Amazon Kindle Book Publishing (also known as KDP to most people) has opened the gateway for self-published authors to make a space for themselves in the online book world.

No longer do they need to take a potentially risky idea to a manuscript editor/writer, or a big publishing house. The ability to get your creative work out there on your own is truly liberating!

However, that doesn’t mean that the system is perfect. Many self-published Kindle authors, especially first-time authors, can often struggle to interface with the system and can run into quite a few issues when interacting with their PDF in KDP.

However, like the KDP publishing process itself, it is almost always an issue that can be solved on your own. All you need is a good guide to help you figure out what exactly the problem might be.

Well, luckily for you, we have just such a guide!

Here, we will take you through some of the most common issues that Amazon KP authors have with their PDF works, as well as a few other issues that can crop up, and the solutions that we have found for fixing them.

Converting Word Format Books To PDFs

Probably the most common issue that many writers will come up against when starting on KDP, is many people are often unsure as to how to convert their document’s format (in this case, Word) into the PDF format that KDP accepts for submissions.

When uploading, or trying to convert your Word file into a PDF, the process will simply crash and stop, or freeze before needing to be stopped.

Given that Microsoft Word is probably one of the most popular programs and apps for writing, it’s an issue that could potentially affect a lot of people.

The most common cause for this problem is usually a formatting issue within the Word document. And while there isn’t a feature that allows you to directly search for this issue, getting a better view of the entire document can often help narrow down the issue.

Go to the ‘Draft’ view in the View tab, or go to the ‘Layout’ tab and clock ‘Page Setups’, then check the font size.

Fixing Formatting Issues That Your PDF Has

If you’re looking to have your PDF not just sold on Kindle, but also as a physical book, you’ll sometimes find that this can also run up against some issues.

Given that physical books almost always come in a different format to PDFs, this is something that you’ll probably want to check and take into account before trying to convert them into physical copy-friendly settings.

Fortunately, this is something that Amazon KDP can help you with. Their Print Reviewer tools help you run automated checks on your PDFs to see if they can be converted into physical copy-compliant books, as well as some of the changes that you may need to make to do it.

However, just remember that if you do need to make changes to your PDF, you’ll have to make those changes in the original format and document first, then re-upload it to Amazon KDP.

If there is an issue with the cover or the interior of the book, once the submission for a physical book copy has been finished, the Amazon KDP team will often check to see whether or not there are any issues with them.

If there are, they will usually email you instructions back for ways that you can solve this issue.

PDF Troubleshooting Guide For Amazon KDP

Saving Your Manuscript Files

Sometimes, accidents happen. Sometimes, a file can be lost, causing your upload to completely falter, and losing the work that you already made.

In these cases, having a copy of your manuscript saved in both your original writing document and in KDP is essential.

To this, make sure that your PDF complies with Amazon’s formatting guidelines and specifications. These specifications include:

  • Making sure that the PDF file is 650 MB or smaller.
  • Does not contain any marks or comments in the editing and commenting features in the original format.
  • This also includes annotations, crop or trim marks, metadata, placeholder text, or invisible objects.
  • Make sure that there is no encryption or add-on security on your text.
  • You do not exceed your overall total page max.
  • This will be determined by Amazon KDP’s formatting systems, measuring page and text sizes, margins, and many other aspects.
  • All content is oriented the same way.

If you’re looking for precise guidelines, check them out for yourself in this link here.

Getting Your Content On To Kindle

The Amazon Kindle’s distinct formatting style means that getting your books compatible with it can cause some formatting issues of their own.

Kindle Create is the tool that will allow you to create Kindle-compatible text formats, books, children’s books, and even comic books and graphics novels.

Using KDP Tools & Resources

While not an issuing itself, it often pays to know how to use KDP’s tools and Resources, to reduce the need to re-upload your work constantly.

We particularly love the E-Book & physical book formatting tools, for making sure that our books are as presentable and easy for customers to read as possible.

Plus, the File Size Calculator is also an excellent tool for making sure that you’re well within upload limits for your manuscript.

Submission Guidelines

One of the factors that can impact if a PDF or Kindle book can be uploaded is if it does or doesn’t follow the guidelines for submissions. It’s an obvious mistake, but one that you’ll be surprised by just how many people forget about when it comes to uploading.

  • If your uploaded book has any images that may bleed, then make sure that it is in a PDF format. If not, other formats, such as 
  • Embed all images and fonts in your manuscript into the original file, rather than as you are uploading it to Amazon KDP.
  • Optimize your submitted PDF to as small a file size as possible, to avoid delays.

Final Notes

So, there you have it!

As we mentioned before, many of the issues that you tend to run into on Amazon KDP can usually be solved on your own, or by finding the KDP help page.

Whether it’s a cookbook or a fantasy epic, or you’re a veteran or first-time self-published author, we hope that this guide has helped you out!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should An Amazon KDP Book Be?

While it will largely depend on what genre you are publishing in, many KDP books are generally a little shorter than their physical counterparts. The average Kindle book is around 5,000 to 20,000 words in length. The total page count will differ depending on your formatting choices.

How Long Should It Normally Take To Upload A PDF To KDP?

PDFs normally upload quite fast, being just text documents with few other features. While the final time will likely vary depending on your internet speed, your PDF file shouldn’t take much more than 5 to 7 minutes to upload into KDP.

If it is taking longer or frequently freezes before being unable to continue, this could be a sign that there is an issue with your PDF, possibly due to formatting errors. When in doubt, it always seems to come back to formatting errors!

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