What is Kindle Direct Publishing?
Kindle Direct Publishing (also known as KDP) is Amazon’s self-publishing platform for authors.In recent Months KDP has gained quite the reputation inside various Print on Demand groups and circles, and for good reason too.
Let me explain.
You as an author, creator, or designer can upload paperback books to Kindle Direct Publishing and within 24 – 48 hours they can be live on 6+ major International Marketplaces around the world fulfilled by Amazon with Prime Shipping…
How’s that for organic reach?
Now you may be wondering… Why would I sit down and spend countless hours, days, or even months writing books for KDP?
That’s a good question to ask, and here’s the simple answer: You don’t have to write any books.
That’s right… You don’t have to write a single word (expect for your listing details such as title, description, and keywords).
Instead of writing books, you simply focus your creative talent and energy on creating or designing unique covers for no content or low content notebooks, journals, diaries, log books, and more…
Now, let’s jump into the finer details of what No Content and Low Content books actually are.
No Content and Low Content Books Explained
No Content and Low Content books can come in many different shapes, sizes, and forms… Some of the most popular types of no content books are themed notebooks and journals that are full of blank lined pages.
Low Content books are very similar to No Content books, but they tend to have pages with prompts, quotes, and simply put – low amounts of content.
A good example of a No Content book would be a 6 x 9-inch Journal with 110 blank lined pages.
Another example of a No Content book would be an 8.5 x 11-inch Notebook with 110 wide ruled blank pages.
The great thing about No Content books is that you can create a few interior files (the inside of the book), and then upload them as many times as you like and use unique cover files (the cover and design of the book) for each book.
Interior files are the files you create that make up the pages inside of a book. Examples of these would be 110 blank pages with lines. Interiors are usually created in Microsoft Word, or PowerPoint.
Cover files are the files you create and use to makeup the cover and design for each book. You can create covers in Illustrator, Photoshop, and pretty much any design software. The most popular file type for covers are PDF files.
Cover and interior files have to be created for specific sizes of books so it’s important that you decide on a size and page amount, and then get the proper templates in place before you start designing.
Bookow’s KDP Cover Template Generator is a great place to generate cover templates that are optimized for whatever size of book and number of pages you specify.
Now that you understand what No Content and Low Content books, Interior files, and Cover files are, let’s move onto the uploading process for Kindle Direct Publishing.
Uploading Books to Kindle Direct Publishing
I’m not going to show you how to upload to KDP, or walk you through the entire process (it’s pretty self-explanatory), but instead cover a few important things to be aware of while uploading to save you time and frustration.
You can sign up to KDP using your Amazon account here. Once you are logged in, you’ll want to fill out the remaining details on your account, and then you’re ready to upload your first book, which you can do by selecting the “Paperback” button on the homepage.
Important KDP Information:
- The size of your interior and cover files have to be perfect. If your book has 110 pages, you need to get a cover template that takes into account the number of pages inside your book to adjust for the “width” of the book. That’s why I recommend you use Bookow to generate your cover templates for you.
- KDP requires that the title of your book be the exact same as the title on your cover rather it’s on the front, spine, or back of the cover. However, you can get a bit more creative with the subtitle and go after a few good keywords.
- Uploading No Content and Low Content books to Kindle Direct Publishing is extremely time consuming, and can take several hours to even upload 20 – 30 books.
- The most annoying aspect of the KDP upload process is the Launch Preview part – which is KDP’s previewer that allows you to “preview” your book to make sure everything looks good before continuing to the next step. It can take 5-10 minutes per book to load. I recommend you upload multiple books using multiple tabs at a time to improve productivity.
Above I covered a few key points that are important to be aware of when uploading books to Kindle Direct Publishing.
Uploading to KDP takes a LOT of time, and it’s a grind, but it’s absolutely worth it in the end.
Because of how time-consuming and grindy uploading is, my team and I developed software that will allow you to take your data, cover files, and interior files and place them inside an Excel or Google Spreadsheet, connect it to our Kindle Direct Publishing Automation app, adjust your settings, and click start and have everything uploaded smoothly for you on complete autopilot.
I’ll show you how to prepare your spreadsheet and setup our app so that you can fully automate your KDP uploads.
How to Automate Your KDP Uploads with Merch Titans Automation
In this section I’ll show you how you can fully automate your uploads to Kindle Direct Publishing using our game changing software.
First, I’ll show you how to prepare your Excel or Google spreadsheet, adjust your Merch Titans KDP Automation settings, and ultimately get the application started so that you can sit back, relax, and focus your extra time on more important tasks.
Let’s get this Automation party started!
In order to get started you’ll need a Merch Titans Automation account. You can register for one here.
Once you have registered for an account, you’ll need an active subscription in order to use the software. Early pricing for our Kindle Direct Publishing Automation App is only $34.99 per month, and will be going up soon.
How can I purchase a subscription?
You can purchase a subscription by logging into your Merch Titans Automation Account, and clicking on the “New KDP Subscription” button. From there, you can pick your pricing plan, and checkout to receive your license key.
You can also find download links for the software for either Windows or Mac inside the dashboard area.
Once you have created an account, purchased a subscription, and downloaded the software, you’re ready for the next step.
Preparing Your Spreadsheet
Now that you have access to our Kindle Direct Publishing Automation App, the next step is to export the default spreadsheet layout from the app and input your book data such as the file paths for your cover and interior files, title, subtitle, author name, description, keywords, price, and more.
Once you have exported the XLSX file you need to open it with Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, either is fine.
You’ll see the headers inside your XLSX file that determine which columns corresponds with each input field inside KDP. It should be self-explanatory. I attached a screen shot below of an open spreadsheet with some filler information.
Each column corresponds with specific input fields inside KDP, and each row contains the data for each book. You can fill out as many rows of data as you like. If you have 50 notebooks that need uploaded, then input all the data into this spreadsheet, save it, and select it inside the app, click start, and you’re good to go.
Inside this spreadsheet the proper headers are as follows:
A – Interior File Path
The file path to the interior of your book.
B – Cover File Path
The file path to the cover of your book.
C – Title
The title of your book.
D – Subtitle
The subtitle of your book.
E – Prefix
Prefix for your book. I always leave this blank.
F – First Name
The name of the author on your book. You can always use pen names.
Example: “Titan” in first name, and “Publishing” in the last name field.
G – Middle Name
The middle name. I always leave this blank.
H – Last Name
The last name of the author. Refer to first name for an example of using pen names.
I – Suffix
Suffix for your book. I always leave this blank.
J – Description
Your book description. You can get creative here and use basic HTML markup to customize the look of your description and make it shine.
K, L, M, N, O, P,Q–Keyword #1 – #7
The keywords for your book. Kindle Direct Publishing gives us 7 keyword fields and that’s why we have 7 columns for keywords in our spreadsheet. You can put as many keywords into each field as you like up to 50 characters max per field.
R – Price
The price of your book. A good starting price point for notebooks and journals is $6.99.
This spreadsheet may look complicated, but once you set it up a few times, it becomes extremely easy to do, and doesn’t take long at all. Even if you’re adding data for 50+ books to the spreadsheet.
Now that you understand how to prepare your spreadsheet for our Kindle Direct Publishing Automation software, let’s move onto adjusting your settings inside the app.
Adjusting your settings inside our Kindle Direct Publishing Automation App doesn’t take long at all.
You have two different pages of settings to adjust before you’re good to start the application. The first one is the home page.
You can adjust the “Max Uploads”, select your “Spreadsheet”, and adjust the Upload “Speed”, check the “Disclaimer” and click “Start”. All of this should be quite clear.
Now, on the KDP settings page you can adjust and select ALL the settings that relate to KDP.
Let’s cover that in more detail.
As you can see from the image above you have the following settings to adjust:
XLSX Start Row
The row the app starts at inside your spreadsheet (1 is recommended).
Number of tabs to run in parallel
This setting is great. You can choose how many “tabs” you want to upload with at a time.
Example: Let’s say you have 50 notebooks in your spreadsheet, and you want to upload them using 10 parallel tabs at a time. If you select 10 here, our app will turn your spreadsheet of 50 into arrays, and upload 5 notebooks per tab (10 tabs with 5 uploads each).
The email for your KDP account.
The password for your KDP account.
Paperback’s Primary Language
The primary language for your book. If you wanted to upload your book using English characters, you would leave this as English. If you wantto upload your book using German characters you would switch this to German.
Select if your book has adult content or not.
You get to choose the paper type your book will have. The most popular option is the Black and White Interior with White Paper.
The width of your book. If your uploading a 6 x 9-inch journal, the width here would be 6.
The height of your book. If your uploading a 6 x 9-inch journal the height here would be 9.
Choose Bleed or No Bleed. This setting will depend on your interior file.
The cover finish used on your book. You can choose Glossy or Matte.
The primary marketplace your book will be listed in. You can choose one of the following: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it, and Amazon.co.jp.
However, we automatically select expanded distribution by default so that your book is listed in every major marketplace.
Save or Submit
Choose to have our app save your book as Draft or Publish it.
That’s it for the Kindle Direct Publishing Automation App settings. Again, it may seem complicated at first, but after you do it a few times, it becomes extremely easy to setup and use, and it truly saves you a HUGE amount of time.
Now that your spreadsheet is prepared, and your application settings are adjusted, you’re ready to start the app.
Starting the App and Watching It Work
Once you have your spreadsheet prepared with your data, and your settings adjusted you can start the app, input your license key, and watch it go to work for you.
A Chromium browser will open up, log you into KDP, and then start uploading for you on complete autopilot.
It looks and feels a lot like magic…
Instead of spending countless hours daily uploading your notebooks or journals, you can let our software take care of it for you, and start to focus on more important tasks such as creating more books.
You can also continue to use your computer to work while the automation is running.
That’s it for this article. I’ll be putting together various videos going into more depth on how to set everything up. I’ll be posting these videos to my YouTube channel.
I recommend you subscribe to my channel and click the “Bell” so that you’re notified of new uploads.
Don’t forget to join our growing Merch Titans community on Facebook.
Are you uploading to Kindle Direct Publishing? I would love to know. Let me know by leaving a comment below.