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  • Writer's pictureMolly McTernan

Self-publishing Using KDP




Photo credit to Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.


 

In February 2023, I self-published a collection of poetry (which is now re-formatted and currently on sale!) through Amazon KDP which is their self-publishing route. I learned a lot through the process and know that others are interested in potentially using them as well one day, so I decided to share some thoughts and hope that they are found to be helpful!


 

The main benefits:

  • You get a free ISBN (the number above the barcode on the back of your book)

  • As almost everyone uses Amazon, it is easily available to book buyers

  • Their customer service is super quick and the platform is easy to use


ISBN

KDP offers you a free ISBN, which saves you a minimum of $100. However, there is one major drawback: it is a KDP ISBN. This basically means you can only sell your book using that ISBN on Amazon. If you want to sell elsewhere, you might want to look into other options.


Payment

It is going to be broken into three groups: the money it costs to print, the money you get, and the money Amazon gets. Please also keep in mind that the printing prices will go up every once in a while as everything is just getting more expensive, but it is still the cheapest printing option that I have seen so far.


Publishing as a minor

With KDP, you are allowed to publish as a minor, however your parent must be the account holder until you are 18. As a minor, you are allowed to attach your bank account for payments. A note is that this can get a little tricky, though, and I've had trouble getting my royalties.


Quality

Overall, the quality of the books themselves are good. However, one thing I noticed is that when doing a large order, the covers had some color variations. I did an order of 50, and the covers came in three different shades. Yes, they were similar, but this bothered me just the same.


Other options

Some other popular options are Barnes and Noble, Lulu and Ingramsparks. Every option will have it’s pros and cons (KDP certainly does), but here are some to keep in mind for the three mentioned above based on some research:


  • Ingramsparks isn't the easiest to use and you'd need to buy an ISBN etc.

  • B&N’s ISBN is one that can only be used on B&N

  • Lulu's printing cost is higher than KDP and if you sold solely through them, your buyers would have to pay a fairly hefty shipping fee


Printing your book

If you are looking to simply print your book, I think that Lulu is a great option! This is something I highly recommend doing before you publish so that you can get an idea of what your book will like in a physical format and what size you want it to be etc.


As I mentioned above, they also have a self-publishing route, but I personally have not used it and cannot give many details. I will say that they have a ‘global’ option will allows you to sell on multiple platforms, though.


What I recommend doing:

  • Write/edit your book

  • Have beta-readers read it

  • Design your cover/format the inside

  • Print a few test copies through Lulu

  • Do lots of research about different self-publishing routes


Final thoughts

Printing with Lulu before publishing is very helpful. It allows you to get a feel of what your book will look like, can make editing a little easier and gives you an idea of book sizing and style.


Amazon KDP is a great option for self-publishing at the lowest cost, and they have amazing customer service (24-hour live chat). But you must keep in mind that by using their ISBN, you are now refined to only selling on Amazon.


In ending, I do just want to close with a reminder that just because you can self-publish everything, doesn't mean that you should. It is extremely important that we are only putting our best work out there and showing the gifts that God gave us to their full extent.


I hope this helps and you can feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!


And then here's a YouTube Short I made to accompany this post:



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6 ความคิดเห็น


thecurlydutchgirl
18 ก.พ.

this is great advice! storing it away in the volumes of my intellect for times when it may be needed! ;) <3

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Molly McTernan
Molly McTernan
18 ก.พ.
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I'm glad that you think so! Yes, there are so many options out there.

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bella
17 ก.พ.

This is super helpful- thanks Molly!

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Molly McTernan
Molly McTernan
17 ก.พ.
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I'm really glad that you think so!

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Becca Avila
Becca Avila
17 ก.พ.

Great thoughts! Thanks!

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Molly McTernan
Molly McTernan
17 ก.พ.
ตอบกลับไปที่

Thank you!

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