As promised here is the second of a three part blog about becoming an Indie Author by publishing your book on Amazon….
Before you start part 2!
You will need to already have an account with Amazon, have your completed story / manuscript saved as a .doc or .doc.x file plus your completed book cover saved as a jpg. You will also need to enter what the yanks call a “tax number” at some stage. As we don’t have those you could use your NI number, that’s what I did. OK ready to start……………
- Open your Wordprocessor and open your file. You now need to save it in another format was you cannot submit doc files to amazon. With your software choose the save as option then in the drop down menu to the right of your file name you need to choose another file save option. The one you need is web page, filtered and this is available in Word. Now save your file in an easy location so you can find it later, the desktop is good.
- Now you need to go online, open your browser and enter the URL below in your browser bar, this will take you onto the Kindle Direct Publishing Page
- On the right of this page you can log into your amazon account, do this now.
- You should find a button left for you to add a new title, press that
- You are now going to enter details about your book but the first thing you will see is the Kindle Select Program. This scheme has benefits and drawbacks. Amazon will be locking you into a 90 day exclusive contract meaning if you accept you are not allowed to sell your e-book on another platform for those 90 days. Here are the pros and cons
Not so good…. Your ebook will only be available on Kindles or Kindle apps and cannot be downloaded to any other e-book reader.Your book will not earn the highest amount of possible royalties if you are not part of Select on sales in certain countries.
Good….. Amazon and its Kindle pages are the biggest market for e-books. You can offer special FREE or COUNTDOWN deals if you are part of Select.
Has to be your choice, I didn’t agree at first but caved in when I realized I couldn’t offer free downloads as part of my launch without being in the program.
Part 1 Enter your details
Now lets move on, you should be up to item 1 on the page which is enter your book details and first off is your book title and below that is space for a sub-title if you have one ( Nothing else here, don’t try any clever tricks like No 1 bestseller – that wont be allowed!)
- A little tick box allows a tick if you identify your book is part of a series. You wont need this unless you have other books planned or written.
- Another box asks you to enter an edition. This is useful so use it, just enter the date you upload and add some text. It is very unlikely your first upload will be your last, I called my first edition Preview 1.
- Next box is Publisher. This will be YOU unless you already have a book in print with a publisher in which case enter their name.
- Next comes a fair sized box for you to enter a description….. of your book. NOTE WELL ! This is SO important, its what people will read on Amazon about your book so lure them in but keep it brief. I used the synopsis outline I prepared for my writing course. You have simply got to make your book sound fantastic so don’t hold back……..
- Next you can add contributors to your book if you wish. There is a handy “Whats this” link which explains this.
- Next comes language which is already set to English so you shouldn’t need to change it……… though you could!
- Next you are prompted to enter an ISBN, its unlikely you will have one and e-books don’t need one whereas printed books do…. Just leave this for now.
Part 2 Verify your Rights
This section is about verifying your rights to publish your e-book. You should choose option 2. “This is not a public domain work” etc…..
Part 3 Target your book
Again be careful here, you need to add categories ie what genre is your book, I chose Crime and Murder ( I think) Don’t worry, you can change these later. After this you will have to choose min and max age ranges. I chose 18+ for both. Following this must choose a US grade range. These are similar to our school years so simply choose the highest grade for adult books. Section 3 finishes by allowing you to enter just 7 key search words. These will be words people type into Amazon when they are looking for books so they are very important. You can change them later.
Part 4 Book Release Options
Two options here but you will most likely choose option 1 – make your book available immediately.
Part 5 Upload a Book Cover
You want the first option, to browse your computer for your already prepared book cover. DON’T click on the Create a Cover link, it takes forever to get out of it!
Part 6 Upload your book file.
Make sure you have NOT enabled digital rights management then browse your pc to find that web page filtered file and upload it. It will take some time. There is some controversy about DRM and you need to learn some more about but you can enable the DRM rights if you wish to. WAIT for your book to fully upload even if you do get a message that you can continue. WHEN your book is fully uploaded it will run a spell check for you. Make a note of any errors for you will have to modify the file on your PC and re-upload it later. You can also preview your new e-book on a number of Kindle screens and app simulators but this will take time on a large book. There is a better way so ……. NOW you press save and continue and don’t forget to do that!
Part 7 Choose your Publishing Rights and Countries
If you choose to let Amazon offer your e-book to every country in the world beware you will only be allowed 35% royalties. To get 70% royalties I had to choose individual territories or countries. These were mainly English speaking plus former UK colonies and most of Europe. Has to be your choice here. I also chose places like India, Mexico, Brazil and Japan. I wouldn’t have been allowed to choose those four if I was not part of the Kindle Select Program.
Part 8 Select Royalties and Pricing.
This has to be a no-brainer. You want 70%, the highest. Ah but slight catch here, that means Amazon restricts your pricing structure. To get 70% you must price your book between $2.99 and $9.99. NO you cannot price your book in £ sterling! I chose the lowest price deliberately, £2.99 that works out at £1.75 an ebook and 70% royalties means you keep £1.20 of that! Ps the Vatman wants a slice of your e-book so Amazon adds 5p to the price but you wont be seeing that!
Part 9 Kindle Matchbook
This will not berelevant to any new author as you need to have books for sale on Amazon already.
Part 10 Kindle Book Lending
This is an Amazon wheeze allowing people to share or lend their e-books with each other. It seems the default is already set as I could not change it anyway!
That is just about the end of the process however at some stage you will be prompted to enter some financial details and in particular they do want that tax number off you. Don’t worry,just fill in the details and put your NI number in, If you are really brave I suspect an alphanumeric combination might work. You will be on Amazon.com and they really want to make sure US citizens enter their proper tax numbers. You may also see at some stage a box to enter your bank details. I didn’t give my details. OK now the question. So how do you get paid then? Seeemples, after 1 year in the Kindle store the royalties earned on my book will be sent to my amazon registered address in the form of a cheque.
You should finally see a save button, press that and you will get a message from Amazon telling you your book will go live in the Kindle store in 12-24 hours. In reality its often a lot less. You will get an email from Amazon telling you when the book is ready.
Congrats you just published your first e-book! In my final part next week I will deal with issues like correcting errors, tracking sales and updating your book and maybe a little bit of marketing inc promos. Until next time……