Are you struggling to make a decent monthly income with Amazon KDP?
Printing books has come a long way.
Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press made it possible to manufacture large numbers of books for relatively little cost for the first time. Books and other printed matter consequently became available to a wide general audience, greatly contributing to the spread of knowledge, discoveries, and literacy in Renaissance Europe. It allowed ideas and news to be shared quickly which helped usher in the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific revolution.
Gutenberg’s press was the combined effort of several discoveries and inventions. The printing press was built around the traditional screw press, a precursor to today’s drill press, with an added matrix on which individually-cast letters and symbols could be arranged to form the desired text.
But the impact of this invention goes much further than that!
- It created a global news network.
If you printed 200 copies of a book in Venice, you could sell five to the captain of each ship leaving port. Which the first mass-distribution mechanism for printed books.
The ships left Venice carrying religious texts and literature, but also breaking news from across the known world. Printers in Venice sold four-page news pamphlets to sailors, and when their ships arrived in distant ports, local printers would copy the pamphlets and hand them off to riders who would race them off to dozens of towns.
- It jump-started the Italian Renaissance.
One of the chief projects of the early Renaissance was to find long-lost works by figures like Plato and Aristotle and republish them. Wealthy patrons funded expensive expeditions across the Alps in search of isolated monasteries. Italian emissaries spent years in the Ottoman Empire learning enough Ancient Greek and Arabic to translate and copy rare texts into Latin. Although the printing press didn’t launch the Renaissance, but it vastly accelerated the rediscovery and sharing of knowledge.
- Scientific Revolution gets a boost.
The English philosopher Francis Bacon, who’s credited with developing the scientific method, wrote in 1620 that the three inventions that forever changed the world were gunpowder, the nautical compass, and the printing press. With the newfound ability to publish and share scientific findings and experimental data with a wide audience, science took great leaps forward in the 16th and 17th centuries.
- Fringe groups get a voice.
According to historian Ada Palmer, “Whenever a new information technology comes along, and this includes the printing press, among the very first groups to be ‘loud’ in it are the people who were silenced in the earlier system, which means radical voices.”
- The Democratization of Knowledge
The Enlightenment era led to the development of public opinion and its power to topple the ruling elite. Writing in pre-Revolution France, Louis-Sebástien Mercier declared:
“A great and momentous revolution in our ideas has taken place within the last thirty years. Public opinion has now become a preponderant power in Europe, one that cannot be resisted… one may hope that enlightened ideas will bring about the greatest good on Earth and that tyrants of all kinds will tremble before the universal cry that echoes everywhere, awakening Europe from its slumbers.”
- Machines Replacing Jobs?
Before Gutenberg’s paradigm-shifting invention, scribes were in high demand. Bookmakers would employ dozens of trained artisans to painstakingly hand-copy and illuminate manuscripts. But by the late 15th century, the printing press had rendered their unique skillset all but obsolete.
But to be fair the huge demand for printed material spawned the creation of an entirely new industry of printers, brick-and-mortar booksellers, and enterprising street peddlers. Among those who got his start as a printer’s apprentice was future Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin.
Fast Forward to Digital Publishing
Digital publishing means using online technology to digitize print material and disseminate it through electronic devices. E-publishers are experts at their craft, creating editorial content and distributing it online to: Reach mobile and global audiences.
We can say that digital publishing was born on 4 July 1971 when Project Gutenberg started. It was founded by Michael Hart who was the first to make a digital copy of the Declaration of Independence. This document became the first digitized publication in the world.
The first online-only magazine Salon hit the web in 1995. Within a short time, the site was generating 5.8 million monthly visitors, proving the potential of the medium and triggering a rush to online journalism. Other magazines soon followed suit, with more and more opting for digital over physical publication.
The biggest difference between print media and digital publishing is where you can view them, the immediacy of access, and sometimes the cost. Print media is always tangible, while digital media is always online. You can often access digital media more quickly and from anywhere because it’s available on the internet with access from any connected device. And sometimes print media publications may cost more than their digital counterparts because some more resources and materials go into creating them.
Digital publishing can help your business attract a broader audience. It’s a preferred resource for content distribution because it allows you to make your information available to billions of people around the world. According to Statista, as of 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide. That’s a lot of eye on your content. People rely on digital publications for their convenience. If you create content that’s mobile-friendly and high-quality, you’re likely to increase your subscribers and followers over time.
Amazon Launches KDP
“Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon.com’s e-book publishing unit launched in November 2007, concurrently with the first Amazon Kindle device… In 2016, Amazon also added a paperback option, which uses print-on-demand technology to offer digital and print to self-publishers.”
According to stats on KDP by 2019 Amazon had globally published more than 2 million books!
Authors Not Getting Paid?
One can imagine the sheer logistics required to manage such an endeavor. As such sometimes things slip through the cracks. In this case appropriate royalty commissions.
When you go to the KDP forums, where authors are complaining about improper compensation these complaints are constantly repeated:
“Incorrect sales reporting, dismissive customer service reps”
“Countdown Deal not working”
“Horrible Customer service”
“Very disappointed with Amazon KDP”
Amazon KDP authors have had their accounts instantly shut down and they can’t collect their unpaid royalties. And, Amazon doesn’t always give authors details about why their account was terminated.
In the beginning, KDP held such promise. Authors who had been on the platform for the longest say that the royalties were great before the KDP Select and *flat-fee programs.
*flat-fee – readers pay a basic price and can read as many books as they want each month.
Is There A Better Alternative?
To be clear there are other platforms to publish your digital books. A few of them include:
Barnes & Noble Press.
You should know that these platforms aren’t as big as KDP. Therefore you won’t make as much money.
But our (PaidLetter.Com) argument has always been that YOU should control the platform! Here are the benefits of having your own Single Operated Newsletter:
1 – You can create a subscription base without becoming a social media influencer.
2 – You control a platform where you can’t get “kicked-off” which eliminates YouTube, Facebook, and yes, even Instagram.
3 – You get paid directly for the content provided to your readers because you control the paywall!
Want More Reasons?
- Never need to make phone calls or speak to anyone on the phone (EVER). - Privacy! (You can even create one anonymously) - You don’t need to be an expert or create a social media following because you will curate the content. - You are not gouging clients for money – like with popular coaching programs (even at $9/month a thousand subscribers will earn you a six-figure income) - You can operate your paid newsletter anywhere in the world with internet access! - This is your very own unique and curated digital product (immune to price comparisons and discounting).
We also reveal how to leverage the Amazon KDP platform to promote your paid newsletter (and how we got “Single Operated Newsletter” to dominate the first page of Google for FREE!)