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Kindle Publishing: How not to Get It Wrong

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Kindle Publishing: How not to Get It Wrong

One of the easiest ways to make passive income online is Kindle Publishing. If you can write or get a professional ghostwriter, you can become a proud Kindle ebook or paperback author, thanks to Amazon Publisher Services.

And that’s not even the best part. Self-publishing with Amazon KDP won’t cost you a dime, and you won’t have to worry about where to sell your book. There are over 90 million Amazon prime subscribers in the United States alone.

With the insight in this guide, you’ll have a solid knowledge about what it takes to self-publish ebooks and make money successfully on Amazon KDP. Let’s go.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does it Cost to Publish a Book on Kindle?

Publishing your book on Kindle is 100% free. Whether you are publishing digital books or paperbacks through Amazon’s online Publishing platform, there’s zero upfront cost involved.

Only if you are selling paperbacks Amazon deducts the cost of printing your book from your royalties.

Is Kindle Publishing Still Profitable?

Yes, Kindle Publishing is still profitable, provided you didn’t just publish and pray. Authors with the right strategies make thousands of dollars monthly on Amazon KDP. It starts with getting the basics right. We’ll look at them in this guide.

Is Kindle Publishing Easy?

Publishing Kindle books is incredibly easy. The two demanding aspects are; writing your book and creating a book cover. Meanwhile, both are even outsourceable. Once your book is ready, you can publish it on Kindle in under 10 minutes. In essence, Kindle publishing is easy.

What You’ll Need for Kindle Publishing:

  • Your Ebook: To start selling ebooks on Amazon, you must first have a copy of your book. You can get this by writing an ebook yourself or hiring a ghostwriter.  
  • Ebook Cover: Before uploading a book to Amazon, you must have a book cover. If you know how to design, you can create a book using an online or offline design tool.
  • Amazon Kindle Account: You must also have a KDP account. Follow this link to create your free Amazon KDP account.

How to Get Kindle Publishing Right

We won’t rule out the possibility that you’ve been told you can publish an ebook on Amazon KDP in less than 48 hours.

While that’s true, if you publish without due diligence, you might end up with a book no one is ready to read. To succeed in Kindle Publishing, you need to get the basics right. That’s why we created this guide. Let’s go.

  1. Validate Your Book Idea
  2. Create a Selling Title for Your Book
  3. Write a Persuasive Book Description
  4. Use a Captivating Book Cover
  5. Format for Easy Read

1. Validate Your Book Idea

There’s no point in writing a book that no one is ready to read.

Don’t be fooled by the fact- you can reach over 80 million readers without putting in any marketing effort. Before publishing any Kindle ebook, you must ensure your audience is amongst these millions.

Validating your book idea means digging into the market to find your target audience. Start by asking yourself this question;

Can I find similar books on Amazon?

If you can’t, what you’ve got is just a book idea, not a money-making one. You have to make sure other authors are thriving on similar ideas.

Likewise, you must be sure people are already reading your type of book. This will give you a base knowledge of how acceptable your publication can be and even motivate you to write.

Lastly, you have to size up the existing competition to see if you’ve got any chance. You can do this quickly on Amazon by analyzing books in your category and subcategory. Follow these steps to see how.

Visit Amazon in your browser. Once it loads, click on the menu icon (three vertical lines) at the top left corner. Select Kindle E-Reader & Books.

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Click on Kindle Books under the Kindle Store section in the resulting menu.


On the next screen, select Best Sellers & More.


You’ll see a section like the one below, then click on Kindle Best Sellers.


Choose Kindle eBooks from the menu, then select a category and subcategory that matches your book idea.


For this tutorial, we’ll select Parenting & Relationship and Child Care as the subcategory. Select what suit you best.


Now, look at the top 20 books in this subcategory. You should find one or two closer to your thought. And with that, you’ve validated that similar books are selling on Kindle.

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If you can’t find anything like what you plan to write, you may need to repeat this process and refine your thoughts until you find a validatable idea.

Down with that, It’s time to see if there are enough buyers and also see the current competition.

The logic to this is simple. Finding how well books in your category sell gives you the assurance you need to proceed.

Although you won’t find exact figures on Amazon, you can use the Best Seller rank to estimate the selling potential.

So pick one of the books you’ve identified above, the closest to your idea is better. You’ll see Amazon’s Best Seller Rank on its product page at the bottom.

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If the book ranks between 1000 to 30000, then it means you have a less competitive category. Anything below 1000 is highly competitive, while above 30,000 is not competitive.

The goal is to strike the middle course and settle where the average best seller rank is not too high or low. That way, you are guaranteed decent sales and can escape fierce competition.

If you follow the instructions in this guide, you can get your book great exposure in a little time. People search books on Amazon by category. So picking the correct categories is crucial.

Now that you’ve validated your book idea, you can go ahead and write your book. Once it’s ready, the next thing to figure out is positioning your book as a must-read for your audience. There are a few things you must get right here. Your book title is number one.

2. Create a Selling Title for Your Book

Having a great book is one thing. Making people want to read it is a different ballgame entirely. You have to get your book title right to stand a chance of getting readership amidst the forest options available to your audience.

While the title doesn’t define your book, It’s enough reason for readers to pick or abandon it. You have to make it as scroll-stopping as possible.

And coming up with scroll-stopping titles is not rocket science. If you can spare considerable time brainstorming over it, you’ll nail it.

There are two components to titles on Amazon KDP books, the main title and the subtitle.

Creating your main title will be easy if you can find answers to these questions.

  • Who are my books for?
  • What audience pain will this book solve?
  • What life-changing benefit will the book brings to their life?

Your main title and subtitle must provide unambiguous answers to these three questions, at the least. And it must do so in a captivating and irresistible manner. Here are some quick tips;

  • Address the reader directly as if you are speaking to them in person.
  • Mention their pains in your biggest fear/pain in your title.
  • Brainstorm and write multiple titles and subtitles as much as you can. Just keep putting down whatever comes to your mind.
  • Don’t bother about whether they are fantastic. You can have up to a hundred.
  • Once you have many potential titles and subtitles down, start reviewing until you can narrow down to the best.

You don’t have to give yourself any headache, do this enough, and you’ll have a punchy headline that your audience won’t have an option but to check out your book.

If you need inspiration, you can visit Amazon KDP to see how Best Selling authors in your category title their books.

3. Write a Persuasive Book Description

There’s little your title can do other than grab attention. Your book description is where the potential readers make their choice. They’ve found something they like. Now they want to learn more about it.

After picking interest in your book title, your audience next read the book description.

The Description section is where you lay out the life-transforming benefits of your work and why it’s different from every other book out there.

The greatest mistake we’ve seen new publishers make is writing their descriptions as the summary of their books.

Your job here isn’t to inform readers what’s in your book. Instead, pitch the benefits of your book and give solid reasons why your book is a must-read.

Think of it like a sales letter that aims at giving readers more than enough reasons to click the buy now button.

Ensure you trigger as much curiosity as possible in your description and leave them unanswered. This will push your readers to want to learn more and ultimately force them to hit the buy button. Here’s a good example;

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One thing is sure with descriptions like the above- readers want answers to these questions. Hence, they’ll click the buy now button.

4. Use a Captivating Book Cover

If you have to spend weeks and even a few bucks on your book cover, do so because It’s worth it.

Before they even read your title, the first thing readers notice is the design of your cover. If It looks messy and cheap, they’ll just scroll to the next good thing on their screen.

A great book title on a cluttered cover is a journey in the wrong direction. You need an attention-grabbing book cover, or your book won’t sell. Here are three rules of thumb;

  • Avoid overly decorated font types. You want to make it as legible as possible.
  • Avoid small and hard-to-read letters. Amazon shrinks your book cover to a thumbnail, and that’s what readers see first. You must ensure your title is still clear and legible at that size.
  • Lastly, only design your book cover yourself if you are a professional designer.

Here’s an example of what a captivating book title looks like;

Book cover

Although there are several free design tools to create book covers, hiring a professional cover designer is the best option if you have the money.

5. Format for Easy Read

After reeling readers in with your compelling title, captivating book cover and benefit-spitting description, your job is not done. The formatting of your book can turn them off before they read a single word.

You don’t want to scare readers away with mushed-together texts in some scribbly and eyes- intimidating fonts.

Ensure your book is in a kindle-friendly format like .mobi and epub format. That’s the only way to guarantee your book looks good on every kindle device.

You can format books yourself.  It will save some bucks but in exchange for your time and effort. Plus, you have to be techy to do it right.

There are tools online you can use for self-formatting. Vellum, Reedsy and Books Design templates are great options with easy-to-use drag-and-drop editors.

Once you pay a tiny fee to unlock access, you only need to copy and paste your content, format it to your heart’s content and export your publish-ready book.

If you don’t want to stress yourself, simply hire a professional to do the formatting for you.

Once done with formatting, ensure you check your book on different Amazon apps and devices as well as other smartphones, tablets and computers to be sure your book is formatted correctly.

More Helpful Online Publishing Tutorials;

  • How To Become An Amazon Best-Selling Author: There’s no magic to becoming an Amazon best-selling author. This comprehensive guide contains step-by-step actions you can take to get there.
  • How To Create An Ebook In Canva: Do you want to create a professional-looking ebook without prior experience? Canva has got you covered. Learn how to use Canva to create stunning ebooks for free.
  • How to Write an Ebook: You don’t need a writing agency or tons of money to write an ebook. With the actionable steps in this guide, you’ll publish your first ebook with no hassle.

Wrapping up

Now you know why many books don’t sell on Amazon KDP. It’s because most authors think publishing on KDP is all about having great prose. There are little pieces of stuff you must get right to have readers’ eyeballs on your book.

This guide has shown five things you should do for a successful KDP business. So don’t just publish for the sake of it. Always validate your book idea, use a catchy title, write a persuasive book description, create an inviting book cover, and make the inside reader-friendly.

We hope you find this guide helpful. If you want to learn more about Amazon Kindle Publishing, feel free to reach out in the comment section below. We’ll be glad to write a detailed guide for you.

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