New Year – New Creativity Goals – For 2019 It’s KDP
Well it’s a New Year and I’ve decided to set some new creativity goals. Last year I did a full year of Tshirt designs on Red Bubble. It was long year and I managed to finish the challenge, even with my father’s passing right before Christmas (he’d expect nothing less of me). So this year I’ve decided for 2019 it’s KDP.
What is KDP? It stands for Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s a program via Amazon that allows self-publishing of paperback books (and ebooks).
In my case, it’s being used for low or no content journals and planners.
After doing my daily challenge for all of 2018, this year I thought I’d challenge myself in a much easier way (read: less pressure).
My goal is simply 25 journals live on KDP by the end of 2019. I am right on target with that one.
Currently I have four live.
Merch Conference Seattle 2018
For the last year or so, on various Merch groups that I am on, I’ve heard many people talking about KDP. When I was at the Merch Conference in Seattle last September, I met several people who were doing it and a lot of it. Many are doing very well at it.
It was recommended I check out Tangent Templates which is a super fast way to design these “interiors” for journals and planners.
I was also told to get in touch with Kelli Publish (the go-to gal for Self Publishing). Though I didn’t get to speak with her while in Seattle, I did reach out to her when I returned to Scotland, and have subsequently been watching many of her videos on Youtube (previous link) and via her Self Publishing Facebook group (with her husband Dale).
My First KDP Design – A Travel Journal
I’ve personally been wanting to be able to create journals ever since I launched my website SYBD back in July of 2000.
KDP now affords me the opportunity to do them at no cost, except my time.
So I will still do that eventually, but I am easing myself into this year’s KDP challenge…
Recently I blogged on my personal site about my desire to travel every month in 2019. The aim is to go away for at least one night, every month, whether that’s near or far…
So it made sense that my first KDP journal upload was a travel journal using a picture I took on my first trip in Scotland in 2019. You can find this simple Scotland Travel Journal on Amazon UK here. (For the Amazon US version, click the picture of the cover).
How KDP Works
You create an interior or manuscript
It could be something as basic as lines (solid or dotted), quotes, days, dates or weeks planners, boxes for story boards, patterns of any kind or even blank pages.
You choose your size/dimensions/pages
I’ve now done 8.5″ x 11″ and my current project is 6″ x 9″. There a bunch of different options but be warned not all options work may be available in all markets (from what I’ve seen)
I just made a new square 8.5″ sketchbook. It can be as big or small as you want – from their selection of sizes.
My first journal was around pages. My most recent day planner is massive and 366 pages. It is massive and suitable for a desktop but not really carrying around with you all the time.
Once you have your manuscript all sorted, you upload your PDF
You need to upload your manuscript in a print-ready format. Bleed or no bleed, it’s your call.
You walk through their steps and hit publish…
Basically you have 3 pages of “things to do” in order to publish your book. You put your name, your author name, your keywords, you upload your manuscript, then a cover, set your royalties and hit submit. (Well there a few more steps in there). I’ll be honest with you, the first one I uploaded it took HOURS to get submitted and that was with a bit of help from a Highlands friend Leeanne. She was very patient with me, bless her.
Once you submit it, it takes about a day before Amazon manually approves your manuscript. Once they do it’s live in all the markets you wish to sell it in and you can buy it.
With my first one, I was so excited. I uploaded it Monday, it was approved Tuesday, I bought it as soon as it was and I received it Thursday morning. A day and a half to get to me. Not bad.
Creativity is Flowing
Each time I’ve uploaded a design, I’ve been asking myself how I could improve it. Better covers, better interiors, and so forth. The goal will ultimately to be designing my own interiors and exteriors using Canva but for now Tangent Templates is the quickest way to reach my monthly targets.
So far I am not very good at it and the only sales I have had are myself or my friends but hopefully in time that will change…
One of the designs I made was for small businesses and entrepreneurs, in the UK specifically. So I’d made it April to March – only to learn that technically the UK tax year is 6 April to 5 April. Who knew? Well you probably did but I didn’t. So I uploaded another version with the correct dates.
The beauty of KDP is that it doesn’t cost you anything but your time. That to me is why I love print on demand, full stop.
Give Kindle Direct Publishing a try yourself or if you want me to make something for you, feel free to contact me here at the site.