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How Long Does KDP Take to Publish a Book? Insights into the Speed of Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing

Publishing, Marketing, & Writing Tips

Use KDP to publish at hyper speed!

How Long Does KDP Take to Publish a Book? Insights into the Speed of Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing
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Publishing your book on Amazon KDP unlocks endless possibilities. Think about it. 

It's 100% free to publish on the platform, and you get immediate access to flexible royalty structures and promotional tools to reach a global audience. But let's take a step back. One of the first questions that new publishers often ask is, "How long does Amazon KDP take to publish your manuscript?" and we've got your answer in this blog article! (Hint: Not long at all)

We'll explore the factors that influence publishing timelines and share some handy tips and strategies to grow your book sales, even as a beginner, so the royalties can start pouring into your bank account.

Wanna learn how to get the most out of your KDP account? Our free webinar shows you the exact process thousands of other newbies all over the world use to get a new book on Amazon in as little as a week.

What Is the General Timeline to Publish a Book On KDP?

Ideally, you'll be looking at 3 to 10 business days to publish a book on KDP after submitting it to Amazon for review. The exact time depends on factors like the type of book, accuracy, and completeness of the information you provide.

Luckily, the KDP platform walks you through the publishing process page by page and marks everything that's required. They even let you preview your work and will let you know if there's anything wrong with the file, so you have plenty of chances to fix it before hitting the "publish button." In the event that they accept your submission but later find problems with it, you'll get an email from KDP support telling you what to change in your next round.

Having to resubmit your manuscript can be annoying and frustrating, but it's not the end of the world and doesn't have to get in the way of your publishing dreams. Keep going!

Pro Tip: Scammers are out there, so beware! Look for spelling errors and weird formatting in any Support emails you receive. They could indicate the email is actually a fake phishing attempt!

KDP Book Status and What Each Status Means

When you're uploading your book manuscript to your KDP portal, your book can have one of several statuses. Here's what they all mean:

  • Draft: You are still in the process of entering or editing your book's details
  • In Review: You've filled out all the book details and submitted your book for publication, but Amazon needs to make sure the manuscript meets all their formatting and content guidelines. If KDP finds any issues with the manuscript, it will automatically go back to "Draft." If there are no issues, you'll move on to "Publishing."
  • Publishing: Amazon KDP accepted your manuscript as is and will make it available publicly shortly.
  • Live: You can celebrate! Your book is officially published, and readers can buy it through the Amazon marketplace.
  • Live with Unpublished Changes: If you need to go back and edit some book details but haven't officially resubmitted anything, you'll stay in this status.
  • Live Updates in Review: Readers can still buy your book, but Amazon needs to review any changes before fully updating your book listing.
  • Live Updates Publishing: Amazon approved your new updates, but they are still pending in the system and should be up soon!
  • Blocked: Your book doesn't meet the formatting or content guidelines and cannot be published or edited.
  • Pre-Order: Your Pre-Order book might be in various other stages, including Draft, In Review, Publishing, Live, Canceled, Updates in Progress, Updates in Review, Updates Publishing, Ready for Release, or Blocked.
  • Release Date: When you are scheduling a release in advance, you might also see different status options, like Draft, In Review, Preparing Your Files, Release Scheduled, Release Scheduled with Unpublished Changes, Updates in Review, and Ready for Release.

Pro Tip: Sometimes, books get "blocked" because of glitches in the system. It's rare, but it does happen! In these cases, it's best to reach out to Amazon's Support team for help (and stay persistent).

Book Type: eBook vs. Print Book Publishing Process

KDP books can go live in as quick as one hour after submission, though that's not necessarily the norm. Here are some estimated publishing timelines directly from Amazon!

eBooks Publishing Timeline

New eBook publications can take between 48 hours to 72 hours to go live on KDP, and it can also take up to 72 hours for the thumbnail to appear on the detail page. Additionally, it might take up to a week to link the eBook to its paperback or hardcover edition.

Pro Tip: If you decide to activate the "Look Inside the Book" feature to help readers decide whether to purchase your book, you might not notice it in the Kindle store for 7-8 business days.

Print Book Publishing Timeline

Most paperback and hardcover books will be up on the KDP website within a few days to a couple of weeks. You can always check your KDP dashboard for updates (and yes! it's perfectly normal for new publishers to furiously refresh the dashboard every few hours...we've all been there)

Updates to Published Books

Here are some updates you might need to make to your published books and how long you can expect them to take to officially go live:

  • Author Name, Title, Description, Publisher, ISBN, or Keywords: 48hrs
  • Categories: 72hrs
  • eBook Manuscript Formatting or Content: 48hrs
  • eBook Cover: 72hrs
  • List Price: 24hrs
  • Unpublished eBook taken down: 24-72hrs
  • Republished eBook live for purchase: 12-48hrs
  • Sales Rank: 24-48hrs after a sale

Pro Tip: Read about the editing process and how to make these updates through your Kindle portal here!

Pre-Orders

You can make your book available to purchase as far out as a year in advance of publishing. You will need to submit your final manuscript at least 72 hours before the official launch date to give the KDP team enough time to review it. Assuming there are no issues with the manuscript, KDP will automatically publish your book on the desired date.

Pro Tip: The early bird gets the worm. Make sure to submit your manuscript as early as possible to avoid delays! Also, remember: You can't edit any of your content or book's details while it's in review. You'll have to wait until after the book gets published (which is why editing and proofing are so important).

Advertising and Campaigns

Any ad submission or updates can take up to three days for the review process. However, ad campaign data might not update properly for up to two weeks within your dashboard.

Gifting

Gifts that are accepted and redeemed by the reader will show up as a sale immediately following redemption. However, it's best for readers to redeem these gifts within 24 hours to count towards your sales rank.

Preparing for Faster KDP Publication

If you don't want to spend weeks going back and forth with Amazon trying to get your manuscript accepted, there's only one thing you need to focus on—Quality. We're talking about everything from the book cover to the resources page at the end. Can you throw together a book in two hours and sell it? Sure, a lack of quality will eventually catch up with you when readers start leaving brutally honest reviews.

Here are some quick tips for faster publication:

Quality of Content

  • Professional Editing and Formatting: Submit a manuscript that's professionally edited, well-formatted, and includes high-quality designs and graphics. (Or, at the very least, run it through Grammarly!)
  • Optimized Description and Metadata: Double-check that your book's description and metadata accurately reflect its content.

Book Format

  • Readability: Consider adding a clickable table of contents to your eBook to make it easier to navigate (this IS something readers are known to give poor reviews for).
  • Quality Assurance: Check for and correct any formatting issues like misaligned texts or missing images across different devices.

KDP Dashboard

  • Manuscript File Format: Prepare your manuscript in formats like .ePub, .doc, .mobi, or .docx. Use reader-friendly fonts and proper page breaks.
  • Previewing: Use Kindle Previewer or KDP’s online previewer to check formatting, device compatibility, and interactive elements BEFORE publishing.

Cover Design

  • Choose a high-quality resolution (at least 300 DPI) and proper dimensions, and always follow KDP guidelines.
  • Don't neglect the back cover or the spine! Amazon KDP can be especially finicky with any text or image bleed outside of the margins. 

Quick Submission Checklist Before You Hit the Publish Button!

Here's our quick and easy checklist to guarantee the accuracy and completeness of your KDP manuscript:

Final Manuscript Review:

  • Proofread for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  • Check formatting consistency (font, headings, spacing).

Cover Design:

  • Verify the cover is high-resolution and fits KDP’s size requirements.
  • Make sure the cover design is visually appealing and genre-appropriate.

Metadata and Book Details:

  • Craft a compelling book title and subtitle.
  • Write a clear, engaging book description with relevant keywords.
  • Select appropriate book categories and keywords for better discoverability.

Legal Rights and Permissions:

Confirm you have the rights to publish all content, including images and text:

  • Permissions and Rights: Obtain necessary permissions if you're using content from others, including collaborators.
  • Public Domain and Creative Commons: Adhere to the specific terms of any public domain or Creative Commons licensed content.
  • Licenses for Media: Secure licenses for any trademarks, images, illustrations, or media included.
  • Avoid Copyright Issues: Run your work through a plagiarism scanner like Copyscape to make sure your content doesn’t violate copyright laws.
  • Republishing Rights: If republishing content previously published elsewhere, confirm you have the rights to publish it on KDP.

ISBN and Barcode:

  • Decide whether to use a free KDP ISBN or your own.
  • Check the correct placement of the barcode (if using your ISBN).

Pricing Strategy:

File Format and Quality:

  • Confirm your manuscript file is in the correct format (e.g., .ePub for eBooks).
  • Review the quality of images and text in the digital previewer.

Proof Copies (for Print Books):

  • Order and review a proof copy for physical quality.

Preview Your Book:

  • Use KDP’s online previewer to review how your book will appear to readers.

Promotional Strategy:

  • Plan your book launch and marketing strategy.

Post Publication: 

Go to the reports dashboard within your KDP account and analyze the various reports to monitor your book’s performance. View historical reports, sales and royalties reports, and an analysis of month-to-date unit sales.

Publish Your First Book Even Faster with Expert Help

If you'd rather spend several hours than several weeks or even months trying to publish a book, KDP is the way to go. You don't need anyone's permission to make your publishing dreams come true. Don't second-guess yourself any longer. You're here for a reason!

Your first Kindle book sale is just around the corner. Discover the webinar that has helped thousands of new authors and publishers finally take that first step after struggling for years with self-doubt, procrastination, and busy schedules.

Take it from supermom Lesley Leach, who made thousands in her very first few months as a new publisher despite some personal challenges.

We can't wait to meet you!

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