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  • Writer's pictureSean Dollwet

The Landscape of Self-Publishing: Amazon KDP and How to Rise Above the Publishing Challenges in 2023

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

With the evolution of technology, the publishing landscape has undergone a tectonic shift in the world of internet traffic.

Self-publishing is no longer the black sheep of the literary world, and that’s thanks to platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) that have played a significant role in their mass adoption.

Yet, the newly released 2023 publishing trends report indicates that the publishing industry, including self-publishing, is grappling with the wild seas of declining traffic and has become the top commercial priority.

The big question is what magnitude of impact is this report going to have on self-publishers.

For that answer, we turn our attention to our trusty GPS, Amazon KDP.

Some Context

First, let’s explore the ‘why’ behind these trends.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted businesses across all sectors, including the publishing industry. E-commerce swooped globally and consumerism was transformed. Once that became saturated, E-publishing rose as the next boom.

A simultaneous shift is occurring in the global economy as we move from the immediate impact of the pandemic to a stage of economic recovery.

This transition phase, often termed the "intermediate game," requires businesses to strategically adapt to the changing circumstances.

Self-publishers, like all small businesses, must strategically manage their resources and position themselves to thrive in the post-pandemic world.

Introducing: The Self Publishing Survival Kit.

Self-Publishing Survival Kit Strategies

1. Budget 101:

Understanding precisely what your self-publishing business needs to survive, and on what timeline, is crucial. As self-publishers, we need to be more than penny pinchers, we need to be penny investors.

Remember: survival today, growth tomorrow.

2. Future Projections:

This is your business and that means you have to become your own fortune teller.

Document evidence of future success, like an uptick in book orders or increased reader engagement, to secure the necessary financing.

3. Demand and Supply:

Start by predicting and preparing for shifts in reader demand. It's essential to understand what a post-pandemic society means for your readers and their literary habits. Do the research and adjust your offerings accordingly.

4. Hiring Spree:

If your self-publishing operation has grown to include additional staff, or if you anticipate needing assistance in the future, it's wise to prepare for this in advance.

Some things to consider…

  • How much does your business need to gross in revenue to afford one, two or even three new team members?

  • How much do you have in cash or liquid reserves in case the market takes a turn for the worse?

  • What kind of positions can you hire for to get the most “bang” for your buck (Hint: you want people that are talented in more than one aspect of your business operations.)

5. Guiding Light:

When in doubt, seek professional help.

Accountants and advisers can provide insights into performance trends and help navigate the uncertain business climate.

What Can Amazon KDP Do to Help?

As self-publishing gains momentum, Amazon KDP becomes the guide in this expedition.

This is why understanding how the platform can navigate the challenge of declining traffic is essential to your publishing success.

  • Expanding Audience Reach:

    • Amazon's KDP allows authors to publish their work in multiple languages and markets.

    • Meaning you can choose to publish your book in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, and Australia.

      • In other words: You can reach a MUCH broader audience.

  • Play With Price:

    • With KDP, you can play with your book prices like a kid with a new toy.

    • Start to experiment with different price points, offer discounts, or even freebies to lure more buyers into your literary candy shop.

  • Marketing Magician:

    • Amazon KDP offers promotional gimmicks like Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotions.

  • Keyword Commando:

    • KDP lets you optimize your book’s metadata. It's like being a commando in the Amazon jungle, sneaking past the competition to make your book more visible to potential readers.

  • Library Access:

    • Enrolling in KDP Select is like an open bar to the exclusive Kindle Owners' Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited, to increase your book's visibility and readership.

  • Review Rally:

    • More reviews on your Amazon page can turn the tide in your favor in the battle of algorithms, making your book more likely to be recommended to potential readers.

  • Bio-Booster:

    • An Author Central Page lets you sell not just your book, but yourself.

    • Share your biography, photos, and blog feeds to build a fan club that can help withstand the traffic decline.

  • Printing Wizardry:

    • KDP offers a print-on-demand service.

    • Think of it as your personal book-making machine, letting you attract readers who have a soft spot for that fresh book smell.

Ultimately, self-publishers are not doomed. With the right tools and strategies, soon enough we’ll all be singing in the rain.

It doesn’t matter the situation, books will always sell and will always be needed.

And as the world evolves, you remain the trusted chef cooking up the perfect literary feast.


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