ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Self-Publish on Amazon KDP

Updated on September 22, 2017
Nathan Kiehn profile image

Nathan Kiehn is the author of over 100 blog posts on his family website Keenlinks and "The Gray Guard" ebook fantasy trilogy on Amazon.

Amazon Kindle logo
Amazon Kindle logo | Source

Over the past few years, I have self-published an ebook trilogy on using Amazon KDP. Before that, I'd never jumped really onto the whole "ebook" bandwagon, but I realize that this is the way to go. At the least, it's serving me three purposes. One, it's giving me experience in the area of publishing, maybe even kick-starting what I want to become my job someday. Two, it's helping me get my name out there in a way I cannot do on my own. Three, it's an easy way of making a small bit of money.

So how do you do it? How does an up-and-coming author get himself/herself self-published on Amazon KDP? Well, fortunately for you, it's a fairly easy procedure. A lot of it can be explained for you through articles and books. While this Hub won't go through the step-by-step procedure, it should give you a decent overview of what you need to do if you want to join the ranks of Amazon's self-published authors.

In Word, editors can make comments as to mistakes they find or questions they have
In Word, editors can make comments as to mistakes they find or questions they have | Source

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.”--Arthur Plotnik


The very first thing you should do is edit your novel. You have your finished manuscript, typed up in Word, just sitting there. And it'll have to sit there for a little bit longer. Editing is pretty important, and I'll admit it's something I struggle with. Who wants to read what they just spend months writing? Still, it's something that needs to be done and should be taken seriously. Editing reveals to you plot holes, typos, grammatical errors, and all the other little mistakes that make your novel less than perfect.

I have a certain way of editing and it's far from being the best method, so I suggest letting other people read your document as well. This way, a new, fresh set of eyes can glance over what you've written. They can catch the mistakes your eyes drift over. Even more importantly, they'll be mostly unbiased. They won't mind mentioning what plot points should be changed or if that supporting character you really love is being given the spotlight too much. This is a crucial first step that (as much as I hate to say it) might need to be repeated a few times. Even after you've published your novel, going through it again for any mistakes you may have missed the first time around is necessary.



The link to the right takes you to an page where you can download the free ebook "Publish on Amazon Kindle with Kindle Direct Publishing" by Amazon itself. It costs you nothing to download, and it's a very informative tool that helps with many specific areas of self-publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP.

One of the biggest areas it helps is in formatting your Word document the proper way. 12 point Times New Roman with 1.0 line spacing isn't going to cut it. The ebook shows the proper font, spacing, and other technical matters while providing tips on how to make a table of contents and such. A very useful tool in making sure your Word document is set up in a way that will look good on any kind of e-reader.

Kindle Direct Publishing

So your novel is written, edited, and formatted correctly. The link is for Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, the actual site where you set up your author profile. That process will be very similar to any other online sign-up. Username, password, all the technical little details to make your profile how you want it to be.

Once that's finished, you'll be welcomed to your "Bookshelf." Here, you can see your book titles once you've uploaded them. Clicking "Add new title" will bring you into another process where pieces finally start falling into place. Now you can finally input your novel information, such as title, author, cover, genre, synopsis, and whether or not your book is part of a series. Also, this is where your novel will be uploaded. It's as easy as clicking on the "Browse" button and finding the correct file (I say "correct" because I was uploading an updated version once and selected the wrong file by accident). You can also view your novel on a virtual Kindle to see how it'll look on the real thing. This lets you see if you need to make any formatting changes to your file.

You'll have to work through prices and additional information after that, but it's only a couple of minutes of your time. KDP also gives the option of enrolling your novel in Amazon KDP Select, which can help your novel reach more readers (and, subsequently, make more money and earn more reviews). I have yet to use it for my novel (and it's upcoming sequel), but it's still an option to consider.


if you think you have everything in place--if you believe like your novel is perfect and looks good--then you can hit the long-awaited (and sometimes dreaded) "Save and Publish" button. Amazon will inform you that your novel will be on a "waiting period" for, what they say, 24 hours. Don't worry. It takes a lot shorter than that for your novel to hit the virtual book shelves.

With your novel published, people can now find it on and purchase it. As a beginning novelist, I recommend you keep your novel cheap. My trilogy is available as a $2.99 ebook. I say this because you're starting out, I'm starting out. Three bucks is the minimum price for which you can sell your novel. None of your first readers will likely feel too bad about forking over a couple of dollars for your first stab at novel writing. I'm not saying your novel will be terrible. I don't doubt many of you can write well if you've joined an online blogging community. All I'm saying is that, with this price, you get to make a bit of money (that, with any luck, will accumulate) while your readers don't feel the pressure emptying their wallets for your benefit. On this page, people can also leave reviews on what they think about your story (another element that will hopefully accumulate).

KDP Author Shares Story


With being a first time user of Amazon KDP (or perhaps a first time self-published author), advertising can be a little tricky. You might not have a whole lot of options. However, enrolling your novel in Amazon KDP Select is one way to do that.

Another way is through social media. I use Facebook, so I periodically post a link to my novels and encourage my friends to purchase it and tell their other friends. Heck, if you want to be really amusing, post close to holidays like Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and close to the end of the school year. See if you can drum up some business with the people who are rushing around and looking for cheap gifts for their loved ones. Tell people you run into. If the conversation turns to hobbies or occupations, you've got an open door to let people know about your self-published achievement. Recently, I was able to tell a group of people I was having dinner with that I'd published my trilogy. Not only was it a surprise to them, it opened a door for me to start a conversation about another writer's work, and I encouraged him to self-publish if he was ever interested. Killed two birds with one stone there.

It may take a while to become successful through KDP, but it fulfills the three things I mentioned above. Follow these guidelines, and you'll have experience in knowing how KDP works. You'll be connected to a community of writers who share your enthusiasm. You'll maybe make some money on the side. I know there are a lot of self-publishing tools out there, but I chose Amazon over all of them. It's fast, painless, and fun. Try it out.

Amazon KDP Works

5 stars for Amazon KDP

© 2014 Nathan Kiehn


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • craftdrawer profile image


      4 years ago

      I have several books on Amazon and have done quite well. It does take some trial and error in order to figure out how to set up your book and market it. Good luck with your self-publishing and thanks for sharing your experience!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)