The Kindle Direct Publish or KDP by Amazon is not just a platform for the Authors to get their books self-published exclusively by them, but also a Ray of Hope for several other writers and budding authors to fulfill their dreams of becoming a published author by having a title under their name. The reason why Amazon KDP is often considered a ray of hope for the upcoming writers is that it enables the budding authors to get their manuscript published without the involvement of any other party or publisher in the process of publishing of a book.

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Henceforth, the KDP services offered by Amazon helps an Author in not just simplifying the process of publishing but also ensures that the Author doesn’t have to pay a single penny in the publishing process. Therefore, an author can self-publish any number of e-Books via Amazon KDP that too without paying anything to the platform or anyone. Whereas, almost all the self-publishing companies even charges for publishing the e-Books, that too when this service is essentially 100% free for all!

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP, which was first launched in the year 2007, was initially just an e-book self-publishing platform. Amazon launched Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), which was originally called Digital Text Platform, for the authors and the publishers to independently publish their books and make them directly available to the Kindle Store. While in the year 2016, Amazon KDP also added the Paperback option, which uses the Print-On-Demand technology with the goal of offering books in Paperback Format too along with the Digital Format to their end term users and consumers. Therefore, through the KDP platform, Amazon has been promoting to its authors the capability of publishing both e-books and paperbacks through the same platform.

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Recently, very much in the current year of 2021, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing has also began offering the option for account holders to publish and sell the Hardcover print version of a book too. This was offered only in case laminate style (no dust jacket), which can be either ‘Matte’ or ‘Glossy’ in finish and is published in five different offered trim sizes!

Well, let us focus to the steps, which are required to get published via Amazon KDP now –

Step 1) Get ready with your KDP User Profile: Visit kdp.amazon.com and choose Sign-in or Sign up. If you already have an Amazon account, use it to sign into the KDP system. If not, create a new KDP account. In addition, if it is your first time signing in with KDP, you will need to accept the terms of use. Once you do that, you will see your Amazon Author dashboard.

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Step 2) Add a new Kindle e-Book: Since, most probably this is your first book on Amazon, you won’t have any titles listed yet. Click the box that says “+ Kindle eBook” to add a new Kindle book. As you start entering information, choose “Save as Draft” at the bottom of the page if you have to stop in the middle.

Step 3) Enter your Book’s title and sub-title: Your book title is critically important, since the readers start judging your book the instant they see the cover and the title is the first thing they read. It has to be magnetic. Therefore, before you choose your book title, read my article on how to do that and watch Chapter 4 of our free publishing course, in which I walk you through the whole process.

Step 4) Enter the Authors’ and Contributors’ name: For the Author’s name, enter the name you want to publish under the name you will use on the book cover. This can be your own name or a pen name. If there is more than one author, enter the other names using the Contributors box.

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Step 5) Enter your Book’s description: Amazon lets you enter up to 4,000 characters for your book description. This write-up will appear on your book’s detail page. Your book description is a sales pitch for readers. It’s a key part of your book’s marketing materials so please write it very carefully. PRO TIP: Amazon’s description box accepts the old html tags for bold and italics hence use them wisely. For even more control over your book’s detail page, join Author Central once your book gets listed on Amazon.

Step 6) Verify you Publishing Rights: If you are the Author of the book, choose the radio button that says – “I own the copyright and I hold the necessary publishing rights.” Then after, under the US Copyright Law, you own the right to your work the moment you first write it in any form.

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Step 7) Choose your Keywords: Think about the keywords very carefully, when you fill in these boxes. As, when the people enter these words in an Amazon search, you definitely want your book to come up in the search result. They should relate directly to the reader’s pain that your book could solve (Hint: re-read your book introduction).

Step 8) Select the Categories for your Book: Use the Categories popup box to choose two categories for your book. Use the “+” buttons to drill down as far as you can. This is another critical marketing decision. It determines where readers will find your book, what other books it is competing against, and even how hard it is to get a bestselling flag. For help thinking through these issues, read my post on Amazon categories. PRO TIP: To add more categories to your book listing, contact Amazon through Author Central after your book is published.

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Step 9) Choose your Book’s release option: Unless you already have thousands of people lined up to buy your book, you will need a marketing plan before you are ready to publish. Especially for a non-fiction book. PRO TIP: There used to be a significant limit on KDP pre-order dates, but now they can be up to a year in advance.

Step 10) Select DRM Rights: Make sure you enable DRM. Digital Rights Management (DRM) prevents people from copying your book and sending it to other people for free. Even with DRM turned on, people can still loan the book to friends for a short time through Kindle’s lending system. They just cannot steal it.

Step 11) Upload your Book: Despite the options provided (like pdf or doc files), turn your eBook into a well-formatted epub file before you upload it. Always use the current Kindle format so your book will look good in every e-reader.

Step 12) Upload your Book’s Cover: People do judge books by their covers. Like it or not, this is 100% true, and there is a ton of marketing research to back it up. If you want your book to sell, the cover design has to be professional so hire a professional cover designer and listen to them.

Step 13) Enter ISBN and Publisher’s name: Actually, you don’t need an ISBN or a publisher for a Kindle eBook. If you intend to publish only on Amazon, you can leave these blank. From here, choose “Save and Continue” if you want to keep going. Amazon won’t publish your book until you click “Publish Your Kindle eBook” at the bottom of the next screen.

Step 14) Choose your Territories: Choose “All territories (worldwide rights)” unless you have a good reason not to. This will make your book available in all of Amazon’s global territories once you’re ready to publish it.

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Step 15) Choose your Royalty and enter Book’s Price: Getting feedback on your writing is incredibly beneficial and integral part of the writing process. Choose between 35% and 70% for your royalty. For most Authors, the 70% royalty will pay more. That seems obvious, but it does add some pricing limitations as well as a slightly different royalty calculation. Indian users are supposed to choose Amazon.in as their primary marketplace and then set the list price. The price in other marketplaces will be set according to exchange rates, but you can set each one manually if you want to.

Step 16) Click Publish your e-Book: Now, just one last step is required from your end after and only after when you have completed all the above-mentioned steps and that is to click on the “Publish Your Kindle eBook” button in order to get your e-book published and released.

Written By NEEL PREET – Author of the Books, Voice From The East (2016); Journey With Time Place And Circumstances (2018) & Indian Defence Files (2021).

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