Publishing through the use of a self-publishing platform is very simple. But there are so many resources out there that love to overcomplicate the entire process. We are here to demystify any of your concerns and provide you with the most coherent and simple steps to get your book out into the public and to start raking in those book sales!
Naturally, there is always a process that one needs to follow. But, for those that aren’t necessarily familiar with the process before heading over to Amazon and creating your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), we’ll give you a few tidbits of information to get you up to speed!
The Unique Journey of Amazon Self-Publishing
Many people believe that the only way to publish their work is through a publishing house; however, not only do they retain ownership of your work, but the royalties are far lower than if you self-publish. The main distinction is that you are responsible for developing your own marketing strategy.
After all, you want to keep all of the rewards for your hard work and not have most of it go to the publishing house. This is one of the main reasons we recommend that you really should take the self-publishing route!
But, before we even discuss how to go about gearing yourself up for success with Amazon publishing, what is the process of getting to that point?
The Precursor to Publishing
First things first, you need to have your content written. It does not matter how you go about getting your final manuscript all put together. Making sure all the content is written is most likely the number one step that gets the entire self-publishing ball rolling!
If you want to go ahead and write your own manuscript, we will support you 100%. You really can create anything that you put your mind to, and there are other options available should you not have the time to write your own manuscript.
Using vetted freelancers is a popular and recommended way to go about getting your final manuscript ready for publishing. Not only will this save you time and a great deal of stress, but it will also allow you to focus on other aspects of your life, while still receiving a high-quality result!
So now you have your final manuscript. You did it! Give yourself a pat on the back (or three, just for good measure)! The next step after having your book’s cover designed, your manuscript edited, ensuring your manuscript is perfect for public view, is to start looking at self-publishing sites.
We recommend Amazon’s ebook (Kindle) platform! Not only is it popular, but it also provides the tools you need to promote your manuscript effectively. Now, although Amazon is recommended, it isn’t the only self-publishing site available. A quick Google search will produce multiple different sites, but make sure you’re in the top 10 and that your genre and target market match that of the site!
Brief Steps to Become an Amazon Self-Publishing Marvel
Let’s put everything into perspective by summarizing the entire process from start to finish. This is more or less the process that you will follow when wanting to self-publish on Amazon:
- Get your book written: As we mentioned, the first step in the entire process is getting your manuscript created and ready for publishing. This is definitely one of those non-negotiables to publish on Amazon. After all, you can’t publish what you don’t have!
- Format your book: Amazon’s Kindle platform takes very specific formats of your work. Making sure that your work is in an accepted format will ensure that when a reader downloads your manuscript, they are able to read it with ease. A few examples of such accepted formats include Microsoft Word (DOC/DOCX), EPUB, MOBI, Kindle Package Format (KPF), HTML, Plain Text (TXT), and quite a few more.
- Create an Amazon KDP account: Go to the KDP website and create an account. If you already have an Amazon account, you can use that to log in. This way, you are linking everything to you, and there will be no question as to what does and doesn’t belong to you.
- Enter your book details: Once you have logged in, click on the “Create a New Title” button and enter the details of your book, including the title, author name, and description. This is what customers are going to see when they log onto the Amazon (Kindle) website and come across your book. So, think of a catchy description to really grip the reader. Give some thought to the catchy description; it is what usually attracts a reader to your book!
- Upload your book: Upload your book file in one of the formats that we mentioned above. The site won’t do any file-type conversion for you. But, if you want to do a file conversion, there are a bunch of online tools that will do the file type conversion free of charge. Their chosen formats are the perfect types for reading!
- Set your price: Set the price for your book and select the royalty option that you prefer. There are a bunch of different choices regarding royalties. We advise you to take some time, do some research, and really make sure that you set realistic expectations!
- Choose categories and keywords: Select the categories and keywords that best describe your book. This is what is going to bring people to your book when they put specific keywords into search engines. Play around with a few different choices; having some unique keywords will link them to your work specifically. But, don’t go so specific that you use words hardly anyone would think of!
- Preview your book: Use the online previewer to check how your book looks on different devices. This will give you a fantastic opportunity to see the overall readability of your book in different formats and decide whether you should maybe opt for a format that better suits specific devices. KDP will even tell you which devices support which file types! Cool, right?
- Publish your book: Once you are satisfied with everything, click the “Publish Your Kindle eBook” button to publish your book on Amazon. That’s it; you are now officially a publisher!
- Promote your book: Once your book is published, promote it to potential readers using social media, book reviews, and other marketing strategies. Once your traction picks up, you are on your way to becoming the next bestselling author.
This is a fantastic summary of the entire process, from beginning to end. However, it is important to remember that some steps will require more work and a bit more thought than others.
As you self-publish more and more books, you will start becoming well-accustomed to the entire publishing process, and it will only take you a fraction of the time it originally took to get your books live and ready to be read!
Let’s Get Publishing on Amazon
So you understand the rough process, but now it is time for a bit more of an intensive approach to each step. Don’t worry; you won’t be overloaded with information. This is going to be a nice and simple approach that you can keep as a reference and revisit whenever you need to. Masters weren’t born overnight, and we all need to start somewhere, right?
How to Create Your KDP Profile
KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing, and it is the perfect platform for you to publish your books either digitally or physically! Yes, you read that correctly. By using the KDP platform, your potential readers have the option of ordering a paperback version of your book if they aren’t really fans of e-readers and other handheld devices.
So, the process of creating your KDP account can be done by following these simple steps:
- Head on over to http://kdp.amazon.com/.
- If you have an Amazon account, do not forget to link the two as we mentioned above. Having everything in one central location just makes the entire process that much easier!
- Alternatively, if you are completely new to Amazon, you will most likely need to create an account in order to have access to the KDP platform. This is as simple as following the prompts, choosing a relatively safe password, and moving through the publishing prompts.
- On the KDP dashboard, you should be able to see all of your statistics from previous book sales, the option to set up “print on demand,” as well as the option to register a new book! This is your tool for seeing your growth. You can then use all the information on this page to pivot your marketing approaches accordingly and see which strategies are working well and where changes need to happen!
There you have it! You have created your KDP profile and are ready to get your book online! We told you it was going to be easy to do!
The Process of Uploading Your Ebook to Amazon
Now, remember how we told you about the possibility of letting the public access your work either through a Kindle ebook or through a paperback? Well, this is where the different formats need to be taken into consideration in order for them all to be successfully loaded and ready for purchase.
When we take a look at the typical ebook folder for the Kindle, not only does it need to be formatted correctly, but you will need to know whether it is easy to read or not. It is pointless to have the font so small that when a reader downloads the file, they aren’t able to read anything that has been written.
So, what we usually recommend is that once you have everything all sorted, you gift your book to some friends and ask them for their feedback before you decide to go live. In this way, you will be able to pick up the tiny errors that may deter potential customers from wanting to read your book in its entirety.
Editing and writing is a tall order, especially for someone who is new to the world of publishing. But, by consistently interacting with your manuscript, reading specific parts over and over, and changing sentences to make everything flow better, you are enhancing the reader’s enjoyment of your book without even knowing it!
Now that the online ebook segment is out of the way, let’s take a look at how the paperback print-on-demand process works. So, the only difference in setting this up is the format that you will need to use. You will need to use a bit of brain power here as you focus on what size you want your book to be, as it won’t necessarily be standard like with ebooks.
Amazon does offer you specific templates for different standard publishing sizes. To give you a bit more context regarding this, here are a few examples of these sizes:
- If your book is more of a travel companion, then you will most likely opt for the ‘pocket-sized’ book template. This template is 5.5″ x 8.5″.
- Your more common paperbacks, irrespective of whether your book is fiction or nonfiction, come in any custom size, with the standard being approximately 6″ x 9″.
- If you’ve gone ahead and consolidated your knowledge into a workbook, your template will prove to be quite a bit bigger than the other two options. The standard size for these workbooks is 8.5″ x 11″.
Now, it doesn’t mean that you are forced to choose one of these three size templates. You can use them as a guide and a reference to measure the actual size that you had imagined your book to be. Always make sure your decision is practical and, in some way, fits the overall domain of your book. For example, having a fiction book like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in a travel book size will most likely be both impractical and bulky! Although, we’d still read it!
Pricing Your Book
Let’s talk about your royalty options for a moment. When you decide to self-publish on Amazon Kindle, you want to ensure that your book is priced below $2.99. Now, before you conclude that we are limiting your work, hear us out. By choosing this option, you can capitalize on the affordability aspect for shoppers as well as receive 35% in royalties. The benefit of this option is that you are most likely guaranteed sales, as the public is more inclined to spend less than three dollars on a book than to pay for one that is $9.99.
The other royalty option is for books that are priced between $2.99 and $9.99. With a book falling within this price range, you would qualify for 70% royalties on all books sold.
Now, although the choice is completely up to you, choosing a book that just crosses the three-dollar threshold means you will be getting a greater return. As the popularity of your book starts to skyrocket, you can even go ahead and change the price, making it a bit more expensive as the guarantee that people will purchase it is a lot higher based on word of mouth and other marketing strategies you may have used.
For many, their prime goal has not been to make any money from their sales. But who would say no to a bit of extra spending money, right?
How Vetted Freelancers Can Streamline Your Amazon Self-Publishing Journey
Vetted freelancers have experience in the self-publishing realm. They have either become authors themselves or at least know how to work through these processes. These freelancers are also those who are willing to share information. That is what makes a vetted freelancer so special—their ability to share information with willingness and grace!
We were all new to our favorite pastimes before we became used to or good at what we do. The same is said for becoming a veteran author. And having vetted freelancers along for the ride, those who are kind, respectable, and selfless in wanting to see you succeed, makes the entire journey that much sweeter!
Just be careful; publishing your manuscripts is a very fun hobby to have! One book becomes two, and two books become an entire series! Once the bug has bitten and you have tasted the sweet nectar of success, you have found your calling to become a self-published author!
Amazon’s Kindle Platform has taken the world by storm. Whether people use it for convenience or because they find that it is so much more compact when traveling and having all their books in one place, there are those that would still prefer a paperback. Thankfully, KDP listened to the public and adopted both of these approaches.
As an aspiring author, you have the potential for greatness. All you need to do is have a manuscript ready, create your KDP profile, fill in a few basic yet simple requirements about your work, and then hit that publish button! Your journey toward becoming a self-published author is only just beginning, and trust us; it won’t end with your first book!
Confused or have some questions about the process? Get in touch with one of our sales representatives at Dibbly, and we will be more than happy to assist you through this journey!