KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing and is a platform devised by Amazon that allows anybody to upload anything from documents to novels, set a price and sell it via Amazon for download by others onto a Kindle. Their free Kindle for PC app that can be downloaded onto a PC and the equivalent for an iPad opens up the potential readership to encompass a large proportion of the known reading world. With the increase in sales of eReading devices, the Kindle being the current front-runner, KDP is a wonderful opportunity for any would-be author to get there work out into the marketplace.
I have divided this experience into sections for the sake of clarity.
Blog Post 1
Uploading Your Book
The Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL)
Blog Post 2
The Sales Reports
The KDP Community Forum
KDP Customer Service
Uploading Your Book
The initial task of uploading my book was simultaneously exhilerating and nerve-wracking. In order to do this you have to have a prepared cover formatted to the correct size and a properly formatted document. I followed the guidelines in Writers Monthly for both the cover and the text and found them quite simple to follow. There are various options with regard to the document formatting. Many people recommend MobiPocket Creator but I couldn't quite work it out. I simple loaded up my Microsoft Word document (.docx) and that was that. I set the price, put in my UK bank details (you have to go for the cheque option if you're outside the US) and pressed the magic button. Within a few hours the book went from 'In Review' to 'Publishing' to 'Live'. So there it was - a novel I had written now for sale on Amazon to anybody with a Kindle. Great stuff!
- a simple process if you do some hunting around on the internet
- full control over pricing
- the ability to edit your work whenever you choose
- the cheque only option if you're outside the US
This is an option that you can take up at any time, either on initial download or subsequently. Ticking the requisite box gives you the ability to use up to 5 days within a 90 day period during which you can give away your book. When I first saw this I thought it was all a bit odd to be honest. As an unknown author trying to sell your work why would you give away your book for free thereby potentially draining your little customer pond? Well, again, scanning the internet it became clear that the increased exposure given to a book that is downloaded free in large quantities can have a good knock-on effect on potential sales. So I gave it a go after about a week. Whilst it was fun watching the numbers rack-up I must say I did not see any real subsequent increase in sales. People speak of the success or lack of it as 'catching the wind' or some such thing, maybe it's a wave. Not sure. Either way there doesn't appear to be a huge amount of logic to what gets a book downloaded free in its thousands and what doesn't. This could be because KDP Select has only been around a few months so the hard data just isn't there yet. Although sales didn't really increase for me, what did happen was that a few people on internet forums, namely Goodreads UK Amazon Kindle Forum and Kindle User Forum got to read the book.This alone has been a massive help in getting my book read and talked about and for me has made enrolling in KDP Select worthwhile.
- people who would not otherwise have heard of you or your book will get the opportunity to take a chance on it
- there is a chance that people will read your book, like it, talk about it and leave a good review
- you run the risk of people getting your book because its free and, maybe because it is not one that they would ordinarily have chosen, they may leave a bad review
- you could be using up your pool of paying customers!