MY LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH AMAZON & KDP
(Kindle Direct Publishing)
To a newbie eBook publisher, Amazon’s KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing, became the Rubik’s Cube necessary to solve before getting my book online. (I was so green I searched on Amazon’s site for hours trying to find how to upload my book!)
When I finally got the word KDP was the place to publish, I had no time for relief because a new hurdle faced me—formatting my manuscript. Formatting became a torture akin to learning a new word-processing program—with directions in another language! By the time the book was ready to upload, I’d nearly torn my hair out. And I have none to spare.
Then my novel was on Amazon! Time to celebrate? Nope. After uploading and anxiously waiting for publication, I discovered my self-formatting had issues big enough to drive a cement truck through. Any of you who’ve mastered the formatting process successfully, kudos to you—the rest of us hate you! I must confess to having a serious lack of patience and attention to detail. People like me need to hire people having those virtues to do our formatting. (That’s why that particular business is thriving.)
KDP does answer email questions, although it takes one to two days to get an answer. They don’t have a phone number or a way to speak to a representative online. Their answers are canned, and are usually not unique to your problem unless you happen to ask just the right question. Meanwhile, your document, published upside-down or such, is out there for the world to see, warts and all. To add insult to injury, once you’ve changed what you need to change, (and it can be something as minor as the name of your cover artist), after making the change, your book goes back into “publishing” mode for a day or two before the change is accepted.
With the revision process being another pain in the lower anatomy, I advise hiring a professional editor and proofer go over your work before putting it out there. It’ll be easier on your blood pressure! It is an awful feeling to put your book up for sale and discover it has problems you’d rather a buyer—and reviewers—were not exposed to.
So Where’s the love?
Ten things I love about Amazon and KDP.
- Any new author can publish his/her eBook on Amazon in about 2 days.
- The process is free.
- There are now millions of Kindle owners buying eBooks.
- Purchasers do not have to have a Kindle to read an eBook.
- The author gets 70% of book sales.
- KDP pays authors for eBooks lent to Prime members.
- Profits are deposited directly into an author’s bank account.
- Amazon sells eBooks to a worldwide market.
- KDP’s Select program offers authors free days for book sales.
- Free days are a tool that gives an author’s book visibility and possibly a huge rise in sales.
It is only fair to mention that my experiences with epublishing on AZ were more than a year ago. I have a new novel I’ll be putting on soon and I expect Amazon will have made improvements. They are offering new formatting instructions, which hopefully, will make the process easier. Will I try it? Not likely—I made enough money on novel 1, She’s Not There, (thanks to using KDP’s free days) making it possible to pay for things like proofing, cover art, and formatting for my new novel, Relative Malice.
For an indie author, Amazon and KDP remain—the best game in town.
Marla Madison is a retired Mediator and works now as an Arbitrator in the Midwest. Living on Prairie Lake with her significant other, Marla is the author of the suspense novel, She’s Not There, http://amzn.to/mQebPH , and the soon to be released, Relative Malice.
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