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Publishing FAQ


GENERAL QUESTIONS

1. What is Digital Text?
2. What is Kindle Direct Publishing?
3. How does Kindle Direct Publishing work?
4. Do I need any special skills to publish with Kindle Direct Publishing?
5. How do I sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing?
6. What are the Kindle Direct Publishing terms of service?
7. Can my content include graphics?
8. Can I get information about the customers who purchase my content?
9. Can customers download my published content to their computer?
10. Can customers print my published content?
11. How are royalties calculated?
12. Why are royalties displayed at a 35 percent rate in the sales report, when I had selected 70 percent royalty option for my book?
13. How are royalties for the 70 percent option shown in the sales report?
14. What are the requirements for publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing?
15. How does Amazon.com protect against "inappropriate" content?
16. I have physical inventory. Can I still sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing?
17. Can I sell my title if it hasn't been published/released yet?
18. Where will my content be listed for sale?
19. Why should I publish my content on Kindle Direct Publishing?
20. Who determines the price of my content?
21. Why is the price of my book higher in other countries than in my own?
22. Can I download, save or export a report?
23. Do I need an ISBN to publish on Kindle Direct Publishing?
24. How does the Kindle Store handle customer returns? Am I affected?
25. You haven't answered my question. What now?
26. Why is the offer price of my books higher than the one I chose when I uploaded to KDP
27. Why is the offer price of my books lower than the one I chose when I uploaded to KDP?
28. Can I link to my Kindle book via the Amazon Associates program?

ACCOUNT CREATION

1. What are the sign up requirements?
2. Can I use my existing Amazon.com account to sell on KDP?
3. What account setup information is required?
4. Why do you need a Social Security Number (SSN) for US publishers?
5. Is tax withheld for publishers outside the US?

PUBLISHING

1. What are the guidelines for product description?
2. Can I remove content (unpublish)?
3. Can I change or update my content's information after publication?
4. What formats can I upload to Kindle Direct Publishing?
5. Do I need digital rights to publish content?
6. I'm an Advantage Author. Can I list the books I have listed already?
7. How can I format my content (e.g., bold, italics, headers)?
8. Who will be able to buy and read my content?
9. How much does it cost to publish content?
10. Where can I find out how my content is selling?
11. How do I enter the author name for my content?
12. Can I change the country-specific content rights on publications I have already published?
13. What is Digital Rights Management (DRM)?
14. Can I enable DRM for my existing titles?
15. What are the Status definitions in my Bookshelf?
16. Do I have to re-buy or re-upload my book to get the updated copy I re-published?

1-1 What is Digital Text?
Digital text is text that exists in a "digital" electronic format which you can read on a computer. This can include plain text files (.txt) and word processor files (.doc), among others.

1-2 What is Kindle Direct Publishing?
Kindle Direct Publishing is a fast, easy self-publishing tool that lets you publish your digital text content for the Amazon Kindle wireless reading device. Simply upload your content, enter sales copy and pricing information, and publish in minutes.

1-3 How does Kindle Direct Publishing work?
Kindle Direct Publishing converts your digital text so readers using the Amazon Kindle or Kindle for PC or mobile devices can read it. It also collects basic details about your content, including author, content type, cover image, and list price, and makes that information available along with your content on the Kindle Store.

1-4 Do I need any special skills to publish with Kindle Direct Publishing?
Kindle Direct Publishing does the basic work for you, but if your content contains a lot of special formatting, a bit of knowledge in HTML may come in handy. Our Formatting Guide can help.

1-5 How do I sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing?
If you already have an Amazon.com account, you're ready to go. Just visit the Kindle Direct Publishing home page and sign in. If not, click Sign Up to create an account. For detailed instructions, see Create an Account.

1-6 What are the Kindle Direct Publishing terms of service?
Click here for the Kindle Direct Publishing Terms and Conditions.

1-7 Can my content include graphics?
Absolutely. Kindle Direct Publishing can process graphics in .GIF, .PNG, .BMP, and .JPG formats.

1-8 Can I get information about the customers who purchase my content?
Amazon.com does not share customer information with any vendor. You can view your recent sales information in the Reports tab of the Kindle Direct Publishing Dashboard.

1-9 Can customers download my published content to their computer?
All books available for reading on Amazon Kindle can also be read on Kindle for PC. For more information, see our Kindle for PC Help Pages.

1-10 Can customers print my published content?
Some customers may find it more useful to print the content of your Kindle Edition; e.g. cookbooks. Although the Amazon Kindle does not have any printing functionality, a user can copy pages to "My Clippings", copy them to their desktop computer by using the USB cable, and then print from there.

Our device team continues to explore useful features for the Kindle and have taken feedback, such as the print function, into account when designing additional features.

1-11 How are royalties calculated?
If you select the 35 percent royalty option, your royalty will be 35 percent of your list price for each unit sold. If you select the 70 percent royalty option, your royalty will be 70 percent of the list price (but if we sell at a lower price to match a competitor’s price for a digital or physical edition of the book or our price for a physical edition of the book, you will receive 70 percent of our sale price) for each book sold to customers in the Available Sales Territories, net delivery costs, and 35 percent of the list price for each unit sold to other customers. For full details, terms and conditions, see the Pricing Page and Terms and Conditions.

1-12  Why are royalties displayed at a 35 percent rate in the sales report, when I had selected 70% royalty option for my book?
The 70 percent royalty program is only applicable for sales of your book to customers in the Available Sales Territories. For sales to other customers, royalties are calculated at 35 percent, and these transactions appear at a 35 percent rate in the sales report. For full details, terms and conditions, see the Pricing Page and Terms and Conditions.

1-13 How are royalties for the 70 percent option shown in the sales report?
If we sell you title at a price lower than the list price entered to match a competitor’s price for a digital or physical edition of the book or our price for a physical edition of the book, you will receive 70 percent of our sale price, net of delivery costs, and the sales report will show you the weighted average of our sales prices and the total royalty on those sales.

1-14 What are the requirements for publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing?
Agree to and comply with the Kindle Direct Publishing Terms and Conditions.

1-15 How does Amazon.com protect against "inappropriate" content?
Amazon.com has a number of mechanisms in place to ensure the integrity of the site. For more information on Amazon.com policies with regard to inappropriate content, please see the Kindle Direct Publishing Terms and Conditions.

1-16 I have physical inventory. Can I still sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing?
In order to publish with Kindle Direct Publishing, you'll need to start with digital content. For example, a physical (printed) document or book would need to be scanned or retyped, or the digital source file obtained, in order to upload the content into publish it for sale on the Kindle Store.

1-17 Can I sell my title if it hasn't been published/released yet?
Your content becomes available on the Kindle Store when you publish it with Kindle Direct Publishing. It takes approximately 48 hours for English and 2-3 business days for your non-English title to become available for purchase.

1-18 Where will my content be listed for sale?
Your published content will appear on the Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.com.mx, Amazon.co.jp, Amazon.com.br, Amazon.ca, Amazon.in, Amazon.com.au, and Amazon.it Kindle Stores; on Kindle devices; and on apps such as Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mobile Devices. Amazon Kindle owners can access the store directly from their device or via the web.

1-19 Why should I publish my content on Kindle Direct Publishing?
If you are a publisher or author, Kindle Direct Publishing is the simple, direct and profitable way to sell your content on the Kindle Store, where readers can purchase it for download to their Amazon Kindle wireless reading device.

The Kindle Store provides the business, marketing, and vendor support you need to maximize your sales. Titles published on the Kindle Store are eligible for wireless delivery via the Kindle Store, customer sampling, Amazon.com's excellent Customer Service, and much more.

1-20 Who determines the price of my content?
As the publisher, you set the "list price" for your content. Amazon.com reserves the right to set the retail price at our sole discretion. See the Pricing Page and Terms and Conditions for information on how royalties are calculated.

Please note, we require that a title's list price not exceed the lowest suggested retail price or equivalent price for any physical edition of the book on Amazon.com or another website. Digital books with a file size greater than 3 megabytes up to 10 megabytes must also have a list price of at least $.99, and digital books with a file size of 10 megabytes or greater must have a list price of at least $2.99.

1-21  Why is the price of my book higher in other countries than in my own?
There are a number of reasons why prices for Kindle titles may vary from region to region, including taxes, delivery costs, and other operating costs. We understand your concern about prices and we share that concern - we will continue our efforts to reduce costs and offer the best possible prices to customers in every region.

1-22 Can I download, save or export a report?
The Reports page shows information about your book sales, and allows you to download reports in Excel format.

1-23 Do I need an ISBN to publish on Kindle Direct Publishing?
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is not required to publish content with Kindle Direct Publishing. Once your content is published on the KDP web site, Amazon.com will assign it a 10-digit ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number), which is unique to the eBook, and is an identification number for the Kindle Book on Amazon.com. If you already have an ISBN for your eBook, you’ll be able to enter it during the publishing process. Do *not* use an ISBN for the print book edition.

1-24 How does the Kindle Store handle customer returns? Am I affected?
The Kindle Store will provide refunds for up to 7 days for customers unsatisfied with their ebook purchases. Refunds will appear as a negative transaction on your Transaction Report, and will be deducted from your payment amount.

1-25 You haven't answered my question. What now?
Visit our Help Pages for detailed information and instructions, or check out our Community Forums for even more answers. If you need further help, please use the contact us link.

1-26 Why is the offer price of my books higher than the one I chose when I uploaded to KDP?
If you (or your readers) are outside the U.S., our offer price may be higher than your list price due to international operating costs. Please note that sales to non-U.S. customers receive royalties of 35% of the list price.

1-27 Why is the offer price of my books lower than the one I chose when I uploaded to KDP?
We reserve the right to set the retail price we charge for the books you provide to us. We may offer your book at a price below your list price if, for example, the price at which a competitor sells your book, or the price at which we sell a physical edition of your book is lower than your list price. In that case, if you chose the 70% royalty option, your royalties will be calculated off of this offer price for sales that qualify for the 70% royalty option. If you chose the 35% royalty option, you will be paid off of the original list price you chose.

1-28 Can I link to my Kindle book via the Amazon Associates program?
For those who have not signed up for the Amazon Associates program, Associates provides vendors specially formatted links to Amazon.com on their websites in exchange for advertising fees when their visitors follow the links and place an order. Anyone with a website may apply for our Associates Program, although we do have certain requirements which may prevent a site from participating. For more information about the suitability of your site, you can review the Operating Agreement via this link: http://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/agreement
To sign up for Amazon Associates, please visit: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join/landing/main.html
To generate an Associates-formatted link to your Kindle Book, please visit: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/kindle

2-1 What are the sign up requirements?
Anyone can sign up for a Kindle Direct Publishing account; all you need is Internet access and an email account. In order to publish your content with Kindle Direct Publishing, you'll also need to agree and comply with Kindle Direct Publishing Terms and Conditions.

2-2 Can I use my existing Amazon.com account to sell on KDP? If you have an Amazon.com account, there's no need to create a separate Kindle Direct Publishing account. Just visit the Kindle Direct Publishing home page, sign in with your Amazon.com username and password, and get started!

2-3 What account setup information is required?
Click here to view the required account setup information.

2-4 Why do you need a Social Security Number (SSN) number for US publishers?
In order to pay US publishers for sales on the Kindle Store, federal law requires us to collect taxpayer information and report sales income to the federal government.

2-5 Is tax withheld for publishers outside the US?
Click here to view our tax requirements, tax forms, and tax withholding information.

3-1 What are the guidelines for product description?
Your description should summarize the story and characters without giving away details that are crucial to the suspense, mystery or surprise ending of the story. A good example of an appropriate book summary is the kind you often find on the inside flaps or back cover of a hardcover books' dust jacket. Focus on the book itself. The inclusion of any of the following information in detail page titles, descriptions, bullet points, or images is prohibited:
  • Pornographic, obscene or offensive content.
  • Phone numbers, physical mail addresses, e-mail addresses, or website URLs.
  • Availability, price, alternative ordering information (such as links to other websites for placing orders), or alternative shipping offers (such as free shipping).
  • Spoilers regarding Books, Music, Video or DVD (BMVD) listings (information that reveals plot elements crucial to the suspense, mystery or surprise ending of a story).
  • Reviews, quotes or testimonials.
  • Solicitations for positive customer reviews.
  • Advertisements, watermarks on images or videos, or promotional material.
  • Time-sensitive information (i.e., dates of promotional tours, seminars, lectures, etc.).
3-2 Can I remove content (unpublish)? You can unpublish content from KDP by checking the relevant title box in your Bookshelf, and then selecting "Unpublish" from the Actions menu.  When you unpublish a title from the Kindle Store, it should become unavailable to buy within 24-72 hours; then become unsearchable from the Amazon storefront after a minimum of one week. It will not be available for purchase until you republish the item. Republishing a title after it has been removed from the Kindle Store requires approximately 12 hours.

3-3 Can I change or update my content's information after publication?
Yes. Just visit the Bookshelf and edit the allowed fields in the Details form, then click the "Publish" button to republish your content.

3-3a: But what do you do when the title no longer appears on the Bookshelf after you publish?
When the title no longer appears on the Bookshelf after you click "Publish" you cannot edit its information until it has gone live.

3-4 What formats can I upload to Kindle Direct Publishing?
Preferred formats for Amazon KDP content uploads are Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx), Mobi (.mobi) created with KindleGen, and HTML and Zipped HTML files. Please visit our Formatting Guidefor more information on formatting and uploading content.

To view a list of the languages we currently support, please visit: Supported Languages.

3-5 Do I need digital rights to publish content?
In order to publish content with Kindle Direct Publishing, you must own the rights to that content. Please check our KDP Terms and Conditions for more information on the rights required to publish.

3-6 I'm an Advantage Author. Can I list the books I have listed already?
Physical books that are submitted to Advantage will not be automatically enrolled for Kindle conversion. Advantage members who would like to sell an electronic version of their book should sign up for a KDP account and upload their content in one of our supported formats. Advantage members may use their login credentials to sign up for a KDP account.

3-7 How can I format my content (e.g., bold, italics, headers)?
Kindle Direct Publishing will handle most basic formatting for you as it converts your content. You can format your content in your source document (e.g. Microsoft Word or HTML) and KDP will convert that formatting.For more information, see the Formatting Guide.

3-8 Who will be able to buy and read my content?
Amazon Kindle owners can purchase your content on the Kindle Store and download it for reading on the Amazon Kindle wireless reading device. Readers who do not own an Amazon Kindle may download Kindle books onto their PC or Mac using Kindle for PC/Mac or use their cell phone with Kindle for Mobile Devices.

3-9 How much does it cost to publish content?
There is no charge to publish your content on the Kindle Store with Kindle Direct Publishing. For more information, see the Terms and Conditions.

3-10 Where can I find out how my content is selling?
You can view up-to-date sales information on the Reports page.

3-11 How do I enter the author name for my content?
Click the "Add/Edit" button located next to Authors when entering your titles product details. Once you have clicked "Add/Edit" a window will pop up which will allow you to enter multiple contributors

3-12 Can I change the country-specific content rights on publications I have already published?
See the Confirm Publishing Rights help page for information on configuring sales territories.

3-13 What is Digital Rights Management (DRM)?
You may choose, on a per title basis, to have us apply DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology which is intended to inhibit unauthorized access to or copying of digital content files for titles. DRM is a one-time option. This setting cannot be changed once selected.

3-14 Can I enable DRM for my existing titles?
Books published before the launch of DRM (Digital Rights Management) in KDP were loaded without digital rights management. For these titles, you may make a one-time selection of the DRM option. You may choose, on a per title basis, to have us apply DRM technology which is intended to inhibit unauthorized access to or copying of digital content files for titles. Enabling this feature will not affect sales or search result rankings. Click here for instructions.

3-15 What are the Status definitions in my Bookshelf?
Draft: Information has been entered for your title, but the "Save and Publish" button has not been selected. If you have made updates to a title, but not yet submitted for publishing, return to your title and click "Save and Publish" to submit updates.

In Review:Your title has been submitted for publishing and is currently in review. Titles are typically reviewed and published within 12 hours. Review times vary and may take longer if publishing rights need to be verified.

Publishing:Your title is being published to the Kindle Store. A confirmation email will be sent to you notifying you of this change in status. It can take up to 24 hours for the product image, search keywords, and product description to display or become functional on the site.

Live: Your title is live on the website and is available for purchase.

Blocked:Your title has been made unavailable for further editing due to, but not limited to, the following reasons: your request, copyright, content.

3-16 Do I have to re-buy or re-upload my book to get the updated copy I re-published?
If you’ve already purchased your book and subsequently revise the content and re-publish the updated version, you don’t need to re-purchase the book to get a copy. At this time, it’s not possible for publishers to receive the updated file without contacting KDP Support for help. We’re working to automate this feature and appreciate your understanding with our existing solution to manually send the updated content to your device.

Note: Customers who purchased the old content can also contact our Customer Service department to have the new file delivered. 
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