explain the advantages of Amazon’s Kindle book publishing services, and why it makes sense for aspiring authors to publish a book on Amazon Kindle publishing.
- Is Amazon Kindle self-publishing worth it?
- Is self-publishing on Amazon free?
- Self-publishing checklist for Amazon KDP publishing
- Self-publishing with Amazon pros and cons
- #1. Avoid rejection from traditional publishers
- #2. Keep your book copyright
- #3. Retain complete creative control
- #4. Publish on digital, paperback & hardcover for free
- #5. Get to market fast
- #6. Change your book content anytime
- #7. Handle additional costs yourself
- #8. Do your own book marketing & promotion
- Self-publishing marketing tips
- Book publishing & marketing tips
Is Amazon Kindle self-publishing worth it?
So, is self-publishing with Amazon worth it? To highlight the most obvious difference between self-publishing vs traditional publishing, self-publishing royalties are nearly three times higher than traditionally published books.
Self-published authors also earn more than traditionally published authors, as the average royalty paid by a traditional publisher is 10% of the retail sales price, and Amazon’s self-publishing royalties are even higher.
The KDP royalty plans of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (or Amazon KDP) pay 35% to 70% royalties for sales of Kindle eBooks.
When publishing books on Kindle/Amazon KDP, you can enroll in Amazon KDP Select and earn even more money through Kindle Unlimited.
For traditionally published books, royalty payments to authors begin after six months compared to just 90 days for self-publishing royalties.
In addition, there are many self-publishing success stories of famous self-published books that you can take inspiration from, such as E.L. James’ self-published 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, which went on to become one of the best-selling self-published books on Amazon.
Self-publishing is sometimes called independent publishing or indie publishing, and some of the most successful self-published books were originally published independently by famous self-published authors, including:
- In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters
- The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer
- Spartacus by Howard Fast
- Poems by Oscar Wilde
- Chicken Soup for the Soul by Mark Victor Hansen & Jack Canfield
- The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
There’s no doubt today that you can become a successful author by self-publishing through Amazon KDP direct publishing!
So, is self-publishing a book a good idea? Is Kindle/KDP self-publishing profitable? And can you be successful when self-publishing a book? Let’s look at the stats for the eBook market.
eBooks are often sold for high prices in comparison to physical books. In 2020, the global eBook market was valued at USD 18.13 billion, and it is expected to reach USD 23.12 billion by 2026.
Amazon’s KDP is one of the dominant players in the global eBooks market, and subscriptions like Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited now earn close to $6 billion for Amazon and continue to grow.
But what most people forget is that Amazon is also one of the biggest search engines in the world and this behemoth attracts millions of actual buyers willing to pay for products.
So, the answer to the oft-asked question, “Is self-publishing on Amazon a good idea?” is a resounding Yes!
The fact is that it’s nigh impossible for a new author, with no platform or readers to speak of, to get a publishing deal from a reputable publishing house.
Unless you have an idea good enough and big enough to sell to a major publisher or are a celebrity or well-known public figure, self-publishing on Amazon Kindle is the best option for you.
There are so many best-selling self-published books out there nowadays that few indie authors would recommend traditional publishing over self-publishing.
So, read on to learn all about self-publishing for beginners, how expensive is for self-publishing, and how to start Kindle self-publishing on Amazon.
Is self-publishing on Amazon free?
So what does Kindle self-publishing cost on Amazon?
Amazon self-publishing costs nothing! Zip! Nada!
As opposed to vanity publishers, who will charge you upfront for editing and publishing your book, self-publishing with Amazon book publishing services – one of the best free self-publishing companies for new authors – costs nothing.
You can publish your book for free as Amazon KDP books have zero cost of self-publishing through Amazon. This is just one reason why Amazon Kindle publishing direct is the cheapest way to publish a book online for indie authors.
Self-publishing checklist for Amazon KDP publishing
It’s easy to learn how to publish on Amazon. You can self-publish with Kindle in digital format, and also print self-published books as paperbacks with KDP print on demand.
But first, download Amazon’s free Kindle Create software to help you turn your completed manuscript into a beautiful book of any trim size.
With Kindle Create you can create a professional quality book with a professionally designed theme with chapter titles, drop caps, and image placement options.
So how does self-publishing work on Amazon? Here’s the self-publishing process to publish a book on Kindle:
✔ Sign up for Amazon publishing services by creating a Kindle Direct Publishing account.
✔ Next, format your digital content in the form of Microsoft Word documents, PDF files, text files, or even Rich Text Format files.
✔ Then import the file into the Kindle Create software and check that everything looks fine.
✔ Use the Kindle Create software to produce a publishable file (KPF) that you can submit to Amazon KDP as your KDP eBook content file.
✔ Add a professionally designed book cover, or create one using free tools like Canva.
✔ If you don’t have a book cover yet, you can use Amazon’s KDP Cover Creator tool to create a book cover for free.
✔ Add a well-written and properly-formatted book blurb (description).
✔ Add your Amazon book categories (you can add two while publishing and eight more later).
✔ Set your KDP Select preferences, and book price, and publish your book.
If your book meets all the Amazon KDP content guidelines and your content is approved by Amazon Kindle publishing editors, you can be a published author in less than 48 hours.
It’s always best to get a professional book cover designed on sites like Fiverr, as your book cover is one of the most important factors that impact book sales.
Watch this video by my friend and book publishing coach, Derek Murphy, on how to publish your eBook on Amazon Kindle.
Self-publishing with Amazon pros and cons
Self-publishing has been available in different forms since time immemorial. But is self-publishing better than traditional publishing? And is self-publishing your book right for you?
Self-publishing on Amazon has some pros and cons and not all authors have what it takes to make money by self-publishing books on Amazon.
You may come across authors who believe that self-publishing is a waste of time because they believe the shill of traditional publishers who are losing money due to the growth of self-publishing.
I’ve published through self-publishing houses in India and have also spoken to authors who have self-published with vanity publishing companies. I would recommend self-publishing on Amazon over vanity presses any day.
I know of many savvy, self-published authors who are banking thousands of dollars a month, not just from their self-published books, but also because they invested in building an author platform and monetizing their readers’ audience.
Despite the pros and cons of self-publishing, here are some reasons why self-publishing is better for most authors, and why self-publishing with Amazon is the best option for new authors.
#1. Avoid rejection from traditional publishers
Are you an author who has received multiple rejection letters from traditional publishing houses? Many best-selling and famous authors have had to endure innumerable rejections on their journey to getting published.
Traditional publishers have many reasons why they reject authors and manuscripts – because the author is unknown, because the topic of the book is obscure or controversial, or because they don’t care for the author’s writing style, genre, or grammar.
Many well-known publishers also tend to stay away from books that only have small target audiences. If you’ve written a how-to book or a guide on a topic that is likely to only draw in a limited number of readers, self-publishing could be your best option.
If despite receiving rejection letters from traditional publishing companies, you honestly and truly believe that you have a good book, you should consider self-publishing your book.
#2. Keep your book copyright
Unlike traditional publishers (and some vanity presses) who require you to sign over the copyright of your book, when you start self-publishing on Amazon you get to keep control of your rights and set your own KDP book pricing, as well as make changes to your self-published books at any time.
When self-publishing on Amazon, you take care of everything, from writing content, marketing, storage, distribution, and all other publishing aspects.
But you also own every right to the book, which is registered as your intellectual property, and you have all the rights to enjoy the proceeds from sales.
#3. Retain complete creative control
Many authors value their own creativity and style. They don’t really care for the need to meet the standards of traditional publishers and editors, and may not agree to any changes required by the publisher.
If you’re a writer who values having complete editorial and artistic freedom and resists criticism and changes in your manuscript, then self-publishing is better for you.
#4. Publish on digital, paperback & hardcover for free
You can reach millions of readers worldwide on Amazon when you start self-publishing eBooks, paperbacks, and hardcover books for free with Kindle Direct Publishing. Your readers can get a book print on demand when they order your paperback by paying KDP printing costs.
While self-publishing companies will register an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for your book, Amazon will assign this to you for free when you publish your Kindle Direct Publishing paperback through them.
Besides being one of the top self-publishing companies, Amazon Kindle (KDP) publishing has also become one of the top print-on-demand book companies by merging Createspace with KDP.
Watch this video on how to publish a paperback book with Kindle Direct Publishing.
Traditional and self-publishing book companies make more money from printing your book and not as much from eBook sales, so they’re not as inclined to put any time and effort into publishing and promoting an eBook.
One of my author friends was still waiting for his publisher to upload his Kindle book two years after it was released in print!
I dread to think how much he’s losing in royalties by not having a Kindle book on Amazon. No author should have to endure that, which is why I recommend self-publishing your own book on Amazon.
#5. Get to market fast
Publishing on Amazon Direct Publishing is the easiest way to publish a book. Uploading a book to Amazon takes less than 5 minutes and your book will appear in Kindle stores worldwide within 24 to 48 hours.
This means you can get to market fast without waiting for months or years for your vanity press or traditional publisher to get your book ready for print.
#6. Change your book content anytime
This matters even more in certain non-fiction categories, such as digital marketing, which see changes almost every day, and may require constant updates when your book content gets outdated.
#7. Handle additional costs yourself
While there’s no cost to self-publish a book on Amazon, it’s not that you’ll have zero self-publishing costs when it comes to publishing a book yourself. There are definitely costs associated with getting your manuscript edited by a professional book editor, as well as designing an attractive book cover.
In vanity publishing contracts, the author agrees to shoulder every cost of publication and take on all the existing risks. Publishers have nothing to lose in vanity press deals, even though they earn money from the fees they collect from authors for publishing their work.
Some vanity or self-publishing companies will charge you for additional services such as cover design, proofreading your manuscript, getting book reviews, and indexing, promoting and marketing your book.
If you opt for self-publishing through Amazon, you can take care of these additional costs yourself and get them done to your satisfaction through gig platforms such as Fiverr.
#8. Do your own book marketing & promotion
Another upside to self-publishing is the fact that unknown authors can shine and make money with a self-published book, as long as they invest time, effort, and money in marketing and promoting their books.
Poor writing, inadequate book editing, a bad title, formatting, and layout, and bad book cover design, can all adversely affect book sales, as well as lack of promotion, marketing, and distribution.
Even if you publish traditionally, you’ll have to incur some costs of your own when building your writer platform. With a self-published book, you’ll have to pay for book editors, book cover design, and author website design, and make sure it meets all your standards.
You’ll also have to invest in Facebook and Amazon ads for authors so you can run book promotions to boost your book sales and reviews. In this way, self-publishing is a risk and you could end up spending a lot of money with very little return.
If you’re self-publishing, can’t afford an editor or book cover designer, and cannot spend money on book marketing for self-published authors, you should probably wait to publish until you have the money for all these expenses.
But, if you consider your self-published book as a product and think of yourself as an entrepreneur who needs to invest in book marketing services and in building your author brand, you’ll do much better than most self-published authors out there.
Self-publishing marketing tips
Marketing self-published books is a must if you want to become a bestselling author on Amazon. Here are some essential self-publishing marketing tips for successful self-publishing on Amazon:
- Find a good, bankable book idea
- Analyze the market and research what sells
- Write a quality book that readers love
- Get your manuscript edited by a professional
- Get a professionally designed book cover
- Find the best Amazon keywords for KDP
- Select the best niche KDP book categories
- Create a buzz before you release your book
- Build an author platform and brand
- Get reviews for your KDP books
- Learn how to sell more books with Amazon ads
- Learn book marketing strategies for self-published authors
When promoting your self-published books, ensure that you follow all the Amazon KDP guidelines that Amazon book marketing services require authors to adhere to.
If you plan to publish a book on Kindle, watch the free marketing webinars on KDP University where you can access Amazon KDP marketing tips, strategies, and tools to help you successfully prepare, publish, and promote your book on KDP.
Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Launchpad is a detailed, comprehensive masterclass written and presented by a bestselling author. It distills years of trial and error into a simple system that is easy to follow and guaranteed to get results.
In the long run, self-publishing platforms like Amazon KDP publishing, which let you publish a book on Amazon for free, are the most cost-effective way to publish your own book and earn more from your books.
With self-publishing on Amazon, there’s no cost to publish a book and you’ll have control over variable publishing factors and can also enjoy more freedom, in terms of style and earnings.
Successful self-published authors are making a killing with Amazon self-published books that made it big and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same with Amazon Kindle book publishing, too.
If you have the determination, the confidence, and the drive to work on marketing your self-published book, the self-publishing dos and don’ts above will help you succeed in self-publishing a book on Amazon.
The number of self-published books that became best sellers on Amazon is growing every day. It’s time for you to write and publish a Kindle ebook so you, too, can become a bestselling author with Amazon KDP self-publishing.
Book publishing & marketing tips
- Free Video Training To Find Your First 10,000 Readers
- Learn How to Write a Book with Free Book Writing Classes
- Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Launchpad
- Your Big Book Deal: Sell Your Book Idea to a Major Publisher
- Free Book Writing Software For Beginners
- How To Start Writing A Book For Beginners
- How To Write Great Book Titles & Book Content
- How To Become A Book Writer Without Writing A Book
- 7 Habits Of The Most Successful Writers & Famous Authors
- 7 Questions On Writing And Publishing A Book For Beginners
- How To Use Amazon Kindle Free eBooks To Build An Author Brand
- How To Write a Best Seller & Become a Bestselling Author
- How To Become A Successful Self-Published Author
- 5 Book Marketing Strategies For Self-Published Authors
- How To Build Influence As A Writer Influencer
- How To Boost Book Sales With Advertising For Authors
© 2021 – 2022, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. She is also the author of Devi2Diva, a book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, she writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.