Amazon's KDP Platform continues to turn ordinary everyday people into best-selling authors, homeowners, and full-time travelers, all from self-published book sales and royalties. But how do you know if this is the right path for you? Read on as we tackle the fine print in this blog, AKA all the pros and cons of self-publishing on Amazon.
Under the traditional publishing model, authors would put months or even years of work into their manuscripts without any guarantee that the work would actually be published. This is no longer the case. Thanks to the internet, anyone with a laptop and Wi-Fi can produce helpful quality content, publish their work for free, get paid directly for their work, and reach a massive global audience. Factor in how quickly artificial intelligence can speed up the outlining and writing process, and there's no reason not to get started on your publishing journey today.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of becoming a self-published author and getting your book on Amazon through the lens of actual self-published authors who started their writing journey by reading a blog post just like this one.
Note: If you want to find out how thousands of happy folks discovered how to leverage Amazon's publishing platform to earn true passive income, sign up for our free webinar. We'll show you the ins and outs of publishing on Amazon to start earning money online.
If you're considering publishing a book, you have two main options: self-publishing or traditional publishing. One is a golden ticket to publish a book on your own terms; the other is a winding road that just might get you lost.
One of the most popular self-publishing platforms is Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Let's compare self-publishing and traditional publishing to help you decide which option is best for you.
With traditional publishing, you'll be working with a publishing house and a literary agent who will have a say in the editing, cover design, and distribution of your book. While they will also provide guidance and support, you'll ultimately have less control over the final product.
With Amazon KDP, you have complete control over the entire publishing process. You can choose your own cover design, formatting, and pricing, for example. You'll also have the final say regarding all editorial decisions.
Even after you get your book published, you can go back and submit a new manuscript as you build reviews and gather feedback from your readers. This just isn't possible if you choose to publish through the traditional route.
One of the biggest advantages of self-publishing on Amazon KDP is the higher royalties. With traditional publishing, authors typically receive royalties of around 10% of the book's price (if that). With Amazon KDP, authors can receive up to 70% of the book's price, depending on factors such as the book's price and the country it's sold in.
These royalties are directly deposited to your bank account each month, whether you're writing and publishing new books or not. That's the definition of a true passive income.
Traditional publishing houses have established relationships with bookstores and other distributors, which can make it easier to get your book into physical stores. However, self-publishing on Amazon KDP gives you access to Amazon's massive distribution network, which can help you reach a wider audience. You also have the chance to publish your book in several formats, which equates to more happy readers and more money in your pocket.
Amazon is highly respected in the publishing world, but every self-publishing platform has its advantages and disadvantages. Here's a list of pros that come with Amazon self-publishing to help you make sure you're making the right decision.
The KDP platform is completely free to use, which means you can upload and publish your book on Amazon without any upfront costs. This is a significant advantage for new authors who want to test the waters before investing money in their publishing venture.
The platform will take a small portion of your book sales to cover printing costs, but the platform is upfront about these costs ahead of time and lets you choose which types of paper or what format you'd like to sell the book in, allowing you to minimize the printing costs and maximize your take-home royalties. You also get to price your book however you'd like and are free to change your mind or update the price whenever you’d like.
With KDP, you retain complete creative control over your book, author brand, and images. You can choose the book cover, formatting, and layout and make changes to your book at any time. This means you can experiment with different book covers or book descriptions to see what resonates the most with readers.
KDP offers higher royalties than traditional publishing. You can earn up to 70% in royalties for eBooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99. This means you can earn more money per book sold than you would with a traditional publisher, and the royalty percentage is guaranteed.
KDP Select is a program that gives readers access to Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service that allows them to read an unlimited number of digital books from a growing library for a monthly fee. By enrolling your book in KDP Select, you can earn a share of the Kindle Unlimited fund in addition to your paperback, hardcover, and eBook sales, which can increase your monthly revenue.
KDP offers print-on-demand (POD) services, which means you can sell paperback copies of your book without having to print a large quantity upfront, as traditional publishers may require. This is a great option for authors who want to offer a physical copy of their book to readers.
With this print-on-demand service already built into the platform, you'll never have to worry about delivery costs or inventory. All you need to focus on is publishing and meeting the demands of your target audience.
As one of the biggest online retailers, Amazon has a global reach. This means that without having to do anything extra, your book can potentially reach readers all over the world. You might have a big audience of target readers in Japan or Germany that you never would have realized!
KDP offers several marketing tools and book promotion tools, such as Kindle Countdown Deals and Amazon Ads, which can help you increase your book's exposure and boost sales. You can also choose relevant categories and keywords to help readers find your book in the online market. You retain full control over your monthly budget and Amazon book marketing strategy.
Sometimes, Amazon will even pick books to offer exclusive deals for, and although these deals might affect the list price, they do NOT affect the royalties you're entitled to. Amazon WANTS you to succeed and sell more books, so they constantly use their algorithms to help boost author sales.
While self-publishing on Amazon can be a great option for many authors, it's not for everybody. Here are some things to consider when using KDP:
When you enroll in KDP Select, you must agree to an exclusivity clause that requires you to sell your eBook exclusively through Amazon. This means that you cannot sell your eBook on any other platform, including your own website or other online retailers and apps like through the Google Play store. This can limit your potential audience and revenue streams.
The benefits of using KDP Select are that you get to essentially promote your book for free, saving you time and money on marketing, and more and more readers are signing up for this membership by the day.
While it is free to publish your eBook on KDP, there may be upfront costs associated with self-publishing depending on which tasks you'd like to outsource. These can include editing, cover design, formatting, and marketing expenses.
If you're confident in your own skills or have the time to sharpen them a little bit, then this isn't a problem!
With millions of eBooks available on Amazon, competition can be fierce. Depending on which niche you’re in, it can be difficult to stand out among the crowd and get your book noticed by readers. You might need to invest time and effort into marketing and promoting your book to increase your chances of success.
The good news is that most self-published authors have no problem using Amazon's marketing tools to reach new readers, and we teach our students exactly how to do it.
One of the biggest cons of self-publishing on KDP is that Amazon has limited the ability to review your book to only those readers who paid for the book. This can be frustrating when trying to build up a base of solid reviews and market your books, but there are ways to get visibility outside of the Amazon platform without breaking any of their terms and conditions.
We teach our students how to do this ethically and efficiently.
People around the world are learning they can tap into these online platforms and the power of KDP to launch an online publishing business without dealing with literary agents or traditional publishers. But educating yourself is a big part of the process.
That’s why we created our AI Publishing Academy (AIA), a Kindle self-publishing course—to teach people just like you that they can become an author and make money from self-publishing online.
Here are some testimonials from rock-star students of our Amazon publishing webinar. Some of them saw massive success in less than 90 days!
“Thank you so much, AIA. You gave me the push to complete my book! Just finished the workshop! My book ‘What’s Wrong with American High School’ has been the #1 new release in the ‘high school’ category of Kindle and was the #12 bestseller in the high school category last night!” – Ramya N
“Made my first money with my ‘guaranteed profits’ zero cost book, and my first real book just finished being written and will launch soon!” – Jai K
“Went through your workshop and created a book. I checked KDP and got about $150+ in 3 days for it. Small gains but still a win for a book that cost me $0 and a few hours of my time.” – Jasmine
“I did the guarantee profit workshop last month. Wrote my ebook and didn’t pay for anything. I made a profit today! I know it’s not as big as most income reports, but I’m still proud of my accomplishment. Currently turning it into an audiobook.” – Angel
“This was my usual month in 2021 [$10,902.71]. I can’t thank you enough… You are awesome, and your Audiobook Income Academy is definitely the Special One. I am a self-education geek and former coaching marketing specialist, so believe me, I know what I am talking about. You changed my life...It’s not only about the money, though… We closed our debts, made a perfect room for our kids, and helped our family members and friends. I had vision correction surgery on both eyes, and now I can see without glasses after 28 years!!! So, I could only thank you and hope this post will inspire AIA students to follow the course and find their way to success.” – Kostya C.
These people started with no experience writing a book. Let that sink in. If they can do it, so can you. You don’t need a college degree in business to get started. All it takes is the motivation to ditch the 9-to-5 or diversify your income streams and try something new.
Our free workshop will teach you step-by-step how to make money through Amazon’s KDP. You’ll also be part of a group of other self-publishers, all working toward the same goals.
Now that your eyes have been opened to the pros and cons of using Amazon’s KDP, you have a choice to make. Do you want to go the historical route and publish traditionally or self-publish?
Would you rather...
Maybe it’s time to try something new.
Sign up today for our free webinar, and you'll have a library of self-published books making money for you in no time.
We'll coach and guide you through every step of the way.