Self Publishing Titans Has New Free KDP Tools

Table of Contents

Self Publishing Titans recently updated their website and released a suite of free tools targeted at KDP publishers, but they will also benefit other low content publishes and self-publishers. The site update also talks about several other tools “coming soon.”

Firstly – who is “Self Publishing Titans” and why are we watching them?

Who is Self Publishing Titans?

Self Publishing Titans is run by husband and wife team Corvin and Cleopatra Van Stone as both a Facebook group and YouTube channel. They've amassed a following of 44.5K Facebook members as of this writing. The Facebook group intro says:

 

Here to help KDP self publishing authors and no / low content book creators achieve success on Amazon by selling lots of books and hopefully also becoming a Best Selling Author for your niche / category.

We first heard about Self Publishing Titans when their free Google Chrome extensions started getting heavy use and featured in several YouTube videos. The free extensions allow for quick and easy KDP keyword and niche research.

The first extension is called KDP / Amazon BSR & Keyword Research SEO Tool and allows you to streamline some of your niche & KDP keyword research. It shows you a ton of useful stats and does some analysis of Amazon search results to give more information.

 
KDP / Amazon BSR & Keyword Research SEO Tool

The second extension is Huge Amazon Search Suggestion Expander which, as is says, expands search suggestions on Amazon giving you new keywords to consider.

 
Huge Amazon Search Suggestion Expander

Now, let's take a look at these tools and see how we might use them in our businesses. Each of the tools includes a short video from Corvin that walks you through using it.

BTW: The first 4 tools are free to use and open to the public – no account is needed. The book creator does require a free account on the Self Publishing Titans site.

 

Finding relevant categories for your KDP book (you can choose 2) is challenging because KDP's categories don't match what you expect, or what you see when you search.

You can choose from 7 Amazon market places (US, Canada, UK, Germany, Spain, France and Italy), Paperback or Kindle books and then enter a search term. The search is more about the TYPE of book than the content. So think “journal” rather than “pink unicorn.”

 
Screenshot of Self Publishing Titans KDP Category finder
KDP Category finder

After playing with it for a few minutes, it's definitely going to be helpful. The ability to copy the category path is handy, and the option to open the selected Amazon marketplace to that category for more research is great!

Other sites like BookBolt and Tangent Templates have similar tools. This new one from Self Publishing Titans has a few things to fix. It was slow during searches and felt broken sometimes, and the formatting needs a bit of TLC as you can see above.

 

Next up is the BSR Sales calculator. Using this tool you can see an estimate of how many copies any books is selling across the different marketplaces.

Get the BSR of any book, choose a marketplace and you'll see the calculation of how may sales per month and day it's estimated this book is selling.

 
Screenshot of the Self Publishing Titans BSR Calculator
Amazon KDP Sales Calculator

The biggest question with this type of calculator is “Is it accurate?” and the answer is “I don't think so“. Comparing this to the popular TCK Publishing version, the Self Publishing Titans one seems incorrect.

In my random test, I picked 15925 as the sample. Self Publishing Titans says that equates to 724 books per month and TCK says 253. That's a wide spread.

So I picked one of my books and entered the BSR (over 2,261,000) – Self Publishing Titans says I should be selling 11 copies per month, and TCK says 2. Again, a super wide spread. Which is more accurate? That book is selling about 2 per month.

 

This next tool is super helpful and more likely to be super accurate. It's just straight math which Amazon gives us all access to.

The Self Publishing Titans version of the royalty calculator is fast and slick, and gives you all the information you need in 1 spot.

 
Screenshot of SPT KDP Royalty Calculator

You can click the screenshot to enlarge it.

I chose a 50 page premium color paperback book in the US market and priced it at $12.99. The tool instantly tells me the minimum price just under my price so I can adjust if needed. 

On the right, we get information like:

  • standard royalty
  • printing cost
  • expanded distribution royalty
  • minimum list price (again)
  • expanded distribution minimum price
  • ACOS breakeven

ACOS is new to many book sellers in the no/low/mid content market and refers to the Advertising Cost of Sales. You can then calculate how much you can afford to spend on ads and still make profit.

 

Maybe you're thinking “Why is there a QR code generator in the KDP Tools list?” and if you are, you're missing an opportunity to sell more.

First – QR codes (Quick Response) came into being a few years ago but didn't get a lot of traction in the US. Now with smart phone cameras automatically reading a QR code, people are realizing the opportunities.

 
Self Publishing Titans QR code generator

If you place a QR code in your book – either in the front matter, on the last page, or back cover, you can expand your reach well beyond Amazon. You can put just a URL there, but then people have to type it.

QR codes can do a lot more that this, but the Self Publishing Titans version only lets you link a URL to it. What could that URL be?

  • A link your favorite social media platform
  • A Facebook group
  • A “LinkTree” type page with multiple options
  • The Amazon review section for the book
  • Your Author Central page
  • Your mailing list landing page
  • Download a free offer related to the book
  • See a book trailer
  • Fill out a survey

The options are almost limitless. By placing it in the front matter (above the copyright page for example), or as the last page or back cover, the QR code can be visible to those using the Look Inside feature, gaining you engagement from people who haven't even bought the book yet.

You could also do multiple QR codes. Offering something additional in the front, and then linking to a survey/review at the end. Don't forget the A+ content area too for mobile users.

This tool is fairly limited and allows just the option of a URL generating a standard square black & white code. There are a TON of other QR code generators out there and many more options. You do a quick Google to find ones that generate codes in color, different shapes, with your logo in the center and the ability to link to different types of data.

 

There are a bunch of sites with these types of book makers. I've always used Tangent Template or Book Bolt but there are others.

After you sign up with your email – which didn't work for me – you can create an almost unlimited number of books/pages using different templates.

You start by choosing the paper size – all KDP trim sizes are supported. Then you build up your interior.

 
Self Publishing Titans Book Maker

The marketing says “35 different templates” but I'm not sure where that number is coming from. There are 16 trim sizes and 17 different page types. 

 
  • Notebook Page
  • Graphing Page
  • Comics Page
  • Sketch Page
  • Cursive Page
  • Blank Page
  • Wide Ruled Page
  • French Ruled Page
  • Handwriting Page
  • Blank History Page
  • Calligraphy Page
  • Cornell Page
  • Dot Page
  • Hexagon Page
  • Isometric Page
  • Dot Boxes Page
  • Title Page
Screenshot of Page Types
Selecting your page types

After selecting the type of types of pages, you can drag & drop to reorganize them. If you want multiple copies of a single type, you can add just 1 and change the quantity on the next step. If you are going to intersperse pages, you'll need to add multiple copies on step 2.

Throughout the steps, there's a preview of your book that updates live with every change.

After adding your page types, step 3 lets you adjust various settings for each type. Some have only an option to set the bleed, whereas others have several options. The comic page, for example, has 6 different frame types along with many other options.

One thing I noticed is that the “Wide Ruled Page” has a large blank area at the top – almost like what I expect for kids story paper. There's no way to adjust this. To get a full page of wide-ruled you chose the Notebook paper and then set the line spacing. This “Wide Ruled page” also has dots along the lines. Maybe I've just never seen this type of paper before.

A very interesting feature is that the Notebook page “knows” which side it's for and will move the margin accordingly. 

Then you can download a KDP-ready PDF of your completed book.  Using tools from other sites you could then add or adjust elements as needed.

I created a sample book with 1 copy of each page and you can download it here.

 

Conclusion

So that took a while, right?

Overall – I'm really impressed with the tools that Self Publishing Titans is offering. Being early in their lifespan there are some glitches and weird little things that might be frustrating. The BSR calculator one is a bit scary if people don't check.

The Chrome extensions are top-notch in terms of function & value and I'm sure these new web tools will soon be updated to match and become integral to KDP sellers.

If you're publishing on KDP or Lulu and need some quick, free standard book interiors, the book creator offers some options you won't find elsewhere.

Corvin seems to be available and active in his communities and looking for feedback, so I'll report these to help make these valuable tools better.

 
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