Self Publishing on Amazon (A.K.A- KDP)
Does it cost me anything to publish on Amazon?
The technical answer is that your only initial investment is time. The answer is the same no matter if you are publishing your own original work or a public domain work. That being said, you will pay a fee from Amazon when your book sells. If you are publishing a physical version of your book (non-ebook) by utilizing Amazon’s POD printing service there is also a printing charge. The printing and distribution fees are automatically calculated by Amazon and subtracted from your displayed profits. On the upside, you will know upfront how much you stand to profit by selling your work at the price that you have chosen to sell it for.
Can I only make/sell ebooks on KDP?
Not at all! Currently you are able to publish ebooks and physical copies directly on Amazon’s KDP platform. The KDP platform is an all-in-one platform for these two versions. It is a fairly intuitive program, even for beginners and “non tech” people like myself.
Aside from ebooks and physical copies you can also publish audio versions to Amazon. The preferred method for producing an audio version of a book is by usinging ACX.com. ACX is a run through Audible.com which is a subsidiary of Amazon.com. When you produce an audio version of your chosen work through ACX it will be distributed on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. The upside is that the ACX platform is available for authors, narrators and publishers so there are multiple opportunities to “get into” audio versions.
To learn how to publish ebooks on Kindle Direct Publishing (A.K.A KDP) CLICK HERE.
The learn how to publish paperbacks on Amazon CLICK HERE.
This is the link Amazon offers to authors looking to create an audiobook. It will take you directly to the website for ACX.com.
If I publish on Amazon can I still publish on other sites?
You can publish your work on other sites without any repercussions unless you have enrolled your work in their KDP Select program. Amazon’s KDP Select program is an exclusivity contract that lasts for 90 days. During this timeframe you are not allowed to distribute your work in digital format on any other platform. This means, however, that you can still distribute it in physical form even while enrolled in this program.
What is KDP Select and why would I enroll in it?
By enrolling the digital rights of your work in KDP Select you will 70% royalties on your work and will also get a small percentage share of the KDP Select Global Fund. This percentage is formulaic in its payout. On Amazon’s website it is described below. Here is a link to Amazon’s royalty page. The average payout per page read is generally around ½ cent per page. The total can vary depending on the total number of pages read each month by readers who are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.
Excerpt from the page…
For example, here’s how we’d calculate royalty payout if $10 million in funds were available in a given month with 100 million total pages read (Note: Actual payouts vary and may be less; check your Prior Month’s Royalty Report to see your earnings):
Author with a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
Author of a 200 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
Author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
This means that the more popular and engaging your books are the more you can make! On the downside, as stated before, you are restricted to distributing the digital format of your work only on Amazon for as long as it is enrolled in KDP select (Minimum of 90 days).
How much money can I make per book?
As far as straight royalties go you have the choice to choose 35% or 70% royalties through KDP.
You may ask… “Why in the heck would I not want to choose to get 70% royalties?”. As with most other things in life there are “catches”.
There are 6 primary terms in which you will need to agree to be allowed to choose the 70% royalty option.
- It can not be a public domain work. What is a public domain work? CLICK HERE to find out more about publishing public domain works.
- You must agree to allow lending for your book. This is a one time 14 day lending that the purchaser is allowed to make.
- The price of your book must be between $2.99 and $9.99. There are exceptions to this but they are not available to self publishers.
- You only actually get 70% in the US and most European Countries. In the other territories you will still only get 35%. There is a small caveat to this detailed in E.
- You can also receive the 70% royalty in Brazil, India, Japan and Mexico if you enroll your work in KDP Select.
- Probably, in my opinion, the most odd of the terms to get your 70% royalty is the transfer charge. In short you get charged per megabyte to transfer your book to the purchaser. If your book is 20 megabytes and the purchaser is in the US (it is about $.15 per megabyte in the US) then you would have $3.00 subtracted from your total royalty. Below is a chart with the transfer prices by country market.
If your answer is no to any of these terms than your royalty will be 35%.
I hope this information helps. For more information on KDP and other business development ideas and answers join the community on Facebook and get on the WeirdMoney Train!