Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) offers a free, easy, and fast way to self-publish eBooks, paperbacks and hardbacks. With KDP, the power of publishing is accessible to authors worldwide, allowing a more robust and diverse set of voices to share stories with a wider audience than ever before. Authors receive 70% of royalties on eBook sales and 60% on hardback/paperback sales, and can enroll onto KDP Select to earn more through Kindle Unlimited, or create promotions or price cuts on their existing books.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a dream come true for writers the world over. Read on to hear from successful self-published authors about their experience with Kindle Direct Publishing, their advice for new authors, and their tips for literary success.

Rachel McLean next to her book, The Corfe Castle Murders

Rachel McLean - The Corfe Castle Murders

A thriller writer, Rachel McLean creates stories that make people think.

She heard about Kindle Direct Publishing through friends and blogs like The Creative Penn and the Self-Publishing Show. However, sales were not as high as she had expected when Rachel uploaded her first book in 2016. - selling only 31 copies. But since then, her literary career has flourished – she was crowned winner of the Kindle Storyteller Award for her crime thriller The Corfe Castle Murders series in 2021. She now considers independent publishing the best decision she ever made.

This year’s celebrity judge, bestselling author Adam Kay, presented Peter Gibbons with the award at a ceremony held at the Houses of Parliament

Rachel advises new authors thinking about using Kindle Direct Publishing to just go for it, or perhaps start by reading Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran.

“Go for it. It can’t do any harm and if you realise it’s not for you, you can always take your book down and try another route.”

In Rachel’s view, the key to finding success on Kindle Direct Publishing is to write for the reader and not yourself.

“Take the time to learn what readers enjoy and what they respond to. A great place to start is by looking at authors like you on the Amazon website and reading their reviews.”

Discover Rachel's award-winning book, The Corfe Castle Murders, on Amazon.

Barry Hutchison and the Space Team book cover

Barry Hutchison (J.D. Kirk) – Space Team, Dan Deadman Space Detective series

Living and writing from the Scottish Highlands, Barry Hutchison is a full-time author with experience in both traditional and independent publishing, frequently writing under the pen name ‘J.D. Kirk’. He has written over 140 books for both children and adults spanning genres like science fiction and crime thrillers.

Barry first heard about Kindle Direct Publishing through a self-publishing podcast. He began his KDP journey with the popular Space Team series and hasn’t looked back since.

“Kindle Direct Publishing has allowed me to write the stories I want to write and get them into the hands of readers - in a fraction of the time it would take with a traditional publisher.”

As well as a shorter publishing timeframe, Barry also now enjoys complete ownership as an independent author with Kindle Direct Publishing.

“One of the great things about KDP is it allows you to hang on to your publishing rights. We’re already exploring audio, foreign language, merchandising rights, and are working on TV and film.”

He added: “We may even adopt the same indie-publishing mindset and produce some of the screen content ourselves.”

Barry advises new authors considering self-publishing to just get started, then continue to develop and learn as you go.

“It can seem daunting at first, but between the formatting tools and built-in cover designer, Kindle Direct Publishing makes it very easy to get started and getting started is the first step.”

Read Barry's Space Team series here.

Martin Smith and his daughter, next to his book The Football Boy Wonder

Martin Smith – The Charlie Fry Series

Martin Smith is a former journalist turned children’s author who has found self-publishing to be an opportunity to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis through the bestselling Charlie Fry series.

He began publishing with KDP after reading about it on a blog. At first, it was a step in the dark and he wasn’t sure if anyone would want to read his first book. Today, his titles sell across the world, and he has complete freedom to write about new subjects and topics without any compromise or fear of failure.

“Kindle Direct Publishing offers a full range of excellent tools for authors to produce high-quality books. I make all the decisions and reap the rewards, which is something that will appeal to many.”

The best advice he has for new authors is to take time to learn about self-publishing and garner as much information as possible about the publishing process and the genre you wish to publish in. Martin spent six months reading about self-publishing children’s books before he got started and he’s still learning about it years later.

We spoke to Darren Hardy, Head of UK Author and Editorial Programmes at Amazon, to get his best tips and insights for successful publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

“Read, read and read more. KDP is a fantastic opportunity. It is logical and straightforward to use but it is also far more powerful when you understand how to maximise the potential it offers.”

Martin adds: “There is so much handy information out there. It can make the world of difference.”

To set yourself up with Kindle Direct Publishing, visit the KDP sign-up page to start publishing your first book today – or discover more literary tips from chart-topping author LJ Ross.