Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) offers a robust on-demand paperback printing capability. Rather than commit to huge volume printing, why not let KDP do it for you? Each time a customer orders a paperback on the Amazon site, KDP will fast-print a paperback and ship it directly to the customer. We can help prepare your book for KDP on-demand paperback printing.
After your InDesign book is converted into a Kindle KPF file with the Kindle Create app, you can submit the KPF to KDP (Amazon uses a lot of “K”s!) to be used for on-demand paperback printing:
The best thing about this approach is that it works. Since the PPF is already approved for eBook use, exporting it for paperback printing won’t usually flag any errors. The bad thing about this approach is that the paperback looks very generic. (You could say it is rather boring.)
With the exception of adding page headers and footers (with page numbers), the paperback looks just like the Kindle eBook!
And what about the cover? KDP offers a cover design service, too. You select the design from a set of predefined template and enter a few elements (title, subtitle, author name, ISBN, book description, and bio):
Taking this approach practically guarantees that your book will be easily approved by KDP for on-demand paperback printing.
Rather than using the Kindle eBook as the basis for printing, PDFs exported from the original InDesign book is preferred. The process is more complex:
Your book must conform to KDP rules for text placement, page layouts, and graphics are suitable for on-demand printing. (The same holds true for a custom cover spread.)
Don’t be surprised if your book requires several passes of fixes before it is approved for printing. On a recent project, I “thought” a book (manuscript and cover) was ready for print. It took four passes for KDP until it was finally approved. An example rule is that no text (or art object) can appear within .25 inches of a page margin. KDP takes into account of how the number of pages impacts the gutter width. In that case, the .25 inch rule may require additional space for the inside gutter margin.
So, why go through all of this horror? The benefit is that the paperback printing will look like the original InDesign book (see thumbnail below):
Rather than use a generic KDP cover template, your cover will look a lot more distinctive using original art. (“Don’t judge a book by its cover” isn’t always true. A brilliant cover DOES help sell a book!)
Just like the rules for a book’s manuscript, KDP has strict guidelines for a cover spread. For example, no text or art objects can reside within .375 inches of the trim. The cover spread must be exactly what KDP calculates the spine width to be. (This is based on the number of pages and the type of paper used.)
The effort to get your original book approved for on-demand paperback printing can be difficult and frustrating. We have the experience of going through the entire KDP submittal process. We can help.
We have developed a 60-page internal “playbook” that serves as a step-by-step guide to produce a professional on-demand paperback. By following this process, the number of steps required to earn KDP approval can be minimized:
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