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How Long Will It Take To Sell A Book On KDP?

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service is a great way for authors and publishers to get their wonderful words and LC books on the market ASAP.

How Long Will It Take To Sell A Book On KDP?

It means creatives can start turning a profit almost immediately after finishing their final edit, which is obviously fantastic, but just how soon is “immediately”?

Well, there are a number of things to consider when figuring out how long it will take to sell a book on KDP, and I’ll be guiding you through each of them here today.

That first sale is a magical event that gives you the fire in your belly to continue with your endeavor, so without further ado, let’s establish some potential timeframes from opening your account, to receiving money for your content.


If all goes well, you can have your book uploaded on Amazon KDP in as little as 5 minutes — Hooray!

However, as Amazon has some fairly strict guidelines on submissions, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to spend a few days amending your work to fit their format.

Ebooks, paperbacks, and hardbacks have slightly different formatting on KDP, so if you’re hoping to sell all three types of book, you’re in for some serious editorial work after finishing your actual editing process.

That said, once you’re aware of what Amazon is looking for, it becomes much easier and quicker to format and upload your work to your KDP account, but even then, you cannot make your first sale.


Understandably, Amazon won’t allow just any books on their platform, as certain topics or angles are morally indefensible, and the company has the right to protect itself, as well as an obligation to protect its users.

Thus, a relatively lengthy review process of content uploaded on KDP takes place. This can take as long as 72 hours, but it may just as well be 24 or 48 hours depending on the density of your publication.

A Timeline For New Publications On KDP

Okay, so now you know about the review process, your next move should be to clue yourself up on the product page development timeline, as this will also impact the time it takes to make a sale.

As stated above, the review period can take up to 72 hours, but only three of a possible five things will happen when the review comes to a close:

  • The details of your ebook will appear on the product page.
  • The thumbnail of your ebook cover will appear alongside the description on the product page.
  • Your book will appear in search results.

For anything outside these three progressions, you can expect to wait a bit longer:

  • Links to your paperback and hardback editions — 48 hours to 7 days after each version goes live on your account.
  • The “look inside the book feature” — Between 7 and 8 business days.

Of course, you may well make your first sale before the latter two updates are implemented, meaning, with some quality content and a bit of luck, you could potentially make a sale straight after the 72-hour review period, but this is highly unlikely.

Time Of Year

Another variable to consider is the time of year — Those who’ve worked in retail will understand.

At certain junctures in the year, people are far more likely to be looking for certain items, books being one of them.

The holiday season, for example, always sees a huge upsurge in sales across a number of industries, as people are seeking gifts for one another, and more people looking for and willing to buy stuff obviously means that there’s a greater chance that you’ll sell a book quickly on KDP.

If you want to take advantage of a high sales season, don’t act too late. For instance, preparing your books for sale at Christmas in December may be a little too late to catch the wave of consumers hitting Amazon to buy gifts.

The Nature Of Your Book

The Nature Of Your Book

Let’s not forget what is probably the most important factor when it comes to how soon your book will sell… the type and quality of the content provided.

Certain types of books sell better than others; it’s just a fact. For instance, low content books tend to sell quickly and continuously, whereas things like novels may take a while to catch on.

What is a low content book, I hear you ask? Well, anything that doesn’t have much creative writing in and has a lot of repeat pages falls into the low content book category.

We’re talking notebooks, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, planners, and journals.

Unlike fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, low content books don’t rely on writerly merit to sell.

What’s more, no writing means you can create these things remarkably fast, so your project inception-to-sale timeline is going to be a lot shorter than that of a novelist.


The problem with alternative publishing is that you don’t always get practical or financial help to advertise your work, and if people don’t know it exists, they can’t buy it.

In light of this, most of the time, the onus falls on you to get the word out, which, thankfully, is easier today than it ever has been before.

Posting links to your book on your socials is almost certainly going to generate some traffic, and possibly even word of mouth, significantly increasing your chances of making a sale.

The big three are a good place to start (Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter), but don’t rule out the effectiveness of other social networking platforms such as LinkedIn and YouTube.

So, How Long Will It Take To Sell A Book On KDP?

The minimum amount of time you can physically make a sale depends on the length of Amazon’s review process, which, at most, will be 72 hours for an ebook, but you’ll be waiting a little longer to sell a physical copy of your book.

Paper and hardbacks may not be made available on the product page for up to a week.

Naturally, there’ll then be a period in which you’re waiting for people to find your book on Amazon, which is hard to put a concrete figure on as it varies so much.

I’ve heard sellers say that it only took a couple of days or weeks after uploading to sell their low content book, while others might not make a sale for a month or longer.

Other people may never make a sale, but this usually comes down to content quality and poor keyword application during the uploading process.

Certain high content books that rank well in terms of SEO and fall into a popular niche can sell just as fast as quality low content books, but for more creative high content books, you might not make your first organic sale for a while.

When Will I Get Paid For The Sale Of A Book On KDP?

KDP pays out royalties on a monthly basis, but at least 60 days after a sale takes place.

Final Thoughts

Not all KDP ventures are successful, so it’s important to know when it’s time to pull the plug or at least try something different, which is why estimating when to expect your first sale is key.

Should you fail to make a sale in the expected timeframe, taking into account all the variables discussed here today, it might be a good idea to amend your content, your upload approach, or get more hands-on with marketing.

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