Can I Publish a Book on Amazon if I’m Kenyan?

Can I publish a book on Amazon if I’m Kenyan?

Answer: Yes, you can publish a book on Amazon if you’re Kenyan.

What you need:

Can I publish a book on Amazon if I'm Kenyan?
  1. Register a publishing account on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.
  2. Amazon will ask you to set up your account so they can determine how you get paid. You need the following details: Business type (Individual/Corporation), Date of Birth, Country or Region, Legal Name, Address, City, Postal Code, and Phone number.
  3. On the Getting Paid Section – Kenyans can only use the Check Payments option. Amazon does not allow our region to connect Kenyan Bank Accounts. You will be paid in multiple currencies from different regions. The payment threshold is set at $100 dollars for each marketplace.
  4. Complete the Tax Interview. The likely result of the interview is that you will be applicable for a 30% withholding tax rate. This is because Kenya has not signed any treaties on this matter with the US. If you’re able to use any of the options provided during the tax interview, do so. Please note you will have to provide sufficient information for approval.
  5. Once your account is set up, go to the Bookshelf and upload your title. You can publish an e-book or a printed book. You can publish both. There is no limitation. Follow KDP’s guidelines when it comes to formatting.

How To Copyright Your Comic in Kenya

Are you a comic book creator? Are you wondering how to copyright your comic in Kenya?

The Kenyan Copyright Board has created an e-copyright registration platform. The link is here: Copyright Registration.

A Comic Book creator should have the following information to register for a comic book copyright in Kenya:

1. Your Personal Details for registration on the platform, that is, Your Name, National Identification Number, KRA Pin, email address, and phone number registered to you.

2. Copyright Work Details: These include the Title of the Comic Book, and an Abstract (or Description). The accepted file formats are PDFs/ JPEG/PNG/TIFF/PSD.

3. You will have to indicate if the comic book is commissioned or not. Include collaborating artists.

4. Upload any supporting documents of ownership you may have. These include but are not limited to contracts, split sheets, engagement letters, etc.

5. There is a registration charge of Kshs. 100 paid to the copyright board’s Pay Bill Number.  Follow the instructions to get through the payment process.

6. Once cleared, the system will send you a confirmation message and alert you when your certificate is available. It will also let you know if there are any issues with the registration process.

Important takeaways:
copyright certificate

1. Remember to include collaborating artists if there is more than one. Also, if the work is commissioned, do pay attention to the contract or terms of the commission before you register for copyright. You may also engage a lawyer to help you understand how commissioned work can be copyrighted.

2. The Copyright Board empowers you to protect your work. They help you emphasize that the work belongs to you. Otherwise, ownership of a comic begins from the moment you draw the first line on paper or screen and bring it to life.

3. Read the Kenya Copyright Board Regulations. You will find them here. Download them, read them, and ask questions if you need help understanding your legal standing. There is no reason why you cannot copyright your work!

ISBNs for Books

What does ISBN Stand for?

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number.

Where is it located in a book?

An ISBN is located on the lower part of the book’s back cover and comes in the form of a barcode with a number. You can also find it on the copyright page of the book.

Why do books need an ISBN?

An ISBN is a standardized 13-digit international number used to identify a publication. It allows book suppliers, publishers, and libraries to locate and order books with a particular ISBN on a worldwide scale.

Does one ISBN work for all forms of a particular book?

No. You need an ISBN for each format of the book printed. A book might have new editions after the first print, and each of these new editions needs a new ISBN. The book might have an audio format. The audio format requires its own ISBN.

To note: eBooks need their own ISBNs. This is where buying blocks of ISBNs come in useful as you may assign an ISBN from a batch to your eBook. 
A platform like Smashwords.com will ask if you have an ISBN for your eBook during publishing and you can input it then. If you do not have one, Smashwords will assign an ISBN generated by their platform. 
It is also important to note that online retailers like Amazon do not need an ISBN. Instead, Amazon assigns its own number called an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) for eBooks. In summary, your eBook’s ISBN depends on the platform you’re looking to upload it to for sale. You also determine the cost of this purchase as a publisher with more than one author or as a self-publishing author.

What is the cost of getting an ISBN?

ISBNs for Books

The cost of buying an ISBN in Kenya is as follows:

  • Kshs. 1,500 for one (1) ISBN
  • Kshs. 10,000 for ten (10) ISBNs
  • Kshs. 50,000 for one hundred (100) ISBNs
  • Kshs. 100,000 for one thousand (1000) ISBNs.

The Kenya National Library Service is the official ISBN National Agency in Kenya. It issues Kenyan ISBNs to material published in Kenya.

It is always best for publishers to buy the block that will last them for a while because it’s able to maintain one publisher prefix and minimize the unit cost per ISBN. When purchasing a larger block of ISBNs, the price per ISBN decreases.

the Kenya National Library service

You can Apply for an ISBN in Kenya here: ISBN Kenya

Each country has an official source of ISBNs. Discover where your country officially disburses ISBNs.


Ongoing Stories: Zev’s Afrotheria

Best Sites to Sell e-Books in Kenya

Best Sites to Sell e-Books in Kenya

Kindle Direct Publishing

Kindle Direct Publishing Logo

This is a self-publishing platform owned by Amazon.com. You can publish e-books and print copies. The platform has a very extensive how-to directory that covers information from the font to use, to the book cover size and how to upload it. The payment threshold remains at $100 and is paid in check form if you’re based in Kenya. Unless you have access to an account in the continents Amazon prefers to work with or in South Africa. It is free to get started with KDP. This platform works for you if you market a lot.

Amazon on Kenyan Payments
Kindle Direct Publishing Payment Options for Kenya
Amazon Payment Threshold table
Kindle Direct Publishing Check Payment Threshold for Kenya

Okada Books

Okada Books is a Nigerian-based platform. They publish eBooks in epub 3 formats. You can sell your eBooks with them. It is free to join, and there is no charge to publish. Find out how to sign up and get paid on the Okada Books website.

Litireso Africa

Litireso Africa is a Nigerian-based platform. They publish eBooks in epub format.  They also help you distribute any print copies you may have of the book. It is free to join and there is no charge to publish your work. Discover more about how to sign up with Litireso.

Smashwords/Draft2Digital

Draft2Digital Logo
Smashwords Logo

Draft2Digital.com has purchased Smashwords.com. These two platforms are in the process of merging into one. However, you can still publish on both separately. Smashwords has a shop function with a more diverse category option. They both send your eBooks to multiple platforms like Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple Books, etc. It is free to sign up with them. Watch out for news on how their merge progresses as you publish your eBooks. The smashwords.com payment process is relatively easy. If you’re in Kenya, you can use your PayPal account to receive your funds.

The bottom line is we charge no fees for formatting or updating your book.
When you distribute through Draft2Digital, and a reader buys a copy of your eBook, we’ll take 10% of the retail price of that book, for that sale.
That means we only make money when you make money. We have no upsells, no service packages, no fees of any kind.
Set your price to whatever you want—even free.

-Draft2Digital.com

Rafu Books (This is for Printed Books Only)

You can sign up with Rafu Books to sell a Print Copy book once you have printed it out. Visit their website, message them or call for more information.


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