13 Things You'll Ask at Amazon's KDP Program, Part 1

13 Questions You'll Ask At the KDP, And The Answers

Here at Booknook.Biz, we've been doing this for quite a while now.  One thing I can't help but notice is that the same questions get asked at the KDP Publisher's forums, over and over again.  To help prospective publishers, I'm going to answer them here.

Do I have to register my copyright before I publish?  

No, you don't.  In the United States of America, your book is copyrighted as soon as you've completed writing it.  If your book is stolen/pirated, however, you can't file suit until the copyright is registered, which you can do with $35 and the link to ECO, the Electronic Copyright Office. Here's the link to ECO and here's a link to the Tutorial. 

Does enrolling in KDP mean I can't sell my books anywhere else?

 No, it doesn't.  If you enter your book in the KDP, you can sell it any place you'd like (Barnes & Noble, iBooks, KoboBoks, etc.).  The KDP contract does stipulate that you can't sell your eBook at a lower price anywhere else.  If Amazon discovers that you are selling your book for less somewhere else, they'll lower the price of your book (price-match) for the duration that the book is lower-priced elsewhere.  If you join KDP Select, however, then, yes--you are required to give exclusivity for 90 days in return for the features of the KDP Select Program. These features include the ability to make your book free for any five days out of the 90, and capacity to join other marketing programs. 

(Con't.)

Where can I get free coupons that I can give away to reviewers and other people?

You can't.  The best you can do is to give the link to your book to those people to use on your KDP Select FREE Days. There is no couponing program through Amazon's KDP program.  

Will my eBook have the same fonts in it that I used in the Word file that I uploaded?

No.  Word can't "carry" fonts with it, to embed in the eBook.  If you upload a Word file, your book will have the standard look of the typical Kindle book, using the basic fonts. If you're interested in this topic, you might want to read About Fonts and Font Embedding here on the website.  If fonts are important to your book, you'll either need to learn HTML, and build your own, or hire a commercial formatter.

Does Amazon format my book for me?  

No, not unless you first buy print-formatting services on Createspace (the Amazon-owned Print on Demand company), and then pay them to "format" your eBook.  We strongly recommend that you search the Net, before you undertake this process, for complaints about formatting.

Does Amazon do automatic promotion of my book?  Like a publisher would? 

No.

Why not? Aren't they obligated to do that? They're my publisher, right?

 Why?  Because you are the publisher--not Amazon. Amazon is your retailer, not your publisher. They're not obliged to correct your content, format your book, or do the heavy lifting of marketing your title.  This is a very common misconception, so be sure you read what I've said again. YOU are the Publisher--not Amazon. 

Why does my book say it has three rankings, but I only see two reviews?

There are two possible reasons. Amazon's provided a ranking feature, at the end of most books these days, asking "So-and-So, how would you rate this book?" with five stars sitting there.  You can tap whatever star ranking you choose.  You don't need to write a review to go with it. So lately, it's quite common to see more rankings than there are reviews. The other possible reason (I've seen this speculated on the KDP forums--I don't know this factually) is that reviews from, say, the UK will be displayed to prospective UK buyers while they won't be to USA buyers.  This is possibly a reason, although, as I said--I have no factual information on this to support the claim that this is so.  

How Can I Find Out How Many People Have Viewed My Book's Sales Page?

 You can't.  That's Amazon's information, and they aren't giving it to you.

Can I Get A List of The Email Addresses of People Who've Bought My Book?

 No.  See the question immediately above.

My Book doesn't start at the Cover?  What's Wrong?

 What's happened is that Amazon has changed the SRL ("Start Reading Location") that you set for your book.  This is often the first full page of content after the Table of Contents--in other words, the first page of Chapter 1.  There's nothing wrong with it.

My Look Inside The Book ("LITB") Is a Mess?  Doesn't Amazon Have to Fix That?

 In short, no, they don't have to fix it. The appearance of the book, both the for-sale version and the sample on display in the LITB, is your responsibility as the publisher.   The good news is, a cleanly-formatted book will present nicely in the Look Inside.  This is true whether your upload file is a Word file, an ePUB, or a formatted MOBI. You can read more about this in How Do I Fix The Look Inside the Book on Amazon? here on the website. 

I've Updated My Book.  Will Amazon  Send Out The New Book To All My Previous Buyers?

No, they won't.  If you update your book to fix typos, grammar errors, etc. (the infamous GPSS--Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling & Syntax), they won't send out new copies to existing purchasers.  Bear in mind that if a reader downloads an updated copy of your book, anything in that book that they may have highlighted, noted, or bookmarked, is all lost.  Naturally, Amazon doesn't want to do that to their customers.  If you upload a changed version of your book, you have to write to Amazon and plead your case as to why they should notify existing buyers of the changes, and why they should make the updated book available to the purchasers' library of books.  At that point, it's optional; for the readers to download the new and improved version. 

 

That's it for this week.  I'm going to try to post a second article with more post-publishing common questions, in a week. Thanks for reading!

 

Latest Blogs

17 December 2022

Night Before Christmas

T'was the Night Before Christmas... ...and al...

17 December 2022

Memoirs--Why?

Author Alex Haley once famously wrote, “Every ti...

02 January 2021

Kids Book Authors, Please Stop Screwing Up!

Hey, guys! You may be thinking that my titl...

11 July 2020

KDP, Print on Demand and Printing books in Color

"But, but...what do you mean, that it ...

02 July 2020

Fourth July Closing Announcement 2020

Holiday Closing Alert! Independence Day (July 4t...

02 July 2020

Phone Call Ban Notice

Phone Call Service Back in Service! (Please read...

T'was the Night Before Christmas... 

 (With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, may he forgive my doggerel...)

...and all through the shop,
all we minions were working,
   until ready to drop.

The ebooks were flying,
the covers were spare,
The edits were crazy,
   with "one more thing I must share!"

We waited for Santa,
'Cuz we love old Saint Nick,
But Hitch made us work,
   Waving 'round an old stick!

So slave we all did,
And made all your books,
So that Hitch would say now,
   that we're off the hook.

Come today we're off,
to rest up our fingers,
Our hats we will doff,
   No books they do linger.

But we'll all be back,
Don't give it a thought,
for like all wage slaves,
   we're easily bought.

We'll be back on the fifth,
all eager and fresh,
All ready for you,
   after a well-deserved rest.

So Hitch wants to say,
very strongly and loud,
THANKS ALL YOU GUYS,
  you're the best type of crowd.

Indy and Len and Hitch and the gang,
will be back on the 5th,
to do books with a BANG!

In the meantime don't worry,
if you're in a hurry,
'cuz some poor guy got stuck
   sitting here like a duck.

Your emails we'll receive,
so no need to grieve.
We'll be a bit slow,
but we're raring to go.

Your books will be worked on,
your edits still made,
we're just resting a bit,
   before we all fade.

So please excuse the delays;
It won't be for days;
we'll jump on your queries,
   for your wondrous new series.

We waited for Santa,
'Cuz we love old St. Nick,
And sure 'nuff he came,
   It wasn't a trick.

And as he rode off,
into the night,
I could swear I heard Hitch yell,
   "That Edit's Not Right!"

~~~~~~~~~~

We'll be back on the morning of January 5th; we'll be here parttime between now and then, thanks.