Amazon Kindle puts your publishing destiny in your own hands! The best thing is that it is surprisingly easy. With Kindle Direct Publishing, it is a simple matter to upload your book and make your writing available to the masses.
One of the goals of many bloggers, including myself, is to publish an ebook. There are many reasons that this is such a common theme. Many of us want to build the kind of authority that a published author claims. As well, books can help us generate more traffic by getting exposure and can be a great incentive item as a free giveaway. Then, there’s just the simple pride of knowing that you are a published author.
Years ago, it was a difficult thing to publish a book. You’d have to write a manuscript and send it out to potential publishers and hope that someone would accept your book and essentially agree to front the publishing costs of putting a book on the bookshelves. Now, books are made available in electronic format and the cost of sending a book out via download is negligible. Thus, we enter the realm of the self publishing author.
There are many avenues to self publishing. While it’s always a good thing to diversify, I figure the best place to start self publishing your work should be with one of the largest booksellers in the world. So, I’m going to explain in this step by step guide how to publish your book on the Amazon Kindle.
Writing Your Book
Your first step is gathering your material and writing your book. As a blogger, you have a wealth of material to draw on from your own blog. (In theory) Often, you can take some of your old blog posts and put them in order for a book. You can add material and edit, but this is a good start to a first book. Later on, you can write new material or work with PLR material for future publications.
After you write your book, you’ll want to create an image for the title of your book. A good title image will be easy to read and look good as both a thumbnail as well as in full size. Keep in mind the dimensions for the cover need to be a minimum of 500 pixels horizontally and a maximum of 1280 pixels vertically.
Formatting Your Book
You can use your regular word processing software to write your book, but you want to ensure that you have your margins set correctly. Generally, you want to make sure you have 1 inch margins. So set your margins at 1″ on the left side and at the 7″ mark on the right side. For ease of use, I have a preset blank template already formatted for the kindle that you can download here: Ebook Template.doc.
You can simple cut and paste your book into the blank template.
Now, you will need to go through and make sure that there is no complex formatting. Bullet points, headers and footers don’t convert. Also, any images should be in jpeg format. Keep in mind that images will be in grayscale on the kindle.
You’ll want to break your book down into easy to understand chapters and put in a table of contents. I’ve found that sometimes the page numbers differ on the kindle after the upload, so it’s easier to have a table of contents with just the chapter numbers and titles, rather than their page numbers.
After you’ve finished with all the formatting, save your book. Amazon can convert a number of formats, including pdf, docs, txt files, to the kindle. However, I find that kindle converts documents saved as .doc well. So, I recommend saving your book as a word document. I also keep a second copy as a pdf for my own personal distribution.
Publishing to Kindle
Once you have your book ready to publish, you can start the process of getting your book up to the Amazon store.
- If you don’t already have an account, create an account with Kindle Direct Publishing and sign in.
- After you sign in, click on the “add new title” button on the top left.
- Once, you hit the add new title button, it will take you to a page that allows you to enter your book details:
Pick a compelling title for your book and fill in the description. Afterwards, you will have to add contributors, such as the author of the book.
- Now verify your publishing rights. Assuming that the book is an original work, select this is not a public domain work option.
- Next Select a category for your book. There’s a large menu of the standard subject categories that you can choose. You can also plug in some keywords for your book
- After you select a category for your book, you will upload the image of the book title you created earlier.
- After you upload your image, you will upload the text of your book that you saved earlier.
- This will take you to the next page where you will set the price for your book. Pricing your book can be tricky. A simple guideline that I follow is roughly $1 for every 10 pages. Of course this will vary. Also, keep in mind that if you set your price between $2.99 to $9.99.
- Now, hit save and publish and you’re done!
It will take 24 to 72 hours for your book become active in the Amazon store.
Congratulations, You’ve Published a Book!
It’s an awesome feeling to see your book go live in the amazon store. People can search and discover your book and at any moment someone can chose to purchase and download your book. At this point, you can do a little promoting and announce your book’s publication.
Just last week, I also published my first book on Amazon Kindle, which you can check out in the Amazon Store here:
Congratulations and enjoy the success of your new book!