Making Money with Kindle Direct Publishing - Getting Started

Tim Robberts/The Image Bank/Getty Images

We know that digital self-publishing on Amazon Kindle is a reality that’s shaking up the entire industry, effectively breaking down the barriers between writer and consumer (reader).  

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) system offers you the opportunity to publish your book directly to Kindle devices and applications yourself, without having to grovel before a publishing agent or indifferent, impersonal publishing house.

KDP makes it easy to convert books into e-books and sell them in the Amazon Kindle Store if you follow the right steps.

See Also: How to Make Money Publishing Digital Information Products Online

1. Prepare Your Book                          

As before, you are responsible for translating your inspiration into a well-organized, mouth-watering book that people aren’t able to put down until finished.

You are free to use any word processing software you please, although Microsoft Word and the OpenOffice equivalent are recommended. Another option is ePub, the downloadable free and open e-book standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF).

If you have yet to write your book, consider the amount of graphics and images you plan on including in your publication. A book that exceeds 50 MB (megabytes) and is graphics-rich may not transfer cleanly to Kindle’s format, so consult Amazon's Kindle Publishing Guidelines to ensure compatibility.

See Also: How to Write and Publish Children's Books on Amazon Kindle

2. Format Your Book

If you are using Word or OpenOffice, be forewarned that not everything is perfectly translated during conversion to Kindle. Here are some pointers that can help minimize Word-Kindle conversion issues with your next project:

  • If you must use indents, use them at the start of your paragraphs.
  • Insert empty space between paragraphs.
  • Insert page breaks between each chapter.
  • Do not use headers and footers.  Use Word's “Heading 1" formatting feature for chapters.
  • Make use of Show/Hide to give you a better idea how your book will look on Kindle.
  • Insert images in .jpg format with center alignment. Avoid copy/pasting images from external sources.
  • Avoid using font size for emphasis. Kindle readers can adjust for text size and margins while reading your book.

See Also: More Ways to Make Money Self-Publishing on Amazon Kindle

3. Publish Your Book

Once you are satisfied with the final edit of your manuscript and have taken the necessary steps to format tour book, it’s time to get it to the Amazon Kindle Store.

Sign into your Kindle account, or create the account if you have not done so already. Then proceed with the following steps:

  • Enter the required title information (book title, author name, description, publishing rights verification etc.).
  • Design and create a cover page with Kindle’s Cover Creator tool, or upload your own (highly recommended).
  • Verify your rights and territories. Either worldwide or selected territories.
  • Set your royalty option, list price and then publish your book!

    4. Promote and Market Your Book

    There are a number of proven marketing tactics to choose from, so feel free to use as many or as few that you wish:

    •‘s own merchandising tools. You’ve probably seen things when browsing the website like “More Items to Consider…," "Customers with Similar Searches Purchased…," and "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…,".  Recognized authors add hundreds if not thousands of book sales thanks to these friendly reminders via Amazon’s listing tools.
    • Going the multimedia route. Consider using as many options as possible, i.e. print, Kindle, audio. Doing so will improve your search results and allow Amazon’s placement algorithms to better work for you.
    • Write a great author description of yourself on and its international web pages. A short but sharp biography as well as a recent photograph of you is essential. All your published books should be linked to your page, and if possible bring in your Twitter feed if you have one.
    • Use social media marketing, blogging, and forum marketing to introduce yourself to visitors. Avoid over-promotion of your books; your readers are looking to know you as a regular person, too. You may want to consider hiring someone to outsource your social media marketing.

    Just because your uploaded Kindle e-book is now officially for sale does not end your journey.  In fact, it has just begun.  It’s now time to let your target audience know about your work, and ideally encourage enough to them to purchase your book.