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Two Ways for Artists to Make Money on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

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Painting by the author

Painting by the author

What Is Kindle Direct Publishing?

Did you know that anyone can self-publish on Amazon? Via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you can have content published on the Amazon site, as well as books physically created and sent out.

Many types of books can be published:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Coloring books
  • Journals
  • Notebooks
  • Activity books
  • Children's books

These are just some of the types of books you can create and sell. In this article, I will be discussing coloring books and journals/notebooks.

This article is aimed at artists, not people who chose to use free clip art to flood the market with junk. This is for artists who use their own work for covers and interiors. This is about a venue for selling and showcasing your artwork, not a get-rich-quick scheme.

1. Coloring Books

As with notebooks, there are too many junk coloring books flooding Amazon. Made with computer-generated "Mandalas" and fake art of that nature, these coloring books flood out and bury the real gems created by real artists. You can always tell the real drawings versus the computer-generated ones. They are pieces of clip art manipulated so it is duplicated in a mandala shape.

There are other types of clip art coloring books that are easy to spot as well. You have to really sift around through all that to find actual hand-drawn books.

You can create your own coloring book with your own line sketches, either ink sketches or pencil sketches that are inked later. I cannot do ink sketches by hand. I take my pencil sketches and use a light tablet to ink the lines in. There are also tablets where you can ink them by hand but with a digital pencil. This is a good investment as it can save a lot of time if you are like me and not always perfect on the first try.

2. Journals and Notebooks

Too many times, I have seen junky notebooks with bad clip art on the cover, with a little box at the top with the word "Notebook" inside. These I like to call "junk books." There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of these, and they clog up the market, so it makes it difficult to find ones that have had the time, work, and care of a real artist.

Why would someone want to pay several dollars for one of these when they could pay a dollar or less for something similar at Walmart?

As an artist, you can create a nice-looking journal or notebook with your own personal flair, using artwork that you created at home or in your studio. It could be a painting, pencil sketch, ink drawing, or whatever it is that you do well. All you need is a smartphone, some software, and your artwork to create a book on KDP. You can scan or take a photo of your work, upload it into Canva (which is free) or another book design platform, design the book, and then load it up into KDP.

This is a great way to sell your artwork, as you just create the piece one time and sell it many times. Not only do you make more money this way, but more people can appreciate and enjoy your art—and for a lower price than paying for the original. And of course, you get to keep the original, to do with as you please.

Notebooks can have a simple lined interior, but I prefer adding a bit of my personal style to the interior of journals. I like to keep the lines so they don't extend to the edges of the page. I leave a little room for a small illustration. And I like to sprinkle full-page line illustrations throughout the journal.

For book covers, I like to have a nice, subtle background, which I sometimes create on my own, with a smaller square or rectangle in the center with my painting or drawing. The painting can cover the whole front as well.

Conquering the Learning Curve

There is, of course, a learning curve involved with creating these books on Kindle Direct Publishing. For me, it was learning to use book design software and learning how to ink correctly.

But anything can be done when you set your mind to it, and things become second nature once you know and understand how to do them. I would still consider the whole process relatively easy. I learned how to use Canva in a few hours. But everyone's learning curve is unique to their knowledge and circumstances.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.