When going through the self-publishing route you must know where to start because there are a lot of consequences if you choose the wrong starting point. But of course, you want your book to get onto the market and you would then be thinking, is KDP worth it in 2021? Let's find that out now.
KDP Gold Rush
Today's question has three answers and you're going to want to stick around. Because the third answer is a secret as to the one thing about KDP that makes it worth or not worth doing in 2021.
The question that was sent to me today was, is KDP worth it in 2021? Now, KDP is Kindle Direct Publishing and maybe you're a self-published author or you're an author who is looking to get your book onto the market.
You've written your manuscript but you're wondering if Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP the correct route for you? Because the consequences of choosing the wrong starting point may mean a lot of frustration, learning tools, and unnecessary things.
Also, not making any sales. Not finding your customers or a target audience that's interested in reading your books. And other consequences that leave you feeling as if you've made a terrible mistake based upon old or incorrect information that other people may have given you regarding KDP.
So that is what we are going to answer in today's blog. But before we get into the answers, grab a copy of my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist. To make sure that you are not skipping any of the self-publishing steps that are necessary to get your book onto the market and selling.
So let's get into it. A little bit from my own story with Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP in the year 2015. When I was at the beginning of 2015 I was coming out with my very first book, I guess were almost 6 years ago.
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What had happened was I heard that I perhaps had already missed the "KDP gold rush". Now, you may be wondering what exactly is a "KDP gold rush"? And the answer is, the "KDP gold rush" was a period around maybe 2009-2010 somewhere in that time frame.
Where no matter what you were putting on the market, it was selling. So you would almost throw anything up on KDP and people would buy it. You could get thousands, some people would have 70,000 downloads when they put their book as a free download.
They would use it to build their email list then continue to push their books. When they were full price, it would put them at the top of the ranks. These people were making around $10,000 to $50,000 in a month as a result of this.
And so, in 2015 many people had said "okay you already missed it", the "gold rush" is over and KDP is finished. So there's no point in trying this self-publishing game anymore." At least that's what I heard.
It was a little demotivating because I was planning on putting my books directly onto Kindle Direct Publishing. But the thing is I was worried that maybe I wouldn't sell anything if I did.
But then I discovered through listening to several podcasts and reading a lot of books by the best marketers that marketing hasn't changed at all. Because people haven't changed for hundreds of years or thousands of years.
Feed A Hungry Market
Since people are the same and marketing is the same, some of the key issues here are the same. Because if you can find a hungry market, that is people who want to buy a book on a particular topic for example. And you happen to get a book that's optimized on that topic, you will see sales.
That was something that I didn't completely fully understand at the time. But now it's a lot clearer. So for example, I use a program called KDSpy, it's the program I use to figure out whether a keyword is going to be marketable.
Whether it's going to be something that has a hungry market or not. I can see the basic sales rank for that keyword. I can see just by typing into the Kindle store how many books are out on that subject.
That gives me the ability to know whether or not this market that I'm jumping into is going to be a profitable one. The worst part is if you do the opposite and you don't choose a hungry market, no matter what you do or try you're simply not going to see the sales coming in.
So I would highly recommend that you grab a copy of KDSpy if you're trying to do the whole self-publishing game. It can help you make sure that you can win at this game and not lose before you've even started the entire thing.
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It is something you're going to want to check out. It's a software I use all the time to determine the next book topics, the titles, the descriptions, and all of the things that people are searching for. To make sure that my books are delivering on what people are looking for.
Kindle was and is still a great place to find new customers. So when I came up with my books once I optimized and started marketing by running ads and other marketing techniques. I discovered that yes, I could start seeing those sales coming in.
And that was an amazing thing because Kindle has a whole series of positive aspects to it. So, is KDP worth it in 2021? I mean maybe in 2015 it was worth it but is it worth it in 2021?
The answer is yes. It continues to deliver year after year. People come in to look for, they search for something on Amazon which is the second or third largest search engine in the world depending on Google and Youtube.
After they've done that, they come in and see your book showing up on the rankings. They look at the description and they see the cover and then they're ready to buy. Then they realize "well, should I buy the Kindle version or the paperback or maybe the audio version?".
Least Demanding Place To Start
This is where the multiple versions come in. So your Kindle version then will show "look it's 99% off or something". So it shows this markdown on the cost compared to the print version.
Then what happens is some people like to read Kindle. But other people will say "well no actually maybe I do want the paper version". You've sold them by using the Kindle version.
And then that's used to drive the paperback sales which for me are twice the Kindle sales. As you can see, you're going to want to make sure you have different versions on there. But even if you don't, your Kindle version will at least sell.
This is a very very important point when you're getting started. To make sure that you do have that kindle version out there. And that's number two, it's the absolute first place you should start in 2021.
When you're going to be self-publishing, start getting the Kindle version under the market. As I tell all of my students do not waste time with anything else until you have the Kindle version. Once the Kindle version is on the market, then we can go from there.
And the secret answer of the day is the reason you should go with a Kindle in KDP in 2021 is it's the easiest and the least demanding place to start. There's nowhere else that is easier to get started than doing the Kindle version.
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When you do the paperback, you're going to have to deal with the covers, the formatting, the sizing, and all of these issues. Whereas the KDP version, I use a software called Jutoh to make sure that it's flawless every time.
Not just for the Kindle but also the EPUB and the paperback versions that I use for my hardbacks and other paperback versions on Ingram Spark, Smashwords, and Lulu. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here.
You can also just use Smashwords to generate your Mobi file that you will then be able to upload to Amazon KDP. The thing is that if you've ever looked at self-published authors who are putting books on the market, and Amazon says "no, you screwed up the cover", "you did this wrong", or "you did that wrong".
There are all sorts of mistakes they find. Kindle is the easiest one they're going to complain about the least. In fact, in most of my books, I see them within 10 hours of me putting them out. They say "your book has now gone live".
It's unbelievably simple and easy. Let me know if you have any questions on that and I can help you through this process. Now, do you plan to publish on KDP in 2021? Is KDP Worth It in 2021?
If you do, write "yes" below in the comments and if you don't, write "no" below in the comments. That will help me know where you're coming from. And check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.