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What’s the Buzz About Kindle Direct Publishing?

Publishing Solo's Guide to Kindle Direct Publishing

Self-Publish with Kindle Direct Publishing

As a publishing coach and publisher of some 22 books; writers often ask, what is the best self-publishing platform? I personally often use Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. With the advent of digital publishing a multitude of so-called “self-publishing companies” are making a big splash. Therefore it is a challenge to sort through the pros and cons of all the “self-publishing” companies available.

If you here because you are looking for the hard-to-find link to the Kindle Direct Publishing Paperback Cover Template and Calculator, just click. You may also be looking for the Kindle Direct Publishing Cover Creator page for the do-it-yourself cover option. If you do not already have a KDP Account you may get one for free or simply sign in using your Amazon account.

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Before I make recommendations I need to say I am a proponent of printed books. I like to touch and turn the pages in physical reality. Many books with beautiful graphics and design elements do not translate to Kindle and other electronic platforms. And I believe that being a published author is being the author of an actual physical book. My advice is given based on that premise.

Popular e-book publishers are Kindle and Smashwords. With an abundance of publicity on the trend of e-books, the novelty has started to dwindle. New statistics are showing that significant numbers of people still love to have that book in their hands.

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Self-Publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing

Have you ever tried to get published through a traditional publishing company? I worked for a traditional publishing company and I know what a long process it is. I also know statistically how difficult it is to get published through a traditional publishing company. As an editorial assistant for a publishing house, I have read and reviewed thousands of manuscripts. I was the person who sent the rejection letters to 99% of them. Before the print on demand process, books were printed using a printing press. This required an expensive investment. To be profitable you needed to print at least 10,000 books on the first run.

With POD technology, once you create the digital files, books are printed as purchased. Getting published no longer requires a partnership with a big publishing entity. There is no need for an inventory of books. Being published is now about creating the digital file at a print on demand company, and distributing through online booksellers. Being published need not be a lengthy manuscript submission process.

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Kindle Direct Publishing Pricing

I use Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for most of my publishing projects unless the book is a four-color book. One advantage of Kindle Direct Publishing is book pricing. KDP pricing is based on a few variables. Before I go further, I need to say that I am talking about printed paperback books.

Hardcover books are more expensive and time-consuming to print. The other issue with hardcover books is that the Biggest Bookstore on Earth, has restrictions with shipping of hardcover books. Print on demand can print the inside of the books fairly quickly, but producing a hardcover for the book is not an overnight project. Because of shipping issues, Amazon discourages hardcover books in their inventory.

There may be a few exceptions, but hardcover books are not a good fit for print on demand efficiency, nor for online purchases. As for pricing for standard paperback books, as the author, expect to pay from $2.50-$5.00 per book (plus shipping) depending on the number of the pages.

Amazon Ready with Kindle Direct Publishing

Once your files are approved by Kindle Direct Publishing, your book is immediately available for purchase on Amazon. Your book can be purchased through the regular Amazon shopping cart. Amazon will collect the monies and ship the book to the buyer.

Your royalties show in your Kindle Direct Publishing account within a day or two of the sale. Furthermore, the Amazon Bookstore has a worldwide distribution. When selling a book through Amazon you will be charged the cost of printing the book plus about 40% commission, which is standard mark-up for book sales.

Kindle Direct Publishing Cover Template

A strong book cover is essential for selling books. I recommend a custom-designed book cover done by a graphic artist who actually specializes in book covers. The pulling quality of a book covers is the top single influencer of book sales. To find a good cover designer, we offer cover design services at the Dream to Publish Boutique, where self publishing services are professinally done at affordable prices.

However, the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Cover Template gives you the specifications for you to produce your own print-ready custom designed book cover. If you hire a graphic book cover designer, they will benefit from this template–and indeed, they may already have it. The cover must be made to accurate specifications to be accepted for publishing by KDP. The book cover template is available in a zip file, PDF, and Word documents to send to your graphic artist.

Register or sign in to Kindle Direct Publishing with your Amazon account, before downloading the cover template. Once you open your account, return to this page at Kindle Direct Publishing Cover Template to use their calculator and download your correct cover template. KDP offers many tools including excellent customer support. If you have not signed up for a free print on demand KDP account, do it now. Sign up for Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing now!

If you want to try the do-it-yourself approach to design your own book cover, but are not a trained graphic artist and do not own professional graphic arts software, try Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. We offer an overview and instructions in my article entitled Kindle Direct Publishing Cover Template for a Million $ Book Cover.

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FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions

What is Indie Publishing?

The term “indie pubishing” originates from Independent Publishing. Generally independing pubishing refers to the idea that an author, small, or new publisher produces works for sale, separately from the well worn network of traditional publishing houses. It also can mean that the book or other works are printed separately and also distributed by others than those who printed the book. By contrast. traditional publishing, the works are printed and distributed as one effort. For more details read FAQ-Self-Publishing Questions and Answers.

What is the Best Self-Publishing Company?

A common question by those new to self-publishing, the answer to this question is more compex than naming specific companies. This is because the basic aspects of your book project determine your best choice for the “best self-publishing company.” Keep in mind, so-called “self-publishing” companies are primarily printing companies. Therefore, the best printing company for your project will depend on the print specifications required. Will your book will be four-color or black & white? How many pages is your book? What size is your book? You must answer these basic questions before you can decide which is your best printing company. To learn more about self-publishing in general, you may read PublishingSolo’s Frequently Asked Self-Publishing Questions.

What is the First Step to Take in Self-Publishing a Book?

The first step for publishing your book might include signing a contract with yourself–An Intent to Self-Publish Agreement and planning on the complete stucture of your book. This includes creating the book’s front and back matter materials  (preface, Table of Contents, index, and 25 other similar pieces) , as well as the size, shape, and color of your book (four-color or black & white). The Book Blueprint is a workbook/journal by Deborah S. Nelson outlines and explains the structure of a book  and guides you through writing your plan of your book’s structure.

What is the Self-Publishing Process?

Self-publishing has brought democracy to the the publishing world. Instead of waiting endlessly for your manuscript to be accepted by a traditional publishing compnay, you can publish on your own. The self-publishing process usually starts with setting up your publishing brand. This means getting a business status either as sole properietor, an “S corp” or an LLC. Next, purchase an ISBN or mulitple ISBN’s thorugh Bowker Books, so that your self-published books will be made available in Books in Print which book stores use to buy books. Once you register with Bowker books your publisher imprint can be included when your book is printed on the copyright page. Next, set up the book structure of your first book project. To learn more about book structure you may purchase the book structure planning journal, Book Blueprint by Deborah S. Nelson.