Self-publishing on Amazon: The Complete Guide

Self-publishing has now become a great method for modern authors to gain full control over their books. It enables them to get better royalties, which they couldn’t have achieved through traditional publishing means. Out of the various self-publishing platforms available, most authors choose self-publishing on Amazon.

Self-publishing on Amazon

The main reason is that Amazon is one of the top online retail platforms in the globe. It employs a KDP program, which is also a giant online marketplace when it comes to publishing books and eBooks. Surely this may have intrigued your interest to choose Amazon as the platform for self-publishing. But, is it worth it and should you really choose it?

Weighing the pros and cons of self-publishing is one of the best ways to find the answer. So, let’s get started. But, before we move to that part, let’s learn a little more about KDP.

What is KDP?

The self-publishing platform of Amazon is known as KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing. This platform was specifically designed to help authors with the self-publishing process.

So, with KDP, you can publish eBooks in the Amazon marketplace using its two major services, i.e., the regular KDP and KDP Select. Besides, you may also avail its print-on-demand service to sell, print, or ship your eBooks without any upfront cost.

Pros of Self-publishing on Amazon

Below are some of the most notable advantages of self-publishing on Amazon.

  1. Ease

    Self-publishing is no longer difficult with KDP. They provide a lot of options like FAQs, how-to videos, help centers, and forums, which makes self-publishing on Amazon easier. So, anyone, be it a new or experienced author, anyone can do it with the help of Amazon’s self-publishing services.

  2. Pricing

    In most cases, KDP will allow you to set the pricing of your e-books. However, there might be a few restrictions. Let’s take an example. If you’re selecting a 70% royalty program, then you can you’re your e-books at a maximum price of $9.99 in all the applicable markets. Make sure to carefully go through the fine print to learn all the pros and cons of self-publishing on Amazon.

  3. Flexibility

    Either you wish to publish digitally or in printed format, Amazon self-publishing can help in both cases. It is flexible and can allow you to publish and sell in digital, paperback, or both forms.

  4. Accessibility

    Self-publishing opens up new opportunities for aspiring authors and writers. And having free self-publishing options is definitely a dream come true. Even though Amazon can be a little pricey sometimes, it still offers a feasible and affordable option that is groundbreaking.

  5. Payment options

    You may not rely on Amazon's self-publishing cost. However, payment options are something on which you can rely here. There is no need to worry when it comes to payments with Amazon. A monthly payout with a 60-day window will be sent to authors without any delay.

    For instance, if you make $100 in the month of August, you may not receive the same until October. The pay gap is usually larger. So, you must also consider while checking the pros and cons of self-publishing.

  6. Royalties

    KDP can also allow you to set the royalty plans, thereby allowing you more control over financing. You have the option to choose from a 35% royalty plan or a 70% royalty plan. Carry out some research and find out which plan will be better for you.

    For instance, you don’t have to account for delivery costs and printing with the 35% royalty plan. However, with the 70% royalty plan, you need to account for the same.

  7. Audiobooks

    Amazon has partnered with Audible, which is another great way to give a new dimension to your eBooks. As an Amazon publisher, you’ll get the freedom to add the Amazon audiobook along with your list prices. Audiobooks maybe not be exclusive to Amazon but they will surely act as a one-stop shop for customers.

  8. Print on demand

    Amazon also offers a print-on-demand service. This means you don’t have to purchase a stock and sell them. With Amazon’s print-on-demand services, you can get your book’s hard copy sent anywhere you like without physically creating it yourself.


Cons of Self-publishing on Amazon

Here are a few disadvantages of self-publishing on Amazon which you should be aware of before embarking on the journey.

  1. Exclusivity clause

    Becoming a self-publisher on Amazon has a few cons and the exclusivity clause is one of them. It’s recommended to read each section carefully when you choose to publish books with KDP Select.

    When you sign up with KDP select, you are agreeing to make your books available only in KDP digital format. If your digital books are available in another marketplace, then KDP has the right to pull them from there. However, do know that this clause is applicable only to eBooks and not to paperback versions.

  2. Payment terms

    It’s true that self-publishers will be paid on a monthly basis. However, do note that it’s a 60-day window from earning to receiving money. If you’re getting paid in August, then you won’t receive the money until October. This is something you also need to take into account.

  3. Paid-only reviews

    Most marketing strategies usually rely on Amazon reviews and free giveaways. Amazon reviews make a great impact in the marketing of books as books with good reviews will be visible to more readers.

    However, in the Amazon platform, the reviews are restricted to paid customers only. It means if your readers were given books for free, then they may not leave a review on your book’s page.

  4. No built-in marketing strategy

    There is the lack of a built-in marketing strategy for KDP authors. Unlike the traditional publisher who helps in planning out the marketing and press approach before publication, a self-publisher has to take the entire responsibility. Making your books available in digital or print format is one thing but you’ll also have to get people to buy your books.

  5. Limited reach

    If you are signing up in KDP Select, your books can reach only so far as per the genre. Your readers cannot get your books elsewhere. If you are boycotting Amazon or don’t trust it for some reason, then you’ll definitely lose some business. However, for books of some genres, KDP Select may be a financially smart choice since it can help with marketing.

  6. Limited income

    Amazon self-published book authors have only one source of income. So, it may not be a great option for freelancers. Also, note that Kindle Select payouts are now getting smaller due to the increase in competition. It caused many authors to leave KDP Select and look for other options that will keep the income consistent.

  7. Content limitation

    As an Amazon self-publisher, you are not allowed to post more than 10% of content elsewhere online. No matter if it is a personal blog or a part of a Wattpad story, you cannot post more than 10% and need to take it down if it is there. Otherwise, you’ll face the agreement violation charges.


Is Amazon Self-publishing worth it?

The answer to this question will depend on your objective. For instance, if you’re only looking to share information and earn revenue from it, then self-publishing on Amazon may not be the best choice.

In cases like that, coaching, consulting, or creating videos can be a better option. These can help you more than what you can earn by selling eBooks. You can look for eBook publishing services to receive aid in that matter.

However, if your objective is to become a published author on Amazon and you also have some free time to spare, then self-publishing is worth it. If you are a new author and don’t know how to build an author brand on wider networks, then self-publishing can also be a good decision. It will help in boosting your career as well as credentials.

In case you’re a seasoned author and already have admirers, then you should look out for other options to grow your network on wider and bigger channels. Besides, Amazon is a reliable online marketplace that has also brought its expertise in publishing.

So, the final verdict is if you’re a new author who is seeking to self-publish eBooks, then Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is a good choice. You can also try self-publishing on Amazon if you want to use the views and clicks on your eBooks to improve another venture.


5 Best Tips for Self-publishing on Amazon

After going through the above content, if you think that self-publishing on Amazon is worth it and finally decided to self-publish on Amazon, then here are some tips that can come in handy.

  1. Create a well-written book

    Work on a topic on which you are passionate. You must also research on your part and gain some knowledge on the topic. The reason why you should do this is to develop a well-written book.

    A well-written book has a higher chance of finding success, not just in Amazon but in any other marketplace as well. Pay attention to your writing style and make sure that it also resonates with the targeted readers.

  2. Select a profitable niche

    Choosing a profitable niche for your book will help you to generate sales on Amazon. For instance, if your book’s topic falls under 30,000 sales ranking on Amazon, then it has a high probability of remaining a moving copy.

    But, if the Amazon sales ranking is higher, then it may perform well. The higher the ranking, the more attractive it is going to be.

  3. Use an attractive eBook cover design

    The cover of your e-books must look professional and should be related to the genre. Otherwise, it won’t sell. Just like you pay attention to the inside of the book, you should also pay attention to the book’s exterior. You may employ our eBook cover design services if you need help.

  4. Be sure of your eBook’s genre

    If you say someone that your book is kind of a science fiction thriller but has a bit of romance and fantasy, then you are in trouble. Having a clear idea about the book’s genre is a great way to boost your marketing efforts.

  5. Create an email list

    Email can drive a large proportion of sales. That’s why it is important to start building your list early and continue building it. Emails can provide direct and intimate access to readers which even Amazon or any social media platform won’t.

With the advancement of technology and modern authors, self-publishing has taken the publishing industry by storm. From the article, you may have also got a clear idea of how self-publishing on Amazon can be helpful. However, there are also a few cons associated with the platform, which you also need to consider.

If you need help with getting your eBooks ready for self-publishing on Amazon, then you can reach us! At MAP Systems, we offer the best-in-class eBook formatting services to get your books professionally ready for ePublishing.

In case you need to get your eBooks converted in any specific format, then we also offer eBook conversion services that can help you with the same. So, without any further delay, reach out to us and get the desired service at cost-effective prices.