Want to publish on Kindle the EASY WAY?
Then let’s get started, shall we?
Overwhelm, time constraints, fear or lack of know-how are usually the stumbling blocks that stop people from publishing on Kindle. But if you can just grasp the basics of how to publish on Kindle, you’ll find it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. If you can learn this skill for life it will support your publishing career for as long as you need it to.
The whole Kindle book publishing process isn’t particularly complicated or scary, but it can be fiddly and frustrating. As with everything these days, there is an abundance of YouTube videos to guide you through ‘how to format your book for Kindle’ and show you how to upload your manuscript to Kindle as part of the book publishing process. However, if you’re not looking to learn a new skill, or simply don’t have the time, you could always drop me a message, and I can take care of everything for you.
I’ve heard many people say, “I want to publish on Kindle but I just don’t know where to start” and that’s why I’ve written this article. It isn’t so in-depth that it will scare the pants off you. But it isn’t shared through rose-tinted specs either. Regardless of how techy or savvy an indie author you are, here are 10 steps to help you finally publish on Kindle without the headaches.
Step 1: Hire a Professional Proofreader to Polish Your Manuscript
Make sure your book is proofread to perfection (no matter how fantastic your book may be, people spot the typos before anything else). Don’t just rely on your own proofreading skills (or your spellchecker -they lie, you know!) ask a professional to do it for you if your budget allows. This is a worthwhile investment if you’re planning on a long-term indie author career.
Step 2: Format Your Book for Kindle
Next, you’ll have to format your manuscript. Despite all the suggestions I come across online of creating it in mobi, or as an e-pub file or as html, etc, etc, and bla bla bla, I would recommend you do everything in Word (it’s the easiest way as far as I’m concerned). Again, there are oodles of YouTube videos out there to show you how to format your book for Kindle (from a Word document) and here’s what Amazon suggests when you’re thinking of formatting your book for Kindle the easy way.
Step 3: Create an Eye-Catching Kindle Cover Design
If you’re not a graphic designer and you don’t have any in your inner circle, I’d say you’ve got three options here (bearing in mind, we’re doing this the easy way).
- Use canva.com. Canva is free and there’s a Kindle book cover (e-book cover) template and ideas for you to tweak and develop.
- Check out fiverr.com (for $5 there are graphic designers ready to do the designing for you – top tip, though, go for designers with lots of great feedback, rather than choosing someone who can turn the job around in 4 hours).
- Or use the Kindle Cover Creator offered by Amazon as part of your uploading process – it’s great; you can add your own photograph and play around with fonts and colours etc. If you like to keep things simple too, then just go for a text-based cover.
Step 4: Write a Persuasive Kindle Book Description
Don’t overlook this bit or just throw anything out there and hope for the best. Writing your Amazon description (which is the same as a physical book’s blurb that you’d find on the back cover) is crucial if you want to entice readers into buying your book. Pose questions, add hooks and make it as upbeat and exciting as possible – it’s your sales pitch, after all. If it’s something you struggle with you can either find someone to write it for you (ahem, look no further), or think outside the box and simply create a list of reasons why potential readers will love your book (this works particularly well if you’ve written a non-fiction book by the way).
Step 5: Decide on the Price of Your Kindle Book
If you want to receive 70% royalties on your Kindle book, you will have to price it between £1.99 and £9.99. By the way, 70% royalties is a really good deal when you compare royalty rates from mainstream publishers for newly established and/or debut authors (which can be as little as 5% in some circumstances). The 30% royalties taken by Amazon are definitely worth it to get in front of a potentially global audience.
Step 6: Choose the Right Categories For Your Kindle Book
You have the choice of two categories in which to place your Kindle book (it used to be five), so make sure you have a good look through the options before you commit. (To find out what they are just pop along to the Kindle ebook store and on the left hand side you’ll see a list of around 30 or so categories to click through.) You can change your categories at a later stage by the way if you find they’re not working for you, so don’t worry if you think you haven’t got it quite right when you launch. Avoid the temptation of sitting your book in a ‘general’ category because it will get lost amongst the competition. Instead, think of the niche you’re writing for and find a sub-category which fits well.
Step 7: Pick Your Keywords Carefully
Again, you should invest quite a bit of time looking into keywords. You can choose up to seven, so make the most of them. If you’re stuck for ideas, think about what potential readers would put into Google if they were searching for a book like yours.
Step 8: Upload Your Book to Kindle
Once all your foundations are in place (your book and your description are ready and you know which keywords/categories you’re using and how much you want your book to be), it’s time to upload to the Amazon Kindle store. You’ll need to create your KDP account and fill in a few personal details (including some tax info, too so make sure you have your financial paperwork handy). The uploading part is relatively easy. And again, if you’re stuck there are lots of YouTube videos covering topic and KDP Amazon also have plenty of support too – here’s a link to their help pages https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help
Step 9: Preview Your Book Using the Kindle Previewer
Another important step (which will save you lots of headaches later on) is to preview your book using the Kindle previewer, once it’s been uploaded). Here you’ll get a chance to see what it will look like on a real Kindle (or a Tablet) and if you keep your Word document open while you check the preview version, you can correct the bits you need to as you spot them.
Step 10: Press the Publish Button!
And basically, that’s about it. Good luck. Don’t worry. Just do it!
If you’d like to stop saying those infamous words, “I want to publish on Kindle”, then you know where I am. Just drop me a message using the contact form here on the website.