How Amazon KDP is Hacking Self Publishing

March 2, 2022 Chuck Kessler

How Amazon KDP is Hacking Self Publishing

Want to See Your Name in Print? Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing Might Be the Very Best Way to Make It Happen. Here's How to Get Started.

Do you like the idea of seeing your name in print? If so, 2022 is a very good time to write that book you’ve always wanted to. What’s great is that it doesn’t need to be the great American novel. Want to put together a short book of poetry, teach someone to sell on Shopify, or explain the best way to start a fire? There’s a market for those topics as well. 

And, of course, Amazon has thrown their hat in the ring. 

What is Kindle Direct Publishing?

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows you to self-publish eBooks, paperbacks, and hardcover books for free. It also gives you the option to expand your book’s availability on a global scale. That makes it more accessible for readers around the world. With Amazon KDP, you have full publishing rights to your book, which is not something a traditional publishing house typically allows. 

Amazon KDP allows authors to quickly and easily publish their books through Amazon. But that’s just half of it. It also makes it possible for the authors or those books to sell them on Amazon’s massive platform as well.

During the third quarter of 2021, Amazon generated total net sales of approximately 110.81 billion U.S. dollars, surpassing the 96.15 billion U.S. dollars in the same quarter of 2020.

With Amazon KDP, you can reach that audience of over 300 million customers worldwide. Having the ability to sell (and advertise) in Amazon’s ecosystem can be a great advantage particularly for authors who might be just getting started.

 With KDP, all it takes is a few minutes for an ebook or paperback. Not only does Amazon give away publishing for free, but they also offer physical copies of your book through their print-on-demand service at no cost as well!

What Are the Benefits of Amazon KDP?

The obvious advantage of Amazon KDP is the fact that Amazon’s marketplace superpower makes it possible for you to self publish paperbacks for free and at the same time, reach millions of readers on Amazon.

Here is a list of other reasons to take a closer look at Kindle Direct Publishing. 

Get to market fast. Amazon says that “publishing takes less than 5 minutes and your book appears on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours.”

Make more money. Amazon claims that authors can “earn up to 70% royalty on sales to customers in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, India, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and more.” When you enroll in KDP Select you can make even more money through Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Keep control. Amazon KDP allows authors to maintain control of their rights, set their own prices as well as make ongoing changes to their books. 

Publish Kindle eBooks and paperbacks for free on KDP.

There is no limit to the number of books that you can publish,, even using different pen names and in different categories. 

Take advantage of Amazon advertising to push your book to the top of the page and put it in front of all those Amazon customers. 

Just like any other Amazon.com product, an author’s books will have a sales rank on the Kindle Store. 

Here’s where to get started! Learn how easy it is.

What Can You Publish with Amazon KDP?

According to KDP, content typically published using KDP include but are not limited to the following:

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

(Keep in mind, KDP does not allow the creation of magazines, periodicals, or spiral bound books) 

How Do You Get Paid?  

You can choose between two royalty options that Amazon KDP offers for each of your eBooks: a 35% royalty option and the 70% royalty option.

Amazon says that, “any publisher, author, or other rights holder can select the 70% royalty option for their individual eligible titles. To select the 70% royalty option for new or existing eligible titles, follow the instructions on the Enter Pricing Information help page.”

To qualify for the 70% royalty option, books must meet these requirements:

  • The author or publisher-supplied list price must satisfy list price requirements.
  • The list price must be at least 20% below the list price on Amazon for the physical book.
  • Titles must be made available for sale in all geographies for which the author or publisher has rights.

All books are still eligible for the standard 35% royalty as long as the title meets list price requirements. For full details, see the Pricing Page and Terms and Conditions.

Here’s How Amazon KDP Calculates Royalties

  • If you select the 35% royalty option, your royalty will be 35% of your list price without VAT for each unit sold.
  • If you select the 70% royalty option, your royalty will be 70% of your list price without VAT, less delivery costs for each eligible book sold to customers in the 70% territories, and 35% of the list price for each unit sold to customers residing outside the 70% territories.

For a full list of the requirements and royalty specifics, visit Amazon’s KDP help site

How to Advertise Your Book

For the last few years, Amazon has increasingly become a “pay-to-play” marketplace. If you want eyes on your products, you might need to spend ad dollars to reach your ideal customers. 

Amazon PPC is the advertising platform where third-party sellers create ads for their products that helps them to increase sales on Amazon. With Amazon PPC, advertisers pay a fee to Amazon when a shopper clicks on their ad. That’s the pay-per-click.

Running ads for your KDP books is a great way to help you reach new customers. With Amazon Advertising, you can create custom ads for readers likely to be interested in books just like yours. There’s no doubt that Amazon PPC (pay per click) advertising has the potential to boost visibility and sales. However, it takes experience and technical expertise to do it properly and achieve meaningful results.

The best PPC agencies have mastered the art of PPC advertising and are well-positioned to help you achieve success. They analyze every aspect of your business and implement strategies that maximize your ROI (return on investment). 

That’s why a good first step might be to reach out to the Amazon advertising specialists at CANOPY Management.

Check your book’s eligibility requirements: 

Ready to Increase Brand Awareness and Start Scaling Using Amazon PPC Advertising?

Speak to a CANOPY Strategist About Our Success Helping eBook Authors!

Make Sure and Optimize Your KDP Listing

With over 300 million active users, and 75 million products, how does Amazon keep track of all of those Amazon sellers’ product rankings? 

Answer: A very smart machine. 

Amazon’s engineers have designed and built a series of increasingly sophisticated algorithms to help them determine what products rise to the top of search results. 

According to experts, the recent roll out of Amazon’s A10 algorithm continues to reward ecommerce sellers that take the time to thoroughly optimize their Amazon listings. The A10 algorithm also attempts to increase visibility for listings with authentic reviews and seems to have doubled down on the importance of external traffic. 

As an Amazon KDP author, your goal is to make that algorithm very happy with your listing

One way of doing that is to answer a prospective readers’ questions well before they are forced to ask. Because of that, Amazon KDP listings should tell prospective customers everything they want (and need) to know so that you rank as high in the search results as possible.

The Amazon Creative Services Team at CANOPY Management are pros at making sure that your KDP listing JUMPS off of the page.

KDP Select Can Expand Your Readership

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription program that allows readers to enjoy as many books as they want. When enrolled in KDP Select, books are automatically included in Kindle Unlimited. 

Your books will still be available for anyone to buy in the Kindle Store, and earnings from royalties remain the same. 

Benefits of KDP Select

  • Earn higher royalties
  • Earn your share of KDP’s Select Global Fund when customers read your books from Kindle Unlimited. Plus, earn 70% royalty for sales to customers in Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico
  • Fully realize your book’s sales potential
  • KDP Select allows you to choose two great promotional tools: Kindle Countdown Deals, time-bound promotional discounting for your book while earning royalties; or Free Book Promotion where readers worldwide can get your book free for a limited time
  • KDP Select helps you to reach a brand new audience
  • It’s a global marketplace. Using KDP Select, readers can discover your books in the U.S, U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, India, Japan, and Australia

(Keep in mind that when you enroll your book in KDP Select, you cannot distribute your book digitally anywhere else, including on your own website, blogs, etc. You can continue to distribute your book in physical format) 

How to Sign Up for an Amazon KDP Account

KDP is a great way to publish your own eBook. You have the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of a giant corporation (Amazon) to help make it happen. Why not take advantage of the incredibly low bar to entry? 

Signing up for a Kindle Direct Publishing account is very simple and can have your eBook published in no time! First, head over here, click “Sign in.

Once you’ve entered the basic information, you can start the process of uploading your books. 

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

The next window allows you to easily move through the process in three windows, eBook Details, eBook Content, and eBook Pricing. 

In eBook Details,, you can start entering information about your book such as title, edition, author, description, publishing rights, and keywords. 

In eBook Content, you can upload your manuscript, eBook cover, eBook preview, and an optional Kindle eBook ISBN. 

(Be sure to read the KDP Content Guidelines before uploading your eBook)

In eBook Pricing, you have the option to enroll in KDP Select and can then select your royalty rate and price as well as choose the territories in which you want to list your book. 

Next Steps

Is writing (and publishing) a book on your bucket list? Amazon’s KDP makes the process quick and easy. This isn’t just for large, sophisticated publishing houses, it’s perfect for beginners as well. 

Amazon’s enormous ecosystem is built to streamline the process and make sure that you reach as many people (readers) as possible. Now’s the time to take advantage of the increasing number of people transitioning to the web for everything from groceries to their next great read. 

And remember, CANOPY’s team of Amazon Brand Management and Advertising specialists are here for you. After all, we all love a good book!

Ready to Grow Your Amazon Business?

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Chuck Kessler

I'm a western Colorado based trail runner, climber, surfer, and adventurer who loves to write. My focus is on eCommerce and technology as the Content Manager and SEO Strategist at CANOPY Management.