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        What Is Amazon Self-Publishing? Pros, Cons & Key Insights

        • calenderNov 27, 2023
        • calender 4 min read

        Becoming a published author is a dream millions have harbored. You get to express your voice, tell a unique story, build a narrative that is completely yours, and influence millions of people. If you wish to get your book published, then consider Amazon self-publishing, which comes with many advantages.

        Several popular writers like Amanda Hocking and Andy Weir have also pursued their love for writing through Amazon self-publishing! If you’re still wondering – what is self-publishing on Amazon, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we deconstruct self-publishing on Amazon and the pros and cons so you can make the right decision when choosing a home for your book. 

        Take the first step towards becoming a published author.

        What is Amazon self-publishing?

        Amazon self-publishing is a popular platform launched by multinational tech company Amazon, which enables you to create, publish, and market your books across all Amazon platforms. 

        You can create both ebooks as well as print versions for paperback and hardcover publishing. As an author, you will get paid royalties every month based on the sales of your book. The platform’s tagline, “Be your publisher,” aptly describes the journey of this growing breed of authors.  

        What is Amazon Kindle self-publishing?

        Amazon Kindle Self-publishing was launched in 2007 to enable the self-publishing of ebooks with speed and scale and bring a more diverse voice to the world of ebooks.

        The platform was the first of its kind to enable self-publishing in a simple, cost-effective, user-friendly manner at scale. The process of creating, publishing, and marketing self-published books was simplified, and authors could have their eBooks displayed in Kindle bookstores and accessible around the world.

        Using Amazon Author Central, they could display their profiles and keep updating them as their journey progressed. Their reader audiences could find them with ease and keep tabs on their journey. These features collectively encouraged aspiring authors to take the plunge. 

        From 2016 onwards, the platform introduced the print option. Today, you can also sell print copies of your book (paperbacks or hard copies), with the complex processes associated with traditional print publishing.  

        How much does Amazon self-publishing cost?

        The best part about Amazon book’s self-publishing is that there are no upfront costs. You also do not need to have any pre-placed inventory orders to get started with the process.

        Now, say you decide to offer print copies of your book. You may be wondering – how much do I need to pay for print copies?

        The answer – nothing. 

        Say a reader orders a print copy. Besides allowing you to upload your book and distribute your eBook to Kindle stores, Amazon’s self-publishing Kindle platform also allows you to print your book on demand. The platform then subtracts print costs from your royalties.

        So, once again, you do not pay any upfront costs. The print costs are mentioned on the platform, and the process is transparent and cost-effective.  

        Pros of self-publishing on Amazon

        There are several advantages to self-publishing a book on Amazon, as follows:

        1. Skip the pitching process

        You can altogether skip the stressful process of pitching your book to multiple publishers. The platform has democratized publishing by making it an even playing field for all. Thus, anyone has the potential to become a successful author.  

        2. Complete autonomy

        You have complete autonomy over the messaging, content, and marketing of your book.

        There is no editor or publisher discouraging you from getting your voice out there or demanding that you keep making changes. You can get your book published without diluting its message and impact. 

        3. Cost advantage

        Self-publishing with Amazon is a great way to generate revenue from your writing and expertise. You can earn up to 70% royalties every time a book is sold, unlike traditional publishing, where authors earn lower royalties. Once your book is up, your earnings are transferred to you every month. You can also publish your book for free. 

        4. Streamlined self-publishing process

        The entire process of creating the book, publishing, and marketing is simple and streamlined on the platform. There are lots of free tools, such as the cover creator, to help you bring out a well-designed and presented book. You can use the platform’s free formatting tool to format every page as per your requirements.

        For instance, you can leverage Amazon Author Central to create your Author Page with the latest information about your books and author journey. 

        5. Massive reach

        Amazon’s reach is massive, and your book gets access to a worldwide audience spanning multiple platforms and countries. For instance, you can take advantage of Amazon advertising’s extensive outreach and create customized ads, invite readers to post reviews, and access cost-effective print-on-demand services.  

        Cons of self-publishing on Amazon

        The following are the disadvantages, when it comes to self-publishing on the Amazon platform: 

        1. Lack of editing support

        One of the top disadvantages is that you do not have access to any editing or proofreading services. Thus, you need to play this role yourself.

        However, your book can hire a professional editing and proofreading company to perfect your book. They can make sure that it is free from errors, has uniform language, and is punctuated properly. 

        2. No ghostwriting opportunities

        Amazon does not provide any professional ghostwriting services. So, if you do not have the professional writing skills to pen a book end-to-end, you’ll have to find and hire a ghostwriter. 

        3. Amazon owns the rights for 90 days

        Even though you have self-published, Amazon owns the rights to your book for 90 days. If you shift to another publisher after this time frame, then you lose all the book reviews published on Amazon. 

        If you’ve been thinking of publishing a book for some time, there is no better time than now to present it to the world. Amazon self-publishing is an ideal platform to create, publish, and market your book, as the entire process is seamless and free of cost.

        You can also consider leveraging a platform like PaperTrue, which offers end-to-end self-publishing services, which include pre-publication author services, printing, and distribution. You can have your book polished, published, printed, and distributed worldwide! 

        Here are some other resources you might find useful: 

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        Tanvi Linkedin

        With a foundation in Life Sciences, Tanvi enjoys curating technical writing tips tailored for ESL students. When she's not translating complex concepts into bite-sized nuggets, she can be found playing with dogs or painting landscapes.

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