A few weeks ago we explored the forums on KBoards. This week we’re taking a look at the forums on Amazon’s KDP Community.
Once you’re in your KDP account, you can click on the Community tab and you’ll find a refreshingly clean list of forum topic categories. Clicking on any category will bring you to the actual forum threads.
Side Note: Even though you clicked through to the forums while in your KDP account, you still have to sign in for the forums again (it’s a simple click to “allow”) in order to post and respond.
These forums are much fresher and have more activity than most of the KBoard forums. The format is cleaner and clearer to navigate. The difference, of course, is that the Community boards are built with newer technology and have Amazon’s unlimited budget behind them. (The KBoards people are saying, “A budget? Must be nice.”)
Because this community is built for authors and publishers and the comments are more recent, the advice you find is more useful. There’s an entire category on formatting issues and the questions range from newbies asking about uploading their books to more technical advice on using HTML and CSS for color pages or eliminating margins. (Yeah, my eyes glazed over.)
Community has a fully functioning search that can help you find the info you need, if that’s all you’re there for. But there’s actually a community on Community – people who hang out and interact, helping each other out. And more than a little snark when called for. For example, one guy complained that his account had been terminated and went on to say that 20 of his 40 books had been cited for copyright violations. Considering what he had just admitted to, I am surprised there wasn’t an all out flame-fest. But it was fun to see him get his comeuppance in the comments. (Hmmm. Maybe hanging out here would be healthier for me than Facebook?)
Posting the same question in more than one category is also frowned upon. No one likes to answer a question and then see it again. So don’t be a category hog – find the best category for your question and post it there. If it’s in the wrong place, someone will let you know.
DO check out the Voice of the Author/Publisher category. Authors talk about promoting their books, the Kindle Select/Unlimited program and how the pages are counted and paid for, how to schedule releases, etc. Hop around the threads so you can get an idea of what NOT to say (one woman asked if she should give fiction a try, even though she has never read a fiction book).
One of the best categories is Reports which helps you understand how the money works. For example, if you have your book in KDP Select, you are paid according to the number of pages read. What’s the difference between KOLL (Kindle Owners Lending Library) or KENP (Kindle Edition Normalized Pages) and how many Kindle pages are there in a 200 page print book? And how do you find out how much you get paid per page? Yeah, too much fun, right? There’s even a thread that gives you updated information on how KDP Reports work which I wish I had read years ago.
Remember that these are just forums — you’re talking with other KDP users, not Amazon’s help desk. If you have a legitimate issue you need taken care of, it is best to contact Amazon directly. Just go to the Help button in KDP, take a look at the FAQ to see if that can solve your problem. If not, there’s a “Contact Us” button. I usually have a response within 24 hours and the Amazon help people are super-nice.
And, just like visiting People of Walmart, you will sometimes be struck dumb or even frightened that people who purport to have written a book can’t construct a grammatically correct sentence. These are usually the same people who think that Amazon is selling their book and not paying them. Sigh. Well, every community has them. Even KDP Community.