With Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you can start publishing your books on Amazon and start making big money in less than 48 hours.
When I first heard of Kindle Direct Publishing by Amazon, almost 9 months ago, I completely dismissed the idea and honestly didn’t give it a second thought, for two simple reasons:
I Am Not An Author, And I Was Looking For Passive Income, Not Something That Required Me To Spend Hours In Front of My Keyboard.
A few months went by, and a friend reached out to me and said: “You’ve got to jump on the Direct Publishing by Amazon wagon.” I responded by saying “Seriously? You know that I work full time and I’m looking for something passive. Besides, I’m not an author.”
The friend insisted that I jump on a Skype call with him, and he began to explain to me that you don’t need to write one word to become a publisher on Amazon.
In fact, he was actually publishing 100 books per day. Yes! 100 BOOKS PER DAY.
So, from that day forward, I have been hooked. I’ve published well over 1,000 books since July of 2018, and I’m creating more each and every day.
Now, this is not a get rich quick venture. In fact, depending on the size of the book that you publish, you earn, on average, $2.00 per book sold.
Now Don’t Get Discouraged With Kindle Direct Publishing And Walk Away!
The beauty of the method that I’m about to share with you is that you can EASILY publish 10, 20, 50, books PER DAY.
And once you get your library built up, even if you only sell 20 books per day, at $2.00 per book, that’s an additional $1,200 per month! Within 3 months from when I started uploading my books in July of 2018, I was making enough money to pay my car payment.
With Kindle Direct Publishing I Still Work a Full-Time Job
If you’re like me, you’re still sceptical. But that’s why I’m here. The process is surprisingly easy. In fact, you can be publishing books within a few hours after you complete reading this step-by-step guide.
So go grab a cup of coffee and a notepad, and let’s get you started on your KDP Profits journey
1,000 Foot View of Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Profits
So that I don’t lose you to the fact that you think this process is too hard, let me give you a quick peek at the steps you’ll need to take to start earning your easy profits.
- Sign up for an account at Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I’m providing you with step-by-step instructions.
- Choose a niche for your book. I’m not only giving you a list of niches to get you going, but I’m also going to give you a link to a FREE resource to help you succeed in 3 separate niches.
- Create or “write” the content for your book. Guess what? YOU DON’T HAVE TO WRITE A SINGLE WORD.
- Create a front and back cover for your book. I think this is the fun part. I’ll show you exactly how to do it.
- Upload your book to KDP. I’m providing step-by-step instructions!
- Wait for your book to be approved by KDP. This usually takes a couple of days.
- Rinse and Repeat.
Step 1: Create a Kindle Direct Publishing KDP Account
1. Decide if you’re going to use your social security number or a FEIN business number for your Direct Publishing by Amazon account. Have that information at your fingertips.
2. Gather your bank account routing number and account number.
3. Go to kdp.amazon.com
There’s a short video on the homepage that walks you through the entire process.
If you already have an Amazon account, you can use that account. However, I recommend that you create a new email account specifically for your Amazon KDP business.
4. Complete the requested information.
That’s it! Your account is now ready to start publishing! See? That didn’t hurt at all, did it?!
Step 2: Choose a Niche For Kindle Direct Publishing
All too often, people get stuck on this step. DON’T OVERTHINK THIS!
The type of books that we are going to be publishing on Amazon are referred to as ”low” or “no” content books. Think composition notebooks, lined journals, unlined journals.
But where the real success is found is being able to niche down. For instance. If you put the term “composition notebook” into the Amazon search bar, you’ll see there are 10,000 results. You CAN’T compete with 10,000 other notebooks.
I try to find keywords that have competition or results less than 1,000.
So you’ll need to start thinking a little out of the box. Who uses composition notebooks? Make a list and start plugging your ideas into Amazon and checking the competition.
Stuck? Try this trick to get your creative juices flowing:
1. Go to the Amazon search bar.
2. Type in composition notebook (space) and the letter A.
3. This will bring up a list of results. Jot those down.
4. Repeat the process for every letter of the alphabet. You’ll be amazed at the list that you will be able to building just for composition notebooks.
For our example, I found “composition notebook preschool” only has 495 results.
Before I decide if it’s a niche that I want to pursue, I take a look at the search results from the first page of Amazon to get a feel for what types of notebooks are being offered.
I make a list of types of notebooks. Using our example, I’ll take a deep dive into some of the results from the first page.
Here are the first 4 results on the search page:
From the first notebook I take note that it’s a handwriting notebook composition notebook. So under the umbrella of preschool composition notebook, we can also think of creating a “preschool composition handwriting notebook”
From the second and third notebooks I take note that they are a “story journal” and also “dotted midline” and “dashed midline” composition notebooks.
Dotted and dashed midline simply refers to the type of paper that’s inside of the notebook. Our list of what we can create is growing just by a simple look at what’s on the results page.
Here are the next 4 search results from the first page of Amazon. (Keep in mind, there are over 400 notebooks that you can review for ideas for your notebooks.)
From these search results we can add the following types of composition notebooks to our list:
1. Draw and Write
2. Black Marble
3. Green Marble
4. Ruled Paper
I encourage you to repeat this process for at least the first 5 results pages. You’ll be amazed at how many ideas you will get.
So from our very short list that we’ve compiled, we can choose to do 1 or all of these composition notebooks for preschool:
1. Draw and Write
2. Black Marble
3. Green Marble
4. Ruled Paper
6. Dotted Midline (dashed midline is really the same thing)
To continue on with our example, I’m going to choose to do a Handwriting Composition Notebook for Preschool.
Now that we’ve decided on the notebook we’re going to create, let’s continue to Step #3 where we “write” the
Please see a HUGE list of journal niches to get you started! At the end of this post
Step 3: “Write” The Book
I’m sure you’re probably getting nervous because I told you from the beginning that you didn’t have to “write” anything, but now I’m telling you that you need to “write” your book! This is really the easy part!
As I told you earlier, we are creating “low” or “no” content books. Which means there’s literally nothing inside of the notebook but pages; in our case, it’s going to be ”handwriting” pages.
When I decide what kind of interior I’m going to use for my books, I usually just plug that phrase into Amazon and take a look at the Amazon listing to see what type of paper the most popular books are using.
I typed ”preschool handwriting composition notebook” into Amazon and this notebook was one of the top 4 that came up:
The book should look familiar! It came up in our Step 2 results! If you click on that listing, you will be taken to the information about that specific notebook.
Once inside of the listing, click on the “Look Inside” link
When you click on the link, it will let you look at a few of the interior pages of the book. Here’s what the interior of this book shows:
And That’s It! That’s All The Author Did To “Write” The Book
Great! Right? No? You’re thinking how in the world can I create something like this?
I’ll share a secret with you that I used to create my notebooks when I first started my journey. It’s a website called Tangent Templates.
**This is NOT an affiliate link. I get no compensation whatsoever for recommending this website**
Tangent Templates For Kindle Direct Publishing
This website does charge a ONE TIME fee of $59 for UNLIMITED USE of their templates. I’ve earned that money back more than 10 fold since my journey began.
They have awesome instructional videos and many other Kindle Direct Publishing KDP tools inside of their website, so do yourself a favor and make the investment.
There are other ways to create the book interiors, including the use of PhotoShop, Illustrator, and PowerPoint, but Tangent Templates is really a no-brainer for anyone getting started.
Let’s “Write” Our Book With Tangent Templates
This is the screen that you will see when you log into Tangent Templates:
For purposes of what we are doing, you’ll want to click on the tab that says “Tangent Interiors”
Take a few minutes and look at all the templates they offer!
Scroll down the page until you find the template that is similar to what was shown in the interior of the notebook that we looked at. It looks like this:
You’ll notice that it isn’t “exactly” like the interior that we saw, but that’s good! It’s better to be as unique as you can.
When you click on the Story Paper, you’ll be taken to this screen:
is where we will literally ”write” our book, but first let me explain some of the terminology.
Trim Size=The size of the book that you are going to make.
Page Count=The number of pages in your book
Bleed=is a printing term that is used to describe a part of your document which has images or elements that touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no white margin.
We need to make a few decisions before we “write” our book, specifically trim size, page count, and bleed.
Trim size=Since we are “writing” a notebook, most notebooks are 8.5”x11. That is the size I use for all of my notebooks. However, Tangent Templates allows you to choose from a wide variety of sizes from the dropdown menu.
Page Count=Most notebooks are 90-110 pages. I usually give the buyer a little more bang for their buck, so I always choose 110 pages for my notebook page counts.
Bleed=Bleed is a hard subject to understand, so for purposes of this post, always assume that you choose “yes” for bleed.
Here’s what should be entered to “write” our book:
Once you have chose your Trim Size, Page Count, and checked “bleed”, you’ll click the “Download Interior” button, which will generate a PDF file that is 8.5”x11”, 110 pages, of the “Story Paper”
Guess What? YOU just WROTE A BOOK!
Let’s Move On To Step 4 And Create A Cover For Our Preschool Composition Handwriting Notebook
Step 4: Create Your Book Cover
I personally LOVE this part of my Kindle Direct Publishing KDP business. It allows me to connect with my inner creative self, and once I get my template in place, I can literally crank out 20-30 covers an hour.
Let’s get started!
The first thing we need to do is get a template for the correct size of cover we are going to be designing. I use bookow.com. It’s a free website that emails the templates to you immediately upon completion of the information.
Once on the bookow.com website, click on “Free
Createspace/KDP Cover Template Generator”
Bookow.com will send the template that you just created to you via email. Make sure to check your Spam folder if it doesn’t arrive within a few minutes. A lot of mine get lodged there.
Here’s the template that we just created:
I know that looks very scary and intimidating, but it really isn’t. This just gives us a guide that we need to follow when creating our cover.
When I first started my journey, I created all of my covers in Canva. I have since been teaching myself to use PhotoShop, but for purposes of this eBook, I’ll be using Canva to show you how I create my covers.
Canva is a free platform (although there is a paid version, which I highly recommend.) You can sign up at Canva.com Now that you have created your account at Canva, we’re ready to design our cover. Click on “Create A Design”
Click on “Custom Dimensions
Once you click on “Custom Dimensions” you will see a box to enter the dimensions in. First you must click the dropdown menu by “px” and choose “inches” If you don’t choose inches it will give you an error.
The dimensions that we are going to enter come from the template that we got from Bookow.
Enter the dimensions into Canva and click “Create New Design”
Now we have the proper size canvas to begin creating our notebook cover.
At this point we need to decide what type or color of background we want in our book. For purposes of our example, I am going to create a notebook that has the same color front and back covers.
Again, I encourage you to check out YouTube on how to get really creative with your covers. Your covers are what really attract your customers and will prompt them to hit the buy button.
I’ve decided that I’m going to create a blue notebook, so I need to make the entire background button blue.
Now we have the proper size canvas to begin creating our notebook cover. To do that, you click on the “background” button. This will bring up some preloaded backgrounds, or you can choose a solid color background by clicking into the canvas, which will bring up the background color selector.
Click on the color selector, and you will get a box which allows you to choose the color background you want. I’ll choose blue.
Next we want to upload the template from Bookow so that we can use that as a guide for our margins. You do that by clicking the “uploads” button on the left-hand side of the page.
Click on “Upload Image” and find where you stored the template from Bookow. You will want to make sure that you choose to upload the PNG file from Bookow.
The uploaded “image” will be located in your uploads cue.
You will then drag the uploaded image over to your book canvas.
Resize the image to fit the entire size of the canvas by clicking on the image and extending the corners. Be careful not to lose any of the margins on the image.
This template will be used as a guide to make sure that we don’t go past any critical margins on our design. The orange margins are the area that we want to avoid having any words or graphics extending into.
The orange area in the middle of the template is used if you want to create a spine for your book. In our example, we won’t be creating a spine, but there are tons of Youtube videos created specifically to show you how to further create designs in Canva. If you don’t know how to use Canva, I encourage you to further your education by spending some time on Youtube.
When you look at this template, think of a book as if it were laying flat. We will be designing both the front cover and the back cover. We will need to be mindful of a small area on the back of the book where Kindle Direct Publishing KDP inserts the ISBN number on the books for us.
Now that our template is in place, we need to make it transparent so that we can design while being mindful of the margins. To do this, click on the image, then click the box with gray squares to bring up the transparency box.
Adjust the transparency to about 40%. This allows you to see the template through the background.
Now that our canvas is ready, we can insert the title of our book. From our research, we know that we are making a Preschool Handwriting Notebook, so let’s just make that our title.
You will use the “Text” button on the left hand side of the screen to insert the text onto your canvas.
Click on “Add heading” and a text box will appear on your canvas.
You can choose the style of your font and size of your font by clicking on the buttons above the canvas.
Again, there are lots of tutorials on Canva on the net, and I encourage you to take a look at those for further design skills.
Since we are using a blue background, the black font isn’t really going to stand out, so we will want to change the color of the font. You do this by clicking on the color wheel in the text bar and selecting the color you want. For our example, I chose white.
There are thousands of other ways to dress up the cover of your notebook, and I could literally spend hundreds, if not thousands, of manpower in this post telling you how to customize your covers. That’s not what this guide is designed to do, so I’m going to leave this cover as is. Simply stated, this is going to be our notebook cover!
I don’t ever put anything on the back of my notebooks, although some people recommend that you do. I almost always use a graphic of some sort, but you don’t have to. MANY of my best selling notebooks are simply a black background with relevant keywords (the title) on the front cover.
The next step is to delete the template that we used to help us design. You simply do this by clicking on the canvas, thereby selecting the template layer. Click the “delete” button on your keyboard, and the template is gone!
Now that we have our cover designed, we need to export it so that we can upload it to KDP. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) requires that you upload your covers in PDF format. Canva makes it very easy to do this. Simply click the download arrow at the top of the page, and from the dropdown menu, choose “pdf print”
Canva will then download the file and you’re ready to move on to the next step, publishing your book!
Let’s get you published!
Step 5: Publish Your Book on KDP -Kindle Direct Publishing
Now that you’ve “written” your book and created your book cover, you’re ready to head over to Kindle Direct Publishing KDP and get published.
Log into your Kindle Direct Publishing KDP account and click “paperback” in the section “Create New Title”
There are 3 sections that we need to fill out in order to submit our book for publication. ”Paperback details” ”Paperback content” and “Paperback rights and pricing” We will fill out each section together.
Again, I could spend hundreds of pages telling you different ways to fill out this information. I’m going to give you a crash course and tell you what works for me.
LANGUAGE= I ”wrote” my book in English, so I’ll choose “English”
BOOK TITLE=The Book Title MUST ALWAYS be exactly the title that you have on the cover of your book.
The subtitle can be “extra” words which might help the buyer to find your book. You have to be mindful not to use words such as “gift” or “present”. The subtitle needs to reflect information about the book. There is also no need to repeat words in the subtitle that you’ve used in your main book title.
SERIES= I don’t publish books that have a series, so I always leave this section blank.
If you scroll down the page, you’ll find more information that needs to be filled in. We are going to concentrate on “Author” and ”Description” I don’t do anything with ”Edition” or “Contributor”
AUTHOR NAME=You will want to give your author name some thought. As you continue to publish your books, you might want to have different author names for each niche, or you might want to keep everything under one author name.
I choose different author names for each niche. There is no method behind my madness in choosing a name, I just choose something random.
DESCRIPTION=There are two different schools of thoughts on the description for your book. Some folks claim that it can be short and sweet and Amazon doesn’t pay any attention to it anyway as far as using the content of the description to help buyers find your book.
The other school of thought is that you need to put as many keywords in the description as you can because Amazon does use the description to send buyers to your listing.
I subscribe to the school of thought that your description does matter. Again, I could spend an entire post discussing what goes into a good description. I suggest spending some time looking around Amazon at listings for the competition of your books and see what’s working. Let’s take a look at a few.
This description uses a nice mix of keywords and pertinent information
This description is much shorter and not as keyword robust
But I much prefer a hearty description like this one
Following are the completed “Author” and “Description” sections for our example notebook.
You can’t see the entire description that I’ve written
because the description box scrolls on KDP. I’ll copy the description below.
You will note that I have used HTML code within the description. You don’t have to use HTML code, and most people don’t. I use it very minimally, but I think it makes the description really stand out. You can research simple HTML codes by searching Google.
Following is the description that I wrote for our book:
Preschool Handwriting Composition Notebook For Elementary Aged Boys and Girls
This uniquely designed handwriting practice paper book can be used when you send your little one off into the big world of school, as a supplement to homeschool materials, or just as a fun journal to aid in the development of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Practice Notebook Features:
Ample space to allow the student to practice tracing letters and numbers 110 pages of handwriting practice paper with dotted midline Large 8.5″x11″ size, but it easily fits into a backpack
- Homeschool children ages 2 and up
- Elementary grades preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade
- Youngster who just like to draw and write
- Boys Birthday Present
- Girl Birthday Present
- Back to School Supplies
- Christmas stocking stuffer
Please be sure to click on our author name under the book title to check out our other listings!
The next three sections to be completed on the first page of the upload process are Publishing Rights, Keywords, and Categories.
PUBLISHING RIGHTS= If you are creating your own interiors, or purchasing them, then you’ll check the first circle which confirms that you own the content. If you’re using public domain products, then you will check the second circle. I have no experience or expertise in the public domain arena.
KEYWORDS= I could (and probably will) write a 50+ page ebook on keywords, the importance of them, what they are, etc. For purposes of our example, you need to understand that these keywords are the words that Amazon uses to match your product to a buyer’s search term.
CATEGORIES=Amazon puts every product that it has into categories. By choosing a category it lets Amazon know what topic your ebook is about. You can choose from categories in a dropdown menu.
I never use public domain, so I chose that I own the rights to the product.
I’ll give you a quick crash course in keywords, but, again, keywords are something that I will cover in an update or stand alone guide.
For our purposes, and to get you on your way, remember the following guidelines:
- You are given 7 keyword slots with 50 characters each, allowing you 350 characters total.
- There is no need to repeat keywords, nor do you need to repeat keywords that were used in your title or subtitle.
- I use the first 2 keyword slots to describe the notebook dimensions and what kind of publication it is. Think descriptors.
- For the second line of keywords, I think of every word that I can for who the book is for, who will use it.
- For the third line of keywords, I use overflow keywords from the second line.
- For the fourth line, I use keywords that describe what event or occasion the notebook can be used for
I realize that the keywords look like random words and there is no way that they make sense; however, my experience is that Amazon uses the keywords as triggers for search terms that a buyer enters.
I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about categories, because Amazon is famous for putting things in the category that they think it belongs in anyway. So I usually just choose “non-classifiable” from the dropdown.
The last item on the first page of details that we need to address is adult content. Obviously the preschool handwriting notebook isn’t adult content, so you’ll check the no circle.
Click the “save and continue” button and you’ll be taken to the next page of details that we need to complete, which is the “paperback content” section. The first section deals with the ISBN and the second section deals with publication date.
ISBN= stands for International Standard Book Number, and this number is automatically generated by Amazon if you click on the “Assign me a Free KDP ISBN” button.
This appears when you click the button. You will then click the “Assign ISBN” button and you’re good to go.
PUBLICATION DATE= this is automatically populated by Amazon when your book goes live, so there’s no need to do anything in this section.
The next section, under “Print Options” tells Amazon exactly how to format your book.
INTERIOR & PAPER TYPE= You can choose from black & white on cream paper, black & white on white paper, and color on white. Color print costs more and yields you less royalties.
TRIM SIZE= There are several pre-populated sizes to choose from, or you can enter your own.
BLEED SETTINGS= Bleed allows printing at or off the
edge of a page. It is used to support images and illustrations. Most books use “no bleed” unless there is a specific reason to apply “bleed.” Changing the bleed settings will not change the manufacturing cost.
PAPERBACK COVER FINISH= You can choose a glossy or a matte finish for your cover.
For our example, I’m choosing the following::
INTERIOR & PAPER TYPE= I do all of my books in black and white on white paper.
TRIM SIZE= We created our interior and covers for an 8.5×11 book, so that’s the setting we choose. To choose a different size, you simply click the “select different size” button and it brings up the prepopulated options.
BLEED SETTINGS=Especially when you’re first starting out, you’ll want to choose no bleed.
PAPERBACK COVER FINISH=All of my covers are matte, because that’s what I prefer. I’d suggest making one of each, and ordering an author copy so that you can decide which you prefer.
The next two sections are where we upload the interior of the notebook and the cover.
MANUSCRIPT=Simply the interior that you created. Click “Upload paperback manuscript” and browse to where you stored the interior that we created. Make sure it is in PDF format!
BOOK COVER=Since we have already created our cover, there is no reason to launch the cover creator, so you would click “Upload a cover you already have,” and browse to where you stored the cover we created.
Once you have uploaded both the interior and the cover, you’ll see green text below both and you’ll know that they’re uploaded.
After you have uploaded both the interior and the cover you’re ready to put your notebook through KDP’s first “review.” You do this by simply clicking on the “Launch Previewer” button under the section entitled “Book Preview.” This process can sometimes take up to 20 minutes, which is maddening! You’ll see this screen when you first click the button.
Once the preview is complete, you will see the following screen:
You will see on the left side that our book has passed the quality check because there are no errors noted. This is your opportunity to check your cover and make sure that everything is centered and looks the way you want on the cover.
Once you see that your cover is the way you want it, then flip through the interior to make sure it’s the way you want by hovering over the interior and an arrow appears which lets you scroll through the book.
Inside of our example, you can see that the interior looks good. If everything looks good, click the “approve” button.
Once you approve the preview, you are taken back to the “Paperback Content” section and given a summary of your book, along with a cost of what Amazon will charge you to print the book. Click “save and continue” to move on to the last section.
We need to fill out just a few more things before we submit the book for final review by Kindle Direct Publishing KDP.
TERRITORIES= This tells Amazon where you what the
book to be distributed. I’ve only ever checked the “All rights” section.
PRICING & ROYALTY= This section allows you to input your price and see what your royalty will be. I aim to price my notebooks so that I make about $2.00 per sale, which makes my average price between $6.95 to
$11.95, depending on how many pages and what size we are dealing with.
EXPANDED DISTRIBUTION= By checking this button, it allows you to reach more readers by distributing your paperback through bookstores, online retailers, libraries, and academic institutions.
As you can see, I chose $6.95 for our selling price, which gives me exactly $2.00 royalty per sale. And finally., the last step! Submit the notebook for publication by clicking “Publish Your Paperback Book.”
It generally takes Kindle Direct Publishing ‘KDP’ about 24-36 hours to approve your book before it goes live on Amazon. You will get an email either telling you that your book is live, or that you’ve got issues and that you need to fix them.
Luckily, in our case, the book was published without issue. Following is the email that you’ll want to see from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
You can check to make sure that your newly published book is in your library by logging into your account, and going to the “bookshelf” tab. You can see that our notebook shows up as “live”
If you click on the “View on Amazon” tab right beside the “Live” button, it will let you click through to Amazon and you can see your book listing live.
And here’s the book live!
If you click on “Look Inside,” you’ll see what the interior of the book looks like.
This screen will come up, and you can scroll through a few pages of the book by clicking on the arrow button. It won’t allow you to see the entire book, just a few pages.
As you can see, the interior that we uploaded is perfect!
As I told you earlier, the real success with Kindle Direct Publishing KDP comes when you launch hundreds of books, just like the one we did together. Now, I realize there were a lot of steps to go through to get our journal\ published, but trust me when I tell you, it does get easier and the process goes REALLY fast once you get the hang of it.
I work a full-time job, and I still manage to upload a MINIMUM of 20 books per day.
So my best advice to you is jump in, set your
goals, and start creating!
Go to Amazon and put in terms such as “composition notebook” “journal” “tracker” “workbook” Spend a day or two just taking notes on what’s selling, including titles, fonts, images. You can always MIMIC what’s already selling. Notice I said MIMIC, not COPY
Kindle Direct Publishing Resources
Students and people that I’ve spoken with seem to get really hung up on creating the interiors for journals, especially if they don’t have Tangent Templates.
To get you started, I’ve put together 3 custom made interiors, and I’d like to share them with you to get you started. They are free on Gumroad. Just use this link, and enter “0” in the amount field, and you will get all of them in this post
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I hope this Kindle Direct Publishing: KDP Amazon Book Publishing Made EASY and PROFITABLE has given you hope and encouragement to get started on your Kindle Direct Publishing: KDP Profits journal.
If you have any questions at all, please feel
free to leave a comment below and i will get back to you. Please kindly SHARE this post
List of Journals
List of Journals for Kindle Direct Publishing KDP