How Much Does the Average KDP Author Make?

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This is a tough one to answer because it is different for every single person. You could make nothing or thousands of dollars. There are many factors in play that have to do with the sales of a book on amazon.

Let’s Talk About Expectations

Expectations come in to play here as they are often too high and you will probably be disappointed. Keep your expectations realistic. Don’t think you are going to earn hundreds or thousands right off the bat. We are not saying you can’t be excited after all you created something (Good Job BTW!), but don’t count on rent money just yet. There is a term that is definitely associated with writing for a reason,” Starving Artist”.

What Goes In To The Sale Of A Book On KDP?

The first and primary things are the right keywords, categories, cover, interior, and price point. These are the things that get the process started and your book in front of buyers.

The market also needs to be big enough to support the niche of the book. You need customers. Your profit depends on this. Make sure there is an existing base of customers hopefully before you even think of creating a book. Niche down and look for great keywords.

Then there is the advertising. Whether you use the free method listed above, use a blog or social media, or pay for ads on Amazon, you need to advertise your books.

The price point is important because it needs to be around the same price as other books on the subject and you still need to be able to make a profit off the sale of the book. In some niches, like journals, that is pretty low.


A journal at most is $9.99 leaving a little over $2.00 profit margin. Most journals are under that price. Most authors make anywhere from .50 cents to $1.00. Selling journals in to days market is pretty difficult.

Is it worth your time to make a journal? Probably not, but it is a good example of the low tier profits that can be made. It is a controversial subject whether it is or is not a good thing that Amazon accepts this type of book as many authors do not consider it a “real book”.

What are your thoughts on selling journals on Amazon? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Amazon KDP Royalty Rates

eBook Royalty Options

According to Amazon, “You can choose between two royalty options for each of your eBooks: the 35% royalty option and the 70% royalty option.”

Here is the link to Amazon’s List Price Requirements
so that you can determine which one your book is eligible for.

Note: Public Domain books are only eligible for the 35% option.

Paperback Royalty Rates

For Paperback books the royalty is determined by the following formula

60% x list price – printings costs = Royalty.

Source: ebook Royalty Options

This means that the royalty comes from your book’s price. Then you need to subtract the printing costs to arrive at your final net profit.

Printing Costs

If you are curious about how Amazon calculates the printing costs then know we were too! Amazon calculates all this in the end of the form that you fill out when you upload your book. So we never really looked before today, but they use the following formula

Fixed cost + (page count * per page cost) = printing cost

Source: Paperback Printing Costs


A lot goes into to selling a book and then you actually have to sell it. So don’t take the process lightly. Make sure you have done your research in to keywords, categories, covers, the market, and the final price of the book. These are the things that will help your book sell.

There is a wealth of information in Amazon’s own documentation and the direct links are embedded in the above text and throughout our KDP series. We like to say around here “For-armed is for-warned”. So stay informed! After All this is your business and you don’t want to risk your KDP account being terminated

#How much do KDP authors make?

#How much does an average self publishing author make on Amazon?

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  1. Thank you for this interesting article. I have a friend that is considering writing a book, and I will refer him to this article. I also didn’t know that it is important to focus on categories and niches if you want to make money from writing a book. I plan to discuss this with him as well.

  2. The profits are there and at the same time, you must do your homework well along with putting everything in place. But still, it all depends on how your book also interests your audience and how engaging it is which plays a big part in your success.

  3. Thanks for this information on what the average earnings are for a KDP author. I have spoken to several authors and they find it much more profitable to promote their own books through paid advertising or JVs with other prominent leaders in their niche. Although Amazon does provide exposure the profit to be made is much lower. It is a viable option though.

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