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Have you heard of Amazon KDP? KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing, and it is the e-book publishing arm of Amazon, launched in November 2007. This was also the year Amazon released its first Kindle device.
In 2017, the program was expanded to include paperback publishing, allowing authors to self-publish and make their books available in paperback format, which are then printed on demand and shipped by Amazon.
I think having multiple streams of income is always a good idea. If you have read my blog for a while, you know that in addition to blogging, I opened a Printables Shop last fall (one year anniversary coming up!) and I also sell on Amazon through their FBA program.
Mark Twain said, “Put all your eggs in one basket, then WATCH THAT BASKET,” 🙂 Actually, the quote originally comes from Andrew Carnegie in a speech he gave to college students in 1885.
Now, Andrew Carnegie knew a thing or two about making money, but I think it’s good to have a few different income sources in case one craps out, as can sometimes happen.
For example, during the initial weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon limited shipments from 3rd party sellers to what they deemed essential items. They would not accept shipments that did not meet those criteria.
So if you only sell toys on Amazon, you have been out of luck until recently when Amazon began loosening the restrictions. I sell a wide array of products, so thankfully some of them were deemed essential and I was able to continue to sell them.
I do think income streams should be related and all work together, as I think it would be very difficult to concentrate in completely unrelated fields all at the same time.
So since I am very familiar with selling on Amazon, and like to create printables, I decided to try my hand at this KDP thing. I have been studying all about it in the past few weeks, and am happy to report that I self-published four books this week!
I published the activity book first, so when it gets here, we are going to celebrate by making a cake decorated with the bar code and my very own personal ISBN. 🙂
We’re such goobers that we are going to try to replicate the bar code with icing as closely as we can and then see if we can scan it to pull up my book on Amazon. I know, we’re weird. 🙂
Publishing your book on KDP is not difficult at all. It takes much longer to create your book than it does to get it published on Amazon.
You first set up your KDP account. Then you indicate if you are publishing a paperback or a Kindle book. Then you choose all of your preferences regarding the size of your book, the color of paper, a description, and other details.
Once you tell Amazon the size of your book and the number of pages in your book, you can generate a template so that you can design your cover. It will tell you how wide your spine will be so that you can account for that in your design.
You can design your own cover all on your own, or use Amazon’s cover design tools. I designed my own.
Once you have that, you upload your cover and then wait a few minutes for Amazon to show you a preview of your book.
You will want to carefully look through the preview to make sure everything lines up the way you want it, and if everything falls in the proper margins, and to just make sure everything looks just right.
If you decide there is something you want to change, just do so and upload a new file of your interior or cover. You will have a chance to preview your book each time you change something.
Just don’t click on “Approve” until you have everything just the way you want it.
Once you approve your preview, you will then see how much it will cost to have Amazon print each copy. It will be higher per book if you choose a color printing over a black and white printing.
Once you see your costs, you will enter the price you wish to charge for your book, and agree to all the terms, and hit Publish!
Your book will then go into review while Amazon reviews everything to make sure it meets their standards and terms and conditions.
The first book I published only took a few hours to go live. The others took a few days. That may have been because I published them over the weekend.
Once your book passes the review, it will then go live and be available for sale on Amazon. You can then order author copies for the price of the printing. I have ordered author copies so that I can see exactly what the customer will receive.
I’ve oversimplified the whole process a bit, as there is work involved in each step, and a learning curve, but it is not a difficult process.
I’m really excited to see how my books do, and already have a list of books I want to publish.
So if you have a novel waiting inside you just waiting to get out, give KDP a try! No more rejection letters from dozens of publishers until you get a taker. You can publish it all by yourself. What a time to be alive! 🙂
Have you ever thought about publishing your own book? I’d love to hear about it!
And I’d love for you to follow me on Pinterest!