Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Basics – What You Need to Know?

  • Last update: 07.02.2024
  • Published: 16.01.2024
  • Read in: 6 min

Self-publishing, or the individual publishing of printed books, e-books, and other written and illustrated content, has become increasingly common in recent years. As a result, the market is flooded with products from authors who have decided to create and publish something on their own. However, it’s important to note that while the first step of content creation, writing, may be relatively easy, subsequent steps become problematic, including book distribution, marketing, and selling one’s products.

Amazon offers a solution with its platform that allows for the sale of paper books, e-books, and other content, where the author-publisher can operate independently. No engagement in the publishing business is required, and all processes can be managed on one’s own.

Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Basics - What You Need to Know?

From this article, you will learn:

  • What is Amazon KDP?
  • Is it worth publishing on Amazon KDP?
  • How much does an author-publisher earn from Amazon KDP?
  • Is publishing on Amazon KDP profitable? What are the earnings like?
  • What is the KDP Select program?

KDP, Amazon's Answer to Self-Publishing Books

Amazon KDP was launched in November 2007, coinciding with the release of the first Amazon Kindle device. It allows author-publishers to sell their content, which can include books (fiction, guides, cookbooks, etc.), e-books, comics, or coloring books.

It’s worth emphasizing that Amazon KDP offers not only digital (e-book) formats but also printed books (paperback), or rather their projects. Depending on the country and supported language, it’s possible to purchase an Amazon KDP book (or other content), which the platform will then print in soft or hard cover and deliver to the consumer.

Why KDP May Be a Good Solution?

Passive Earning

Amazon KDP offers the possibility for the author-publisher to build a passive income. Content is published once, and then each book sale on the platform occurs without the seller’s involvement, thus providing them with income.

Countries Where Amazon KDP Operates

By country where KDP operates, it means the state within whose territory content can be purchased in the language spoken in that state, as well as in all others where goods are available on Amazon KDP.

Countries where publishing books and other mentioned formats via KDP is available include, among others, the United States, Canada, Spain, France, Germany, and Japan. Since 2022, the Polish version of Amazon KDP is also available.

Support for Publishing Languages of E-Books

It’s also worth noting that listing products on Amazon KDP is available in a specified number of languages. In addition to common languages like English, Spanish, Chinese (Traditional), or Arabic, Amazon KDP sellers can publish their book or other formats in Alsatian, Gaelic, Hebrew, Gujarati, or various Norwegian dialects, among others.

However, it’s important to emphasize that the Amazon KDP service, depending on the language, may only be available for a specific format. For example, in Polish, one can only purchase printed books with soft or hard covers, and under Arabic, only e-books on Amazon KDP are available.

The full list of languages and their supported formats can be found on the Amazon KDP website at this address.

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Amazon KDP and E-Commerce

Initially, it’s worth noting that Amazon KDP is a free platform, meaning there are no costs associated with entering this platform.

Furthermore, Amazon KDP allows authors to list and sell their book or other product without the need to establish a company or sole proprietorship. Sales on Amazon KDP based on copyright do not require a business. Moreover, if your annual income from this does not exceed $50, you do not need to declare income.

Therefore, Amazon KDP enables the sale of products when authors opt for self-publishing books but lack the capability or funds to invest.

How Much Does Amazon Pay the Author? Earnings on Amazon KDP

The topic of Amazon KDP and earnings on this platform is quite complex due to many variables that affect the final amount of profit for the author-publisher.

The first factor to consider is the format. For example, selling e-books will generate income depending on the product price, consumer’s country, or file size. Meanwhile, the distribution of a book to be printed depends on factors like the number of pages or cover thickness.

Due to the large number of variables, it’s best to consult the prices at the source, which you can find at this address.

KDP Select

The topic of Amazon KDP also concerns KDP Select. Sellers on Amazon KDP offering e-books can register for this variant of KDP, provided that their books will be sold exclusively on the Amazon platform. However, if you’re wondering whether digital (e-book) publishing is worth doing in KDP Select, you must consider that along with the material’s exclusivity condition comes many benefits.

Significantly, agreements with KDP Select are made for a period of 90 days with an option for automatic renewal.

KDP Select – Availability of E-Books

E-books on Amazon KDP Select are automatically available to Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner’s Lending Library (KOLL) users. The former is a subscription service where e-books on Amazon are available for free to its users. However, when users access them, Amazon pays the author from KDP Select per page read.

Meanwhile, KOLL is a service for Kindle users that allows borrowing one e-book for free per month. If they choose titles from KDP Select, the author-publisher earns from it, regardless of whether the borrowing was free or paid for the user.

KDP Select – Additional Opportunities for Promoting the Book

KDP Select also offers the chance to increase sales on Amazon KDP by providing additional book marketing tools. These include:

  • Kindle Countdown Deals – a time-limited promotion where the book’s price gradually increases;
  • Free Book Promotion – the ability to offer the book for free for up to 5 days.

What is Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)? - Summary

Amazon KDP is a platform that started at the end of 2007. It allows authors who have chosen the self-publishing system to publish and sell their products through it. It’s worth emphasizing that products on Amazon KDP can be in digital form, e.g., e-books, or upon order, can be printed by Amazon and then sent to the consumer.

Selling on Amazon KDP offers the author-publisher the chance to reach international customers and earn from their works, and publishing on this platform does not involve entry costs. It is free.

Moreover, the author-publisher does not need to have a company to sell on Amazon KDP. Profits generated through the platform are based on copyright, and their exact amount depends on the number of products sold, product format (digital or printed), consumer’s country, and the thickness of the cover and number of pages that printed books have.

In conclusion, Amazon KDP is a platform that allows generating passive income, supporting the self-publishing system. It’s worth adding that hundreds of thousands of authors have registered on Amazon KDP to publish their titles through it.

If you are selling on Amazon or another marketplace, you may need support with e-commerce accounting or VAT issues, or VAT OSSregistrations, settlements, or declarations. In such a case, schedule a consultation and explain your problem, and our specialists will take care of the rest!

Antoni Merkun Copywriter and marketer, who has been cooperating with Taxology since March 2023. Interested in SEO and content marketing.