How to Write an E-book and Publish on Kindle: A beginner’s guide
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Publishing your work in e-book form is an inexpensive and effective way to move your ideas from your personal computer and into the public eye. You can even make good money through it. Whatever your goal, writing successful e-books not only depends on your creative talent, but also on good practice before, during and after the writing process.In this guide, we will show you how to write an e-book in six steps. We will also explain how to publish a book for Kindle using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing tool.Shall we get started?
How to write an e-book
1. Think about what to write about
The process of creating an e-book is not unlike that of a traditional book. In fact, the biggest differences are not in the writing but in the medium of publication. The first step you should take, before you start writing, is to thoroughly and effectively define and develop the idea of the book.Start by thinking about what you’d like to write, why and for whom. When you have a clearer general notion, take note of some phrases that express what you want to include in your book. This exercise is important. After all, you may gain another view of what you were thinking as you read your ideas on paper or on the computer screen.The format of an e-book provides many advantages for those who read as well as for those who write. The process of publishing and distributing a digital book is usually simpler than that of a printed book. As a result, costs for publication fall, and it becomes more viable to publish short books. At the same time, access to publication becomes more democratic, and the writer has more freedom regarding the subject and the target audience.Therefore, you should not underestimate the importance of a topic or worry about writing a complete thesis on it. A lean e-book that contains relevant information on a specific topic can be successful. Start with a basic idea and think about how to develop it attractively.
2. Set up an initial structure and organize your references
Once you’ve outlined what you want to write, the next step is to define some initial sources that you can use as a reference in your e-book. Even if you master the subject or story you intend to tell, it is important to gather as many elements as you can use to your advantage.If you want to write an e-book about digital marketing, for example, learn about the most current trends in this area and look at other e-books on the subject. If you plan to write a novel, search for elements you can use to enrich your story.It is also important to establish an initial scheme for your book. This outline can reflect, for example, the structure of an index with chapter and subchapter divisions. The aim is to organize your work in a way that makes sense to your reader but also serves as a guide for your writing.If you want to write a manual or guide, for example, reserve the opening chapters for introductory questions. If it’s a cookbook, take advantage of this moment to define the recipes you will include in the book by separating them into chapters such as “starters,” “main courses” and “desserts.”
3. Write the book, forget the rest
Once you have clearly defined what you propose to write, start turning your ideas into text. Leave elements such as the title, the book description on Amazon or the graphics for later stages. Just sit back and start writing.It is often easier to start writing any chapter rather than trying to follow a linear path. It is not necessary to follow a specific order. Focus on whatever works best for you.Don’t despair if you go through a period of a creative block. Writing a book takes time, regardless of the size or the topic. You will have more productive periods than others. Take time every day, or on specific days, to write a specific number of words and don’t relinquish the task until you have reached that goal.
4. Make your own revisions
When you finish your book, set it aside for a few days. This will be advantageous for you but even better for your book. When you look at it again, your critical eye will be much more acute. You will be able to look at the writing from a new perspective when you open the file on your computer again.First, look at the general aspects of your book, such as the order of the chapters and sections. Now that the first version of the text is ready, you may notice that some chapters make more sense in a different sequence than the original. This is normal. A text often comes to life in this process. The end result can be much better than planned.When you are satisfied with the organization of the chapters, proceed to reading the text in its natural order. You will notice many other elements that can be improved, such as the order of the paragraphs, the clarity of your sentences and the lack of some information. You will also notice basic flaws, such as grammatical and typing errors. Don’t regret making deletions or be reluctant to rewrite long passages in your book if you notice that they are not satisfactory.The task of proofreading and editing a text can take a long time, but it is indispensable. Do not fall into the temptation to publish the book as it is. Even if you hire an editor and/or proofreader, be sure to do your part.
5. Think about the other elements
When the body of your book is ready, it will finally be time to choose a title, write an introduction and work on the graphic aspects of the e-book, among other elements.The title should be attractive and help sell the book. Something simple and direct is usually a safe option if it is an e-book containing educational or professional content. Remember that in these cases, readers will probably be looking for some keywords already in the title of your book. Works of poetry or fiction, on the other hand, may benefit from a more creative choice.The cover is another important element that helps sell the book, even when it is an e-book. After all, it is usually the first contact between the book and potential buyers. So consider hiring a professional to design your cover, unless you have the necessary artistic skills and talent.Before publishing your book, be sure to use copyrighted text or images. Also, if you have used information from other sources, be sure to cite it properly.
6. Ask a friend’s opinion
Your e-book is more or less ready for publication but you may still have lingering questions to resolve before publishing it. In this case, give it to some friends and family members. Then ask their opinion. Don’t just ask if they liked the book. Ask them for an honest review of what they liked most and what they think could be improved.Evaluate the reviews and use them to improve your e-book before publishing it. Don’t be afraid to make significant changes if the opinions you’ve heard indicate the need for it.
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.
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