#1 On Amazon: A Book Selling Guide For Kindle Direct Publishing

If you are an author, consultant, or entrepreneur who’s published, or thinking about publishing a book then you should consider self publishing through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

Also you might want to check out my article here on how to market your book before you continue reading.

Some of you may, if you have already self published on Amazon, be on the CreateSpace platform.

That’s ok, all of these principles taught here will still apply to you.

Dave Chesson, renowned expert on self publishing on Amazon, does a nice comparison here of both platforms.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know why Amazon has two separate platforms minus trying to promote Kindle authors to use print-on-demand services.

Personally, I recommend KDP because it combines both print and Kindle publishing into a single platform.

Moving on…

I’m not telling you that you are going to make it to #1 on Amazon with the tactics in this article but I can tell you that this is the same strategy that other authors have used to make it to #1.

I’m going to teach you these same tactics in this article by covering the following topics:

  • 1. Why You Should Self Publish through KDP

  • 2. A Step-By-Step Process To Self Publish

  • 3. How You Can Make Money Self Publishing On Amazon

You might be thinking now…

“Why would I choose KDP over other options for self publishing?”

Some other questions that you might be thinking about right now that I’ve also heard from my clients, our email list, and in Facebook might be the following:

“Shaun, isn’t Amazon Kindle for selling eBook’s only?”


“Do I have to sign an exclusivity agreement to only sell my book on Amazon Kindle?”

Let me answer these questions for you by telling you why you should, and how to publish on KDP.

Why You Should Self Publish On Amazon

According to the balancesmb.com in their article “Can Amazon Self Publishing Make You Money.”

Aside from the fact that you get a 70% commissions on eBooks, there is also print-on-demand i.e; you don’t have to free up a space next to your golf clubs, or your old yoga DVD’s to store your books to sell.

People can just download your book as an Ebook or get a printed copy for a little more and Amazon handles everything else.

Other features of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Self Publishing:

  • You can upload your book on the platform in just a few minutes. And your book will be on sale in a couple of days at most.
  • You retain the rights to your books and can set your own prices.
  • For every book sold, you get to keep 70 percent of the sale price. Amazon keeps the rest.
  • You can make changes to your book and upload changes at any time.

Now, you are probably thinking, great Shaun there are some cool features but what’s the real reason that I should self publish through KDP?

You Make Passive Income

The real reason is the potential to make Passive income.

Which is why I want to tell you a story about a man, Chris Guthrie, an author, and founder of Up Fuel and who’s making a modest monthly passive income from one book on Amazon.

Chris made a total of $377.87 a month for one year, on one book.

If my math is right, and often it isn’t, that’s a whopping total of $4,534.00 a year.

Of course, if you are a professional writer and you don’t have a consulting business you’d never be able to feed your family or go to Disney World every year on that.

However, keep in mind that this is only one book.

The key to making money is to develop a platform for your audience and use this same process for multiple books.

Wether that be a website, building up your social media profiles, monetizing by building training, or other complimentary offers around your book, etc.

If you’d like to know more about how to build an audience platform around your book, please reference my article here:

So, enough of the theory, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of how to get started developing a bestseller, or at least a seller out of your book on KDP.

2. A Step-By-Step Process To Self Publish

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could sit down and write and share the stories that we want to share?

Some authors write what they want and are successful…

However, the average working writer realizes that to be successful, financially, that is, you have to appeal to an audience.

Ultimately, if you appeal to an audience you are going to leverage your voice and your message far more effectively, sell more books, and serve more people.

If you don’t want that, then stop reading.

If you do, then keep reading.

So, let’s start this process by talking about the fundamentals to book sales.

Choosing The “Right” Book Title

With Amazon, the key is to choose a title based on what buyers are searching…

When people are searching and their needs aren’t being served, there is a demand and if your book is the answer to that demand then you will sell books.

Finding A Starving Market

For example, it’s like if you have people getting out late from a Rolling Stones show in your local community arena because Jagger did three encores.

The people get out of the show at 1am and there are no restaurants open at that time except a small little food truck serving second rate street meat and sketchy french fries.

The food isn’t good, the vendor doesn’t even have a logo, or a sign, or even good food, just a small, modest sandwich board with their food selections carelessly scribbled with a sharpie barely visible from 20 feet away.

However, people are starving for food so the food truck sells out every night that their is a concert that gets out late.

You have to also find those starving people who are craving your knowledge, just like that food truck vendor.

Here’s how you can find your starving market.

Finding Keywords For Your Book

I use a tool like Ubersuggest which helps me find out which topics based on your book, or proposed book, that are being searched by people on Google.

1. Click here or below to go to Ubersuggest:

2. For testing purposes I’m going to enter the keyword: “KDP” which stands for “Kindle Direct Publishing”to find out some keyword ideas.

Keep in mind these are monthly search results so this is what people are actually searching about your topic.

3. Now, if I scroll down, let’s look at some of the keywords that are most popular.

Here’s a few keywords here that are standing out as popular searched topics “Amazon Publishing” and “Amazon Self Publishing” this represents an opportunity for a possible book theme, or overall audience theme.

*I do want to mention with this example that Amazon doesn’t like to specifically use their programs as a Keyword but I’ve found referencing Amazon on a broader context works but full disclaimer just be aware of keywords referencing Amazon.

For more information on this reference Amazon’s Keyword page on the Do’s and Don’ts of Keyword selection.

You might also be thinking “well I already have my book title” the awesome part about KDP is that you can easily rename or adjust your book title to include specific keywords that you discover here.

Of course if you’ve already sold paperbacks that may be a challenge.

Choosing The Right Topic

However, if you aren’t selling books because it isn’t a popular search topic for buyers then you may want to take this guide as a suggestion to revaluate the category, or topic you are writing about.

Just like the second-rate food truck vendor, ideally you want to capture a starving audience, right?

Step 2: Step-By-Step To Publishing on KDP

1. Go to Amazon KDP and sign up for an account if you don’t already have one:

2. Enter your book title and information in, I’m going to make this relevant to the keywords that we just found on ubersuggest.

3. Enter in all the other fields that are applicable.

If you have a contributing author make sure to include them.

For copyright information check yes for copyright if it’s information that you have written. I won’t go detailed into this. If you haven’t written your book, and you publish, and sell it, it’s copyright infringement.

4. Scroll down the page and you will see a section based on Keywords.

It’s important that we use the keywords we identified on Ubersuggest in the previous step.

Now go back to ubersuggest and search for more keywords related to the top 2 – 3 keywords from your main topic.

For me the keywords are “Amazon Publishing” and Amazon Self Publishing” so I entered those into Ubersuggest and these are the keywords I added here on Amazon.

5. When your finished entering the information skip over to the next section, enter “no” for DRM.

6. Now, you are going to want to upload your manuscript to check to see how your book is going to look on Amazon Kindle, I recommend you do that by heading over and downloading and installing Amazon’s Kindle previewer.

7. Open up your manuscript file in the previewer and check it out to make sure it looks right.

If it doesn’t, head over to your manuscript document and adjust it, and keep doing that till it looks right.

What To Include In Your Manuscript

It’s important to include certain information in the first 10% of your book because that’s the content that potential buyer are going to see on Amazon before they make a purchase.

If you want me to do that math for you…

For a 250 page novel that would be the first 25 pages that potential buyers will see…

If it’s a 100 page book it’s the first 10 pages.

For example, if it’s a 100 page book you want to make sure those 10 pages are going to capture your potential buyer so that they will want to read more, and provide them social proof through customer reviews, and expert endorsements…

To accomplish these goals you want to include the following sections, as a bare minimum, in your manuscript:

  • Table Of Contents
  • Copyright Page
  • Book Reviews
  • Expert Endorsements

Crafting A Killer Description

According to the Huffington Post article “How A Great Amazon Book Description Can Help Authors Sell More Books…”

Most people are scanners who won’t even read your entire book description they will just scan through it very quickly.”

Make It Scan-Friendly

Therefore you have to construct a description that will be enticing but also ensure that it’s scan friendly.

Here’s some basic formatting advice that will make your descriptions both scan-friendly and enticing:


Providing 2-5 headlines to break up your description makes it easier to scan. I usually include A Brief Description, Author, and Long Description.


The first sentence in your description should grab people in and keep them interested.

Ask yourself, what is the main pain point that you are solving for your viewer with this book?

How can you tug on your their heart strings, or make them angry about their pain?

Then you want to make your paragraphs 2-3 sentences long to ensure that your body content is scan-friendly.

Optimizing For Google Search

Reference back to our title. A great way to ensure that Google will show your book on your topic based around what people are searching is to first off have a great title, then include that title a couple of times in your description.

If you do this properly, your author page will show up for people who are searching your same topic on Google.

Also, Amazon provides some pretty awesome tours of the KDP platform that you can access here for further information or if you have questions.

You could also pre-order my new book which talks about these points in further detail, and provides strategies for selling books, and monetizing your message: “#1 On Amazon: A 3-Step Guide For Kindle Self Publishing”


What we covered in this guide:

  • 1. Why You Should Self Publish through KDP

  • 2. A Step-By-Step Process To Self Publish

  • 3. How You Can Make Money Self Publishing On Amazon

If you are an author trying to self publish, and make money, or leverage your message, or business through Amazon Self Publishing then this handy guide can help.

Reference it when you launch your next book or as a guide to optimize and increase sales of your books currently on sale at Amazon.