Marketing Insights

Should You Publish Your Book Through Amazon KDP? Pros And Cons


If you’re an author looking to publish your book, you have a few options. Traditional publishing is the route most people are familiar with, but it can be difficult to break into and often comes with lower royalty rates. Self-publishing, on the other hand, has become increasingly popular thanks to platforms like Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). But is self-publishing on Amazon KDP the best choice for you?

Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of self-publishing in general and on Amazon KDP.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Self-Publishing for Authors

Self-publishing has its own advantages such as higher royalties and less time and effort, but also disadvantages such as intense competition and the risk of financial loss. Additionally, self-publishing requires authors to become a one-man company.

Advantages of Self-Publishing

Enjoying a Higher Royalty Rate

One of the main advantages of self-publishing is the potential to earn a higher royalty rate. With traditional publishing, authors often receive a percentage of the book’s net profits, which can be as low as 10-15%. In contrast, self-publishing platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) offer royalty rates of up to 70% for e-books and up to 60% for print-on-demand books.

Getting It All Done in Less Time & Efforts

Self-publishing can be a much faster and easier process than traditional publishing. With self-publishing platforms like KDP, authors can upload their manuscripts and have their books available for purchase in a matter of days. There’s no need to wait for months or even years to hear back from agents or publishers.

Creative Control of Your Book

Self-publishing gives authors complete creative control over their work. They can make their own decisions about everything from the cover design to formatting to marketing. This can be very appealing for authors who want to have a say in how their book is presented to the world.

Disadvantages of Self-Publishing

Immense Competition

Self-publishing has become more popular in recent years, which means there’s a lot of competition in the market. It can be difficult for self-published authors to get their books noticed in a sea of other titles. Without the marketing support of a traditional publisher, authors may struggle to get their books in front of readers.

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Risk of Financial Loss

You must have observed authors getting hundreds of copies of their books printed and stocked at bookstores and other retailers, that’s what happens with traditional publishing. Just like launching any other product, you need to invest in its production in order to deliver it in bulk to the sellers. While this approach may have its benefits, you have no way of knowing whether you would be able to sell them, or all the money and efforts would just go to waste.

Becoming a One-Man-Company

Self-publishing means authors are responsible for every aspect of the publishing process, from editing to formatting to marketing and distribution. This can be overwhelming, especially for authors who don’t have experience in these areas. Without the support of a traditional publisher, authors may struggle to get their books to market and reach their target audience.

The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing on Amazon KDP Select

The advantages of self-publishing on Amazon include global recognition, print-on-demand options, audiobook publishing opportunities, and exclusive deals for buyers. Disadvantages include limited income, the 90-day exclusivity clause, limited content choices, and possible glitches and bugs.

Pros of Self-Publishing on Amazon

Global Recognition & Access

There’s no doubt in the fact that Amazon has become a benchmark in the online shopping world, and Amazon’s Kindle is apparently the primary shopping center for reading enthusiasts. It operates in 20+ nations worldwide! Hence, publishing your book on Amazon means you get global recognition and become accessible to readers from around the world.


As discussed earlier, printing and distributing your book is a time-consuming and expensive feat, but it’s also necessary in order to get it out there. However, that’s not the case with Amazon KDP, it offers POD (print-on-demand) option to the authors, which means Amazon would print your book only when a customer would order a printed copy. That saves you from all the hassle and wasting your money!

Exclusive Deals for Buyers

Amazon KDP Select offers exclusive deals for buyers, such as free promotions, discounted prices, and access to Kindle Unlimited. This can help authors to increase their book’s visibility and reach more readers.

Audiobook Publishing with Audible

Different people have different habits and preferences when it comes to reading books. That’s why authors try to publish their books in every possible format in order to appeal to a wider audience. Amazon is the partner of Audible, one of the leading sites that feature audiobooks. Hence, by publishing your book to Amazon, you will get assisted in publishing the same as an audiobook and gain more popularity and sales!

Cons of Self-Publishing on Amazon KDP Select

Limited Income

While Amazon KDP Select offers a higher royalty rate compared to traditional publishing, it still limits an author’s potential income. Authors must price their books within a certain range to qualify for certain programs, and Amazon takes a percentage of each sale.

The 90-Day Exclusivity Clause

By enrolling in Amazon KDP Select, authors must agree to a 90-day exclusivity clause, which means they cannot sell their e-book anywhere else during this time. This can limit the author’s ability to reach readers on other platforms.

Read More:How Much Does It Cost To Publish A Book

Limited Content Choices

Amazon KDP Select has strict guidelines for content, and some genres or types of content may not be eligible for certain programs. This can limit an author’s ability to publish their book on the platform.

Possible Glitches & Bugs

Like any online platform, Amazon KDP Select is subject to glitches and bugs that can affect the book’s visibility and the author’s ability to publish their book or track their sales. This can be frustrating and time-consuming for authors.

Conclusion: Is Self-Publishing via Amazon KDP Select Best?

The decision to self-publish on Amazon KDP Select ultimately depends on an author’s goals and priorities. While Amazon offers global recognition, print-on-demand options, and audiobook publishing opportunities, there are also limitations and exclusivity clauses that authors must consider.

If an author is looking to reach a wider audience and take advantage of Amazon’s marketing and promotional opportunities, self-publishing on Amazon KDP Select may be a good option. However, if an author wants more control over their content and distribution, or if they want to explore other platforms, traditional publishing or self-publishing on other platforms may be a better fit.


Can I sell my KDP books elsewhere?

If an author enrolls in Amazon KDP Select, they must agree to a 90-day exclusivity clause, which means they cannot sell their e-book elsewhere during this time. However, authors can sell their print books on other platforms.

How much does a first-time author make?

First-time author earnings can vary widely, depending on factors such as book genre, marketing strategy, and pricing. With Amazon KDP, authors can earn up to 70% royalty on e-books and 60% royalty on print books.

How long does it take to self-publish a book on Amazon?

The time it takes to self-publish a book on Amazon KDP depends on factors such as book-length, formatting, and cover design. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete the publishing process.