You have finished writing a book.
If you are ready to publish and don’t want to spend the time and effort taking the traditional publishing route, then the quickest and easiest way is to learn how to self-publish a book on Amazon.
There are a lot of self-publishing platforms but Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) offers the fastest publishing process for an ebook in a Kindle version.
It only takes a few minutes to set up your KDP self-publishing account and then start to upload your manuscript for your Kindle ebook.
What you get with KDP self-publishing
When you finish publishing your book, it will be available in Kindle stores worldwide in around 24 hours.
You can earn a 70% royalty rate on your book sales.
If you join KDP Select, you can offer your book for free to help you in promoting your book.
You can also enroll your book in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited.
If you wish, you can also publish a printing on demand paperback version of your book. This needs proper formatting, so you might want to skip it for now.
You are free to choose the list prices for your books, as long as your price is $0.99 or higher.
Kindle ebooks are by far the most popular ebook format with ebook readers, and Amazon is the biggest seller of ebooks in the world.
If you are new to self-publishing and do not want to go through a long learning curve to publish a paperback then it is an ideal way, and business model, to become a published author.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to self-publish an ebook on Amazon Kindle publishing to help you on your way.
Here’s how to self-publish a book on Amazon
1. Set up your KDP account
Go to Amazon KDP to begin setting up your new KDP account.
On the welcome page, you will find a short video that explains the basics of KDP and Amazon Kindle.
On the right of the page, sign in using your existing Amazon account email address and password.
If you do not have an Amazon account, you will be prompted to open a new account.
Once you are signed in, complete your details in the following form.
When you have completed all your personal details, you will be prompted to enter your payment and tax information.
It is very important to complete all the required information to ensure that you will get paid for sales of your ebooks.
Now you are ready to start publishing.
2. Getting your manuscript and ebook cover ready for publishing.
If you have everything ready, then you can move on to the next step, but you should read on as a quick check.
1. Make sure you save your Word file in .docx file format. This is better suited to ebook publishing and will give you fewer problems with fixed layout formatting. You can also use Kindle Create to format your ebook.
2. Use Word headings for your title and chapter headings. The best is to use Heading 1 for your book title on the title page and Heading 2 for all your chapter titles. The table of contents for your ebook will be created automatically from your H2 headings.
3. Run a thorough grammar and spell-check. You can use the tools in Word, but a much better way to check your manuscript for errors, typos, and mistakes is to use an online grammar checker or writing assistant.
One that is very popular with authors is Prowritingaid. It is ideally suited to checking long manuscripts and has many reports that can help improve a long text.
4. Have you written your book description? Book descriptions are not easy to write. Make sure you have yours ready before you go to publish.
If you need help formatting your book description, you can use the free book description generator tool from Kindlepreneur.
5. Do you have a book cover? If so, you are good to go. But if not, you will need an ebook cover.
If you were publishing a print book you would need a high-resolution custom cover. Very often, an ebook cover is created from this. However, hi-res covers are expensive.
A less expensive way is to buy pre-made ebook covers for between $30.00 to $50.00.
Another ebook cover alternative is free. Go to Canva and you can create a cover from hundreds of templates.
All you need to do is change the text to your author name and title.
Here is an example of a Canva book cover. It is not too bad at all.
3. Publishing your ebook
Go to your KDP dashboard and select + Kindle ebook.
You will then start completing your new book’s details. It is very straightforward, but you should take care when selecting your 7 keywords and 2 categories.
If you would like more details about these two areas you can read this article on how to select the best keywords for your book.
Once complete, click save and continue.
On the next page, your Kindle Ebook Content, you will need to upload your book in two parts. Your manuscript and your book cover. There is the option to see a preview of your Kindle book.
Make sure you use the online previewer to check that everything is perfect.
Once you are happy, save, and continue again, and you will be on the pricing page.
Be careful here! Amazon will prompt you to enroll in KDP Select.
There are some things to consider before enrolling.
Your new book will be included in Kindle Unlimited, and you will receive 70% royalty on all Kindle store sales. However, you will need to grant the exclusivity of your ebook to Amazon for 90 days.
You can read more about the Pros and Cons of KDP Select before you make your decision.
Now you can set your selling price. Always set your royalty option to 70% if your book is priced at $2.99 or higher.
If your book price is between $0.99 and $2.98, your royalty rate will be 35%.
You can check the Amazon KDP ebook price list requirements for all the details.
Selling your book at a very high price will obviously reduce your potential sales. But setting it too low can make it look too cheap. The sweet spot is usually between $2.99 to $4.99.
There is the option to vary your price in different markets, but there is rarely a need to change these settings.
The last thing you need to do is hit publish. You’re done.
Even though Amazon says up to 72 hours, new Kindle ebooks in English are usually published and available for sale within 24 hours.
4. Promoting your ebook
The most common ways to promote your new Kindle ebook are by using social media and your blog or website to help readers find your book.
You could think about a guest post on other blogs to help spread the word.
You could also use a book promotion service. Whizbuzz Books offers one year of book promotion on a wide range of online networks for a very reasonable fee.
It might look like a lot of steps, but if you have everything ready to publish it only takes a few minutes to publish your new book on Amazon Kindle with KDP self-publishing.
For new self-publishers and Indie authors, ebook publishing is now the most popular way to find readers.
Publishing on Amazon is quick, efficient and your books will be available for sale almost immediately to a worldwide market.