Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform has been helping indie authors get the word out about their, well… words, for a while now. Offering a direct link to an immense audience, the exposure facilitated by KDP is absolutely crucial to countless authors trying to monetize their efforts.

But it’s not just this instant audience that helps KDP stand out amidst more established alternatives such as Ingramspark; it’s the comparatively low fees and fair royalty rates that really make KDP the leading entity in the self publishing industry.

Let’s take a look at some of the financial details of starting an account and selling your books on KDP.

How Much Does It Cost To Set Up A KDP Account?

You’ll no doubt be happy to hear that setting up your Amazon KDP account won’t cost you a dime. That’s right, folks… nothing, nada, zilch!

Amazon stands to make plenty of profit from your excellent publications further down the road, so the company sees no value in shaking you down before you’ve even had a chance to get your operation up and running.

How Much Does It Cost To Publish A Book On KDP?

I’ve got some more good news for you on the publishing front — It’s completely free to publish and list your book on Amazon’s KDP service. You can publish as many as you like without incurring a single fee.

Again, Amazon makes its money a little further down the pipeline, giving indie authors the grace period they need to test the waters and hopefully gain some traction in the market.

KDP Royalties

Okay, so here’s where Amazon collects a return for the service they’re providing you. Like any other store, they collect commission on sales, but you get to choose between two different royalty contracts.

This puts a little bit more control and power into the hands of burgeoning authors, which is of course fantastic.

The contracts on offer are as follows:

  • 35%: For books below the price of $2.99 and above $9.99, Amazon will collect 65% of the profit.
  • 70%: For books between $2.99 and $9.99, Amazon collects 30% of the profit (maximum list price for this plan is $200).

Bear in mind, though, that these are the rates for the US. Offers may differ from country to country. What’s more, books aren’t always eligible for the 70% plan, as various rules and exceptions herd some titles into the 35% plan.

How Much Is Amazon’s Kindle Create Utility?

For the uninitiated, Kindle Create is a formatting utility offered by Amazon. It takes some getting used to, but if you put the time in, you can create professional, streamlined E-books without forking out a penny.

Sourcing an outside formatting service can wind up being pretty pricey, so getting to know Kindle Create is definitely the way to go if you’re trying to keep overheads as low as possible.

Amazon KDP Fees: All You Need To Know

How Much Does Amazon Charge To Print A Physical Copy Of A Book?

While the name of Amazon’s KDP service suggests a digital market, consumers can also buy physical copies of your books if you okay it on your account.

And thankfully, Amazon takes care of the heavy lifting for you if you’re unsure how to approach getting a physical paperback book printed. However, this isn’t a free service.

Amazon bases the printing charge on two factors:

  • How many pages make up your book
  • Ink type, i.e. black vs color.

Location also plays a role, as prices may vary from place to place.

If you’d like to get an estimate for the cost of Amazon’s printing service before you offer physical copies of your publications, you can use the KDP calculator provided by Amazon.

Should you go ahead with a printing plan, the fees will be deducted from your royalties, so you don’t have to worry about paying upfront.

KDP Paperback Royalties

Amazon offers a flat 60% royalty rate for the sale of paperback books. If you’d like to know exactly how much you’ll earn from a paperback sale, you can use the calculator mentioned above, or if you’d prefer to do things manually, use the following equation:

  • (Royalty rate x list price) – printing fee = royalty

So, let’s say that the price of your listing is $15, you were selling from within the US, and you requested black ink. The equation would play out like so…

  • 0.60 x 15 = 9… 9 – 4.85 = $4.15 profit

What About Author’s Copies?

Printing is printing, so if you want some author’s copies of your book to give to your nearest and dearest or sell yourself, you’ll have to pay the standard printing fees.

Having said that, you may be able to get a pretty sweet discount if you buy in bulk and choose a slower shipping method.

E-Book Delivery

I know what you’re thinking… E-Book delivery?!! Well, yep, I’m afraid to say that the transfer of a digital book to a Kindle or other electronic reading device incurs a fee on a per-megabyte scale.

For books between $2.99 and $9.99, you’re looking at $0.15 per MB. Now, while this might have taken the wind out of your sails a bit, you should know that the average E-book is only around 2.6 MB, so you’ll rarely be charged much more than $0.30 for delivery.

And get this… for books under the price of $2.99 and over the price of $9.99, there is no digital delivery fee whatsoever — Hooray!

KDP Marketing Options & Costs

If you like, you can pay Amazon to market your books for you. For a bit of extra cash, they can push your titles in-house on the Amazon website, in the Kindle Store, on Kindles and tablets, and various other associated sites.

There are two ad types to choose from:

  • CPC: Cost per click means you pay a certain sum every time somebody clicks on one of the ads for your book.
  • CPM: Cost per mille means you pay a higher price each time one of your ads reaches 1000 impressions.

The exact price of either marketing strategy will vary depending on the competitiveness of the category in which your publication resides. As an example, though, an average cost for CPC is between $0.25 and $0.75, while the average cost for CPM is between $100 and $200 per 1000 impressions.

Publishing Tax

If you are operating within the US, then you will not have to pay out any tax from your royalties so long as you attend a tax interview and provide the authorities with all the necessary information.

Those selling books in the US internationally will be subject to a 30% publisher’s tax, which will be deducted from your royalties. Reduced taxation is available if the seller’s nation and the US have agreed upon an income tax treaty.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a number of fees to consider when using Amazon’s KDP to publish your work, but the rates are rather favorable.

Of course, there are a few non-Amazon fees to account for when self-publishing, such as cover design, formatting, and proofing, but as far as online publishing tools go, KDP is one of the most affordable and effective options.

Lead Magnet - Boost Your Book Business eBook

FREE eBook: Boost Your Book Business

How Automated Ads can unlock your profit potential

This will close in 0 seconds