Become a writer: publish and sell your first book on Amazon

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Typewriter with KDP Kindle Direct logo

Many do not even know that anyone can publish books on Amazon, we do not need to be professional writers or make a large investment. In addition to being simple, the process of publishing and selling your own book on Amazon is fast and free.

Self-Publishing: Kindle Direct Publishing

Amazon KDP is the application that Amazon has developed so that everyone can publish and sell their books. There are two publication possibilities: digital format (eBook) and soft cover book. It’s a great way to reach millions of people without making any initial investment.

Obviously this service has a cost. But it does not require investments. Depending on the type of publication and the country in which you do it, the commissions may vary, but you can take up to 70% of profit of your book sales. The publication and sale of books through Amazon KDP allows you to maintain control over the intellectual property rights, price and subsequent modifications on the work.

how to start creating a new title in amazon kdp

Format requirements

To upload the digital document of your book you will not have any problem. However, in order to sell your book in physical paperback format, you have to meet some specifications about the page layout, indentation and margins, all of them are clearly specified. It is important to know how some texts should be laid out, such as the cover, title page, copyright, dedication and index.

As for the digital file, which is the one that will be uploaded to the KDP platform, we must bear in mind that if the file has indentation we must upload it in format PDF. If it does not have indentation, we can upload it in any of these formats: PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, HTML or TXT.

Book details

Title, description and authors

It is important that the title is exactly the same in all the sections and formats where it appears. This forbidden to include commercial terms as “best seller”, “free” or similar. The subtitle should provide additional information about the content and should never exceed 200 characters.

The text of the description of the book is more important than it seems. Really is the first contact that the reader has with the book. It is the text that appears on the back cover of soft cover books or on the inside flap of hard cover books. As for the authors of the book, there is no problem if there are several authors or contributors to mention them all.

language and book title in ebook format for amazon KDPform to indicate author and collaborators in amazon kdp

Keywords and Categories

In the world of algorithms, Amazon KDP is not without them. That is why it is important to indicate in the section Keywords from the section Edit details … the concepts or terms that best describe the content of your book. In this way, Amazon will be able to include your book in the corresponding categories and display it more effectively in searches made by users.

The Categories: They are based on the BISAC code (Book Industry Standards and Communications), hence we will have to choose the two categories that best reflect the content of the book.

form to indicate keywords and book categories in amazon kdp

Upload and preview your book

One of the last steps is to upload and preview our book. Here we can see the final design, which is what readers will see when they download or buy it. Our ISBN or the international standard number of books. It is the ID of each book, the ISBN is unique for each work and contains registered information such as the number of the edition, the author, the physical properties of the book, number of pages or type of cover.

In the case of eBooks, it is not mandatory to have an ISBN. In the paperback book you will have to purchase through the Amazon KDP service itself an ISBN for free.

Details update

When we want to make modifications we have to click on “,,,” and then in Edit eBook details or Edit paperback details. This will redirect us to the details page. Then we will only have to make the necessary changes and save them.

It is important to know that not everything is susceptible to being modified. For example, in the case of eBooks we will not be able to change the digital rights management (DRM), the publication date, the title or the author’s name. In the case of the soft cover format, in addition to the fields mentioned in the eBook, we will not be able to modify the language, subtitle, edition number, ISBN, stamp name, ink and type of paper and the size of the print. Anything that involves adding unauthorized changes is considered a new edition that must be published independently.

print options in amazon KDP


The most impatient should know that the process of selling a book on Amazon it is not instantaneous once you have written your masterpiece. Your eBook’s detail page and thumbnail image will appear in less than 3 days. Pairing on the paperback format will be delayed between 2 and 7 days. The updates, in digital format, will be effective within 2 to 3 days. Sales statistics, for example, are updated every hour, except for the first few hours, which will take between 12 and 48 hours to be visible.

For the physical paperback format, the deadline for the detail page to be active is 3 days on Amazon and 5 days in the rest of the stores, and we will have to wait 3 to 5 days so that we can see that the book is already in stock. As a curiosity, a particularly long period is that of the advertising campaign metrics, which take approximately 14 days to be reflected.

Sales commissions

To calculate the sales commissions that correspond to us as authors of the book, we must take into account that there are different variables that determine the costs of sale and printing. To qualify for 70% commission We must meet three requirements: that our RRP meets the requirements according to the tables set by Amazon based on the weight of the file, that the RRP is at least 20% lower than the RRP of the physical format and that it is for sale in all geographic areas where distribution rights are available. Otherwise, we will have no problem signing up for the 35% commission program.

Other factors to take into account are included in the soft cover format, such as printing costs. In general, the commission that you corresponds to the author is 60%. From this amount we have to subtract the costs of printing the book. For a $ 15 RRP, 333 page black ink book the cost of printing would be $ 4.15, so the profit before tax would be $ 10.85. This example refers to sales in the United States, so in the European case the figures could vary slightly.

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