Self-publish your book on Amazon shockingly fast

Rob Thorpe
3 min readSep 28, 2019

“Why didn’t you tell me you were writing a book?” a good friend asked recently. The truth was, I wasn’t even writing it when we last spoke. I was able to finish and publish it in just about 3 months.

How? Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). You can do it too! Here’s what I learned from self publishing my book Breakout Productivity on Amazon.

Amazon KDP is an incredible platform to self publish for these reasons:

  • It provides tools and templates to format for print & ebook
  • It has “Print on Demand” — Amazon will print and ship your book on-demand directly after an order. You don’t need to keep any stock!
  • It ties directly into Amazon which has a huge marketplace of readers to sell to
  • It has a native advertising platform to help you fuel book sales and track conversions
  • It tracks and pays royalties in a clear and efficient manner

It’s surprisingly easy, given you tackle these items:

#1: Create an Amazon KDP account

Visit and setup your account.

#2: Decide Paperback, eBook or both

Want to publish an eBook, Paperback or both? Amazon KDP has you covered. I chose to do both for my book Breakout Productivity and have seen solid sales for both formats. More readers were interested in eBook than I anticipated.


Simply upload a word document of your manuscript to the KDP portal. Amazon will print copies of your book on-demand whenever it is ordered. No stocking or advanced purchasing to worry about.


In the KDP portal you can download Amazon’s “Kindle Create” software to turn a word document of your manuscript to eBook format. Once done, you can upload the eBook file to the KDP portal to publish.

#3: Format your manuscript into Amazon formats

Understand how to format your manuscript word document. Amazon KDP portal has extensive directions. Know that this can be difficult, and if you aren’t good with Microsoft Word, you probably want to hire someone to do it for you.

Here are the only articles you need to read:

#4: Have a book cover

This is obvious, but you need a professional looking cover for your book. Hire someone who knows how to lay it out and size it properly. Amazon has a free book cover tool, but I don’t recommend it.

#5: Fill out your book description

Write a compelling description that will sell. Here are some articles that can help you.

To simplify it, here is a recommended way to form your description:

Hook -> Problem / Solution -> Ideal Outcome -> What Makes You Qualified to Write This Book -> Transformative Benefits -> Call to Action

#6: Just do it!

Once you have your word document formatted for KDP, cover done, and description written… hit PUBLISH! Don’t delay or hesitate if you think your book is in “good enough” shape. With Amazon you can always edit your manuscript, so don’t worry about it being perfect.

Now get busy promoting your book.



Rob Thorpe

Writing about startups, productivity, and investing. Angel Investor. Author of Breakout Productivity