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The Amazon KDP Content Rules For Authors

When you write a book, whether it is a novel, a chapbook, or an informational ebook, there is nothing better than the feeling of your work being published and sharing it with readers.

The Amazon KDP Content Rules For Authors

However, the journey to traditional publishing is lengthy and certainly not guaranteed. Thankfully, it has never been easier to publish your work yourself. 

If you have looked into self-publishing, you will likely have come across Amazon KDP. This is a self-publishing platform that is facilitated by Amazon. It allows you to self-publish your books in both digital and print formats.

However, there are content rules that need to be followed on the platform. In this article, we will look at the content rules for authors to make your KDP experience as smooth as possible.

Rules For Covers

Although they say that you should never judge a book by its cover, it is still an incredibly important part of publishing your book. When using the KDP platform, authors are required to provide both an external and internal cover for their book. 

The images that you use for both covers should not infringe on the copyright of other publishers or artists. This means that the image should be original or you should have obtained the relevant rights to use the image for your cover.

If you don’t have the right to use an image, your book may be removed from the platform and your profile may be flagged.

If your book is a companion book such as a summary, guide, or critique, KDP requires that this fact is stated before the subject material.

For example, “Critical Analysis of Lord of the Rings”. The statement should be in the same font size as the rest of the title. This is to avoid confusion with the original work.

Rules For Tables Of Contents

When you are uploading your manuscript to the KDP platform, you will be prompted to provide a table of contents. This isn’t a requirement for uploading your work. However, it is strongly recommended as it can improve sales of your book.

If you are including a table of contents in your book, Amazon recommends that authors place the table in the front matter. The reason for this is related to the ‘Last Page Read’ feature. Incorrect placement of the contents table can affect the accuracy of this feature. 

The table of contents should be made up of clickable HTML links. It is important that they do not reference specific page numbers as these cannot be guaranteed to line up once the work is published.

If your e-book is part of multiple volumes, there should be a master table of contents for each volume in the front matter. 

Rules For Links

One of the greatest things about e-books is that you can insert links that lead directly to the source material. However, there are rules for inserting links in a KDP book.

There are certain links that are permitted in e-books and links that are prohibited. If your book contains a prohibited link, it will not be published on the platform until it has been removed. 

Permitted links include:

  • Links to the social media accounts of the author
  • Links to bonus material
  • Links to related, informational websites
  • Links to mailing list sign-up forms

Prohibited links include:

  • Links to pornographic content
  • Links to retailers outside of Amazon
  • Links to malicious content
  • Links to content that may reasonably be considered to be offensive
  • Links to the content of the book

Rules For Content

Despite being a fairly varied platform, KDP still has some rules on what can be used in the main content of your book. This can range from the general topic of your ebook to specific details pertaining to the content of your book.

If Amazon deems your book to be in breach of the rules for content, it will remove your book from the platform. 

Types of prohibited books include:

  • Puzzle books
  • Pattern books
  • Coloring books
  • Blank journals and stationary books
  • Books with facing-page translations
  • Books with extremely short content

All of these types of content are prohibited through KDP for e-books because the product would have to be printed out to be useful. This is not permitted for e-books. 

Other types of content and books that are unacceptable on KDP include:

  • Pornographic content
  • Reasonably offensive content 
  • Illegal content
  • Non-original public domain content
  • Content that infringes on copyright

In addition to the content that will cause your ebook to be outright removed from the platform, bonus content also has to adhere to certain rules in order to be permitted in your book. The bonus content must be relevant to the rest of the book and be non-disruptive. 

Rules For Titles And Subtitles

The Amazon KDP Content Rules For Authors

When you are uploading your content to the KDP platform, you will need to fill in information about the title and subtitles. There are certain rules that this information has to adhere to. The title box must only contain the actual title of the book.

The title of your book must not contain any unauthorized references to other books, authors, or trademarks. Your title must also not refer to sales ranking such as “bestselling”. 

As we mentioned above, companion books must clearly state in the title that it is a companion book. This must come before the main title of the book.

The title and subtitles should also avoid any extraneous words that aren’t shown on the cover. You should avoid filling in the series title field if your book is not part of a series.

Rules For Descriptions

The description of an e-book on KDP is often what makes the book sell, especially when it is first published. However, there are specific rules that need to be followed for this too.

The most important and obvious rule is that descriptions should not contain any pornographic, obscene, or offensive content. There should also be no reference to website addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, or any other contact information. 

There should be no mention of reviews, quotes, or testimonials about the book or any other books that the author has published.

Similarly, the description should not ask readers to leave reviews. There should be no time-sensitive information in the description, nor should there be promotions or advertisements. 

Rules For Publishers

This is a simple rule to follow. When uploading your work, the publisher field must contain either the author’s name or the name of the attached publishing house if there is one.

There should be no websites or companies that have previously published the book. 

Rules For Pre-Orders

Through the KDP platform, an author may not offer pre-orders for public domain ebooks. You also are prohibited from offering pre-orders for a book that has been previously published through KDP.

The deadline to upload and republish your content is 3 days before the content is released. If you cancel your pre-order feature, the system will automatically ban you from pre-orders for one year. 

Final Thoughts

Although there are many rules that authors need to follow in order to successfully publish an ebook on the KDP platform, they all help to make sure that your book is as successful and professional-looking as possible.

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