Start with KDP

Get started with Amazon KDP for free with three easy steps and start making passive income

In 2021 I started earning a little bit of extra money, making some no content books on Amazon kindle direct purchasing (KDP). Essentially what I am making is notebooks, journals and planners.

The beauty of this kind of side hustle is that you can get started for absolutely nothing. You just need to get yourself a few little things. A KDP account for free, some book interiors on PDF which you can get for free, and make a cover which you can do for free on services like Canva or others.

It is unfortunately not going to be as easy as rocking up making a cover with some random words on, uploading and selling loads overnight.

The way to sell some no content books is through two things finding a niche that sells and isn’t too competitive and then finding the right keywords to put into the description and keyword section of the upload.

But first, you need to get set up and for that, we can start with 3 very quick things that can be done incredibly easy and with no spend

  • Opening a KDP account
  • Get free interiors
  • Make covers on Canva

There is more to it than this but these are how to get started, and moving forward uploading books there is no need to pay a penny if you choose not.

How to open a KDP account?

The first step is to open a KDP account this is very easy to set up. If you already have an amazon account you can use the same login to sign in to amazon KDP or you can create a new account.

There are 3 parts you need to enter to create your KDP account. Author information, payment information and tax information

 

Author information

Simply just your full legal name as it has to be the same as the one you are getting paid for, and your mailing address you will be used for tax reporting purposes and royalty payments

Payment information

You can get paid in a few different ways, the easiest is direct deposit through electronic funds transfer. You will get paid 60 days after the end of the payment month. So your earnings in December will be paid at the beginning of March

There is no minimum payment amount either, which is very encouraging if you only sell a few you haven’t got to wait to hit a threshold for payment like you would some other services. In my first paid month I got a whopping £1.76 when first starting out and just a couple of sales. (Don’t worry it got better)

Tax information

Finally tax information, the biggest guarantee in the world... taxes, as with any additional income you will need to pay tax on your income. At normal tax rates, you would need to complete a self-assessment return if your earnings hit over a certain amount.

If an individual or sole trader the information you are required to put in is very limited but it will be your responsibility to declare to HMRC as additional income as a sole trader.

Fortunately, under UK tax legislation, any income over £1,000 needs to be declared to the HMRC. But if you are only doing small amounts anything under £1,000 would not have to be if this was your only source of income.

This is income and not profit which Is why KDP is the perfect side hustle, as your outgoings are much lower, £1,000 of annual income could be earned with very little expenditure. Whereas something like buying and selling your income (turnover) may be higher but with less profit.

Get free interiors for KDP

The next thing you will need in order to be able to upload books to KDP is an interior, this is the body of your book, but if we are making low or no content books, these will be very limited in content and thus you can get for free.

You could make these yourself in a variety of ways, but honestly, this can take time. Time is better spent creating more covers, doing keyword research and ultimately uploading more books.

So you are best placed getting some free interiors that are all ready to upload. One of the best places for this is book bolt. Who offers a lot of great services for amazon KDP some great tutorials and advice to boost your business.

Go on to their interior wizard https://designer.bookbolt.io/interior-generator.php

Pick the size of book you want, notebooks are normally 6 x 9 inches, composition notebooks are normally 8.5 x 11inches, so many other options to consider as well.

Best to choose no bleed, bleed is more often used for images and illustrations, but unless there is a specific reason to go for bleed, no bleed is the way ahead.

Then you enter the page count, I normally go for 120 pages for my notebooks, but add what you like.

Then you can select the look of the interior you can get so many different ones, your normal lined notebooks, music sheets, shopping trackers, birthday reminders recipe pages, so many more the amount of free ones on offer is absurd.

Then simply click download, you can save it as a pdf, and it is yours to store and upload to amazon an unlimited amount of times.

Absolutely fantastic resource for free, their member offerings are even better, and if after some time you want to grow your KDP business, then it is definitely something to consider. Something that moving into 2022 I will definitely think about, however not yet. As this is still one of a few different side hustles I am exploring and may want to dedicate more time with more investment.

Canva is the perfect free resource for creating a cover on KDP

 

The next and final thing that you will need is the ability to create the covers, you can use a variety of tools for this my personal favourite and another free tool is Canva.

Canva is an incredibly easy tool that you can use on web browser or on mobile to create beautiful designs in a really easy drag and drop feature. They have a lot of free elements and wide variety of fonts that you can use to create excellent looking covers all for free.

I have had books sell over 100 copies with nothing but text, others with free pictures or graphics from Canvas library. That take minutes to create and build.

For your cover, the first thing you need to do is to make sure the size is the right size for the cover otherwise the upload process won’t work.

Again you can do this easily by creating a free template to ensure your dimensions are correct and then it is easy to ensure that your front, back cover and spine are all the right size for when you upload.

The way I did this was to create a free template for the size of my book on bookow.com

 

Click on their KDP cover template generator enter the width and height of your book and the number of pages you are having and enter your email address. You don’t need to worry about the ISBN or barcode as amazon will do all this for you during the upload process. Bookow will then send to you a pdf copy of your cover template. You have the option of making a small donation for the guys to keep up their great work or you can take it for free. They will email you a pdf copy of the template

Included in the template is the full dimensions of your book You can then use this on Canva to click on custom design enter the dimensions. To have a working blank background of the perfect size for when you download. Upload the pdf that was emailed to you drag from corner to corner and you find it fits perfectly.

You can use this template to then ensure that when you create your cover all of the elements are exactly where you want them and won't get cut off on uploading them.

I normally then create boxes with canvas elements tools under shapes to give me the space I want to put my front cover. Changed the background of all elements to meet my desired background and add any elements that I want on my cover.

It is really as simple as that, you can duplicate the page to create as many as you like under one size.

Then you can download this as a png for uploading using amazons cover creator or a print-ready pdf to upload straight away.

It really is that simple, all these tools work perfectly fine under the free membership tool for Canva, making this whole endeavour a completely risk free one and potentially very profitable.

 

If you want to see how I got started in my first few months, making just under £500 with a small number of notebooks and planners check out my 2021 review

earning money with kdp