Kindle Direct Publishing for eBooks
I have used Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for all my books. There are other self-publishing sites out there which may be just as good, however, I am not as familiar with the process and you would do better to get information from an author who has used those publishing sites.
With KDP you can publish an ebook or print book to Amazon in under an hour, depending on the number formatting errors you have. And, if you edit or add sections to your book, all you have to do is upload the manuscript again.
So here’s how it works. You can sign in with your Amazon account here. You do have an Amazon account, don’t you? That will take you to your bookshelf. You’ll see a section that says Create a New Title. I always create my ebook version first because I find there fewer formatting errors for me to fix.
Ebook Book Details
Choose the language your book is written in.
Type in the book title and subtitle if you have one.
If your book is part of a series, you’ll enter that information in this section
If you are creating a new edition of a book, you would include that information next.
Add your name as the Author as you wish it to appear.
Then list any contributors you would like to appear in your title and on the cover. This is a little different than your contributors’ page in the book itself.
Your book description should be a short blurb intended to get people interested in your book. When this is displayed on the book page on Amazon, only the first few lines will be visible without having to click on Read more, so you’ll want to concentrate on making the introduction reader worthy.
The next category is Publishing Rights. As this is a Blog to Book Project, you will choose “ I own the copyright and I hold the necessary publishing rights.” Unless you take your blog posts down before uploading your manuscript, you may get a notification from Amazon saying that the content of your book is already freely available on the web. That’s perfectly fine. You just have to resubmit the manuscript verifying that you are the author of those freely available posts.
You should spend some time listing the most relevant keywords next. Amazon gives some great tips for choosing the best keywords here. In general, you want to pick keywords that a reader might use to find your book’s topic. So if you write about zebras bred in captivity you might include zebra, zebras in zoos, zebra babies, animals bred in captivity, zoo babies and so on. Doing searches on Amazon for books similar to your own will also help you decide which keywords will get you the most readers.
You can choose two categories to help classify your book. Spend some time looking through the lists. Do another search and see what categories those books that are like yours are using. Try to be as specific as possible. Nonfiction > Self-Help > Death, Grief, Bereavement is more specific than just Nonfiction and a better category for your book about how you coped with the loss of your beloved pet.
Age and Grade Range
If you like, you can choose an age or grade range. Doing so is completely optional, but if you think it would help readers find your book, certainly do so. If you aren’t sure about the grade range, remember Hemminway will give you an approximate level for free.
The last section on this page is to choose whether your book is ready for publishing or if you would like to generate some pre-order publicity hype first. It’s entirely up to you. Then choose Save and Continue to move along to the next step.
Once the new page opens up, you’ll see a check mark next to the work Complete if you have correctly added all the required fields.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)
Digital Rights Management restricts readers from giving their copy of your ebook to someone else. Enabling it doesn’t prohibit someone from lending your ebook to another person for a short period of time or giving a copy of your ebook to someone else as a gift after purchasing.
Upload Ebook Manuscript
If you are sure you’ve done all the formatting correctly and have your ebook saved in one of these formats (.doc, .docx, HTML, MOBI, ePub, RTF, Plain Text, and KPF.) you can upload your ebook now. You can also download Kindle Create to format your book correctly. Doing so might save you some time and frustration in the long run because you just can’t publish until the formatting it right.
Amazon will also do a spell check for you. Since I use a number of Mexican Spanish words in some of my books, sometimes these words get highlighted as misspelled when they aren’t. It doesn’t hurt to double check the words Amazon finds because I guarantee you that no matter how many times you have proofread your manuscript, there are always a few that escape notice.
Kindle eBook Cover
If you have a cover design already, you can upload it at this point. I always use Cover Creator because tech savvy I am not. As we talked about in Judge Your Cover, the options are limited but you are assured that everything is the proper formatting size.
Kindle eBook Preview
Even if you think everything is good to go, you can not continue until you preview your cover and manuscript. There may be image issues, or you may find that one page has a huge amount of white space or some other issue. Amazon highlights certain issues for you to check, does some fiddling with a few things to help you out, but you should go page by page and check how your book looks on a tablet, phone or e-reader.
Kindle eBook ISBN
Kindle eBooks are not required to have an ISBN but if you have one, you can enter it here.
Save and Continue.
Kindle eBook Pricing
KDP Select Enrollment
You can enroll at KDP Select in the first section if you like. Benefits include being able to promote your book with free book promotions or countdown promotions. Drawbacks include not being able to publish your book at any other sites while it is enrolled.
Since you are publishing your blog posts in book form and you hold the copyrights to them, you can choose All Territories (worldwide rights).
Royalty and Pricing
KDP Pricing Support (Beta) will give you an idea of what to charge for your ebook based on the prices of books similar to yours. You can use the figure Amazon provides (they generally know what they are talking about) or you can choose another price.
You can choose either 35% or 70% royalty commission percentage. Based on which you choose, Amazon will give you a minimum-maximum price range for you to select from. You can change the prices in other marketplaces either higher or lower if you like.
If you’d like to offer your ebook for free or at a reduced price to people who buy your print book, you can enroll it in Kindle Matchbook. It’s optional.
If you would like to allow your readers to lend a book to someone else after purchasing it for 14 days, you can enroll in book lending.
Terms & Conditions
If everything looks good after reading the terms and conditions, you can go ahead and click Publish Your Kindle Ebook.
You’ll receive a notification that your book is undergoing review and another email if there is something that needs to be fixed or that the book is available for purchase. You did it!
Upload and publish your ebook using KDP.