Is Amazon KDP worth it? Amazon KDP may be worth it, but it's not for everyone. Here are some reasons why it's not for everyone:
- It's too saturated.
- It's very competitive.
- Marketing and advertising are expensive.
- You may lose some income.
- It's not passive income.
Just like any other business or company, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, or simply Kindle Publishing, has its fair share of benefits and implications. Unfortunately, reality quickly sets in once you realize how difficult it is to establish yourself in the industry.
You can make a living with Amazon KDP if you are an author with a passion for writing and publishing books and written content. However, if you are an entrepreneurial spirit whose main goal is simply to make money, Amazon Self Publishing might not be the best option for you.
It's also difficult to sell on Amazon KDP because it's so saturated, highly competitive, and fraught with risk. Amazon KDP can be a very lucrative business if you put in the effort, but you need to understand the uncertainties that come with publishing a Kindle eBook.
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5 Reasons Why Amazon KDP Isn't Worth It In 2023
1. It's too saturated
Amazon KDP has been around since 2009 and since then thousands of authors and writers around the world have published millions of books in various genres.
For context, here are some numbers to help you understand how saturated the KDP market is:
- There are around 2 million books published on the KDP platform, 12 million Kindle eBooks on Amazon, and 48.5 million books listed in total, which may surprise some authors planning to enter the market.
- More than 50,000 new books are published on Amazon every month.
- There are over 1,600 Kindle eBooks being released to the public every day.
- The number of books published each hour is close to 70.
These are just a few of the horrific numbers that paint an accurate picture of how massive and saturated the Amazon KDP industry really is.
If you plan on writing and publishing a book on Amazon KDP or the Kindle Store, be sure to do extensive research that will help you create a publication that resonates and stands out.
2. It is extremely competitive
Having competitors is inevitable in almost every industry. Starting an online business means having to compete with hundreds, if not thousands, of other people doing the same thing as you.
However, competing in the KDP space is a lot harder than you might think.
Many people have made money with KDP. There are over 2,000 authors on Amazon KDP that have generated $100,000 in sales, but there are around 100,000 authors in India ONLY, which goes to show how difficult it is to succeed on the KDP platform.
Frankly, even though Amazon has 300 million customers worldwide, there's no guarantee your book will be noticed, let alone bought, given the number of books and authors in the KDP industry and Amazon as a whole.
If you want your books to get some exposure and stay ahead of the competition, try KDP Select for free.
However, Amazon KDP Select may not be worth it as it can only be used for 90 days and is available for free to anyone.
Enrolling in KDP Select also grants all publishing rights to Amazon, which means you will not be able to publish your work anywhere else.
Simply put, you can still publish elsewhere even if you publish on Amazon unless you sign up for the KDP Select Program and grant them your publishing rights.
What is Amazon KDP Select?
Amazon KDP Select, also known as Kindle Select, is a version of KDP that offers premium features and benefits such as:
- unlimited kindle
- Create Kindle
- Higher royalties in other countries
- Marketing and advertising tools such as Kindle Instant Book Previews, Amazon Author Central, Amazon A+ Content, and Kindle Countdown Deals
- Lending Library for Kindle Owners
3. Marketing and advertising are expensive
You need to run ads and marketing campaigns to get your books seen by the public. Publishing books on the KDP platform and praying for the best is simply not enough. It doesn't work like that.
Think of it this way: your book is a party and the ads are your invitations. With no ads, how do you expect people to come to your party? Instead, they'll end up going to parties hosted by people who sent them invitations.
Unfortunately, running an Amazon ad every day will be expensive and could hurt your revenue badly if you don't sell enough books to cover your ad spend.
While you can run ads daily for as little as $5, the most successful companies spend up to $100 every day to gain exposure and reach their target audience.
4. KDP's royalty system can make you lose income
If you already have a following and you're pretty sure you have a book that sells, KDP might not be for you.
KDP has a pricing plan from $2.99 to $9.99 depending on the type of book sold. KDP authors are also paid for every book sold, receiving royalties of 70% per sale.
However, more intermediate and experienced writers may have books worth more than the Amazon retail price.
Other ways to advertise your book and be more successful include:
Your own website or blog
social media platforms
5. It's not passive income
That would have worked in 2015, but Amazon has since changed its algorithm in such a way that people who continue to publish books will be lost in the dark.
Today, Amazon rewards those who dedicate time and dedication to producing and self-publishing high-quality books, rather than those who prioritize quantity over quality.
Adding insult to injury, Amazon doesn't pay its authors monthly. Instead, they release funds every 60 days, which can become a headache for anyone trying to make a living with KDP.
Real Life Experiences from Amazon KDP Editors
Gem Blackshaw (Rich Mom Project)
Gem Blackshaw is a YouTuber who started out with low-content posts. Today he makes thousands of dollars a month with KDP, but dismisses the idea that it's an easy way to make money online.
According to Gem, not making money in the first few months is much more realistic than other KDP enthusiasts say.
During the first three months when he made few sales, he wrote low-content books.
According to her, selling a low content book on Amazon is not worth it because everyone is already doing it and a low content book dies much faster than a medium or high content book.
He became more serious in the fourth month and tried to find books of medium content, such as children's handouts. By the end of the month, he had made over $140 in sales.
Gem says it's much easier to make money from medium to high content books than it is from low or no content books.
In his sixth month, he was making over $300 in sales.
As of February 2022, Gem has earned over $500 in sales through 7 of her published books. It has over 70 books in total.
According to Gem, most people who say KDP is an easy way to make money may be either lying about the money they make or spending ridiculous amounts of money on advertising.
She says that if someone really makes thousands of dollars in their first week or month, they've probably "found gold" like finding a topic or niche that isn't oversaturated.
Could this have happened to you? Yes. Is it likely to happen to you? Do not.
In fact, Gem even claims that people talking about KDP potentially make more money from their videos than they do from their own KDP business.
Romney Nelson (The Graduate of Life)
Romney Nelson is another YouTuber who spent around $5,000 on a course on how to make money with Amazon KDP.
He made zero dollars in the first three months. He never recouped the $5,000 he invested in learning Amazon KDP.
He started his Amazon KDP journey in November 2019 and wanted to focus on high content books.
As of the end of March 2020, he had generated a total of $120 in his first 5 months on Amazon KDP.
In addition to the $5,000 initial investment for the Amazon KDP course, Romney also runs Amazon ads every month. As of April 2020, he has spent over $1000 on advertising just to make $450 in 6 months.
According to Romney, he tried his hardest on Amazon KDP because he was tired of seeing minimal profits. He did extensive research, tried to find good niches, created a great book cover, and did just about everything he could to increase his sales.
Finally, at the end of December 2020, Romney was over $7,300 for that month alone.
However, it clearly states that Amazon KDP is not as easy as some may say. You must be focused, determined and resilient if you want to see results. Don't think that Amazon KDP is passive because it takes a lot of work and motivation.
Nuria Corbi (The head of the house)
Nuria Corbi is an Amazon KDP author who has made over $10,000 in sales on Amazon KDP, but she tells her viewers that KDP is not all sunshine and rainbows.
According to Núria, it will take a long time for you to make money on the KDP platform.
His journey started in November 2019 where he earned zero dollars.
He made over $300 in December, but in the first two months of the next year, he struggled to earn even $200.
Due to the lack of income from KDP, Nuria looked for other sources of income online while looking for Amazon KDP.
Nuria didn't just leave the books alone and hope for the best. He put a lot of hard work and dedication into figuring out how he could make better books.
He researched consumption patterns, applied attractive graphics and layouts, optimized the title of his bestselling books, and many other things that would captivate his readers and target audience.
Finally, in May 2020, it made its first thousand in sales. However, it still struggled to maintain $1,000 in revenue from July through September.
Thankfully, it got back to over $1,000 in October, and from there, its sales skyrocketed to over $5,000 in November and just under $10,000 in December.
Nuria's story further demonstrates that Amazon KDP is not a guarantee that you will make money online and be successful. Just like any other business or job, you have to work hard if you expect to see results.
Conclusion: Is Amazon KDP really your ticket to financial freedom?
You can earn thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars a month on Amazon KDP, as long as you put in the effort.
There are thousands of other KDP authors and publishers who have earned a significant amount of money through this platform. To add to that, it costs zero dollars to open an Amazon KDP account. It's completely free and has no hidden costs.
However, even if you put in the effort or follow all the steps that a great earner has taken, it is not guaranteed that you will earn the same income as them, because you are still a self-published author who is forced to deal with the problems that come with a self-publishing. -book publishing, such as topic/niche oversaturation, intense competition, expensive ad spend, and many others.
Ultimately, Amazon KDP might not be worth it if you're simply looking for a side hustle that can serve as passive income.
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