This is taken from the Amazon KDP website, you should see it at the top of your bookshelf:
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you click on them.
I’m by no means an expert on KDP, but you can view their full terms and conditions here and their policies here. Please read them through thoroughly, but here are some of my musings based on my humble experience.
- DO create original content so you can’t be accused of adding duplicate content.
- DO put your own spin on any images you use, even if they have full POD and commercial usage policies. Each time you add something to the image, whether text or other images, you are changing it and making it a bit more unique. For example, you could have a nice background image that perhaps other people have also used. However, if you add your own text, some images in the foreground or in the sky (if it has one), you are changing it. The farther away you get from the original image, the more original it will be.
- DON’T use copyrighted terms in your titles, subtitle, keywords or description. For example, the term Bullet Journal is copyrighted so that term can’t be used. Use ‘dot grid journal’ instead.
- DO your research for copyrighted terms. It could save your KDP account!
- DO find examples of content you’d like to use. For example, I like to create planners and logbooks, so I look for ones similar to the one I want to make and use them for inspiration. I don’t copy them, I just use them to generate my own ideas. Canva and Creative Fabrica have planners and logbooks you can use but do change the colours, fonts and images (and the interior design if you are able) so you don’t end up using the same ones others have used.
- DO learn to draw,either digitally or otherwise, so you can create your own, unique content. However, this is very time-consuming and obviously not for everyone, it’s just a great way to create your own content for things like colouring books and little journal doodles!0Please leave a feedback on thisx
- DO make sure your covers are eye-catching and of good quality. I could link to some with poor quality covers, but feel that wouldn’t be fair. Just look at some covers you like for examples of what to do as well as what not to do. A few more minutes of tweaking your cover could make all of the difference. If you feel that creating covers is more trouble than it’s worth, try using a site like Fiverr instead. Follow this link to receive 10% off your first order.
- DO thoroughly research demand and keywords for whatever you want to create – these things could make all of the difference and are worth the extra time spent.
I’ll periodically update this post if I think of any other tips, but if you have your own, please feel to reply with them. 🙂
Amazon now requires you to stipulate if your book is low-content during the upload process. This means you now won’t be able to use one of their free ISBNs, which means your books won’t have the handy ‘Look Inside’ feature. This is a big problem for a lot of creators who design log/record books, planners etc. Now potential customers won’t be able to have a peek inside to see if the book they are viewing is actually right for them. I understand why this feature is pointless for simple notebooks, but there are so many other types of low-content books that would benefit from people being able to see what’s inside. 🙁
However, there is a feature that allows you to add your own images and other content. From your bookshelf, click the ‘Marketing’ link at the top and select ‘A+ Content’. There you can create some quality content that you think will appeal to your potential customers. It’s more work, but it’s well worth the effort.
I recently awoke to a concerning email from Amazon. I had inadvertently used a copyrighted term in my listing and they suspended my account. I was shocked and worried that all of the work I had put into creating and uploading my books had been a huge waste of time! I had no idea that I’d used a copyrighted term, it was a genuine mistake. However, I totally understand why Amazon takes copyright seriously, so I worked with them to get my account unsuspended.
It took about a week but they eventually allowed me back. The reason I’m posting this is to make you aware of just how important it is to avoid blunders like this. You should always do your due diligence when uploading content that you do not use copyrighted content in your titles, subtitles, description, keywords, images etc. I can’t really help you with this, but you can search for copyrighted content to keep your account safe.
Some people think that if you can find an image on Google, it’s free to use. Not so. Please be very careful just to use generic/unique terms in your listings unless you have the right to do so, and always make sure any images you use have a commercial license.
I hope this has been of some help!