Writing Kindle Ebooks Part 7 – Publishing Your Kindle Book on Amazon.com

Previously, we’ve discussed different aspects of writing Kindle eBooks. In the last post, “Writing Kindle Ebooks Part 6,” we talked about formatting your book to get it ready for publishing. Now that your book is well written and formatted, you’re ready to publish it on Amazon.com. Whether you’re publishing on Amazon for the first time or you just need a refresher course, the following information will help you through the publishing process.

Two Uploading Options to Consider

By now, your eBook is complete and formatted, whether you wrote it on your own or hired Kindle book writers to take care of that step for you. Before uploading the eBook, you have two different uploading options to consider. When you start the publishing process, you’ll have to choose whether to go the KDP Select (Kindle Direct Publishing) route or to skip this option.

What is KDP Select? This program locks in your eBook exclusively to Amazon for 90 days. During this time, you’ll be given five promotional days free. On these days, you can give the eBook away free, but the book goes back on the market at a price after those days. Also, your eBook is made available in the Kindle Owners’ Library for those 90 days as well.

The Kindle Owners’ Library is a special option exclusively for Amazon Prime Members. Members have the ability to borrow an eBook for a month without due dates. However, they can only borrow these books on Kindle devices. The good news is that while members can borrow your book free of charge, you still earn money. This is only an option if you decide to enroll in the KDP Select program.

Certain restrictions do apply if you decide to enroll in KDP Select. The following are a few of the restrictions you’ll have to follow:

–          The book can only be offered free for five days during the 90-day period

–          You may not post your book on your blog

–          The book cannot be offered as an opt-in bonus

–          During the 90 days, you may not distribute the book anywhere else

–          The book cannot be offered to iBooks or Nook during this time

–          You have the ability to opt-out at any time, but you still have to follow the restrictions until the 90 days are up

–          If you continue to opt-in, your book will renew for another 90 days, also providing you with five more free days of promotion

If you choose not to go the KDP Select route, you’re still able to upload the eBook to Amazon Kindle. However, it won’t be included in the Kindle Owners’ Library.

When making your choice, keep in mind that not every reader has a Kindle. However, readers can download the Kindle App free and it is available for many systems, including the following:

–          Mac

–          Blackberry

–          Windows PC

–          iPhone

–          Android

–          iPad

–          Windows 7 Phones

The Publishing Process – Step-By-Step Guide

After deciding on the uploading option you want to use, you’re ready to start the publishing process. Before you start, make sure you already have your full-length eBook saved in Microsoft Word and the image file saved that you plan to use for your cover.

Step #1 – Save Your eBook as Filtered HTML

Once you have your Word document open, you need to save the document as filtered HTML. This prepares your file for upload to Amazon’s website.

Step #2 – Go to Amazon’s Self-Publishing Page

Go to Amazon’s Self-Publishing Page and sign in to your Amazon account. If you don’t have an account, sign up for one. Once logged in, you’ll be at the Amazon Kindle Author Bookshelf, where you’ll want to click on the button that says, “Add a New Title.”

Step #3 – Enter Important Book Information

Now you’ll have a page in front of you where you can enter the details for your book. Add the title. If you are writing a series, use the series option to input series information. Then, you’ll need to enter a description of your eBook. Keep in mind that this description is extremely important, since it’s what readers will see when viewing your title.

Step #4 – Add Contributors

After entering the description of your Kindle book, you’ll notice an “Add Contributors” button. This is where you’ll provide author information. If others have contributed to the book, such as editors or illustrators, their information should go here as well. After adding contributors, you can select your language, the publication date, publisher information (if any) and an ISBN number if you have one. Keep in mind, you are NOT required to have an ISBN number when publishing with Kindle.

Step #5 – Verification of Publishing Rights

Now you’ll be asked for verification of publishing rights. More than likely, you’ll be choosing the second choice offered, which states, “This is not a public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing rights.”

Step #6 – Add Keywords and Categories

To target potential customers, you’ll need to choose a category for your book and add relevant keywords in the “search keywords” box. Keep in mind, those keywords are important, since this will help readers find your book when searching for specific information.

Step #7 – Upload the Cover

Now you’ll be given the option to upload your cover for the book. While this is optional, a good cover is important, since the cover shows up in Kindle libraries and on book detail pages. When deciding on a cover image, something that looks great as a thumbnail image and as a full sized image is important.

Step #8 – Upload the eBook File

Before unloading the book file, you’ll be asked about digital rights management. It’s usually a good idea to choose the option “enable digital rights management,” which helps protect the rights of your book. Then you can browse for the book file and once you select the Filtered HTML file you saved earlier, you can hit the “Upload” button. At this point, you can save the book as a draft or you can save it and continue to last few steps.

Step #9 – Handle Royalty Information

The last few steps have to do with your royalties for the eBook. Unless you only have rights to publish your manuscript in a particular territory, you may choose “Worldwide rights.”

Then you’ll be given royalty options to choose from. You can choose the 70% royalty rate, which comes with a small delivery cost, or you can choose the 35% royalty rate, which has no cost for delivery. Most people find that the 70% royalty rate offers them the most profit. You can also choose to have UK and DE prices set automatically based upon the price you set for the U.S.

Step #10 – Decide on Kindle Book Lending

Enabling Kindle Book Lending means that Kindle users have the option to share your eBook with other users. While many may not like this option, it can be helpful for first time authors, since word-of-mouth can be a powerful marketing tool.

Step #11 – Save and Publish

You may want to take the time to review the Terms and Conditions, which is right near the checkbox you must click before saving and publishing your Kindle book. If you’re comfortable with those terms and conditions, you can check the box to note that you understand these terms. Once you’ve checked the box, you can hit “Save and Publish,” which will complete your upload.

At this point, it may take some time for Amazon to get your eBook into the Kindle Store. While you can easily edit, delete and un-publish the book in the Amazon Kindle Author Bookshelf, you’ll probably want to allow Amazon to get your book up before making changes. When the book is ready and available, it’s time to start promoting the eBook, which is something we’ll discuss in the next post.

Amazon does make it easy for anyone to self-publish an eBook. Take advantage of what Kindle eBooks have to offer and get your own book out there today. If you haven’t started to write Kindle books, you do have the option of hiring Kindle book ghost writers to do the job for you.

Stay tuned for the last post in the series, “Writing Kindle eBooks,” which will offer you helpful tips and advice on promoting and marketing your eBook for the great selling results.
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