Q: From newcomer to top earner, tell us about your journey into KDP and what it took to hit your stride?

Victoria: I’ve been successfully selling on Merch by Amazon for a few years now since it became more difficult for me to work at a traditional job due to a chronic illness, so I always pay attention to emerging print on demand opportunities. I’d heard so much enthusiasm about KDP and finally decided to get started a few months ago. I was both excited and completely intimidated. I may work on a computer all day long now, but I’m actually not that computer/tech savvy and the book creation and listing process seemed so complex. I knew that I was going to need some help and that it would be best to start off with a slow and gradual process.

I looked at the available tools and KDP communities for help and started out right away using both KDP Wizard & Tangent Templates. Tangent provided the ready made interiors I needed to get started experimenting right away. KDP Wizard made the whole book listing process go smoothly and quickly which also allowed me to be organized right from the beginning. For my first books, I chose to create simple lined notebooks to get a feel for the listing process, and how to design covers that would sell. The sales from those notebooks weren’t anything impressive, but it accomplished my goal of getting my feet wet with a new platform that I knew nothing about.

I didn’t hit my stride until I experimented with a low content interior that I spent a few weeks customizing. The concept behind it came to me unexpectedly while I was searching for a gift to send to a friend and couldn’t find the right product in the right niche. I positioned myself as the gift giver and executed a new twist on a low content product in an already profitable niche and that’s when things really took off for me.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve received or lesson you’ve learned about KDP?

Victoria: Take the time to customize interiors! This is advice given within the KDP community and has also served as a personal lesson. I think sometimes customers want more than just a pretty cover and are attracted to unique products within the niche they’re shopping in. I truly believe it’s worth it to spend the time creating an original product that can stand on its own.

Another thing to keep in mind is that just like MBA, any listing that does well will eventually have copycats that reproduce book covers. However, those same copycats are usually too lazy to reproduce the interior. Plus they can’t see the entire interior unless they actually buy the book. This is something anyone can take advantage of, positioning themselves where they always remain a few steps ahead.

Q: Do your best performing MBA niches translate to great sellers on KDP too or is there little correlation?

Victoria: I’m a big fan of both experimentation and diving deep into a niche that’s already well understood.

Although I’m still fairly new to KDP and don’t have much experience with this just yet, I do think there is significant correlation. Applying knowledge about a niche that a seller is already successful in should help position anyone to create products in other markets that the customers of that niche wants.

Q: Although “low content” and “no content” KDP products sell extremely well, there is still no shortage of writing that book creators must produce. From covers to listings, what is your secret recipe to writing your way into buyers’ hearts?

Victoria: One thing we have to consider is that the “look inside” preview isn’t accessible for mobile users. So it’s important to include as many details as possible in the bullets and description. For custom interiors, I’ll include images of it on the back cover as a “workaround” so it can still be previewed.

If it’s a gifting item, I explain why it makes a good gift. On MBA we see a lot of one liners like “great gift for mom” written in the bullets. But because of the nature of these products having inside content, I think it’s important to offer more details about WHY it would make a good gift. Does it solve a problem? Is it the perfect gag gift that provides humor? Is it sentimental and symbolize love? What are some of the examples or features from the inside that makes it the perfect “sentimental gift for mom”? It’s this type of writing that makes the sale. I’ll usually start with a niche related description that I’ve created and stored in KDP Wizard for simplicity and then customize it based on the specific cover and interior that I’m listing.

Q: What early mistakes initially held you back that other KDP newbies might currently be making?

Victoria: I think it’s important to consider that what works for one, may not work for another regarding the type of books we’re creating. I know there’s a lot of encouragement to produce no content notebooks with nice covers. But KDP is not Merch. We don’t all have to do the same thing. We don’t all have to compete for the same piece of pie. If you try something and feel the rewards are slim, I’d encourage experimentation with a different product. With KDP it doesn’t have to be just a graphic that is the primary motivation for a customer purchasing the book like it is with a t-shirt. Amazon is the world’s largest book retailer. The possibilities of what you can create and sell, are limitless.

Q: With big paydays now rewarding the big passion you brought to KDP in 2019, what are your KDP goals for 2020 and what’s your plan to achieve them?

Victoria: Now that I see the amazing potential of KDP, I have huge goals for 2020! My top KDP priority is to focus on creating more custom interiors. They’re definitely more time consuming, but as my early success has shown me, it’s definitely worth it. I also plan to continue putting myself in the position of the gift giver when researching and thinking about new ideas. The endless interiors for KDP provide a whole new outlet to be creative and make something that can’t be reproduced easily. I’m definitely going to be taking advantage of this.