Poppy is the author of "A Bard's Lament" and the Black Diamond series. She lives in Enoshima, Japan, with her husband and young son.
Why Choose Self-Publishing Over Traditional?
Self-publishing is a great choice for people who want full control over their books, from their choice of editor to cover and release dates. One essential place for indie authors to publish their work is Amazon, where the majority of eBooks are sold.
Here is an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide on how to publish your manuscript on KDP.
Before you hurry off to release your book onto the world, however, make sure you have completed the following:
- Had your manuscript professionally edited and proofread.
- Written a blurb.
- Prepared keywords and decided your book's genre.
- Had your manuscript properly formatted and ready for Kindle.
- Have a beautiful front cover ready (you can design one using KDP's cover creator, but it's best to have one professionally made).
Without these steps, there will be essential elements missing to your book that may hurt sales.
Step 1: Make an Account
Sign up for a free Kindle Direct Publishing account here. Use your Amazon login if you have one. If not, make a new account.
Step 2: Create an Ebook
Select "Kindle eBook" under "Create a New Title."
Enter your book's title, author, and contributors (if applicable). This is for co-authors; there is no need to include your editor or cover designer here.
Put your book's blurb into the "Description" box. Make sure the blurb is free of typos and spelling errors. You can run it through a free version of Grammarly to catch anything you missed.
Keywords are words or phrases that potential readers will search in order to find your book. Choose elements, tropes, and the setting of your book as keywords. Here are some good examples.
- Strong female lead
- Books set in Victorian times
- Steampunk fiction
- Books about assassins
- Books set in Ireland
- Fantasy with dragons
Keywords are essential to people discovering your book, so don't skip this step.
This is your book's genre, and is just as important, if not more so, than keywords. Your book's category can affect your sales rank and whether someone will decide to buy it.
You can choose up to two categories. There are a lot of them on there, so think carefully before you choose.
Step 3: Upload Your Manuscript
Before uploading, make sure your manuscript has:
- Frontispiece (a page with the front cover on it. This is separate from the cover page).
- A title page.
- Copyright page.
- Contents page.
Most of these are optional, but they'll make your book much more professional. For more information about what should be included in your ebook, check out this article.
Your manuscript can be in docx, EPUB or KPF format.
Step 4: Upload Your Cover
You can use Amazon's cover creator, but it's highly recommended you use a professional cover designer. You can find a freelance designer or buy a premade cover. Don't design your own unless you're a professional.
Covers must be in JPG or TFF format.
Step 5: Decide Whether You Want Your Book in KDP Select
If you plan only on publishing on Amazon's KDP and nowhere else, tick the box "Enroll my book in KDP Select." If you're also planning on publishing on other websites, such as Smashwords and Barnes & Noble, don't click it.
Step 6: Decide the Price
Most eBooks, depending on their length, are listed from $0.99 to $9.99. If you list it at between $2.99 and $9.99, you keep 70% of the profits. Prices outside this range will net you 35%.
What Should I Charge for My eBook?
The price you choose depends on certain factors, such as:
- The length. If you're publishing a short story, it will be listed for less than a 120,000 word novel.
- Your goals for the book. Is this a stepping stone to future works? Make it $0.99 or free. Is it the finale in an epic series? Price it higher. Is it the first in a series? Price it low to encourage sales of future books.
- The genre. A niche non-fiction book will sell higher than YA fantasy.
- How well-known are you? If you're a new author with no audience and just starting out, don't price the book higher than $3.99 (at novel length).
- What similar others are charging. Have a look at books in the same genre and find a ballpark price. Charge somewhere in the middle.
A higher price means you can push sales with a countdown discount. Bear in mind you can change the pricing at any time, so don't worry too much about this step. If in doubt, price it at $0.99 to attract impulse buyers.
Step 7: Decide Whether You Want to Allow Lending
Enabling lending simply means people can "lend" the eBook out to others at no charge to them. The book will disappear from the receipient's device after a certain length of time. Think of it as lending out a physical book. If they love it, they might check out more of your work.
It's up to you if you'd like to allow this feature or not.
Step 8: Click Publish!
Once you've followed all of the above steps, you can release your eBook for publishing! If things aren't finalized yet, you can submit your book for preorder, allowing you to make changes up until a couple of days before it's released.
This simple guide will help you become a published author! Remember to write and deliver the highest quality work you can, because people deserve quality when they're spending their hard-earned money on your book. Readers with tens of thousands of options and money to spend deserve the best. Good luck!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Poppy