Tip #1  - Things I Learned About Self-Publishing My Picture Book with Amazon's KDP

Amazon's KDP is a Print-on-Demand (aka: P.O.D. or POD) press that is owned by Amazon, which means they print to order. I have published (2) 32-page picture books in the traditional way, having printed 2500 books each time, but this is my first experience self-publishing using KDP. This type of service is an affordable way to test both your book and the market, because you can print one book or more. It is also an inexpensive way to submit your book to catalogs and buyers who are interested in your genre or your category. I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I wanted to share what I have learned. I will keep posting as I go.

#1 Before you begin, read articles and visit forums about self-publishing with KDP and similar companies. Authors have paved the way before you, and happily share their advice. You will want to investigate any and all tips before moving forward, as some will pertain to you and some will not. For instance, is the tip from an author who published a 32-page children’s picture book, a 300-page thriller, or a textbook? Here are a few tips that caught my attention.

  • Price your book high, because Amazon is going to cut the price anyway. Look at what similar books are selling for in your category. Don’t be afraid to value your work accordingly, but don’t price yourself out of the market either. When you set your list price on KDP, it calculates your royalties for each sales channel. KDP allows you to update your pricing at any time. Since I sell at conferences, I like to set a reasonable suggested retail price that I can still discount as an incentive for customers to purchase at shows. I intend to distribute coupons with KDP discount codes at my speaking engagements in order to track sales.

  • Your best option is to publish your POD books on KDP and Ingram Spark, and then your POD book will never be out of stock. For one thing, I didn’t know POD books could be “out of stock,” since KDP only print the book when someone orders it. But, apparently they can. And, although it makes perfect sense, I didn’t know I could publish with both services. Looking deeper, I discovered that each one has its benefits.

  • Publishing on KDP is a lot faster and easier than publishing on Ingram Spark. If you have your hi-resolution properly sized artwork with your interior pages set-up on a pdf, the cover and back of the book designed and set-up as a PDF spread, a well thought-out description, and your biography. You should move forward. You can get your ISBN from KDP. Even if you don’t have your act together, complete and save as many steps as you can. KDP clearly shows you what steps you have left to do.

  • Opt out of Expanded Distribution on KDP. This is because you can use KDP for Amazon and Ingram Spark for expanded distribution. There are supposed benefits to this, but self-publishing on Ingram Spark is not as intuitive, so I’m still investigating this option.

This has been a very exciting process for me. When I received my first printed proof, I was pleased with the binding and the quality of the cover, but the colors were not consistent from page-to-page, and the interior pages could have been a thicker quality of paper. I have adjusted the colors, and reordered another proof. Fingers crossed!!

Please share your advice and thoughts. I’d love to hear them.

Did you know you can publish your book on Amazon KDP in as fast as a week for no money down? Whether you are just starting to write a book or you’ve finished one and have no idea where to turn, this book will help you get your book launched into the market. For more information about self-publishing using Amazon KDP, check out this book: How to Self-Publish a Children's Picture Book using Amazon KDP (an Overview), ISBN 13: 978-0-9987090-4-8.

Angela Russ is a mom-preneur, children’s author, trainer on the subject of early childhood, and award-winning artist/producer of music for young children. She presents educational strategies to child care providers, parents, and teachers nationwide for AEYCs, R & Rs, and the like. She is a voting member of the Recording Academy and is the sole owner of the Russ InVision record label. For more information on Angela, her workshops and accomplishments you are welcome to visit www.abridgeclub.com. © 2019, Russ InVision. All rights reserved.

For information: Contact: Angela Russ Phone: 562-421-1836 E-mail: info@abridgeclub.com

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