Blog to Book Project — Uploading your Paperback Manuscript to KDP

We’ve already talked about Kindle Direct Publishing and ebooks. Today we are going to look at creating a paperback print book with KDP.  This time, after you log in to KDP, choose + Paperback under Create a New Title. 

Paperback Book Details

The first section is identitical to how to set up your ebook.

Language

Choose the language your book is written in.

Book Title

Type in the book title and subtitle if you have one.

Series

If your book is part of a series, you’ll enter that information in this section

Edition Number

If you are creating a new edition of a book, you would include that information next.

Author

Add your name as the Author as you wish it to appear.

Contributors

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.

Description

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.

Publishing Rights

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.

Keywords

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.

Categories

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.

Pre-Order

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.

Paperback Book Content

Print ISBN

You can get a free ISBN from Kindle or if you have one already, you can enter the information here. All print books must have an ISBN.

Publication Date

If this is the first time you are publishing your book, don’t enter any dates here. KDP will use the date that your book is for sale on Amazon. If you are printing a second or third edition of a book, then you would enter the first edition publication date.

Print Options

Interior & paper type

You can choose black and white interior with cream or white paper or color interior with white paper. Bear in mind that color will substantially increase the cost of your book.

Trim Size

The most common trim size is 6 x 9 inches. There may be reasons why you choose another size though. For instance, my One Year Blogging Planner has large spaces to write information and monthly calendars, so I choose the 8×11 inch size. Choosing a different size may restrict where your book can be sold. With the 8 x 11 inch size I can not sell my planner in countries outside of the U.S.  

Bleed Settings

Books with bleed have images that extend to the edge of the page past the margins. If you really must have images like that requires some more advanced formatting efforts. KDP provides a free book dimension calculator to help you.

Paperback cover finish

You can choose either a matte or glossy finish for your book cover.

Manuscript

If you are sure you’ve done all the formatting correctly and have your book saved in one of these formats (.doc, .docx, HTML, RTF, and PDF) you can upload it now. You can also use a KDP template.

Book Cover

You can make your own book cover, use a KDP template or use Cover Creator.  Make sure to include all the essential book cover components we’ve talked about. Your book will be printed in full-color unless you choose to use a black and white design.   

Book Preview

Check through your book using the book previewer. If you would rather not use the online version, you can download a PDF version.

Save and Continue.

Paperback Book Rights & Pricing

This section is considerably smaller than the ebook Rights and Pricing section.

Territories

Again, since this a compilation of your blog posts and you hold copyrights, you can choose All territories (worldwide rights).

Pricing & Royalty

KDP offers a choice of 60% or 40% royalty percentage for print books and gives you a minimum – maximum price range. You can see how much KDP charges for printing your book. Books printed in color are more expensive to print than black and white books. You can read about paperback royalty and KDP here. If you would like to change the prices of any individual marketplaces, you can do so at this point.

Terms & Conditions

If everything looks good after reading the terms and conditions, you can go ahead and click Publish Your Paperback book.

Proof Copies

You can request proof copies of a paperback book. These will have a gray bar across the cover indicating it is a proof copy, not for resale, and not have an ISBN code on the back. Other than that, the book will be exactly what your printed book will look like.

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!

Assignment:

Upload your manuscript to KDP and publish your paperback book.


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Blog to Book Project — Table of Contents

The table of contents is a vital section in the front matter of your book. You may also hear this section simply called Contents or abbreviated as TOC. In a digital book, the table of contents lists the chapters which are hyperlinked to the corresponding area of the book.

In a print book, the table of contents has the page number on which each chapter begins listed after the chapter title. When there is significant space between the chapter title and the page number, there may be leaders, usually in the form of dots, that connect the two components. Sometimes the page number is on the left before the chapter title.

Chapters are sometimes grouped into sections, which are also listed in the table of contents. If the book has several authors, each responsible for a chapter or story in the book, the authors’ name also appear in the table of contents.

Any front matter before the table of contents is not listed on the table of contents but is included in the page count. All back matter sections are included on the table of contents. The TOC should begin on a right hand page unless it is exactly two pages. In that case, it should start on the left side.

Creating a Contents page is not necessarily difficult. If you use a template like Pressbooks, your exported book will already have a hyperlinked or paginated table of contents. Kindle Create will also format it for you.

You can find step-by-step instructions to create a TOC in Word and Google Docs as well. If you’d like to be a bit more creative, Canva has table of contents templates you can edit and download as an image to include in your book.

Blog to Book Project — KDP Select

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has several optional components you should know a little about before deciding yeah or nay. One of these is enrollment in Kindle Select.

Kindle Select is only for your digital books, not your print books. If you enroll, you earn a percentage of the KDP Select Global Fund for pages that are read either through Kindle Unlimited (KU) or Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL). Enrollment gets your book in the KU or KOLL library so that readers can choose to read it with their paid subscription. If you don’t enroll, your book isn’t in the list and readers who use KU or KOLL won’t have access to it.

You also can earn the maximum 70% royalty rate for sales in Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico rather than the customary 35% rate. Since my books are about Mexico, geared to those living in Mexico, this is an attractive option.

Through Kindle Select you can also use some nifty promotional tools. The Kindle Countdown Deal will discount your book for a period of time. This discount is only available to books for sale on the UK or US Amazon site. You still earn your 70% royalty rating on the discounted price. There’s a dedicated page on Amazon called Kindle Countdown Deals which the savvy book reader will have bookmarked, leading to more sales of your book.

The way the countdown deal works is you can reduce your book price, then each day the price gets just a little higher, until it returns to the regular list price again on the fourth day. So if you discount your book to 99 cents the first day, the second day it will be $1.99. The third day it will be $2.99 before returning to the list price of $6.99.  

The Free Book Promotion will allow you to offer your book FREE (hence the name) worldwide for 5 days each 90-day enrollment period. You can run the promotion 5 days in a row or you can pick individual days during the 3-month period. While this is a great publicity tool, you won’t earn any royalties on any free downloads. If your book gets a large number of downloads, it just might be listed on the Amazon Best Sellers Top 100 Free list.

Both promotions will certainly help get your book in the public eye. You can’t run both promotions at the same time though.

Here’s the fine print. If you enroll your digital book in Kindle Select you can not make your book available on any other platform, including your blog, website, or other publishing sites. You can make up to 10% of an enrolled book available as a “sample” on your blog or provide reviewers and editors a digital copy.

Your enrollment in Kindle Select will automatically renew after 90 days. Therefore, if you do not wish to continue with the service, you need to uncheck the automatic renewal box on your bookshelf on KDP. You can re-enroll at any time.

Blog to Book Project — Royalties

As a published author, you will receive royalties on the books that are sold. Exciting, isn’t it?

Since I am most familiar with Amazon’s policies, we will be talking about royalty earnings through Amazon rather than other self-publishing sites today.

Amazon’s KDP lets you choose whether you wish to earn 70% royalties or 35% royalties on your ebooks. It seems like you would always want to choose the higher royalty rate, but there are some restrictions on eligibility.  

These eligibility requirements vary from country to country. If you are selling on the Amazon mega-platform (United States) then your book qualifies for 35% royalty sharing if it is priced at least 99 cents and less than 3 megabytes, if your book is between 3 megabytes but less than 10 megabytes and costs $1.99 or if your book is larger than 10 megabytes with a price of at least $2.99.

To quality for 70% royalty sharing your book must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99 and at least 20% less than the lowest cost of the book in printed form.

If you enroll your book in KDP select, you will earn 70% royalties on books sold in Brazil, Japan, India and Mexico as well. Enrollment also means your book is in the Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) and you earn royalties based on how many pages are read. We’ll talk more about KDP Select on another day.

KDP will pay you 60% royalty rate of the list price on your paperback book. The cost of printing is deducted from that royalty. What is left over is all yours. If your book is sold through expanded distribution sites via Amazon, you will receive 40% royalty of the list price minus printing costs.

You can elect to receive your royalties by direct deposit or check. There is a minimum payment threshold with check payments. Direct deposit payments are made 60 days after the end of the month your book earned royalties.

Royalties are subject to withholding tax the amount of which depends on your nationality and in which country the book was sold. If you are a U.S. citizen, you will receive a 1099 MISC at the end of the year for tax purposes.

Blog to Book Project — Quotes

There certainly is a time and place for quotes in your blog to book project.

An epigraph is a short quotation, proverb, or poem that suggests the theme of the book which is part of the front matter.

Sometimes the title of a book comes from the epigraph. Sections can be introduced with poignant quotes. A collection of short stories might have an epigraph for each one.

Quotes are often taken from famous literature, Shakespeare, the bible, the poems of Edgar Allan Poe, and so on. The goal is to pique the reader’s interest. It could be done with humor or as foreshadowing.

So many amazing things have already been written that there is bound to be a quote out there that is exactly right for your book. Your job is to find it.

Assignment:

Find an epigraph for your blog to book project.

Blog to Book Project — Pressbooks

It’s time to share another writing tool! I know many authors utilize Word to craft their books then download a pdf file to upload to Amazon and voila but when I have attempted that process you wouldn’t believe the number of formatting errors that what to my wondering eyes did appear.

I was sure there had to be a better way. So I did a general search with my trusty friend Google and was nearly instantaneously presented with a list of book template sites. For whatever reason, I went with Pressbooks run by Book Oven Inc. Maybe I thought the idea of a book oven was cute. I can’t remember exactly what prompted me back then, but whatever the reason might have been, Pressbooks is now my book template of choice.

You can use the Pressbooks platform for free, which certainly fits a struggling author’s budget. When you are ready to upgrade there is a one-time fee of $19.99 per book to remove the Pressbook advertising from the EPUB and MOBI files. These files can then be uploaded to KDP, Kobo, Smashwords or any other publishing site.

If your book file (including images) is more than 25 MB, then you can upgrade again. You’ll get up to 250 MB of storage space and the PDF version of your book will also be advertisement free. I’ve only had to purchase the pro version once out of 9 books I have published. I’ve found that 25 MB gives you a whole lot of text and space for a few images to boot.

Pressbooks has made all of my blog to book projects so much easier. It takes just a minute or two to set up a new book. My catalog lists all the books I’m working on in one place. All my sections and chapters are easily arranged and rearranged. The front and back matter are appropriately formatted and numbered. There is even a glossary function that hyperlinks the word and sets up the glossary.

I can change the font and chapter introduction by selecting a new theme design. Automatically everything in the book is formatted to match the chosen theme.  If I don’t like the look of it, then I can change it again.

Setting up the copyright page is extremely simple. It is then inserted exactly where it should be in the text. There is even a cover generator, although I prefer the KDP cover generator.

I can view my book online similar to the KDP previewer. In this mode I can check my book for excessive white space, blank pages or awkwardly positioned images.

When I’m completely satisfied, I export the file and download it to my computer. Then I can upload it to the publishing site (I use KDP). If there are issues with image size or other problems with the text arrangement, I can edit the file on Pressbooks and export it again.

I can make sections of the book public and send readers to read sample chapters. Or I can make the entire book public online and ask Beta readers for their input.

So, to make your blog to book project that much easier, I suggest looking into a book template site like Pressbooks.

Assignment:

Check out different book template sites including Pressbooks.  

Blog to Book Project — Organize

While organization seems like a given, it actually can be quite tricky. There are so many rabbits holes you can fall down that before you know it, your blog to book project has been in the works six months or more with no end in sight.

Now, everyone will do things just a bit differently and that’s fine, but I’ll go through my general organization process when I am working on a blog to book project to show you what I mean.

  1. Decide on a theme for your blog to book project. (Example: Herbal Remedies in Mexico).
  2. Go through your blog posts and cull all posts that have something to do with the said theme. (Found 16 blog posts).
  3. Create a new book in Pressbooks and come up with a catchy title. (New book: Exploring Mexican Herbal Remedies) NOTE: We will talk about Pressbooks tomorrow.
  4. Copy and paste each post into a chapter in Pressbooks.
  5. Determine how many more chapters would make a decent size book. (I think 10 more chapters would be good).
  6. Write those and post them to your blog staggering the publication dates.
  7. Add the posts to your book.
  8. Move the hyperlinks to the endnotes or appendix.
  9. Rearrange, remove or reformat any images.
  10. Edit individual chapters.
  11. Write the introduction.
  12. Write a conclusion.
  13. Add the author page, acknowledgments, dedication, foreword, preface, or epigraph if applicable.
  14. Choose a copyright license.
  15. Add cover image.
  16. Check your book in Pressbooks viewer for formatting errors.
  17. Export.
  18. Download.
  19. Upload to the publishing site. (I use KDP)
  20. Check your book in KDP viewer for formatting errors.
  21. Fix errors. Export again. Download again. Upload again.
  22. Publish.

Of course, your work as an author is not finished by a long shot. You still have to get people to actually buy and read your book. So marketing would be another organizational aspect that we won’t get into just yet.

Assignment:

Make an ordered list for your blog to book project.

Blog to Book Project — Numbering Pages

Numbering the pages in the book is not as easy as 1, 2, 3 unfortunately, unless you are creating an ebook. Then there are no page numbers! An electronic book (ebook) is designed to be fluid text to accommodate different ereaders. So if you are only making an ebook, then numbering pages is a no-brainer.

However, if you are creating a print edition of your blog to book project, then let’s break it down.  

Front matter uses lower-case Roman numerals (xi, v, i ). If you remember, front matter includes Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Acknowledgments, Table of Contents, Foreword, Prologue, Epigraph, and Reviews. Page numbers are only visible on these pages Acknowledgments, Dedication, Table of Contents, Foreword,  Prologue, Reviews even though all of the sections of the front matter are included in the page count.

Pages on the left side should have even numbers. Pages on the right should be odd-numbered. Page numbering always begins on the right. Your book should end on an even numbered page, even if that means adding a blank page or end sheet at the end. The title page and any blank pages do not have page numbers although they are included in the count.

If you have different sections, the page count continues but the page number is not shown on the section page. Everything after the front matter uses Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3) as a numbering system.

You can position your page numbers in the header or footer of your margins. Header page numbers are 0.125 inches above the text and often have a running header. Page numbers have left alignment on the pages on the left and right alignment on the right-hand pages. Footer page numbers are centered 0.125 inches below the text.

Assignment:

Check your numbering in your blog to book draft. Are all sections of the front matter numbered using lowercase Roman numerals? Does your first page number begin on the right?

Blog to Book Project — Maps

Maps! Yes, you can include maps in your blog to book project.

If you are chronicling your travels in the jungles of  Asia, why not include a map that highlights your adventures? If you are writing about herbs, you could include a botanical map. A book about the Mojave Desert might have a geologic map. A backpacking through Europe book could feature a road map. If your book focuses on finding the best place for expats to retire in Mexico, a climate map is an excellent addition.

If you dedicate a section to a particular theme that would do well to have a map for visual clarification, go ahead and create a map. There are several free map creator sites available online.

You can even find historical maps at Old Maps Online. Most of these maps are public domain images and free to use, but be sure to check the copyright information when using a map created by someone else.

Are you compiling a collection of Viking myths and need a map of Valhalla? You wish is granted with these fantasy maps generators.

Maps are fun to create and add a unique visual element to your final blog to book project. Make sure to save your map as a jpg or png image.

Assignment:

Find a section of your book that would benefit from a map. Create it!