Can you publish a book for free? Absolutely, Yes. Continue reading this article to learn how to publish a book for free and even get paid for it.
You may have an incredible idea or a story to tell and want to write and publish a book but do not have that much money to pay the fees of a traditional publisher. Then my dear friend, now you need not invest hundreds of dollars to have an author’s life.
Let’s start with the basics first.
What is Self-Publishing?
Self-publishing is when the author writes a book then decides to undergo the expense (in both time and money) to publish that book themselves.
As the publisher of your book, you will have to make all the decisions regarding its content, format, and other publication elements. Courageously you will also have to take full responsibility for the success or failure of the book.
You can start publishing your book through Kindle Direct Publishing, a platform offered by Amazon to individual storytellers and writers to publish an e-book or a printed copy of it for free.
What is Kindle Direct Publishing?
Kindle Direct Publishing aka KDP is Amazon’s book publishing platform that is used to self-publish a book online. With it, readers can purchase a book as an eBook or a paperback version through a print-on-demand service provided by the KDP.
KDP is one of the tops and leading self-publishing companies and is currently dominating the self-publishing book market.
With the current holdings of at least 80% of the eBook market, Amazon KDP is now a major player in the publishing industry.
Thanks to Amazon, with the KDP’s launch in 2007, modern writers who have less capital to invest in publishing can also become an author eventually for free.
Writers of all disciplines are enjoying the explosion in career flexibility over the last decade and so with the rise in remote writing jobs since the corona virus pandemic.
This explosion has led to an increase in publishing eBooks, printed paperback books, and more through self-publishing.
How does the Kindle Direct Publishing helps publish a book for free?
Kindle Direct Publishing is a platform provided by Amazon for authors to self-publish eBooks and paperback books for free.
For eBooks, the author has to directly upload their book files, and it will appear in the Kindle store as an eBook. Readers can then purchase and instantly download the eBook from the Kindle store.
For printed books, the author has to upload their book files and when a reader purchases a paperback edition of the book, KDP will use its print-on-demand technology to print and deliver the book to the buyer. You do not have to pay the printing costs as it will be subtracted from the royalties that you will earn from every book you sell.
Kindle Direct Publishing Working:
- Upload book files to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
- Publish the book to the Amazon KDP platform.
- Readers purchase your eBook and instantly download it to their mobile device.
- Readers can purchase paperback copy of your book, and Amazon will print and ship your book directly by using print-on-demand technology to the reader once purchased.
- You get royalties per book sold on KDP from Amazon.
What benefits can you avail from KDP?
There are numerous benefits you can avail of from self-publishing your book on KDP. The Amazon KDP platform has helped revolutionize the publishing industry. It has provided authors the opportunity to publish a book in a click and create a sustainable book business.
KDP benefits include:
- Global distribution. Amazon is a huge and trustworthy platform, which means authors can place their foot into global markets across the United States, Europe, and Japan.
- Higher earnings. With Amazon, authors earn higher royalty rates than they typically would through traditional publishing houses. Royalty rates can be as high as 60%, though depending on the type of book you sell.
- Instant publishing. Typically, with traditional publishing, books tend to take a very long time to get to market. The KDP publishing process quick and easy.
- Author rights. Through Amazon’s non-exclusive agreement author retains the rights of their book published on KDP.
- No investment in inventory. With print-on-demand technology provided on the KDP platform, books are only printed after they are purchased. So, you don’t have to purchase printed copies of books upfront to sell.
Steps to publish a book for free on KDP
1: Visit kdp.amazon.com
To get started, you need to first create an account with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. If you already have an Amazon you can just simply sign in. Then, visit your Dashboard.
2: Create a New Title
Choose the type of book you want to publish. Options available are “Kindle eBook” and “Paperback” version.
3. Choose Language
Choose the language of the book you are going to publish.
4: Enter Book Title and Subtitle
Tell your readers what your book is about by adding the Title and Subtitle of your book. By this readers will know what they will get out of reading it. [Quick Tip: Use keywords that your readers are searching for to increase your chances of being found. You can use Ubersuggest to do that.]
5. Choose Series and Edition Number
Enter the Series and Edition Number. If you are planning to publish multiple volumes with different edition then consider adding identification to make your readers distinguish between them.
6: Add an Author Name
Add in the author’s name. It may be you or someone else if you are publishing on behalf of another author.
7: Add Book Contributors
Click on the “Add contributors” tab to add yourself as an author.
8: Enter Book Description
By the book’s description readers are eligible to figure what the book is offering. They get a brief insight into the story they are going to experience inside. Always make sure your description is interesting, well written, and informative enough to deliver the idea of what your book is about.
9: Verify Publishing Rights
As an author, you own the publishing rights to your book, click to verify that.
10: Enter Search Keywords
When people search Amazon for relevant topics, search keywords will help your book to be found by readers looking for a related topic.
11: Target Customers through Categories
You can choose up to two categories for your book. Choose the categories carefully as they will help your intended readers in finding your book.
Remember the more specific the niche your category targets, the more likely it will be found.
12: Identify Adult Content
If your book contains language or images which is not suitable for children then please identify it here.
13: Add print ISBN
Add ISBN (International Standard Book Number) to your book. Read more about ISBN here.
14. Define Publication Date
15. Choose Print Option
16: Upload Book File (Manuscript)
Upload the book file in any of the formats supported by KDP. [Formats supported: Word (DOC or DOCX), HTML (ZIP, HTM, or HTML), MOBI (MOBI), ePub (EPUB), Rich Text Format (RTF), Plain Text (TXT), Adobe PDF (PDF), and Kindle Package Format (KPF)]
17: Upload or Create Your Book Cover
Cover design can tell much about your book at once. You can create a basic cover design by using the cover creator tool provided but if you want an attractive looking cover I would suggest hiring a professional or use professional tools for that.
To display your cover optimally, read the KDP cover guidelines to ensure your image is in the required formatting.
You will be prompted with a “Cover uploaded successfully” message once you upload the perfect cover image.
18. Preview Book
Once you upload content and book cover, click “launch previewer” to see if it has converted properly. This can be a crucial step if you have more complex formatting.
19: Verify Publishing Territories
Verify whether you own the rights to distribute your book worldwide or you are limited to certain territories.
20: Set Pricing and Royalty
Select your pricing dependent on your goals and marketing/sales funnel.
21: Agree on the terms and conditions
Agree to the terms and conditions and then click “Save and Publish”
Once you see Publishing, your book will be live in the world’s largest bookstore within 72 hours. Wasn’t that easy?
After your book is published your next step should be marketing and promoting your book through other available platforms.
An Awesome Bonus Tool
So you just learned to publish a book for free through Kindle Direct Publishing. I hope you didn’t find any difficulty doing that.
What I think is you will still struggle with the cover and design of your book.
Even though you provided great content in the book, if your presentation is poor, readers will less likely click on the pay now button.
I know you are short on budget, and you can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on hiring a professional designer or buying a monthly subscription-based software like Illustrator or Photoshop.
The best in budget tool that you can use to create beautiful eBooks and Covers for your book is Sqribble.
Through Sqribble you can create gorgeous ready to publish eBooks in just one click. All you need to do is write your content, choose from tons of beautiful templates, upload your document file, select a cover from the cover library. Ka-Ching! That’s it. Done
If you make your mind for Sqribble, here is a 60% OFF coupon (MORPHEUS) for you. Through this, you get a discount and I get a considerable commission adding no extra cost to you.
Readout more about Sqribble here.
In this article, I tried my best to deliver everything for you to publish a book straightaway. But still, there is always something I miss to mention.
You can ask me if you get stuck at any step. Also, if you want business related tips and free money making ideas delivered to your inbox then please do join my email list.
Looking forward to seeing your books live on Amazon.