If you’ve come to the point of asking “Why use Amazon KDP?” then you have also probably struggled with the question on whether to self publishing. This blog focuses on supporting self publishing authors. But won’t be looking at the differences between publishing traditionally and self publishing today. That we’ll leave for another time.
There are a few things you should know before embarking on publication with KDP
Today we’re going to look at some pros and cons of using KDP to self publish your book. There are a few things you should know before embarking on the publication process with KDP. But first, let’s answer the question: “What is KDP?”
KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon’s KDP is one tool authors can use to publish their work online. When an author publishing through KDP it makes their eBook available on Amazon through a print on demand process. Simply said, it gives the author the ability to print their book quickly, easily and at no cost for publication. An author could seemingly pay nothing for the process of publication. No, I don’t recommend this. But it is possible. I have gone into reasons for paying for editors and cover designers, at other times, so I won’t rehash that now.
Let’s delve into the pros and cons
The cons are few but can make an enormous impact on an author.
Anyone can publish a book.
- Wait… why is this under cons? Because there are no restrictions on who can publish and this leads to some pretty sloppy books being published. I could speedily write a book, make a quick cover in Canva or some other site, do a rushed edit and have it up for sale in the same day. This will not only give the author a bad name, but has harmed the image of self publishing itself.
I know how an author thinks about their first book. It’s their perfect baby. No one should hate it or say anything bad about it. I thought my second draft of my first book was the best book written… lol. It was crap! It took a lot of learning, rewriting, editing, and critiquing, before it was close to being ready for print. Having a free and easy publishing platform to use doesn’t mean we are ready to print our work.
You can’t go wide
- KDP doesn’t sell wide. For those that aren’t familiar with the term, selling or going wide simply means selling your books on multiple platforms and in other countries. Amazon only sells on Amazon. This doesn’t mean you can’t also publish in another venue yourself, but it’s not a place where you can publish your book and those who have… say nook from Barnes & Noble, or another app or store, cannot buy your book. The inability to take advantage of different platforms is the biggest drawback for me. Amazon doesn’t sell books to every country. They are sold in the USA, Canada, and many European Union countries, but not all. They are continuing to expand and someday may be worldwide, but even then, you have to buy it on amazon and use the kindle app.
Amazon is in control.
- Amazon can decide that they no longer want to carry your book. In this ever-changing world, this can be scary. What is politically correct and socially excerptible now, may not be next year. We are in a free society now, but will it always be this way? I will not get into a debate on the right or wrong of this, but I do want to point out that when publishing this way and no other way, Relying on one exclusive company to distribute our book need to seriously considered before a decision is made.
You need to market yourself.
- This isn’t new information for Indie (Independent or self-published) authors. We have all heard that one of the drawbacks of being self-published it that there is no one there to do marketing for you. It’s all on you. But to be fair, Amazon KDP has some tool and ads built into KDP that can be a great help if one takes the time to learn them.
I used this as the close of my Cons, because it’s almost a Pro. If you take advantage of the tools and ads, and your book is well written on a subject of interest, you can have a best seller using nothing but KDP.
Amazon is a Huge Selling Platform
Amazon is an enormous platform. It’s trusted and has an excellent reputation. They will sell your books alongside those of reputable authors. This gives readers the confidence to buy your book and feel good about the purchase.
An “Author’s Page.”
- You will have a personal Author’s Page. This is a huge plus. Almost every author has an Author Page on Amazon. This is the first place many go to find more information about an author. I have had many tell me they will go check out an author on their Amazon author’s page before trying to look up their website.
The Author’s Page is easy to set up by following their step-by-step instructions.
Even if you’re wanting to use another platform, you can still sell your book through KDP and take advantage of having an author’s page.
- Free isn’t always good, but in this case, it a big plus. As I stated above, if you did all the work and details needed to go into a book: book-cover, editing, proof-reading… everything, the cost of publishing through KDP could be zero. The actual downloading and going live, is no cost. There is also no cost for the printing and sending of the book. The reader orders your book through Amazon and pays the shipping cost (if any.) The book is printed as each one is ordered, sent, and you get paid.
You have options with KDP Publishing.
- There is KDP, and KDP Select. This is a subject all to itself, so I won’t go into detail today, but the basic difference is that KDP Select had more free marketing and promoting, You will earn more profits, but you also agree not to sell that book on any other platform. This is a ninety-day agreement and can be switched back at the end of that ninety days. There is no wait period to re-enter KDP Select.
KDP has excellent profits
- I will not cover the profit breakdown, but it well worth looking into. KDP has good profits but KDP Select is the best profit margin available. This is one reason so many authors take advantage of it. For a first-time author, this is an excellent choice.
I started with the cons because they need to be known and understood before jumping in. But this goes with any business option. And writing is a business. We need to be fully aware of what we are getting into.
But there are so many good things about KDP. That’s why I ended with the positive. In my opinion, there are more positives than negatives. Personally, I’m not using KDP Select option. I don’t want to limit myself or be confined to one platform. I want to see my books in bookstores and libraries. I also want to have the ability to take my books with me to book signings and speaking engagements. This isn’t able to be done with KDP Select. But it is available with KDP.
I hope this helped in some small way to define some pros and cons. This isn’t a complete list by any means.
Please leave comments and tell me the advantages and disadvantages you see with publishing on KDP.
ღ(¯`v´¯)ღ About Kristena Mears ღ(¯`v´¯)ღ¸
Kristena is an award-winning author, speaker, blogger, and self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur. She lives near Cincinnati, OH, where she is a supervisor at a large company. She’s been married to her “better half” for 39 years.and has three grown children.
When Kristena’s not busy writing or working, you’ll probably find her nose in a book. She also loves spending time with her family, traveling,
cooking and dabbling in photography