KDP and Self-Publishing – A Noob’s Guide Part 2

(C)A L Butcher

More helpful info on publishing on Amazon’s KDP forum:

Creating an account:

Already have an Amazon.com Account?

Sign-in to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) with your existing Amazon username and password.  (This can be found via the link at the BOTTOM of the homepage.


Don’t have an Amazon Account?

Click “Sign up” from the KDP homepage, provide your email address and select “I am a new customer.”  Enter your first and last name, and a secure password.

REMEMBER THESE DETAILS!  If you need to contact support they will ONLY respond to the email you provided when you set up the account or attached to the account if you have changed it. Sometimes people accidentally log in with a new account – this means not only will you not be able to see your bookshelf, your reports etc. but you are actually breaking the TOS. You are only allowed ONE KDP account. One. If you do accidentally create a second account then contact support and explain – ask them to remove it. People have had their accounts terminated for multiple accounts.

You MUST provide your legal name and address when you set it up. This is for tax purposes and payment purposes. Even if you decide to use a pen name you have to provide your real name (more about pen names in a little bit). Don’t forget this is a LEGAL contract. You must declare any earnings to your country’s tax office, and unless you want to get stung for 30% with-holding to the US IRS you must provide an EIN or your relevant tax codes. This is a rule for any business that sells in the States – not just Amazon. They have no choice.  It is also the case for Createspace, ACX, Smashwords, Lulu and any other publishing platform. In fact, if you were selling books via your website you’d still have to legally provide this. Of course – if you don’t that is your business – but don’t say you haven’t been warned.

You can access your account details -if you move house/change banks etc) by clicking on ‘Bob’s Account’ or whatever your name might be.

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AE2UUB8RKZIHN – tax information

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A1OYOT0ESBAU69 – account help

Pen names:

Once you have set up an account, registered your tax number, bank account etc and are ready to publish you can select a DIFFERENT author name if you wish to publish as M Mouse or D Duck.  The first tab you see on your KDP page is BOOKSHELF. This is where you upload your manuscript, cover art, and set the metadata.  CREATE A NEW TITLE then follow the steps. If you do wish to use a pen name simply add in the required name – this will attach to your author page and should match the book cover.  You can have up to three author pages. Some people like to do this for different genres.

If you co-write only ONE of you can have the book attached to your account, but the other authors can claim it via author central.

Author Central:


Author central is, basically, your author home page where readers can learn about you, see what other books you have and such like.  It’s worth setting up a page. (Annoyingly you have to do one per store….)

Don’t forget to claim your books by clicking on bibliography and the typing the ASIN or title of your book and the ‘this is my book’ when it brings up the correct one. Sometimes they automatically attach themselves, sometimes they don’t so it’s worth checking. You can direct fans to your author page. You can also view your recent reviews (see previous on reviews). Here’s mine –


Sales and Orders (again)

I went through this on the last post but I’ll say it again. If the sales you think you’ve had aren’t showing up then either you’re looking in the wrong place or they weren’t sales.

Ignore the graph – that’s ORDERS and collates them all. The reports state actual sales BY STORE. Most indies don’t sell a lot. Sad but true. There are millions of books on offer and it is very hard to get noticed. That said don’t be discouraged- with time, effort and patience your book will start to sell eventually. Decide why you write and what you want and measure success by that. Success is relative.  Be realistic – if you have one book then you may not ever sell that many, so write more, blog, do the marketing etc and go with it.

Most of the indies who make a decent living from their books have lots of books, have been in the business for ages and spend a lot of time promoting, blogging, interviewing etc. And some are just lucky.   I often see newbies coming on the forums upset because their book is not the latest bestseller. Honestly, they expected that? Every author hopes his or her book is the best thing ever but every book can’t be the best….

Let me tell you a story – when I was writing  Light Beyond Book I my mother was terminally ill with the cancer she’d fought for 18 years. The book was published in June and she passed away in September.  I probably published a bit early but I really wanted Mum to see it. Anyway, I produce the first edition (with the old cover) and took one to show her, hoping it would cheer her up. It did, of course. This was a woman who was in pain, knew she only had a few weeks left and was largely bedbound. Yet she smiled when she saw it. She told all the family, all the neighbours, all the carers. Everyone. It didn’t save her (nothing could by then) but it made her happy, and proud. It gave her something else to focus on. I’ll never forget the look on her face when she held the book. That, to me, is success. THAT makes it worth it. Success is relative.

Writing that book helped me through that awful time, and give me some something else to focus on as well. It gave me peace. Decide why you write – is it for yourself, for the story or to make money? If it’s option 3 you may well be disappointed, if it is option 1 or 2 then you won’t.