How To Self-Publish Your Book On Amazon In Easy Steps

Self-publishing a book on Amazon is a great option for authors who want to publish an eBook or paperback book with less hassle than the traditional publishing industry. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of publishing a book on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

What is Amazon KDP?

Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is an online self-publishing platform that allows authors to publish their books and sell them on Amazon’s Kindle Store.

Easy Steps To Self-Publish Book On Amazon

Step 1: Create an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Account

The first step to publishing a book on Amazon is to create a KDP account. If you already have an Amazon account, you can use it to sign in to the KDP system. However, if you don’t have an Amazon account, you need to create a new KDP account.

Visit kdp.amazon.com and choose “Sign in” or “Sign up.”

Step 2: Add a New Kindle eBook (a “New Title”)

Once you have created your KDP account, the next step is to add a new Kindle eBook. Click on the box that says “+ Kindle eBook” to add a new book.

Step 3: Set Your Primary Language

Choose your eBook’s primary language (the language in which the book was written).

Step 4: Enter Your Book Title and Subtitle

Your book title is critically important. It has to be magnetic and should grab the reader’s attention. Enter your book title and subtitle carefully.

Step 5: Enter the Author Name

Enter the name you want to publish under – the name you’ll use on the book cover. This can be your own name or a pen name. If there is more than one author, enter the other names using the Contributors box.

Step 6: Enter Your Book Description

Your book description is a sales pitch for readers. It’s a key part of your book’s marketing materials. Write it carefully and make sure it describes your book accurately.

Step 7: Verify Your Publishing Rights

If you are the author of the book, choose the radio button that says: “I own the copyright and I hold the necessary publishing rights.”

Step 8: Choose Your Keywords

Choose your keywords carefully. When you fill in these boxes, what you’re really saying is: when people enter these words in an Amazon search, I want my book to come up. They should relate directly to the reader’s pain that your book can solve.

Step 9: Choose Two Categories for Your Book

Use the Categories popup box to choose two categories for your book. Use the “+” buttons to drill down as far as you can. This is a crucial marketing decision that will determine the visibility of your book, the competition it faces, and the likelihood of achieving bestseller status.

Step 10: Choose the Right Age Range (if This Applies)

If your book is for teens or younger readers, select the appropriate minimum and maximum age range for the target audience. Otherwise, leave this box blank.

Step 11: Choose Your Book Release Option

Create your plan for a full book launch before you set a publishing date. No matter what you choose as your publishing date for now, you can keep entering your book’s info by choosing “Save and Continue.” Just remember to come back to this and set your real date before you publish your book.

Step 12: Select DRM Rights

Make sure you enable DRM. Digital Rights Management prevents people from copying your book and sending it to other people for free.

Step 13: Upload Your Book

Despite the options provided (like pdf or doc files), turn your eBook into a well-formatted epub file before you upload it. Always use the current Kindle format so your book will look good in every e-reader.

Step 14: Upload Your Book Cover

People do judge books by their covers. Like it or not, this is 100% true, and there’s a ton of marketing research to back it up. If you want your book to sell, the cover design has to be professional.

Step 15: Preview Your Book

After uploading your manuscript and cover, it is essential to preview your book using the Kindle Previewer. This step is crucial to ensure that your book looks professional and is free of errors. To preview your book, click on the “Preview on your computer” option instead of the “Launch Previewer” button. Install the current previewer app for Mac or Windows and download your book file through the “MOBI” link. Take your time and read through your book carefully, checking the cover image, navigation, and external links. This step is a crucial part of DIY publishing, and it is essential to ensure that your book is of high quality.

Step 16: ISBN and Publisher

You do not need an ISBN or a publisher for a Kindle eBook. If you intend to publish only on Amazon, you can leave these fields blank. However, if you plan to publish your book on other platforms or in print, you will need an ISBN. It is also essential to have a publisher for your book if you plan to sell it in bookstores.

Step 17: Skip KDP Select for Now

KDP Select enrolls your book in Kindle Unlimited and provides additional marketing options, such as Kindle countdown deals. However, the digital version of your book has to be exclusive to Amazon. You can always add your book to KDP Select after it’s published, but once it’s in the program, you have to leave it there for at least three months. Make this decision as part of your overall book marketing plan.

Step 18: Choose Your Territories

Choose “All territories (worldwide rights)” unless you have a good reason not to. This step will make your book available in all of Amazon’s global territories once you’re ready to publish it.

Step 19: Choose Your Royalty and Pricing

Choose between 35% and 70% for your royalty. For most authors, the 70% royalty will pay more. However, it does add some pricing limitations as well as a slightly different royalty calculation. Choose Amazon.com as your primary marketplace, then set the list price. The price in other marketplaces will be set according to exchange rates, but you can set each one manually if you want to.

Step 20: Add the Book to Matchbook and Book Lending

These options are up to you, but you’ll have to enroll in book lending if you want the 70% royalty.

Step 21: Save to Draft Until You’re Ready

Choose “Save as Draft” until you’re ready to choose a publishing date and launch your book. It is essential to think through every aspect of your book’s marketing before you publish. This includes your book’s cover, layout, pricing, marketing plan, and author branding. Set up your Amazon Author page with your author photo and bio, and add any blurbs to your book’s detail page.

Step 22: Self-Publishing Your Print Book

If you want to publish a print book, you can use the same KDP account to add the print version of your book. However, publishing print books is much harder than publishing eBooks. Your cover needs a spine and a back, and it needs to be in a different format. Interior formatting is completely different and much harder. The pricing is different, depending on both the market and print costs. If you want a print book, it is advisable to get some help. However, there are many excellent reasons to publish a print book, such as advance reviewers prefer them, most serious media outlets require them, and they can expand your business in ways an eBook just can’t.

Other Frequently Asked Questions about Self-Publishing on Amazon

Can You Use a Traditional Publisher after Being on Amazon?

Yes, so long as you retained the rights to your book. However, it can be challenging for a few reasons. If your book hasn’t produced the kinds of sales a traditional publisher wants to see (usually because you haven’t marketed and promoted your book well), they’re far less likely to be interested unless something unique convinces them it still has great commercial potential.

Amazon Book Publishing Software

Amazon recommends Kindle Create, their free interior formatting tool available for desktop on both Mac and PC. Kindle Create can be used to create novels, essays, memoirs (Reflowable); textbooks, travel books, and cookbooks (Interactive Print Replica); and Comics (Comics with Guided View). Interactive Print Replicas maintain the look and feel of a print edition, but your readers won’t be able to resize text, and they may not work on some devices. Be sure to review the full system requirements and supported features for Kindle Create.

Final Thoughts on Amazon and Self-Publishing

Publishing is a skill in its own right, entirely separate from writing. Rushing your manuscript to market is not advisable, as it can affect the quality of your book. Publishing a book that looks unprofessional makes you look unprofessional, and it is better not to publish at all. Take your time and do it right. Publishing your book can be the best thing you ever did for yourself and your career.

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