How to Publish on Kindle
There are many ways to publish an e-book. You can even undertake all the work yourself, including marketing the book.
In this article, we’ll provide you with guidelines for how to publish an e-book for Kindle. The reason for choosing this format is simple: the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) service is the most widely used e-book self-publishing platform in the world. After all, the service functions as a gateway to the Amazon store for authors.It grants access to millions of Kindle devices in dozens of countries.
By publishing an e-book through Amazon’s service, you can reach the world’s largest e-book audience and earn up to 70% of the sales value.
1. Setting up a Kindle Direct Publishing account
You must have an Amazon account to post on Kindle Direct Publishing. If you don’t have one, this is your first step to publishing an e-book on Amazon.
Login to KDP
If you already have an Amazon account, go to https://kdp.amazon.com. You can also access the service by browsing Amazon’s website. Scroll to the bottom of any page and click “Publish your books.” Then, just login with your Amazon username and password and agree to the terms and conditions of the service.
Register your tax information
When you access the platform, you will see a message telling you that your account information is incomplete. To activate your registration, you will have to configure your tax information after clicking “Update now.” After completing this process, you are free to publish your first book!
2. Enter your e-book details
Now it’s time to start the process of registering your book with Kindle Direct Publishing. Click “Create a New Title” and choose the Kindle eBook option.
The next step is to fill out a form detailing the characteristics of your book, from the title and name of the author to the appropriate category, including any age restrictions and other relevant information. Learn how to fill each field appropriately.
Title and subtitle
The title and subtitle are very important for a book as we have already explained. They play a fundamental role in the marketing of the book, along with the cover, because they are the first elements that a potential buyer encounters.
So think of a consistent title that appeals to readers. Include words related to your audience’s interests and that are often used in search tools.
Serial number and edition
The data for a serial number only applies in cases in which the book to be published is part of a series of books. In this case, you must specify the name of the series and the number of the volume you are publishing, if applicable.
If your e-book is a new edition of an existing book, you will need to specify the edition number.
Author and collaborators
When defining the author of the book, you can use your own name or a pseudonym. The name you fill in this field will be the name that appears on your book’s Amazon page.
As for contributors, you can add the names of other people who participated in the creation of the e-book, such as an illustrator, a translator or authors who wrote articles for the book.
This is the description that will appear on your book page on Amazon. Therefore, it plays a key role in the marketing of the book, and proper attention should be given when writing it. The title and cover are the first elements to catch the reader’s attention and arouse their curiosity, but the description contributes significantly more to the reader’s decision to purchase your book or not.
The description of the book should be informative, easy to read and persuasive. In addition, it should contain keywords that will attract more visitors to the book page.
As you are the author of the e-book, you have the copyright and publishing rights to the work. Therefore, simply select this option. If you wish to have additional security against possible fraud, you can register the book according to the rules of your country.
In addition to the book description, the keywords and categories you choose will be decisive for generating traffic on your book page on Amazon. Therefore, please pay special attention to filling out these fields. After all, you can choose a maximum of seven keywords and two categories for your e-book.
You must choose keywords that match the search expressions used by Amazon customers. By doing so, your book will appear as one of the results when these expressions are used in a search.
Long keywords are usually more effective in directing users to the type of book they seek. For example, if you’re publishing an e-book with tips for job seekers, avoid using keywords such as “job” or “job search.” Instead, use “how to get a job,” “tips for getting a job” or other similar expressions.
There are thousands of categories on Amazon, so it can be a difficult task to choose only two for your book. However, you can define ten more general categories for your e-book in addition to these two specific categories. When choosing the categories, choose categories that have lower competition, represent a suitable niche for your book and have good traffic.
You can select a specific age range for your readers. This can be important information if you are publishing a children’s book, for example.
The last step, before loading your e-book onto the platform, is to select the publication date. You can publish your book on Amazon instantly or select a future release date. In this case, your book will be available for pre-sale. If you don’t want to decide this yet, you can save what you have filled out as a draft and resume the process later.
3. Upload your e-book file
Now, the process of publishing your book is almost over. It is time to upload your e-book files to the platform, including the cover image, and to add the latest information about it.
Before uploading your book, you need to decide whether you want it to be protected by Amazon’s Digital Rights Management (DRM).
DRM is access control to digital content published on Amazon. It imposes restrictions on the use, copying and manipulation of copyrighted content.
So, if you want to have strict control of your content, it is advisable to mark “yes” for this option. On the other hand, if you prefer to allow your content to be shared more easily as a way to promote your work, check “no.”
Because this option is irreversible, that is, it cannot be changed after publishing your e-book, think carefully before deciding.
Upload your book
Finally, it’s time to upload your book to Amazon. To do so, the file must be formatted correctly, or the upload will be unsuccessful. Currently, the following formats are accepted:
- Microsoft Word (DOC/DOCX)
- Kindle Create (KPF)
- HTML (ZIP, HTM, or HTML)
- Rich Text Format (RTF)
- Plain Text (TXT)
- Adobe PDF
Amazon tests the quality of the file during upload, including spelling mistakes. Therefore, you can still make adjustments to the document and upload the file again if there are any problems.
Load the cover
We’ve already commented on the importance of a good cover for an e-book. Similar to a physical bookstore, the cover is also highlighted on a book page on Amazon. Now you can upload your cover file to Amazon and finally see the result.
Kindle eBook Launch Previewer
Before you finish publishing your book, you can preview the book in the Kindle eBook Launch Previewer. Take advantage of this tool to review the page formatting and other possible errors in your e-book. If everything is correct, proceed.
ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, is a code that identifies your book internationally. You are not required to have one to publish your book on Amazon, but you can purchase one if you choose to have this identification. Amazon does not currently offer this service for e-books, so you will have to look for an ISBN provider before publishing your book if you want to purchase one.
Before you publish your book, you can still decide if you want to participate in Kindle Select, Amazon’s benefits program. The possibility to compete for Amazon’s awards and promotional activities is included in the advantages of joining this program. However, you will be restricted in publishing your book on other platforms that reaches 10% of the content.
Select territories for publication
If you have no copyright or other restrictions related to any country or region, choose all territories. Otherwise, you can define where you want your book published. Amazon may, however, impose some restrictions at a later date, depending on the content of the book and the laws of each country.
4. Publish your e-book on Amazon
To publish your book, all that remains to be decided is the selling price, royalties and some other marketing options by Amazon.
Regarding price and royalties, Amazon only offers two options:
- Price below $2.99 and 35% royalties
- Price between $2.99 and $9.99 and 70% royalties
Therefore, you must essentially choose between selling at a low price and possibly gaining a wider audience or pricing the book higher and possibly having a smaller group of readers.
This is an important business decision and is also related to your marketing strategy. Although the obvious choice may seem to be the option to receive 70% royalties, many writers prefer to receive less on the book’s cover price but to gain more readers in return.
Matchbook and Book Lending
Finally, you can still choose to participate in two Amazon programs: Matchbook and Book Lending.
Matchbook allows your e-book to be sold at a discount, or possibly for free, to anyone who purchases a printed version of your book. Book Lending allows your book to be borrowed from one user to another which also generates revenue for you.
Publishing your book
By clicking “Publish,” you accept Amazon’s terms and conditions and complete the publication of the book. Your book will then be available on the platform within 24 hours.