I love Amazon KDP, as you know pretty much all my books are published through Amazon, but there are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t publish through Amazon KDP. The reasons are simply around your self-publishing options.
1. You want a hardback (or spiral-bound) copy of your book
Amazon KDP only publishes paperback books, so if you want to publish a book in hardback, with or without cover, then Amazon KDP is not an option for you. Look at companies like Lulu and Ingram Spark instead, or consider doing a print run with a printing company. It could be someone local or a company in China. The point is, you have options.
2. You’re publishing a book in colour
With the exception of children’s books that have very few pages, publishing a book in colour with Amazon is quite expensive. The reason is that they are only printing one book at a time. If you’re publishing a book in colour then you may have to consider using a printer and ordering a print run.
Research local printers and compare the costs and delivery with a printing company in China.
You can use Alibaba.com to search for book printers and find one that specialises in the type of book that you’d like. For example, some suppliers create 3D books, some do sticker books, and there are other companies that do shaped books.
When you scroll down the printers and what’s possible, you’ll be inspired. And when you see the prices, your jaw might drop a little, but in a good way ;).
3. You want to publish a premium book
I love Amazon KDP, but let’s face it, the quality is good but the option’s are not. When you think of a premium book, you’re probably thinking about the quality of the paper, the binding and the cover. Amazon print just one type of book: paperbacks with perfect binding on your choice of 3 types of paper:
- Black ink and 55# (90 GSM) cream paper
- Black ink and 55# (90 GSM) white paper
- Color ink and 60# (100 GSM) white paper.
The thing with Amazon is that it keeps things simple, asks nothing of you and let’s you publish and distribute your book quickly and easily. However, if you have a little money, then you could trade ease for something a bit better.
4. You want a printer, not a publisher
Years ago, I worked for a local authority, and we had our own in-house printing team. You printed off what you wanted to be done, added a form saying what you wanted to be done and how many copies you needed and they’d ring you when it was done. However, as a small business, you don’t have that option. So if you need professional quality printing, but don’t want to make your book or workbook freely available then Amazon may not be the best option.
When you publish a book with Amazon, the book is automatically available for sale on their platform. However, what if you want to print a book but not publish it, for example you want to print your course workbooks? Then you could look at other printing options. Lulu both helps you self-publish books and also acts as a printer for business needs.
5. You want to extend your reach
Amazon is the world’s biggest market for books, but it’s not the only place that you can buy or access books. So if you want to extend the reach of your books, then look at other publishers like Lulu and Ingram Spark. With Lulu you could sell your books on a print on demand basis via your own website using Shopify.
In addition, if you’re publishing ebooks, then you’ll want to use all the different publishing options like kobo, Apple, Barnes and Noble etc. Have a look at Lulu and IngramSpark to see their options.
One reason why you should use Amazon KDP
There is one simple reason why you should use Amazon KDP and that’s this: they make it easy to upload, distribute and sell your books.
I’ve stuck with Amazon for years because it’s so easy to do, however, as I work with more and more clients, I am being taken out of my publishing comfort zone and asked to consider different options. This can only be good for both my own books and those of my clients.
So these are my 5 reasons why Amazon KDP may not be the best option for your book.
Karen Brown has published over 100 books on Amazon. In 2019, she helped a friend to publish her own book and found her first raving fan. Since then she has helped over 20 other clients to become published authors. She has helped publish both mainly non-fiction books including a biography, children’s mindfulness book and spelling book.
If you’d like a free chat with Karen, just book a call and she will see what she can do to help. Her business is built on kindness and not everyone she helps is a client, so there is no obligation at all.