How to Self Publish a Book with Amazon in 15 Steps
After speaking with Jacky Rom on the Blare Radio: Start Your Business and Be Heard podcast, I decided to stop thinking about writing a book, and actually sit down and write one. Though she took the traditional publishing route for her latest book, From Vegas to Villainy, I will be self-publishing my first creation.
If you have written a book yet, what is stopping you? It’s easier to get your words published today than ever before. Keep reading and I’ll walk you through with getting your first book published. Doing this doesn’t cost anything, it takes less than 10 minutes, and you can always make changes.
STEP 01: Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
Visit the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) website and create an account. If you already have one, then you can just log in.
Now you’re on KDP’s dashboard. Find and click on Create New Title. This will display the KDP Select screen. We will cover KDP Select in more detail in a moment.
STEP 02: Book Title and Subtitle
You will be prompted to enter the title and subtitle of your book. Enter the exact title and subtitle only. If you add extra words your book will not be published.
STEP 03: Describe Your Book
I’m sure we have all picked up a book and read the back of it. Well, that “back” is what you need to write here. Once people are interested in reading your book they are going to read the description first. So, make sure it is interesting enough for them to want to read your content.
STEP 04: Contributors
You want to make sure that you add yourself as the author. That is a give, but you can also use this step to add anyone else that helped you with the creation of your book.
STEP 05: Verification
Is this content yours? Great! Verify your publish rights by selecting the radio button that says, “This is not a public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing rights.”
STEP 06: Choose Your Audience
This is an important step if you want your book to be found by your target audience. You get to select up to two categories that you want to be found and ranked in.
After selecting your categories, select the minimum age for your book. You can skip this part, and leave the age blank, if you’re writing a children’s book.
STEP 07: Keywords
This optional step is another great way to get people to your book. Use the keywords that your target audience would use in a search for a book or topic.
STEP 08: Release
Do you know when you want to release your book? During this step you can either choose to release it now, or you can decide to make it available for pre-ordering.
STEP 09: Cover
When readers search for a new book and get a list of results, the first thing that they are going to notice is your book’s cover art. Make sure that is stands out and catches their eye. The best way to do this would be to hire someone to create the perfect cover for you. You cover art should also give readers an idea of what your book is about.
If you decided to create your own book cover art, follow these guidelines:
- File Format: TIFF or JPG
- Dimensions: Minimum of 1,000 pixels on the long side, preferably 2,500 pixels.
STEP 10: Upload and Convert
There are several formats to upload your book from. When uploading your book, take a look at the file extension to see which format you used.
Once uploaded you can convert your book to the Kindle format. Click on preview to review your masterpiece and make sure that it looks great and mistake-free!
STEP 11: Territorial
Select the territories that your book will be available in. You have two options. All territories, or individual selected territories.
STEP 12: The Money
During this step you will select your KDP pricing and royalty percentage. Your royalty options are 35% and 70%. Before you select the attractive 70% royalty option, there are two qualifications that you need to meet first.
- The list price must be at least 20% below the list price on Amazon for the physical book.
- Titles must be made available for sale in all geographies for which the author or publisher has rights.
Regardless of the royalty option selected, the List Price Requirements must be met.
Per Amazon’s website, if you select the 35% royalty option, your royalty will be 35% of your list price without VAT for each unit sold.
If you select the 70% royalty option, your royalty will be 70% of your list price without VAT.
STEP 13: Kindle MatchBook
Enrolling in Kindle MatchBook allows readers that purchased a physical copy of your book to purchase a digital copy for under $3.
STEP 14: Kindle Book Lending
When you allow lending for your book, your readers are able to lend your book out for two weeks.
STEP 15: Publish
All that’s left to do is click Save & Publish. In your bookshelf your book’s status will be In Review for up to 12 hours (English books) or up to 48 hours (non-English books).
Now, tell the world about your book. You can start by telling us in the comments!
KDP Select allows you to offer your book for free to readers for a specified period of time. However, KDP Select also means that your digital book will be sold on Amazon exclusively. You must agree not to sell a digital copy of your book anywhere else. Not even on your own website.
If you believe that this is all bad, there are a few things that may make you smile.
- You have the opportunity to earn higher royalties.
- It’s not forever. The KDP Select program is for 90 days. At the end of the three months, you can opt out, or you can renew for another 90 days.
- You can set up a promotion to offer your book to readers for free, or for a discount, for up to five days
- Printed copies of your book are allowed to be sold outside of Amazon.
- Your book is added to Kindle Unlimited
For $9.99 a month a reader can gain unlimited access to the books they desire. Users of Kindle Unlimited will also receive emails of suggested titles based on their reading history.
The more pages readers read in your book(s), the more money you are able to earn.