About 25 years ago, Amazon started as an online book seller. Today, Amazon Inc. has become one of the biggest technology companies involved with ecommerce, cloud computing, and digital streaming. Amazon Store is the biggest online shopping site in the world.
Amazon also offers book publishing services for writers. Amazon has three different platforms for writers, Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace, and ACX. Kindle is for publishing ebooks, CreateSpace is for publishing Print On Demand books, and ACX is audio books production program. Unless you are hiring editor, designer, or narrator (in case of audio books), Kindle, CreateSpace and ACX are free services from Amazon. Books published on these platforms are sold on Amazon marketplace worldwide from Amazon.com to Amazon UK, Amazon India, Amazon Japan, Amazon France etc.
How to publish ebooks on Kindle Direct Publishing
It starts with creating an account on Kindle Direct Publishing (kdp.amazon.com). On your dashboard you will see “Create a New Title” tab. You have two options, create ebook or create paper back. When you choose one of these options, you will see a form to enter your title, books details, upload manuscript (MS word or PDF document), cover etc. If your manuscript and cover is ready, your book will be live on Amazon marketlaces within 48 hours. If your price is at least $2.99, you will receive 70 percent royalty. They send payment in 30 days basis, which means the royalty you earn this month will be sent on the first week of third month.
Kindle also offers cover creation tool. In case you do not have your cover ready, you can choose from prebuilt themes or upload your own image to create cover for your kindle ebook.
In order to publish books (ebook, paperbacks or audio books), your content must be original, which means you cannot publish previously published content. Your manuscript should also be free from grammar and spelling errors.
When you publish ebook on Kindle, you can publish the same book as a paperback or audio book.
Publishing Paperback books on Amazon
CreateSpace was Amazon’s Print On Demand book publishing platform for authors who want to publish print books. However, Amazon has now merged Createspace with Kindle Direct Publishing. Before, you had to create a separate account on CreateSpace to publish your print book that would be sold through Amazon marketplace. CreateSpace allowed you to convert your print book into ebook. You could also easily republish your Kindle ebook into prin book. However, these days, you can publish paper backs as well as ebooks through Kindle Direct Publishing. You can publish an ebook and convert to paper back or vice-versa. You earn 35 percent royalty for your paper back, which is more than from the traditional print publishers. You can also buy your paper backs for discounted price. Amazon only charges printing cost for the authors willing to buy their own books.
Since paper backs on Kindle Direct Publishing are Print on Demand books, your books will be printed only when someone orders, therefore, the production cost is relatively low compared to traditional publishers.
While publishing paper backs, you will have to take a lot of care on manuscript formatting. You will have to choose one of the available book size and format your manuscript accordingly. Publishing process is rather simple, there are tutorials and community available that assist you on publishing your ebook or paper backs on Amazon. As opposed to ebook where you have to create only front cover, you have to create the back cover as well for paper backs.
Can you actually make money from Amazon by publishing ebooks and paper backs?
The answer is YES! However, whether you can make money or not depends on various factors such as your book topic, marketing and promoting strategies, sales pitch etc. In order to generate good sales, you have to optimize your ebooks and paper backs for internal (Amazon) and external (Google, Bing) search. You have to use search friendly title, appropriate category, keywords and description.
Kindle Direct Publishing also offers free and paid promotion to help authors market their books. You can offer your ebook/paperback for discounted proce or even free as a free promotional of your book. You can also advertise your ebook on Amazn to drive sales. You can drive sales by promoting your books.
You can also market your books on social media or Affiliate Advertising Networks to generate sales.