Amazon KDP: how to sell more

What to sell on Amazon KDP (and how): a guide for Amazon sellers

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) can be the easiest, cheapest and quickest source of passive income from selling digital products.

Amazon KDP provides selling opportunities for both authors as well as online sellers who already sell physical products on Amazon. Diversifying product portfolio mitigates risk and provides options in the case of unexpected events, especially those affecting global supply chains.

In this article you’ll learn about:

  • How to use KDP to grow your sales on Amazon
  • Best sellers on Amazon KDP
  • KDP Select, selling low content books, picking profitable niches, promoting products and more.

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Click the links below to go directly to the topic of your interest:

What is Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KPD)?
Best sellers on Amazon KDP
Selling low content books on Amazon
How to pick a profitable niche to increase your sales on Amazon KDP
How can KDP Select Program increase your Amazon sales?
How can you promote your digital products on Amazon KDP?
Optimizing your Amazon KDP listings with titles & descriptions
Creating a print version of your book on Amazon

What is Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KPD)?

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KPD) is a self-publishing platform where you can publish ebooks, low content books, paperbacks and hardcover books for free. Publishing with Amazon KDP gives you full rights to your book and you can expand its availability on a global scale.*

If you’re not an author yourself or you don’t have time to create content, you can hire professional freelancers to do it for you. Your main task is to identify what will sell on Amazon and generate sales by optimizing your listings and digital products.

What’s one of the biggest advantages of selling products on Amazon KDP? You can effectively grow your ecommerce sales without worrying about your stock or delivering physical goods. This is extra important during times of pandemics and lockdowns.

What can you publish on Amazon KDP?

The kind of content you can publish using Amazon’s KDP:

  • Novels
  • Journals & planners
  • Recipe Books
  • Children’s Books
  • Coloring Books
  • Comics
  • Poetry
  • Textbooks
  • Book Series.

KDP doesn’t allow the creation of magazines, periodicals or spiral-bound books.

Finally, you can sell ebooks and print books from a single account. With KDP Print, a supplier will print books only when someone orders them. To use this print-on-demand (POD) service, you need to upload immaculately formatted print files (different from the ebook format).

* The information, data and guidance provided in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.

How much does it cost to publish on Amazon KDP?

Publishing on Amazon KDP is free. No charge to upload the file and no shipping costs or hidden fees.

Authors get royalties of 35% to 70% of the sale price (for prices $2.99 – $9.99, Amazon gives you 70% and takes 30%, for other prices you get 35%).

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Best sellers on Amazon KDP

What can you sell on Amazon KDP? The following niches can have a lot of sales potential on Amazon KDP.

Frontline workers niche

A new niche that has gained a lot of attention during the pandemic. Potential front line workers include nurses, doctors, teachers, postal service workers, public transport workers and grocery store workers.

Entrepreneurship / small business niche

Small business owners are interested in keeping themselves organized, disciplined and motivated. You can niche down by focusing on the type of business, e.g. a hair salon, event planner, tech start-up, etc.

Holidays niche

It offers lots of sales potential when it comes to seasonal events, e.g. Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day.

Personal development niche

This niche can help make a difference in people’s lives. However, as it’s saturated, it’s important to niche down.

Gaming niche

Gaming is a huge niche and selling video games is popular. But be careful about copyright protected designs.

Sports niche

There are different sports out there: winter sports, tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, cricket, table tennis, gymnastics or figure skating. However, keep in mind that some sports niches are saturated.

A word of caution. You can’t make designs for specific teams or athletes as they will be covered under copyright.

Food / cooking / baking niche

Baking grew in popularity during the pandemic, especially bread making.

Crafting niche

Crafting grew in popularity during the pandemic as well. A few types of crafting niches: knitting, crochet, quilting, beadwork, woodwork, painting, origami.

Nature lovers niche

This includes environmentalists, plant lovers, avid hikers or wilderness lovers. Some sub-niches include: plants, trees, cacti, camping, hiking, mountains, eco friendly, wild animals, gardening.

Floral niche

Consider a floral niche in general or niching down, for example: lilies, sunflowers, daisies, chrysanthemums, carnations, roses, tulips.

Graduation niche

You can focus on general graduation or specific graduates, e.g. from elementary school, high school, post-secondary school, etc.

Typography niche

You can design books with inspirational sayings, monograms, quotes, single words and so on. If you use quotes/sayings, they need to be either in the public domain or you need to acquire the proper license. As usual, be careful about copyrights.

Travel lovers niche

There are limitless ideas in this niche. You could make designs for every city, country, state, continent, etc. It can be about traveling by plane, boat, train, road tripping, traveling solo, with friends, etc.

Back-to school-niche

You can target a specific grade, age, etc.

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Music niche

You can narrow it down, for example by musicians, by lovers/listeners of music, by instrument if you are targeting musicians or by targeting a specific music genre, e.g. rock, metal, punk, EDM, country, pop.

A word of caution. Be careful about copyrighted bands or lyrics in this niche. Make sure everything that you produce is copyright-free and above board.

Religion niche

You can use inspiring and/or meaningful quotes (assuming copyright laws allow for it).

Mysticism / spirituality niche

This could be tarot, crystals, archangels, reiki, meditation and so on.

Vegetarian / vegan niche

When choosing this niche, you can consider people’s reasons for eating a plant-based diet. For example, health reasons, animal rights or environmental reasons.

Pride / LGBT / queer positive niche

This is a saturated niche, but there are many ways you can be unique to stand out in this niche.

Fantasy / sci-fi niche

You can get carried away here: magic, unicorns, castles, dragons, fairies, elves, aliens and much more!

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Selling low content books on Amazon

Low content books contain little to no text or images, but can have an enormous sales potential on Amazon. Often they’re not complicated to make, but can quickly become best sellers.

Examples of low content books
Notebooks, memo books, balance sheet notebooks, squared paper notebooks, journals and different kinds of planners.

When selling low content (or any content on Amazon KDP), it’s essential to do proper niche and keyword research. Go for a thorough number-based keyword analysis with a selected keyword tool.

Additionally, look for keyword ideas in:

  • The Amazon search bar (predictive results indicate commonly searched terms)
  • Kindle Store best sellers lists
  • “Customers Who Bought This Also Bought” sections.

You can input up to 7 keywords or keyword phrases that your book will show up for. You can change your keywords at any time.

Here are examples of keywords for describing notebooks: diary, journal, pad, binder, daybook, workbook, log book or memo book.

How to pick a profitable niche to increase your sales on Amazon KDP

To pick a profitable niche on Amazon KDP, start by checking your category by clicking on either “Kindle eBooks” or “Kindle Short Reads”.

  • “Kindle eBooks” is good to get the best idea of the general market size; it’s sufficient for research purposes.
  • “Kindle Short Reads” is good to see the books that sell well that are under a certain length.

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There’s no software that can estimate how many copies your potential book title can sell. But you can still use the real world data on Amazon to bring you closer to an accurate estimate.

Additionally, a tool that can help you cherry pick the best niches for Kindle books is Publisher Rocket.

Pick a niche that appeals to you and has a fairly large established audience.

Brainstorm different topics in your selected niche. You can have a few titles in the same niche and build up your library of book titles.

Example: potential topics if you write about pets:

  • How to communicate with your pet
  • How to organize your house with a pet at home
  • Relationships between children and pets
  • Bonding with your pet.

Amazon Best Seller Ranking (BSR)

Checking the Amazon Best Seller Rankings (BSR) will give you a better idea of whether your chosen niche/category has any chance of selling many copies.

amazon marketplace kdp best sellers rankCheck the Amazon BSR of some of the top books in your niche to see how well books are selling in your chosen category.

Some general estimates:

  • BSR 5,000 on the Kindle store: a book is probably selling 20-40 copies/day.
  • BSR 10,000 or higher: it’s most likely selling less than 10 copies/day.

A lower rank means that the book is selling more copies. The best sellers in your chosen category should have an Amazon BSR of at least 10,000 (or even under 5,000).

Niche assessment criteria

Go to Amazon.com, select the Kindle Store and search for a selected keyword.

On the first page of the search results you should see 5-6 books that meet ALL the following criteria:

  • A BSR of 100,000 or LESS (not higher than 10,000, smaller than 100,000).
  • Price between $0.99 and $3.99 (books between those prices are more likely to be your true competitors).
  • Books present on the market for at least 2 months (as Amazon gives new books a “boost”).
  • Books with 100 reviews or less each (if books have 200-300 reviews and you don’t have as many, it may mean too much competition).

Look for niches where the top 5-6 books (priced between $0.99 and $3.99 and on the market for 2+ months) are at 100,000 BSR or less.

How can KDP Select Program increase your Amazon sales?

The KDP Select program can help publishers earn more money and reach a greater audience at zero additional cost. All publishers are eligible for this program, regardless of their location.

There’s one catch. On signing up to Kindle Select, the digital copy of your book must be exclusive to Amazon for the duration of the term that you’re signed up to the program.

The KDP Select program gives sellers access to:

  • Kindle Unlimited: Amazon’s subscription-based service (Netflix for books)
  • Kindle Free Promotions: making your book available for free (for 5 out of every 90 days) to boost your downloads
  • Kindle Countdown Deals: running a week-long price drop to have your book promoted in the Kindle store’s Countdown Deals section.

The KDP Select is useful when you don’t have an audience. Listing your book for free the first 5 days via this program can get you reviews from verified purchasers. Someone that downloads your book during the free period is considered a verified purchaser.

Ecommerce tip
Try to get at least 10-20 reviews during the free period. It’s the easiest time to ask people for reviews because it’s free. Include a link in the back of your book that asks readers to leave a review.

How can you promote your digital products on Amazon KDP?

To promote your digital products and build your author brand on Amazon KDP:

  1. Create an author website to promote your books. In the meantime, set up a URL forward that sends people to your Amazon author page.
  2. Set up an Author Page on Facebook & create a private Facebook group to share some of your best content and insider information.
  3. Run a book giveaway on Goodreads.
  4. Write blog posts and guest posts related to your books. Drive backlinks to your website or Amazon author page.
  5. Consider Amazon Advertising and AMS Advertisement Course for Authors.
  6. Create free content (mini ebook, checklist or audiobook) and give it away for free inside your book.
  7. Create a virtual bundle of your books when you get several titles published.

Additionally, consider submitting your ebooks to relevant groups and blogs, e.g. Facebook Groups that promote free books:

  • Free E-Books Download
  • Free Kindle and Nook eBooks for Readers
  • Another Free Kindle Books Facebook Group
  • Awesome Free Kindle Books Here!
  • Free Books.

Finally, your Kindle ebook can act as a lead generation tool that collects emails. You can put a free offer in the front of your book so readers can click the link, go to your opt-in page and give you their email address.

Optimizing your Amazon KDP listings with titles & descriptions

Your ebook titles and descriptions can be your sales makers or breakers. They will also help you optimize your Amazon product listings.

Your ebook titles should be unique, catchy, memorable and contain the most relevant keywords. Make it clear what the reader is going to get from the book. Subtitles can help you state this more clearly. Subtitles can also make the title more attractive, e.g. by making your promise sound attainable.

Examples of best-selling titles & subtitles:

  • “Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take 5 Minutes or Less” by Steve Scott.
  • “Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness” by Dave Ramsey.

Check what’s working for your competitors to solidify your ideas.

When it comes to your book description (up to 4000 characters), it’s for a more in-depth description of your book. Highlight the benefits potential readers can expect after reading your book. Include a call-to-action to increase conversions.

Creating a print version of your book on Amazon

The print version of your ebook can obviously bring you more sales. But there’s more.

The difference between the digital and print version can make your Kindle version look like a better deal.

When people see the $8.99 price for the print version, this increases the value of the book in their mind. If they can get the Kindle version for $4 only, they see it as a good deal.

Make your Kindle price look like a great deal and sell more copies!

As you go forward, test and optimize pricing on both the print and kindle version. Consider increasing your price gradually.

Selling on Amazon KDP: conclusion

Amazon is an ecommerce platform that offers numerous opportunities to generate online sales.

Amazon KDP can be an extra revenue generator and a source of passive income, not only for authors. It can also be profitable for marketplace sellers already selling physical products and considering diversifying their online business with digital products.

Amazon KDP can be another stream of income that provides options. This is important in the case of unexpected global events that can potentially hit supply chains and the sales of physical products.

About Webinterpret

Webinterpret enables Amazon and other marketplace sellers to sell more effectively in international markets through localized versions of their product listings. For more information, feel free to contact our cross border trade experts.

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