The publishing world has changed considerably over the last years, and self publishing (also known as indie publishing) is on the rise. Many indie authors are earning a good income from selling their self published books online, in Kindle format, paperback, or even audio book.
There are several publishing platforms, and the best known one is probably Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon KDP). I know many authors who use their services, and I have also used them. So, in this review I will give you my honest thoughts on Amazon KDP, the pros and the cons, my experience, and testimonies from other authors.
Amazon KDP Review
Name: Amazon KDP
Overall Rank: 9/10
The Good And the Bad
Let’s list the pros and cons here.
Disclaimer: While I am affiliated with Amazon, I am not affiliated with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, and although I use their services I do not get any credit or commission for this review. So, you can be assured that this review will be unbiased and honest. Only products that are shown here will earn me a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you decide to purchase that product. This helps me maintain my website.
– PRO #1: Amazon KDP is easy to use. Publishing your manuscript is done in three steps.
- First, you fill in the info of the book, such as author name, book title, genre, categories, keywords, etc.
- Then you are asked to upload your manuscript and book cover.
- Finally, you are prompted to add more info about pricing, whether you want to add your book to Kindle Unlimited, enable lending, etc.
– PRO #2: The service is free.
– PRO #3: Excellent help desk support, quick email response
– PRO #4: Instructional video for first time self publishers
– PRO #5: You have two attractive options for earning royalties, 35% vs 70%. In 2018, Amazon added 50% for non-fiction books if publishers meet certain criteria. For more information about that, please click here
– CON #1: If you’re inexperienced with book cover file sizes, it may be a bit of a struggle to get the exactly right size, but nowadays there are many online platforms where you can adjust it. Another solution is finding book cover designers online. If you specify the exact size the book cover should be, they will do it for you at an affordable price. I found book cover designers on Fiver and Smashwords.
So, the one con I mentioned is not such a great con, since there are easy solutions. I paid a little under $20 for the following book cover. I contacted the designer for the below cover on Smashwords.
Who is Amazon KDP For?
This platform is for writers who want to self publish their books. If you want to be in control of royalties, the publishing process, etc, then Amazon KDP is a good place to self publish your work.
Amazon Tools and Support
The platform offers all the tools you need for publishing, and it makes it easy and self-explanatory. It is a step-by-step process, and you need to complete each step first before continuing to the next one. That means that you cannot skip a step and go to the second page to upload your manuscript if you don’t complete the first page that asks you for author name, title, if it’s part of a series, synopsis, etc.
Once your book is published, you will get a confirmation email. It usually takes up to 72 hours before the book goes live.
If you forgot something or you made a mistake (for example, you set the wrong price or you have to correct an error in your manuscript) you can go back to your Amazon KDP account and apply the changes directly. If you have to correct something in your book (a typo, spelling, grammar, etc), then make the corrections, and after that you upload your updated manuscript.
Amazon KDP offers troubleshooting topics in the left side bar, and in case you cannot solve an issue you can always contact the KDP support team. In my experience, their response has always been prompt, the agents are friendly, and they have always provided a solution.
My Final Opinion of Amazon KDP
When I started using this platform to self publish my book, I was surprised how easy it was. At first, I felt a bit overwhelmed; self publishing for the first time can be a little daunting, because there is much work involved. Once I got started though, I enjoyed the swift and simple process. You don’t need to be an internet expert or some kind of techie to do this. The way it is set up makes it accessible for everyone.
If you’re serious about self publishing a book, then I definitely recommend Amazon KDP. If you’d like to learn more about this or you would like more information before taking the self publishing route, the following book gives you clear guidelines how to go about it.
If you have any more doubts or questions, please let me know in the comments.
33 thoughts on “Amazon Self Publishing Review – Publish Free on KDP”
This is a great review! I have also published two books on Amazon to date and I’ve found the process to be very simple and effective. My only struggle (as you point out in your review) was designing the compatible cover art. For my next book, I’d like to include illustrations within and I’m wondering if you have any recommendations and/or resources that might help with designing a book with illustrations? Also, do you have any marketing techniques to help people find your book on Amazon once it’s published? Thanks!
I use social media to promote my books and to connect with writers and readers. Look for #writingcommunity on Twitter to connect with fellow authors, everyone is very supportive. Amazon also offers promotional tools such as book giveaways. They have free and paid promotional services.
As for books with illustrations, I haven’t done that, so I have no experience with that, but it requires a lot more work, since the illustrations have to fit within the margins. I think. Amazon KDP provides the tools for that, but I have never ventured into that, so I am not sure what to recommend here. I’m sure though that Amazon KDP has info about it.
Thanks for sharing this post about the Amazon kdp, I have used the site a lot of times and I like the way it’s been set up, very easy to access and it’s very affordable for anybody that wants to publish books , I used the site and my book was published within a twinkle of an eye which surprised me. I can recommend it to any book writers , thanks.
Indeed, it is published fast and efficiently. It’s a very good site to use.
I guess this is a more beneficial and economical way of getting your work out there without the associated costs of publishing, editing and proofreading a manuscript.
Are there any conditions with this form of publishing? Ie can you publish in any language? Would there be a limit to the number of pages you can publish?
How would you get your work at the top of Amazon’s bestseller list, would it be down to sales or likes or any other algorithm ?
You can publish your book in other languages too, and so far I haven’t seen a limit on the number of pages.
To get your work at the top of Amazon’s bestseller’s list, you need to promote your work as much as you can to get the sales. You can use social media for that, and Amazon also offers promotional services (some are free and some have a cost).
It is also important to get book reviews. More book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads will get your book noticed too.
Hi Christine! This is such a pleasant surprise. I love to write but I’m not very techie. I know that I should because most people my age around me are, but it just seems intimidating. I have been wanting to publish two of my own books but I hadn’t checked this option. Using Amazon KDP seems like a ride. You’ve encouraged me to give it a try!
Definitely give it a try, it is very easy to use 🙂
Hello Christine! I have been struggling with the book cover. Boy, I have read your post at the exact right time. And this is a very practical solution. I don’t have an account on Fiverr, but it shouldn’t be difficult to get started over there. I’ll hire a designer and let you know the results. Thank you very much!
Yes, let me know. I found a very good book cover designer on Smashwords.
This is my first website comment. I am also registered for the kindle press and having ebook writing training with the kindle cash flow. But after reading your website, which is informative, I know more ways to write a book, publish it, and who to contact to get my book cover designed.
Very interesting post, good points, thank you for sharing.
Thank you for stopping by.
Hi Christine, what an amazing resource you have created here for self-publishing authors. Isn’t it funny how only a few short years ago an aspiring author was limited to the traditional manuscript publishers and all the heartache and rejection that involved. Now we are almost overwhelmed with choice online (I’m not complaining, this is long overdue) and having your review to guide us through is very reassuring.
As we all know, understanding your audience’s reading preferences is key to making good sales. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on how to achieve the greatest reach with your audience – do you just publish an e-book using a service like Amazon KDP or should you expand out and create an audiobook version using a similar process? If you do have modest success with an e-book/audiobook, should you then consider approaching a traditional publisher and produce a print version for the bookstores? Does the use of the various self-publishing formats change depending on the subject material – fiction vs. non-fiction?
Audiobooks are gaining in popularity, so it’s advisable to also create an audiobook. You can create the printed version of your book on Amazon KDP as well. Approaching a traditional publisher is not impossible, but it is difficult. A good idea would be to find an agent who would like to represent you. Agents have all the contacts with publishing houses.
I love to write but have yet to summon the courage to write a book. Now I know how simple self-publishing can be … well, who knows 🙂
I love your book cover, really makes me want to read your book!
Thank you for such a valuable share. I shall send the URL for this post onto an author friend of mine too.
It takes a while to write a book, it can take from a few months up to a year, but it is so rewarding once you write those last lines “The End”.
The artist did a great job on this book cover, I love it too! 🙂
I think the main complaint I hear from new authors is the loopholes you have to go through to get published – not to mention being turned down again and again. Let the reader choose for themselves. It’s interesting because I had noticed the cover of your book in my Amazon book deals newsletter that they send me! What an excellent, price-effective method of being published!
Yes, many authors complain about this, I do too. It can take ages before one is lucky enough to get noticed by the big publishing houses. So, yes, why not take matters into your own hands? Amazon makes it so easy.
It warms my heart to read that you saw my book cover in your Amazon newsletter! That just made my day!
Thank you for this comprehensive description of how to go on when publishing your first book. I will definitely need it as I’m planning to publish my first book next year. I would never think that it could be so easy, I was a bit afraid of that but after reading your article I can imagine doing it quite well. I will add your website to my favourites. If I come across some problem with publishing or want to ask a question, can I get back to you?
Congratulations on publishing your first book next year! And next year is just around the corner 😉
Of course you can contact me if you have any more questions. I will be happy to help. Remember to get a good editor for your manuscript. 🙂
Thank you Christine, I appreciate that! Do you think I need an editor? I am a translator and proofreader so I rarely make mistakes but I know that authors have what we call author’s blindness in my native language meaning the author just doesn’t see their own mistakes 🙂
Hiring an editor can sometimes be a little costly, but it is worth it. If you’re a translator and a proofreader you could do it yourself. To avoid the author’s blindness you could edit the manuscript, then leave it for a month, after that you print it out and read it from a fresh perspective, and edit again, so you can pick up more corrections. That’s how many writers who self edit propose to do it.
Thanks to you for posting this informative article, it’s really true that many authors are now embracing self publishing and this is usually done by having the service of a publishing platform like Amazon Kdp that you’ve mentioned. I love the idea of it easiness and also that it is free makes it more appealing. I’ll share to some of my friends.
Thank you for your comment and for sharing this with your friends 🙂
Thanks a lot, Christine for this eye-opener, I started earning as a writer by working as a freelance researcher. After which I started writing articles on my blog, I struggled with google ranking until I joined wealthy affiliates. I must tell you they helped me improve my content and SEO ranking.
Letting me know that I can publish my book on Amazon KDP is good news, it will increase my income source.
Once again, Thanks a lot
Yes, Wealthy Affiliate teaches you how to improve SEO ranking. It is a great platform which has also taught me a lot. Let me know when your book is published. I’d like to see it. 🙂
This is a wonderful post about the Amazon kdp, I have used the site a before and I like the way it’s been set up, very easy to access and it is also very cheap for those that want to publish books. When I used the site my book was published witin minutes. I can recommend it to any book writer.
It definitely is a great publishing platform. 🙂 I’m glad you got to use it for your books too.
This is a great post. I wasn’t aware that free book publishing was available on Amazon Kindle. It is quite exciting to know that your novel or fantasy book can be on the Kindle list for free! I am sure there is great authors that no one knows in there. What is the book that you have published?
Yes, it is very exciting to get your book up there. It is an incredible feeling once it’s published. The cover I showed in this article is for my book Beyond the Mirror, and it’s also on Amazon.
I’m currently looking for information about Amazon self publishing, I’m not a writer but I’m an illustrator and I would like to publish low content book as coloring books or planners, do you have some tips about this topic?
I have no experience publishing low content books, only fiction, but your question made me curious, and so I checked what information was available. I think that getting a book with instructions on how to do it is a good option.
I think that publishing a low content book is perhaps a little more challenging because of the illustrations and the margins they have to fit in. I found this book on Amazon that talks about it in detail. It has great reviews.
Hey Christine, thanks for sharing your review of Amazon self-publishing. I’ve seen a few programs so far that promote self-publishing on Amazon to be a great business opportunity. I have some material that I would like to turn into eBooks in the future so I was thinking about Amazon and whether it is worth it or not. Thanks for your comprehensive review here.