Amazon Amazon KDP

How to Publish a Book on Amazon

Self Publishing on KDP

Publishing Your Paperback on KDP Explained

If you have already read through and followed the steps to publish your ebook version then much of this will look the same. I have made the notes in the differences colored in RED to make it easier to see the differences.

Here is a  full breakdown of the steps and explanations thereof to make it easier on you!

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Page 1 of 3

Information that you will need to enter- 

Everything on this page will (should?) auto populate if you have already published your ebook.

Title- This is the title of the book that you are going to publish. You will want to make sure that this matches the title of the book in your manuscript that you will be uploading a little later in the next section If it doesn’t it will normally get flagged by the Amazon KDP algorithm.

Author- This is the section that you will need to enter the name of the original author of the book. If you are the original author then your name will go here. If you are publishing an open domain book then the name of the author will go here.

Is it part of a series?– This is one of the few “optional” sections that you can choose to fill out. If your book is part of a series or you think it might be part of one eventually this is where you will put the name. Just like most parts of KDP you can go back and edit it even after it is in “publication”. I prefer to sort my books into series (i.e. childrens books, cookbooks, fairy tales, ect.) mostly for my benefit but there is also a benefit for the sales of your books in that series. If you have ever looked at a book for sale on Amazon and seen the next few books in that series suggested to you this is where that “suggestion” comes from.

Edition- Is the book a specific edition? If so this is where you will make the customers aware.

Book Descriptions- This may seem frivolous or something that is not super important but that couldn’t be further from the truth. How will you be able to differentiate yourself from the other versions of your book that are already listed? This is the first way for you to do so! Also, this will help your book to more easily be found by potential customers as they search. 

Keywords- As with the section above, the keywords that you use will assist your book in being found by future customers. Research what keywords are best for your book. Treat this just as you would researching keywords for an optimized blog post. You can have up to 8 keywords listed per book. 

Categories- Pick the category(ies) that your book best fits into. Up to two of them. Amazon will also classify your book into other “suggested” categories or sections as you begin to sell your books.

Age range (if needed)- Should there be a minimum age for the subject matter in your book? This is primarily opinion based.

Page 2 of 3

Information that you will need to enter- 

The second page of KDP is vastly different from the ebook version.

Print ISBN- If you already have an ISBN this is where you will enter it. If you don’t have an ISBN you can choose to have Amazon assign you a free ISBN that is exclusive to printing your book on Amazon. What is an ISBN? What does the ISBN Number mean? See the chart below.

Note: If you want your own ISBN so that you can sell physical copies of your book not on amazon you will need to purchase one. Most commonly from

Publication Date- The graphic below probably explains it the best but, Amazon will use your “Live on Amazon” date.

Print Options-  You can choose between lots of different physical options for your book in this section. For the vast majority of books that you will publish the “default” option will be the cheapest. Your choices here will be the biggest determining factor of the “cost” of your book. The cost of your book is deducted from the sale of your book so there is no upfront cost to you. 

Manuscript upload- This is a very important section to “get right” in both ebook and paperback versions but even more so in paperback since the return of a physical copy could cost you. As I stated before, do yourself a favor and download the Kindle Create program. If you already have your manuscript preformatted in a PDF file you can upload it without using the Kindle Create program. Pro Tip: If you are interested in printing blank journals save a PDF copy of the lined pages so you can reuse it for other journals.  

If you want to learn how to use Kindle Create to format your manuscript CLICK HERE.

Cover creator- This is a pretty intuitive program to use within the publishing program on KDP. This is probably one of the biggest differences between publishing ebooks and paperbacks on KDP. In this version of KDP you will need to decide what picture that you want to use for your cover art. In the paperback version, the picture will need to be at least 300 DPI (or adjusted to be 300 DPI). As seen below you can choose a picture of your own or a stock photo supplied by KDP. This is also where you will need to enter in a description, a picture of the author, a short bio of the author and a back cover picture. As with the front cover all pictures will need to be at least 300 DPI.

eBook Previewer- This is your final check to ensure that your book is formatted correctly and everything looks right. Page through this section carefully to ensure that the formatting is correct for your paperback version.

Page 3 of 3

Information that you will need to decide and enter- 

Enter into KDP Select?- This is only available for Ebook versions for obvious reasons.

What territories to sell in (worldwide or individual)?- You are able to select worldwide or in certain territories. In my opinion, it makes little sense to limit your ability to sell by limiting your markets but… to     each their own.

 If you decide to sell worldwide your minimum cost per book will be much higher but you will have a much larger audience so you will need to weigh the decision between the added cost of your book (possibly fewer sales due to price) and the added distribution area (much larger possible audience). 

Price-  This section is an interesting section to dig into. The pricing of your book can dramatically affect the sales of your book. There are also some Amazon set constraints. In most cases your book can not be set as “free” (although there are ways around this).  If you are publishing your own original content/ journal or low content book you will need to decide at what price it will sell the best. The easiest way to do this is just with some super simple “market research”. As in, search for “like” offerings on Amazon and see what they are selling for. As with almost everything else in KDP you can go back and change it after your book is approved so don’t stress too much over this.

The print price from your paperback and Amazon’s cut are automatically calculated and displayed. The minimum price will be much higher if you choose to offer your book in all available markets.

Book Previewer- You will need to preview your book from cover to cover to make sure that everything is formatted correctly and your cover looks correct.

At this point your book is ready to publish! All you have to do is click on the publish button. Once you have clicked “publish”, just go back to your “Bookshelf”. See below for the visual!

At this point all you are doing is waiting. Your book will initially be “In Review”. It can take up to 72 hours, on average, for your new ebook to go into “Live” status in KDP. There is a step in between “In Review” and “Live” and it is “Publishing”. This step generally takes just a few hours at most and unless you are constantly checking in on it you will normally not even see this step. Your book is ready for people to purchase once it is in the “Live” stage.

Pro Tip: Amazon will automatically “link” your paperback and ebook. This is one of the main reasons that I generally publish a paperback version of my ebooks. Amazon will show the price difference between the ebook and the paperback as a % discount and this will entice readers to buy your book.

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