First of all, this blog post assumes you have completed a manuscript, formatted in the method Amazon requires, have a book cover image, have written your blurb, and have thought through things like copyright and ISBN. If you haven’t you are NOT ready to publish. You may want to check out our articles on those various toics. If you have done those things, then this is the article for you.
Today we’re going to walk you through the steps to self-publish an eBook with Amazon Kindle (which is super easy).
- Go to http://kdp.amazon.com
- Login with your regular Amazon login (so you get paid under your legal name – don’t worry if you’re using a different pen name)
- Click the “Create New Title” button
- KDP Select
- This is an option where you do NOT load it at other eBook retailers or distributors for 90 days. See below for more info.
- Enter the book details (Amazon is very good about providing definitions for each) including:
- Book Name
- Book Subtitle (if any)
- Series Name (if any)
- Series Volume – the number of this book within the series (if any)
- Edition Number – if this is a republishing (if any)
- Publisher – leave blank for self-publishing
- Description – the book blurb
- Book Contributors – I recommend only the author (you) – this is where you put your pen name
- Language – leave as English
- ISBN (if any)
- Verify Publishing Rights
- If this is a work of fiction from your own hand which you can copyright, then you are selecting “This is not a public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing rights.”
- Target Your Book
- Categories – you only get two from a predefined list. Yours will likely fall under Fiction and then a subcategory
- Age Range – I have heard that this can pull you out of search results. However if you write romance with steamy scenes or erotica, I personally suggest you use it. But that’s from the POV of a mother. 🙂
- U.S. Grade – Only use this if you’re writing children’s books
- Search keywords – You get up to 7, and they can be phrases rather than single words. See below for more info.
- Book Release Option
- Select either immediately or pick a date within 90 days
- If you pick a date, your book goes on preorder. There are lots of articles about using preorder. My suggestion is putting it on preorder at a lower price for 2-4 weeks prior to release, but not sooner.
- Book Cover
- Upload the JPG of your final book cover (see our lesson on book covers)
- Upload Your Book File
- Digital Rights Management
- Read the description carefully and decide for yourself which you’d prefer to do. This one is total personal preference.
- If you select a future date, you can state whether this version you are uploading is draft or final. You are REQUIRED to upload something, even if it’s not finished.
- You will want to select draft until you really have uploaded your final copy.
- Open your final formatted Word document of your book (see our lesson on formatting
- Save as > Web Page, Filtered
- Upload the web page filtered version of the file
- Use the online tool provided to check your book in multiple Kindle formats to make sure it looks good
- Digital Rights Management
- Click “Save and Continue”
- Verify Your Publishing Territories
- Unless you have a specific reason not to publish in a specific country, select “Worldwide”
- Select Pricing
- Select a Royalty %
- if your book is $2.99 and up, select 70%
- if it’s under that price, you have to select 35%
- Enter a Price under “Amazon.com” and let the other territories automatically calculate based on conversion rates
- Select a Royalty %
- Kindle Matchbook
- Checking this option will allow people who buy a print copy to get a free eBook copy.
- Personal preference here, but my opinion is, they paid for your book already (and a lot more than just the ebook version) so go ahead and check this option to give it to them.
- Kindle Book Lending
- Check this option if you want Kindle users to be able to lend their kindle copy to friends for a period of up to 14 days each.
- Another personal preference, but my theory is they are helping you find new readers who might purchase your other books.
- Check the “Terms and Conditions” box
- Click the “Save and Publish” button
It typically takes about 24 hours to publish once you click the button. Here are a few more things to consider…
Primarily you would choose to do this because of the marketing related tools you get with it, and the potential to earn more $ with Kindle Pages. At this time, my personal opinion is the free days aren’t worth it, but the Amazon ads are. For the first 90 days. Then turn it off and publish at other retailers.
Some would argue that keywords are one of the most important things you can enter to help get your book noticed. You can enter full phrases as a single keyword. You get up to 7 keywords.
One method to find keywords is to go on Amazon into the Kindle books section and drill down in the categories on the side. For example, under Paranormal Romance you’ll find things like werewolves & shapeshifters. So you might make that a keyword if your book falls under it.
However, the best keyword advice I’ve found, I found here: https://kindlepreneur.com/kindle-keywords-fiction-author-strategy/
There are tons of strategies on setting eBook pricing. Smashwords does an entire presentation on it. This, again is personal preference. I suggest you do your research, look at other similar books (genre and length) by self-pub’d authors, and debate the royalties implications. (IF you price under $2.99 you can only get 35% royalty. Above $2.99 and you get 70%).
Your Book Link
Once your book publishes, when you go to kdp.amazon.com and look at the book in the dashboard, a string of number and letters will show up under the title. Those are your ASIN. The direct link to your book will be:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/ASIN (the ASIN # goes there)