How to Self-Publish through Amazon

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A few years back, if writing a book was not an already huge achievement, publishing it was an even bigger achievement. You had to go through the exhausting process of writing a book proposal and contacting agents to pitch the book to publishers. If you were lucky enough and you pushed through, your call might have reached a publisher. However, in the last episode of the agony of your publishing nightmare, your publisher would have interested you in a cheap offer, or otherwise, you would have just been sent a rejection letter. If you were one of the writers who got their package shipped back unopened by their publisher, I apologize you have been through it all.

Then Amazon came through to help us in our shared book publishing nightmares. Ditching the traditional publishing method, you can now self-publish through Amazon, and your book will be available worldwide on the world's largest bookstore with just a little hassle.

Remember, if you blindly follow the required steps on Amazon, you will have a published book for sure, but it might fail to be the one you are proud of, so take your time to do right by each step. Let's see what is the right way to do it:

KDP Account

The foremost thing you need to do is create a Kindle Direct Publishing Account on Amazon. Go to kdp.amazon.com and choose "sign up" if you already do not have a Kindle account. Fill in the information and accept the terms of use.

You will be able to see Amazon Author Dashboard.

You can hit "Save as Draft" at the bottom of the page if you want to stop during the following steps.

Kindle EBook

Click on "+ Kindle eBook" to add your book

Book Title and Subtitle

Now enter your book title and subtitle. The book title is the first thing that readers read, so it has to be catchy. Furthermore, you can use your subtitle to point out the benefits of your book and attract your potential reader into looking more into your book.

Author Name

Enter the name you would like to publish your book with. To add more than one author names, use the "Contributors Box" below.

Book Description

Amazon lets you take up 4000 characters in this box, but you need to use your words carefully. Write it carefully as it is basically a sales pitch to your potential reader. One tip can be to imagine yourself as the reader to be as genuinely sympathetic as possible.

Publishing Rights

If you hold the rights to your book, choose the "I own the Copyrights" option

Keywords

The words that you will fill in these boxes are the words you think that your potential reader will type to find a book that will solve their problem, and it should be yours. If you fail to hit the spot with these words, your book will not even be in the "Search" of your potential reader.

Categories

You can select two categories for your book here. This step will decide too if the readers can find your book. After publishing your book, you contact Amazon through "Author Central" to add more categories.

Age Range

If your book is not for teenagers or younger readers, skip this step.

Book Release

Put in a tentative publishing date here and work on your marketing plan first. Marketing is something you need to plan beforehand, especially for a non-fiction book. You can always come back and change the date before you publish your book

DRM

Enable Digital Rights Management, so people do not copy your book and forward it to others for free. Book loaning for a short time will still be enabled, but your book would not be stolen this way

Uploading Book

Turn your book into an epub well-formatted file before you upload it. Use the current kindle format to give your book a good look in all the e-readers. Remember, your book needs to be formatted differently for Amazon.

Uploading Book Cover

If you want to be taken as a professional author, hire a professional book cover designer and upload it.

Book Preview

Click "Preview on your Computer." Install current previewer app. Download and use the "MOBI" link to open your book. Thoroughly check your book and test all external links.

ISBN and Publisher

If you want to publish only on Amazon, leave this box blank. Click "Save and Continue." Your book will not be published until you click "Publish your Kindle Book" at the bottom.

KDP Select

Do not add KDP Select for now. You can add it even after your book is published. However, once you select it, it cannot be undone for three months. Therefore, decide it in your marketing plan.

Territories

Do not add KDP Select for now. You can add it even after your book is published. However, once you select it, it cannot be undone for three months. Therefore, decide it in your marketing plan.

Royalty and Pricing

70% royalty mostly pays more, but it adds pricing limitations and a bit different royalty calculation. Select "Amazon.com" as your primary marketplace. Set the price. You can choose the price manually for other marketplaces if you wish.

Matchbook and Lending

These options are up to you but you have to select book lending if you have chosen 70% royalty.

Draft Ready

Save your project as a draft until you decide on publishing date. You will need an Amazon Author page along with your picture and bio, and book blurb the moment you publish your book. Get those ready first.

Draft Ready

Save your project as a draft until you decide on publishing date. You will need an Amazon Author page along with your picture and bio, and book blurb the moment you publish your book. Get those ready first.

Print Book (Optional)

Your KDP account can be used for the print version as well. Your cover will need a spine and back. Formatting for it will be completely different, and so will be the price. If you wish to have a print book, have everything ready before publishing the e-version so it can be included in the marketing plan.

Writing a book is a skill, but so is publishing it. Do not rush into publishing your book. Instead, take your time with it so your hard work can be paid off rightfully.

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