The arrival of the Kindle Direct Publishing platform (KDP) was a major publishing solution for many aspiring and established writers. This is because authors both big and small have an easier opportunity of publishing their work (bypassing gate keepers) and consequently start earning money as they self publish on Kindle. The advantages of self-publishing through Amazon Kindle is that it’s fast (almost instantaneous), and depending on how you price your book, one can earn up to a 70% royalty. Another very attractive aspect of KDP is that the writer has direct control over his or her book. In addition, Amazon is the largest paid search engine in the world, one of the major players in publishing, has an authoritative review system, and is a well developed marketing machine. This article will provide best practices for how to self publish on Kindle.
How to Self Publish on Kindle
There are various things that an author should keep in mind or do when considering to self publish on Kindle. To start with, have a well-written final draft. Because of how easy it is to self publish on Kindle; there may be anxiousness to upload and start selling right away. However, once you click publish your book is available to Amazon’s very large customer base and bad reviews can mar your books image. Always double check your work and have a professional proofread and/or edit it. Conversely, if you do publish your book with errors, Amazon allows you to update your files, keywords, categories, cover, title, etc. very easily. With that being said, take care in uploading your best work!
Second, format and design your book to fit the expected Kindle format. You can use the Calibre program to format the book for Kindle, use Amazon’s very easy to understand instructions, or you can pay someone to do the formatting. Whichever option you choose, make sure you use the online previewer to determine how your Kindle book will look on different devices. If you see any formatting issues, correct them before proceeding to self publish on Kindle.
One of the most important aspects of your book (besides great content) is the book cover. Your book cover will provide the first impression of your book for your reader. Be mindful of the colors, images, and font sizes used, as it’s important that your book cover be both appealing and readable as a full sized image and thumbnail.
Once you have those aspects out of the way, the process to self publish on Kindle involves the following:
– Go to kdp.amazon.com and sign in (an Amazon account is needed).
– Register your tax details for royalties.
– Click “Bookshelf” and then “Add Title.”If you are interested in KDP Select, tick the box. In short, by ticking this box you are granting KDP exclusivity of your book for 90 days in exchange for what they laud as the ability to reach more readers, earn more money, and maximize your sales potential. Please note, I recommend that you read up on KDP Select and fully understand what you are committing yourself to.
– The rest of this page and the next are pretty self-explanatory. Just make sure that you fill in everything (as appropriate) and if you don’t understand an option, mouse over the “What’s this?” option to get a complete definition. When filling out the form, the most important details include the book title, description, categories and keywords. Take care with these options, as this will have a great impact on the discoverability of your book. Make sure to upload the cover file in JPEG or TIFF format, upload the book file, check your file in Amazon’s online previewer, click “Save and Continue” and proceed to the “Rights and Pricing” page. Choose the territories for which you hold rights, choose a royalty rate and set your list price (making sure to price competitively), click “Save and Publish”, then wait for an email response from Amazon (it takes roughly 24-48 hours).
Once I Self Publish On Kindle, Then What Do I Do?
While you may feel that your work is done, it’s now time to promote and launch the book. The successful launch of the book involves sending emails to friends and other readers about the release date, offering incentives to buyers, using social media and word-of-mouth to reach out to readers. Also remember to remind readers to leave reviews, as reviews provide social proof and sells more books!
In future posts we will talk more about a successful strategy to self publish on Kindle. In short, it requires you pick the right keywords that your target audience is using and a strong title that includes those keywords. Overall, the process to self publish on Kindle is not complicated and can lead to discovering new readers, generation of high sales, and is of great help in bypassing traditional publishers. Do you have additional questions on how to self publish on Kindle? Please share in the comment section below.