Since 2007, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has helped launch millions of successful careers in self-publishing. Through KDP, independent authors can publish their books in print or digital formats for free, and make them easily available to readers in over a dozen marketplaces and 175 countries.
"We launched Kindle Direct Publishing in 2007 to empower writers and diversify publishing," said Charles Kronbach, VP at Amazon. “Today, 15 years later, we're proud that millions of storytellers are able to share their otherwise-untold stories with more readers around the world than ever before."
As we celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the service, take a look at how KDP has flourished alongside readers and writers over the years.
2007: Amazon launches KDP
In November 2007, Amazon launched KDP (called Digital Text Platform at the time) on the same day as the first ever Kindle e-reader. This new service opened up a new avenue for millions of writers pursuing their passion, all while earning up to 70% of their royalties and retaining the rights to their work.
2011: KDP Select provides funds to independent authors
December 2011 marked the launch of KDP Select, a program offering additional promotional features to help independent authors and publishers reach more readers and earn more royalties when they made their books exclusive to the Kindle Store for 90 days. At launch, the program included a $500,000 KDP Select Global Fund, which has since grown to more than $45 million per month, and provided more than $2.2 billion in royalties to participating authors.
2016: KDP offers print publishing, giving readers more choice than ever before
In 2016, Amazon combined its eBook and print publishing resources to make it easier for authors to publish their titles in paperback, helping them to reach even more readers worldwide. Since then, the service has added lower-cost color printing options, hardcover books, and expanded print book availability to Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden, as well as made distribution off Amazon available in the UK.
2021: Kindle Vella provides a new way to read and write
In July 2021, Amazon launched its latest reading innovation–Kindle Vella, serial stories available in the Kindle app. Kindle Vella is a new way to read and publish stories one episode at a time. Readers can follow stories they love and get notified when new episodes release throughout the week. Writers can engage their readers with new features, like polls and author’s notes. As of October 2022, Kindle Vella authors have earned more than $10 million.
Over the last 15 years, KDP has championed independent writers while developing new technology for individuals of all abilities, backgrounds, interests, and experiences to engage with reading more easily. Looking ahead, KDP will continue to innovate to best serve audiences and authors in an ever-expanding industry with the aim of leaving a lasting impact on literacy.