I have been getting quite a lot of queries recently about how to go about publishing your ebook in Amazon. I decided to jot down a few helpful tips on how to go about publishing your ebook on Amazon. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any more questions after you read this post either in the comments section or via twitter or email.
Step 1: Write
This is rather droll. The first step is of course that you write. The journey of a thousand miles may begin with a single step but writing is definitely the most draining part of the journey to becoming an author. Here are a few tips around writing.
- The puke draft: This is the point where you start writing. Pencil away the draft of the story and jot down all your ideas in paper or your trusty computer. Don’t try to make this professional sounding yet, the important thing is to capture everything in the written form.
- The review draft: Read and re-read what you have written. This is the point where you’ll find plenty of grammatical errors, faulty plot lines etc. Read, revise, re-read and be be prepared to do this as many times as is necessary. If you feel confident enough, send it to a friend for some feedback.
- The editorial draft: For newbie authors, its always good to get some professional help for the final editing. Re-write portions wherever necessary and be prepared to continue this cycle until you end up with a final version that you think is your best effort.
Each draft may, in fact, have multiple versions. Make sure you know in which step of the process you are and you are making progress at each step.
Step 2: Design & Format
Once you have written a great book (in your opinion), here is what you have to do.
- Format for Kindle: Kindle is picky about the formats it receives and can convert, so choose carefully. I have always found Word a perfectly acceptable software and easy for the many thousand edits you’ll inevitably make when you see how your first formatting goes awry. If you are doing this for the first time, again, there’ll be many little things you won’t know, so multiple edits are inevitable. Calibre is a great software which is freely available but I always personally found the kindle previewer a great option to work with as it shows exactly how your ebook will look on kindle.
- Cover Design: Your ebook cover is what attracts everyone initially to your book so this is a key element in designing. There are multiple free softwares available on the internet and there’s always the much hyped photoshop but you can use the Amazon cover creator too which does a decent job. But be aware that, this is proprietary for amazon and you cannot download this in case you want to re-use this cover for listing elsewhere or for your print book.
Needless to say, double-check everything again for errors.
Step 3: Publish
This is actually the easiest part of publishing and this is where I have been receiving multiple queries from the new authors.
- Go to kdp.amazon.com and sign in or create a new amazon account.
- Fill in your personal details and your tax info for royalties.
- Click “Bookshelf” and then “Add new title.”
- Fill out the form, including book title, description, and keywords you want people to search to find your book.
- Upload the ebook cover (JPEG format).
- Upload the book file.
- Check whether your book looks right with Amazon’s online viewer.
- Click “Save and continue” and you will be directed to the “Rights and Pricing” page.
- Choose whichever rights suit your appetite. If you want to publish on Amazon globally choose “Worldwide rights” but be aware that there are many markets such as Australia etc which cannot view your book due to country restrictions.
- For royalties, you need to evaluate your option carefully. If you just want your ebook to be popular, list it for a tiny amount to encourage multiple downloads but be aware that Amazon rewards royalties at 70% only if you price it between $2.99-9.99.
- Think carefully whether you want to enroll for KDP select – this makes your ebook exclusive to Amazon and you cannot list it anywhere else not even on your own site!
- Click Save and Publish.
- Amazon will send you a confirmation email which may take anywhere between 1 day to 3 days depending on how long their proprietary software runs to finish checks on whether your work is authentic. Submit only own work else you may find yourself blacklisted from Amazon.
Step 4: Promotion and book reviews
Go and shout now from the rooftops if you can that you are a published author! This is the period to gather reviews. Send review copies to professional reviewers for a honest review. Some of them may charge you for the review. You can request them for an amazon or good reads review as appropriate.
Take care to not encourage spurious and glowing reviews of the book on amazon. Kindle readers usually spot fake reviews pretty quickly and Amazon removes reviews it thinks aren’t authentic.
Be receptive to feedback and publish a second and a third edition if required.