What is KDP Direct Publishing?

What is Kindle Direct Publishing?
Self publishing has increasingly become more authors. With Amazon controlling the ebook market, KDP Direct Publishing has become the go-to choice for most creators.
Self publishing has increasingly become more authors. With Amazon controlling the ebook market, KDP Direct Publishing has become the go-to choice for most creators.
The Heidorn Report: Merch Research & Strategy Guide

KDP direct publishing is a great way for seasoned and experienced authors to get their books published and have them accessible to millions of people globally.

Introduced in 2007, KDP direct publishing has taken the ebook world by storm, and it now controls 80% of its market share. 

Amazon KDP is a platform with several perks and can be a real asset, especially once you know how to navigate it.

In this article, we give you an overview of Amazon KDP and why it could be your publishing platform of choice.

What is KDP Direct Publishing?

KDP direct publishing is Amazon’s publishing platform.

It’s a place where authors can have their books published in minutes, sold all over the world, and they can earn royalties from the sales.

Amazon KDP is a platform of choice for self-published authors because there is practically no cost to get your book published. 

They’ll get my Kindle when they pry it from my cold dead hands, if my corpse will release it.

Elizabeth Horton-Newton

Where previously authors had to pay certain fees to publishing houses, they can now in a few hours have their books online without paying.

Venturing into the Amazon Kindle platform is a great way to start your print business.

You can put your ideas into different formats and promote them too.

Benefits of KDP Direct Publishing

The benefits of KDP Direct Publishing are numerous, some of which we’ve talked about above.

The full list of benefits include:

Access to A Large Market

As we mentioned above, Amazon controls approximately 80% of the ebook market.

That means that most people in the world use Amazon to buy and read books.

Access to this market is one of the greatest benefits of KDP Direct Publishing.

KDP Direct Publishing ebook reader
Photo by Spencer from Unsplash

By having your book published with Amazon, it means that you are making it available to millions of people in the world.

Not only does this bring more visibility to your work, but it also means there is a higher potential to make more money.

One of the reasons why a lot of people turn to Kindle is the convenience it provides to the reader.

With a wide array of books presented in a simple and efficient manner, its no wonder that a lot of people prefer buying ebooks through Kindle.

No Start-Up Costs

Once you have your manuscript and your cover ready, having your book published is as easy as logging in and filling in a few key details.

That’s amazing news, especially for new authors who might not have the resources to pay publishing costs.

Ability to Create Both EBooks and Paperbacks

Some authors love having their books printed on real paper.

KDP Direct Publishing gives you the option of having your book available as an ebook, paperback, or both.

Amazon has KDP Print which is essentially a print on demand platform.

Here, you’ll only need to upload your print file, and from there Amazon will have it printed and shipped when your readers buy the paperback version of your book.

There are several reasons why authors might want the hard copy version of their books.

They might want to resell them to family or friends, or they might want to use the hard copy version to market their book on social media.

Access to Marketing Tools

Amazon gives all its sellers access to a lot of marketing tools.

A lot of them are paid-for tools, but they are extremely effective in having your books in the eyes of more readers.

The Heidorn Report: Merch Research & Strategy Guide

If you make your book available on Kindle Select, you’ll have access to free promotions.

You can make your book/s available for free for 5 days every 90 days.

This is a great tactic to increase downloads, which increases your book’s ranking.

Your book will be available on Kindle Unlimited.

Here users will pay a subscription to read your book, and you are paid a royalty with every page read.

You can offer your book for a discount for a certain period as a “Countdown deal”, and your book will be promoted on the Kindle store.

If you want to pay for advertising, Amazon can boost your book as a sponsored ad when people are searching for similar books to yours.

This is a great marketing tactic and will generate more sales since it targets people already interested in your genre of writing.


Authors choose KDP Direct Publishing because they are able to control their royalties.

Unlike publishing houses, KDP lets its authors set their own royalty plans and this gives them more flexibility.

There are two royalty options depending on the plan that you choose; 35% and 70%.

If you choose the 70% royalty plan, you will need to cater for printing and delivery costs when your book is bought.

While if you choose the 35% plan, you won’t need to cover those costs.

The Heidorn Report: Merch Research & Strategy Guide

The best part about KDP Direct Publishing is that you can set your own prices, and once you factor in Amazon costs, you can determine how much profit you make. 

Disadvantages of KDP Direct Publishing

Similar to poular platforms, KDP Direct Publishing has drawbacks that have discouraged some authors from utilizing it.

Here are a few of the key disadvantages:


KDP Select has an exclusivity clause that restricts authors.

 When you choose to sell on KDP Select, you will not be able to sell your book/s on any other platforms.

Screenshot of Amazon KDP's Kindle Unlimited page

If you have your books available on other digital platforms, KDP Direct Publishing will remove your book from their platform until no other versions are being sold. 

For sellers outside the US and UK, this might be a big disadvantage since Amazon KDP might not be as popular.

Payment Period

Although authors are paid monthly, there is a 60-day period between when you start earning your money and when you receive it.

Play by the rules, but be ferocious

Phil Knight

For example, the money you earn in February will be sent to you in April.

If you don’t make consistent sales, this can be a big disadvantage. 

In Conclusion

Before self-publishing on Amazon, we would advise you to conduct your own in-depth research.

Understand the rules and requirements and also work to understand how royalties are calculated.

There is a lot that goes into creating success on KDP Direct Publishing.

You’ll need to learn how to promote your book in and outside Amazon.

You’ll also need to stay updated with what your audience wants to see.

That being said, Amazon KDP is still a great platform for authors to publish their books and make money at the same time. 

The Heidorn Report: Merch Research & Strategy Guide
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