Amazon Self-Publishing Problems And Solutions For Authors
If you are a new author, you could experience some problems with Amazon self-publishing.
When you do something for the first time, it doesn’t always work out exactly as you planned.
Self-publishing your first book and becoming a published author is a very exciting time.
But errors and oversights can and often do happen.
Fix your Amazon self-publishing problems
Luckily, you can use relatively easy fixes for most problems you encounter when you self-publish a new book.
So don’t panic. You can fix most of the common book marketing issues after publishing without too much effort.
Some problems can be a result of rushing into publishing.
Other mistakes can happen because you didn’t know how things worked.
But the good news is that there are very few things that you can’t fix or resolve after publishing your book or digital book.
Here are five common problems you might have and the solutions for you to fix the issues.
1. You have two book sales pages on Amazon
It is one of the most common Amazon self-publishing problems.
When you publish a book with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), your book will be on its own sales page.
If you only publish a Kindle ebook version, there is no problem. Your book will appear within 24 hours.
If you publish a Kindle and a print-on-demand paperback version of your book with KDP, Amazon might not automatically combine your two book pages.
Many new authors are unaware that this is not normal. Two separate sales pages will create problems and confusion for you and your potential book buyers when you promote your book.
It will also negatively affect your print book and ebook sales. You must have one sales page so that you can promote your book with only one link.
All versions of your book should be listed on only one sales page with price boxes, as shown below, displaying each version.
It then allows potential book buyers to make their choice.
If you have any other version, such as an audiobook or hardcover, they should also appear on your one sales page.
If you have published two versions of your book and they are not listed on the same page, contact support through your KDP account dashboard to resolve this issue affecting your book.
Include the links to your two Amazon pages in your message and ask KDP support to combine them for you and resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
KDP usually completes this action within 24 – 48 hours.
If you are not sure how to do it, read our full article – Are Your Books Merged On Your Amazon Book Sales Page?
2. Oops. There are typos and errors in my book, and I forgot to add a sub-title
Very often, in all the excitement of publishing your new book, things can get overlooked.
Typos happen in the best of books – even in traditional publishing.
Minor errors can escape the sharpest pair of eyes.
This is one of the most common problems with Amazon self-publishing.
But it’s not too late to fix your book.
Your book has some errors you or someone else notices after you upload it, and it goes on sale.
Perhaps you forgot to add a credit for the book cover image or neglected to add page breaks between chapters of your ebook.
You only now understand how vital your selection of categories and keywords is.
But you selected them in a rush, and your book is now lost in a broad category.
You realize now that a sub-title is very good for helping readers find your book with Amazon Search.
You can solve all of these problems and issues very quickly.
If you want to correct typos and errors in the text of your book, make the necessary edits to your manuscript.
Then upload it and republish your book with the new revised version.
You can also change your seven Kindle search keywords and categories at the same time, or you can do it as a separate republish.
If you want to add a sub-title, check with each of your publishing services.
Some allow you to add a sub-title to your book details, including the Amazon KDP platform and Barnes & Noble.
But others, like Apple, insist that the sub-title must also appear on the book cover.
In this case, you will need to add your subtitle to your book cover and upload it again for republishing.
If you use a professional cover designer, they are usually prepared to help you but may charge you a little for the alteration.
3. You didn’t work on gaining book reviews before your book went on sale
There is nothing as frustrating as seeing zero book reviews on your Amazon book sales page.
Reviews sell books, and selling books will get reviews. It’s a catch-22 situation.
Before publishing, it is always best practice to organize reviews that will appear shortly after your book launch.
But you didn’t know or forgot about this, and now it’s too late.
It’s very hard work.
You need to beg, grovel and plead for beta readers to help you with this.
Plus, you need as many as you can get because not all of them will fulfill their promise. But it’s too late now.
Solution. But not so easy
No, it isn’t too late. But you will need to play catch up.
You need to have free copies of your ebook to send to beta readers.
Start the process of begging, groveling, and pleading with friends, associates, and your online social media contacts to find willing beta readers.
Offering your ebook for free on Amazon for five days is a short lottery that rarely works now in getting reviews.
You need to get personal and ask people directly.
How do you get your free copies?
If you published on Smashwords or Draft2digital, download a copy of your ebook in both epub and mobi formats from your book page.
If you published with Amazon only, it does not offer this service.
You will need to make your own ebook copy by converting your Word manuscript to both ebook file formats.
You can find detailed instructions in this article on how to convert Word to epub and mobi.
Once you have your free ebook in both formats, you are ready to send out as many readers as possible.
The more, the better. It’s hard work, but you will get some book reviews out of it all.
How do I know?
It’s because I went through the same process after the launch of one of my books in audiobook format.
My publisher got my new book up and on sale and then sent me my promo codes to give away free copies. So I went to work.
And the good news is that after a few weeks, the book now has a nice little list of reviews.
Another solution you can try is to add editorial reviews to your Amazon sales page.
4. Sales are flat or non-existent on all retailers
In the publishing market, not every new book sells well.
In fact, only a very small proportion do, and they are usually titles by established authors.
What can you do if your new book has been on sale with multiple ebook retailers for a few months and sales are disappointing?
There are no magic silver bullets to fire because selling books is a tough business.
You should check that your two book categories and seven keywords are the best choices for your book.
And while I am not a lover of Amazon KDP Select, there are times when it can help give a book a little nudge in the right direction.
But before you rush to enroll in KDP Select, make sure you have a handful of reviews on your book on Amazon. Refer to problem 3.
Enrolling your ebook in KDP Select will make it available on Kindle Unlimited in the Kindle Store.
It can help gain page reads and earn some royalties, and it could also help get a few more precious book reviews.
You can also use the five days when you can make your ebook free on the Kindle Store. This can help your sales ranking a little in the short term.
Try one enrolment period of 90 days to see if it helps attract page reads and ebook buyers.
You can always go back to open distribution at the end of the period.
See this article for step-by-step details about entering and exiting KDP Select.
5. Your book cover is not that appealing. Sorry.
Book covers do sell books.
Fantastic book covers can even help sell awful books. But an awful cover won’t help sell a great book.
This is often one of the problems with Amazon self-publishing that you only discover due to poor book sales.
You tried to save money and made your book yourself in Word or Paint. Or perhaps you had a friend or relative do it for you for free.
If you look at your book cover (honestly) in thumbnail view among other books in your genre, does it really stand out, pop out, catch the eye and beg to be read?
Look away, then look again, and pick the first cover that catches your eye.
Ask friends or family to do the same.
If your book cover wasn’t the first choice, you need to change it.
But look at which cover was most people’s first choice and note what is different.
Here is a passage from another article on our site referring to analyzing book covers. The whole article is here.
Your book cover
You know you need a great book cover and probably have one. But have you considered that the color or font might be a problem?
Look at the top-ranking books in specific genres. You will see that there is often a commonality about colors. Science fiction books are generally dark and very often blue.
With romance covers, pastel colors are predominant. For mystery and thriller, heavy and dark, with black shades, are common.
What about your title font? Romance titles use a lot of fancy script fonts, whereas mystery and suspense use bold san-serif fonts. But paranormal and fantasy often use fine serif fonts.
Compare your cover with the 50 top-selling titles in your genre. See if you can make your cover better suited to what readers expect.
Easy solution for a price
The quickest and easiest way to get an eye-popping book cover is to buy from or hire a professional book cover designer.
You can choose between a pre-made cover, which is the most economical way.
Or you can have a cover custom-designed, but this option can range from reasonably priced to very expensive, so shop around.
Alternatively, you could investigate how to use Canva as a free book cover maker to improve your cover design.
A book is never a lost cause, and most problems can be fixed with Amazon self-publishing.
There is always something that you can do to improve your book or to rectify your mistakes.
In some ways, it’s a process of continual improvement and making tweaks to help your book sell better.
Related reading: Change The Look Inside Percentage For Your Book On Amazon
4 thoughts on “Amazon Self-Publishing Problems And Solutions For Authors”
Problem with margins on Amazon KDP and could use some advice…
My book is formatted with background (D&D RPG adventure book) I’ve been trying to get the interior manuscript to an acceptable state, and have set all margins to 0.04. The PDF looks fine in my browser, but when uploaded to KDP those margins disappear and then it says my objects are outside the boundaries.
The single page is what it looks like in Edge, with visible margins. The second example is from KDP previewer with those same margins completely gone.
I’ve tried with Bleed on and off with no difference in the previewer.
It might be best to contact KDP to help with this issue. But I had this problem once with the online preview. I ignored the issue and ordered a proof copy. Everything was fine.
I don’t understand how the GIANT AMAZON could take over a small company like CREATE SPACE and become UNUSER FRIENDLY~
1. The book I created from scratch on CREATE SPACE WAS SO EASY! Yet I use the same template for my book cover, YET AMAZON HAS ISSUES WITH IT. I removed all the wording from the template they sent. Inserted what I wanted for my cover and they kept taking it out of review and put it back into draft.
2. They told me to REMOVE ALL TEXT. Why? There was a particular font that I use that they don’t have. MY COVER WAS PERFECT, but they want to add their own font.
3. So I tried to use their editor. WELL, their editor template that would allow me to upload a photo of my cover “AS IS” kept telling my that my photo was not 300 dpi, WHICH IT WAS, and to make sure I used a couple of online photo calulators to check. Both confirmed my photo was 300 dpi.
4. NOW LETS TALK ABOUT THE BACK COVER. Their photo place hold would not allow me to resize the photo. It gave the option to stretch the box, but when in viewing only that little box with half of the photo showed up.
AMAZON SELF PUBLISHING IS “SO UNUSER FRIENDLY” FOR SUCH A TAKEOVER GIANT.
They should have hired the employees OF CREATE SPACE, to show them how to do it right!
It took me 3 tries on Creat Space to upload a cover for my book. Amazon “30” and it still keeps going back to draft.
AND FROM WHAT I HEARD ON LINE. OTHER PEOPLE ARE COMPLAINING AS WELL. But does Amazon care?
Thanks for this helpful information. :) — Suzanne
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