It’s a popular saying that everyone has a book in them.
As unique human beings, we ALL have stories to tell. But for aspiring writers who are keen to put pen to paper — or finger to keyboard — to tell their tale, it has often seemed an all-too difficult dream.
In 2007 Amazon launched Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) — a self-publishing program with the goal of helping authors find their audience. And one of KDP’s top homegrown success stories is Melbourne-based author, Matt Rogers.
“I've wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember,” he says. “I’ve been writing fiction since I was six, so seeing my book in print for the first time was truly special.
“Holding it in my hands was surreal. To think that readers all over the world were able to order a physical book of mine straight to their doorstep…it was definitely a magical moment.”
After taking a gap year, a then-19-year-old Matt penned a Jack Reacher-style action thriller, which he self-published on KDP. A sequel followed, along with the epiphany that he was earning enough through book sales to turn his dream of writing full-time into a reality.
“It suddenly struck me that I could make a living solely from writing — it was a milestone moment,” he recalls.
Providing budding authors with the tools to succeed
Amazon's self-publishing service, Kindle Direct Publishing, enables authors to publish in both print and digital formats, retain their copyright, get to market fast, distribute globally and earn royalties of up to 70 percent for digital books and 60 per cent for print books.
After entering their book details and uploading the content, it’s a simple matter of choosing where you want your book to be available, in which formats and setting the prices. To make it even easier, KDP has put together a step-by-step guide to help new authors navigate the process. And if the author’s book isn’t fully formatted, there are free tools to help with the design and layout of both the interior and cover.
“You’re not just the author, but the director, too,” says the now 25-year-old writer, Matt Rogers. “And it’s totally up to you how to present your book.
“It’s so easy to sign up, and the rewards are great. Self-publishing through KDP provided me with the opportunity to create and release my books, one after the other, and to rapidly develop my writing skills in the process. I can confidently say I wouldn't be the writer I am today without KDP.”
Amazon’s State of the Art Print on Demand Facility
While KDP has been an important tool for writers globally for 15 years now, there’s further cause for celebration Down Under with the 2021 launch of Amazon’s first ‘Print on Demand’ (POD) facility in Australia.
The state-of-the-art printing service enables authors and publishers to print paperback books locally, making their chosen catalogue of titles continuously available for fast delivery to Australian readers. This means that Australians can order from an expanded selection of books with millions of titles now enrolled into the program — and have them printed on demand at Amazon’s facility in Western Sydney — at the click of a button.
Putting authors in the driving seat
Amazon’s first Print on Demand facility in the Southern Hemisphere marks a real opportunity for authors and publishers.
Print on Demand helps authors tell their stories and make their books available without having to invest in inventory. Authors can publish their books in print or digital formats for no cost, making them easily available to readers worldwide, while maintaining the rights to their work eliminating the need for manufacturing surplus books and paying for storage costs. As such, its Australian opening has been a source of great excitement for the homegrown community of KDP writers — Matt included.
“It represents a huge milestone for Aussie self-published authors,” he enthuses. “I think that the launch of POD here will further inspire the next generation of Aussie authors who are keen to share their work and to make a living out of their passion.”
With KDP offering authors up to 70 percent of their royalties, Matt is making a handsome income thanks to the high royalty rates that Amazon’s independent publishing program provides.
“If you're self-publishing, you are the publisher, and that comes with high rewards in terms of profits,” he explains. “I receive 70 percent of royalties self-publishing through KDP, which is a really strong figure.”
Of course, royalties are not the real reason he writes. A desire to craft entertaining stories, to connect with readers and to share the gift of a good read is Matt’s driving force. And for aspiring authors with similar ambitions, Matt encourages them to follow in his footsteps and to make the self-publishing leap.
“I’d ask the same question I asked myself when I was 19, which was: ‘what’s the worst that could happen if you put your book out there?’” he says.
“I think it’s worth it simply for that feeling of having something you’ve written and laboured over out in the world. For me, it’s this personal satisfaction and achievement before the sales — I see the sales as just a bonus.”
You can find Matt’s books — alongside those of thousands of Australian authors who are self-publishing via Kindle Direct Publishing — on amazon.com.au. Check out the first in Matt’s Dante Jacoby thriller series Be Somebody
Looking for your next great thriller? Aussie authors, including KDP success story Matt Rogers have made their recommendations here.
If you are interested in starting your own self-publishing journey, visit kdp.amazon.com