How to Publish on Amazon KDP: The Basics and Five Starter Ideas
by Katrina Pascual, 08/09/19
Content creation is no longer just about blogging or storytelling. If you’re a content creator, one piece of the advice fellow content creators recommend is to republish content so you remain relevant to your followers or customers. When you publish a blog post, you can repurpose the content into a video, an infographic, a webinar, or even an ebook. Several creators and marketers use ebooks because those can give more value to their expertise. Sometimes, though, it’s a matter of where and how you can reach your audiences when you publish your ebook. Some content creators don’t depend on their websites anymore. Some use Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon KDP), which can help them gain more profit through a wider audience.
This article discusses the basics of getting published on Amazon KDP and even earn more revenue from publishing.
What is KDP?
KDP is Amazon’s dedicated publishing branch. KDP allows aspiring writers and bloggers like you to publish their original content on a global scale in Amazon’s Kindle store. Amazon launched KDP back in 2007 and based on an Author Earnings’ report, over 20,000 self-published authors sold over 480 million copies. The increase in numbers still brings in more self-publishers to the site due to ease and accessibility in the publishing process.
Amazon trims the sometimes frustrating and complex process of publishing through a book publisher. Instead, the global marketplace enables you to sign up for free. All you need to do is fill out important publishing details and you’re all set to start.
How does it work?
For one, you need to have your own Amazon publishing account. In doing so, you’ll need to provide important details such as:
- Your name
- Contact details and address
- An account number for direct royalty deposits
- Your tax account
Once you have that all set, you’ll see the Amazon KDP dashboard. On the dashboard, you’ll see tools such as Bookshelf, where you can view all your published books and those that are in the works. A reports tab is for all the data and metrics of your book. The reports feature can help you monitor your book’s performance and assess strategies to help you earn more revenue.
With those said, your next step is to upload your book. Before we get to that, why don’t we explore ideas you can consider in the next phase of your writing journey.
Ideas for KDP books
You can publish anything on the internet. You have a wide range of topics to uncover and discover in your quest to publish a book on Amazon KDP. Whether you’re a first-time self-publisher or an experienced one, you can find topics to write with just a Google search.
If you get stuck or you’re still figuring out what to write, you can check out these five ideas:
1. Fiction and Non-Fiction Stories
People look for new stories to read, despite having almost the same plots time and time again. For some people, reading is a good way to escape. If you can provide that, your next book might just be the next big hit!
You can publish the novel you’ve been working on for years, you can release the short stories you’ve written. If you’re a fanfiction writer, it’s possible to monetize that as well. If fiction isn’t your thing, non-fiction pieces also perform well on Amazon.
TCK Publishing finds the top-performing categories are Romance, Contemporary, Sci-Fi, Coming of Age, and Mystery. For non-fiction, self-help and biographical books are the top sellers. Books are no longer just fictional or non-fictional stories. There’s more to life than just stories, and people consume other types of content that will give them advice or guidance.
You ever notice that a lot of content start with “how to?” That’s because people want to get an idea of how things work and apply it. This type of content generates buzz over the internet. How-to posts remain a good source of content not just on the internet, but also as a book. You can write just about anything you do, which can help make people’s lives easier. Oftentimes, experts not only just publish those guidebooks, but they find ways to promote their content through other sources such as videos, blogs, or infographics.
3. Republished content
Content creators and marketers tend to discuss different topics and generate keywords to write about those topics. Sometimes, though, it gets repetitive or irrelevant at some point. To avoid that, one of their strategies is to republish content so that it continues to drive traffic to their website or other channels. You can use one of your videos, webinars, or podcasts and turn them into an ebook. It’s a practice many content creators do, and it’s something you can pursue if you have those or any other type of valuable and informational content.
4. Educational or Academic
It’s no secret that several college students have difficulty finding textbooks due to how expensive they are. Students would face difficulty because of student loans, so one of their options is buying a used textbook if it’s available. People even resort to pirating textbooks to lessen costs. Some websites do offer open-source textbooks, but the titles are limited. If you’re a content creator focused on education, you have a large target market. In the US, over 19 million students will attend school in Fall 2019.
If you create a textbook with credible sources and accurate information, students can consider this as a reference for papers. If you complement it with a workbook for them to practice learning the lesson, it would become a great resource. You can provide your textbooks for free or sell at a low price when you market them either as an ebook or paperback. Amazon has an Extended Publishing feature, wherein Amazon can sell your books to libraries and bookstores.
5. Collection or Compilation
Content curation is a common practice by bloggers and writers on the internet. The idea of content curation is to establish authority and add value to the writer or the blog. Sometimes blogs aren’t enough. If you collect recipes, poems, photos, and quotes, those are things you can share with different audiences. Over 100 ideas are available at your disposal. In the end, it’s up to you on what type of content you’ll publish on Amazon’s KDP.
How To Upload
Once you’ve finally decided on a topic, you’ll need to write it and prepare a draft. However, if you do have a final draft ready to publish, you’re ready to upload through Amazon KDP. Of course, before publishing your book, you’ll need to have an editor look over it thoroughly. Amazon outlines six steps on how you can upload your ebook.
- Click on the Bookshelf
- Press on the “…” button, below the KINDLE EBOOK ACTIONS text
- Click on the Edit eBook Content button
- Then, select Manuscript and upload eBook manuscript
- Click Open so you can search for your manuscript
- Wait for five to seven minutes for Amazon to confirm your upload
Before you unveil your book to the world, your book needs a cover. Amazon does provide self-publishers an option to design their book covers through the Cover Creator. The Cover Creator tool directs you to the editor. From there, you can choose a layout and a photo. Then you can customize your own cover through text and colors.
If you’re not as creative in designing, don’t fret. You can hire a freelance designer or subscribe through a service that can help you get better designs for your cover. They can assist you and ensure that the book cover is of high standards. Sometimes, a well-designed book cover can help bring in sales.
Content creators use Amazon KDP as a revenue stream. Bloggers and marketers can earn more profit by publishing more ebooks. In doing so, they’re not only widening their reach but gaining revenue through two different methods.
According to author Ayodeji Awosika, you can set up an ad campaign for your KDP ebook. Based on Awosika’s experience, he chose Sponsored Products, which he selected the book he wanted to advertise, inputted his budget for the ad, used keywords, and the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) bid, which refers to the amount you can spend for every click on your ad.
Another option to earn more revenue from publishing your ebook or paperback is through KDP Select. KDP Select is a way for you to get more recognition and receive 70% more royalties from select territories. Once you’re part of KDP Select, you’re entitled to get a share of the KDP Global Fund when audiences read your book/s. According to Monica Dube, you get around $.004 to $.005 per page from KDP Global Fund.
Why self-publish on Amazon KDP?
Amazon KDP provides authors and content creators a platform to publish their writing without going through a grueling process. Amazon streamlined the publishing process to cater to self-publishers and help them reach audiences. When you’re ready, all you need to do is go to the Amazon KDP website and start the publishing process. Have a manuscript ready? All you need to do is sign up, fill in some forms, and get your audience reading to earn some money.