10 KDP FAQs – Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing
What Is KDP and When Did It Launch?
KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing, and is Amazon’s book self-publishing arm (both print and ebooks). KDP is a way to reach millions of readers on Amazon – for FREE by allowing authors and creatives to self-publish their own content.
This content can be books (non-fiction or fiction) or even low or no content books – diaries, journals, planners, sketchbooks and more!
As for when KDP launched – according to Wikipedia:
“Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon.com’s e-book publishing unit launched in November 2007, concurrently with the first Amazon Kindle device…In 2016, Amazon also added a paperback option, which uses print-on-demand technology with the goal of offering digital and print to self-publishers.”
How Long Does it Take to Publish a KDP Manuscript?
With KDP you can upload your manuscript and once it’s approved it will be available usually the very next day.
For my first manuscript, a simple Scotland Travel journal it took me hours (a few tears and hair pulling) to get it submitted.
You basically have three KDP screens to go through…
The first page has:
Book title, Series, Edition Number, Author, Contributors, Description, Publishing Rights, Keywords, Categories and Adult Content
The second page has:
Print ISBN, Publication Date, Print Options (interior paper type, trim size, bleed settings, paperback cover settings) Manuscript, Cover, Book Preview
The third and final page has:
Territories, Pricing, as well as Terms and Conditions.
Once you get the hang of it though it can take about 10 minutes to go through all three screens. Most of my books are up in less than 24 hours but sometimes over the weekend it’s taken longer to go “live”.
What is KDP’s Expanded Distribution & What Rate Does It Pay?
“Expanded distribution can help you reach more readers through bookstores, online retailers, libraries, and academic institutions. ” – says Amazon on the KDP support site.
Note that it’s not offered on all book sizes…To see which trim sizes are available look at this.
The royalties you will get will be much smaller than just selling direct to Amazon customers but some would argue a little bit extra is better than nothing at all. Sometimes I click expanded and sometimes I don’t. It depends on the time of submitting my journal or planner.
Again as Amazon states:
If you enable Expanded Distribution for your paperback, the royalty rate is 40% of the book’s list price effective in the distribution channel at the time of purchase, minus printing costs, applicable taxes, and withholding.
When and How Are KDP Royalties Paid?
KDP Royalties are paid on a monthly basis – approximately 60 days after the end of the month in which the royalties were earned. So if you were looking at January sales you’d get paid at the end of March (as long as they meet the minimum thresholds). February gets paid end of April and so on.
Choosing direct deposit, also known as electronic funds transfer (EFT), as a payment method allows you to receive your earned royalties without a minimum threshold before the funds are released to you; in a more secure and environmentally friendly way than paper checks; and in your local currency. There’s also a handling fee of $8/£8/€8 per check payment to authors who reside in the US, UK, or EU countries/regions where we offer direct deposit. Direct deposit payments do not have a threshold.
Love that I get paid straight into my UK bank account at the end of every month…(Just like on Amazon Merch). So between that and RedBubble and TeePublic – I’m getting paid print on demand royalties every two weeks. Love making money while I sleep!
How You Change the Book Price in KDP?
It’s easy to change the prices of your KDP book. I often raise and lower prices of books. Often if it’s a book I’ll be purchasing myself I buy it at the low rate (with almost no royalty margin) and then as soon as it’s been dispatched I go in and raise the price.
All you need to do is go to the right of you Book Shelf and click the three dots next to the words promote and Advertise (left side of the above image), then choose the third option down “Edit print book pricing” (right side of above image). This will take you to the third page of the submission process. Then you can change your price…You can also choose the primary marketplace. I always mix it up between US and UK personally.
KDP Min/Max Pages and Uploads – What Can I Do?
First let’s talk manuscripts, your minimum page count is 24 pages, and the maximum page count depends on ink and paper, but for those using white paper and black ink it’s is roughly around 800 pages! I can’t even imagine that.
UPDATE 2021: a few other options are for colour and hardbacks now too!
Speaking of the unimaginable….
Now to the volume of uploads there have been many rumours flying around about this at the moment. It looks like 1000 a week. Who on earth is uploading 1000 manuscripts a week? Bonkers. Spammers.That is not a tactic I’d recommend but then I am in this for the long haul and more of a tortoise than the hare.
Have you got any KDP questions? Feel free to comment below.
Here’s my first KDP post about it, right back when I started.
Do You Need Training?
UPDATE: As of the summer of 2022, I now have over 200 titles listed on Amazon and am currently working on my 80s Music Trivia book – volume one (in a series). Also, since the start of the pandemic, I’ve now trained over a dozen people how to publish their books using Canva and KDP. I do this in less than 2 weeks.
BookBolt – Try it here & get a discount using ‘Podinscot‘ as the code.
Aududu Book Creator: is another tool I use – especially for activity books. Again use: ‘Podinscot‘ as the code.