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The Pros and Cons of Amazon's KDP

by Greer | Content Lead | Writing Tips | Editing and Publishing

Close to self-publishing for the first time? Looking to alter your publishing strategy? Or do you just want to look ahead at the exciting prospect of your story being available to the world?


Whatever your position, it is still a very exciting time! KDP has become a kingpin in the self-publishing world - and for good reason. Yet, the question of whether it is the right choice for you might still be unanswered.


Find your answer right here!



What is KDP?


Launched in 2007, Kindle Direst Publishing - or KDP - is Amazon’s own book publishing platform. It is here for those looking to self-publish eBooks, paperbacks, or hardcover books for free. Unlike with most traditional publishing houses, you retain full rights to your book when you publish with KDP without losing out on the global access their platform makes available. KDP holds over 80% of the eBook market, dominating all other competition. In short: it provides an easy and sometimes superior alternative to traditional publishing and almost anyone can become a published author through the KDP platform. Nice!


How Does It Work?

1. The writer creates a publishing account on KDP 2. The writer enters book details, such as the book's title, author(s), keywords and categories uploads their book files to Amazon KDP in the correct format(s) 3. The writer uploads their book manuscript - following KDP's guidence for formatting - and previews their work 4. The writer sets the book’s price, royalty rate, and agrees to KDP’s Terms and Conditions - prices can be modified after publication 5. The writer publishes the book to the KDP platform 6. (Optional) The writer orders a 'proof' copy to check its print appearence, which can be done before the book is available to the public 7. Readers buy the eBook and download it immediately to their device, or buy the paperback copy which KDP will use print-on-demand technology to print and ship the book straight to the buyer. 8. Amazon pays the writer book royalties per book sold on the platform on a monthly basis



What is KDP Select?


By choosing to make your book available through KDP Select, you agree to let Amazon have exclusive rights to sell your eBook on the Kindle platform alone. That means you cannot sell that particular book elsewhere. Why would a writer agree to this? Amazon offers attractive incentives for the privilege – including access to promotional tools and at times higher royalty rates. Many writers choose to go Select, but those who try it and don’t like it are only tied in for 90 days. After 90 days, authors can then decline to auto-renew by opting out of the service and are free to sell as they please.



Pros of KDP:

  • An easy way of publishing: All you need to do is upload your book cover and manuscript, enter your book details, and press publish.


  • Free: You can publish without spending a penny - though you are still advised to invest in an editor and book cover artist.


  • Control over book cover.


  • Print-On-Demand


  • Audiobook Option: you've got the freedom to tie in an Audible audiobook with your Amazon listing.


  • Trusted and reputable platform.


  • Self-published authors often don’t know how market their books, but Amazon has many marketing tools built-in.


  • Almost complete over editing, meaning you put out exactly what you want.


  • Your e-book can be pre-ordered.


  • You can easily track your book sales.


  • Royalties: You choose which royalties option you want and keep most of the royalties from your book.


  • You’re uploading your book onto one of the largest online markets for books.


  • No need for literacy agent or chasing publishing houses.


  • KDP Select: This option has several advantages which I will cover in a separate article.



Cons of KDP:

  • The 90-Day Exclusivity Clause


  • Content Limitations: Amazon publishers cannot post more than 10% of their content anywhere else online.


  • Being Lost Within Amazon’s Gigantic Library: Amazon’s book options come from both self-publishers and publishing houses, meaning your book will need to really need to stand out, be part of a select genre niche, and benefit from a dose of luck to make a splash. This, of course, will affect your sales.

  • Marketing: You are solely responsible for this, and though KDP offers some good marketing tools to make it easier, it will still involve a lot of time, effort and any money you feel you can put towards it.


  • Some content limitations for romance authors.

  • KDP Select Restrictions: Posting exclusively on Select platform, if chosen, means your audience may narrow.


  • Not the best option for seasoned authors will an established audience.

Before committing to a KDP option, do your own relevant research. Start by listing the most important elements you need from a publishing route, and go from there. Reach out to people who have used KDP for their opinions. Investigate lesser-known alternatives, such as Lulu, Kobo or iBooks, and weigh up the pros and cons with each to narrow down which is the best fit for your needs. Perhaps KDP is exactly what you need!


Close to self-publishing for the first time? Looking to alter your publishing strategy? Or do you just want to look ahead at the exciting prospect of your story being available to the world?


Whatever your position, it is still a very exciting time! KDP has become a kingpin in the self-publishing world - and for good reason. Yet, the question of whether it is the right choice for you might still be unanswered.


Find your answer right here!



What is KDP?


Launched in 2007, Kindle Direst Publishing - or KDP - is Amazon’s own book publishing platform. It is here for those looking to self-publish eBooks, paperbacks, or hardcover books for free. Unlike with most traditional publishing houses, you retain full rights to your book when you publish with KDP without losing out on the global access their platform makes available. KDP holds over 80% of the eBook market, dominating all other competition. In short: it provides an easy and sometimes superior alternative to traditional publishing and almost anyone can become a published author through the KDP platform. Nice!


How Does It Work?

1. The writer creates a publishing account on KDP 2. The writer enters book details, such as the book's title, author(s), keywords and categories uploads their book files to Amazon KDP in the correct format(s) 3. The writer uploads their book manuscript - following KDP's guidence for formatting - and previews their work 4. The writer sets the book’s price, royalty rate, and agrees to KDP’s Terms and Conditions - prices can be modified after publication 5. The writer publishes the book to the KDP platform 6. (Optional) The writer orders a 'proof' copy to check its print appearence, which can be done before the book is available to the public 7. Readers buy the eBook and download it immediately to their device, or buy the paperback copy which KDP will use print-on-demand technology to print and ship the book straight to the buyer. 8. Amazon pays the writer book royalties per book sold on the platform on a monthly basis



What is KDP Select?


By choosing to make your book available through KDP Select, you agree to let Amazon have exclusive rights to sell your eBook on the Kindle platform alone. That means you cannot sell that particular book elsewhere. Why would a writer agree to this? Amazon offers attractive incentives for the privilege – including access to promotional tools and at times higher royalty rates. Many writers choose to go Select, but those who try it and don’t like it are only tied in for 90 days. After 90 days, authors can then decline to auto-renew by opting out of the service and are free to sell as they please.



Pros of KDP:

  • An easy way of publishing: All you need to do is upload your book cover and manuscript, enter your book details, and press publish.


  • Free: You can publish without spending a penny - though you are still advised to invest in an editor and book cover artist.


  • Control over book cover.


  • Print-On-Demand


  • Audiobook Option: you've got the freedom to tie in an Audible audiobook with your Amazon listing.


  • Trusted and reputable platform.


  • Self-published authors often don’t know how market their books, but Amazon has many marketing tools built-in.


  • Almost complete over editing, meaning you put out exactly what you want.


  • Your e-book can be pre-ordered.


  • You can easily track your book sales.


  • Royalties: You choose which royalties option you want and keep most of the royalties from your book.


  • You’re uploading your book onto one of the largest online markets for books.


  • No need for literacy agent or chasing publishing houses.


  • KDP Select: This option has several advantages which I will cover in a separate article.



Cons of KDP:

  • The 90-Day Exclusivity Clause


  • Content Limitations: Amazon publishers cannot post more than 10% of their content anywhere else online.


  • Being Lost Within Amazon’s Gigantic Library: Amazon’s book options come from both self-publishers and publishing houses, meaning your book will need to really need to stand out, be part of a select genre niche, and benefit from a dose of luck to make a splash. This, of course, will affect your sales.

  • Marketing: You are solely responsible for this, and though KDP offers some good marketing tools to make it easier, it will still involve a lot of time, effort and any money you feel you can put towards it.


  • Some content limitations for romance authors.

  • KDP Select Restrictions: Posting exclusively on Select platform, if chosen, means your audience may narrow.


  • Not the best option for seasoned authors will an established audience.

Before committing to a KDP option, do your own relevant research. Start by listing the most important elements you need from a publishing route, and go from there. Reach out to people who have used KDP for their opinions. Investigate lesser-known alternatives, such as Lulu, Kobo or iBooks, and weigh up the pros and cons with each to narrow down which is the best fit for your needs. Perhaps KDP is exactly what you need!


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