Self Publishing with Amazon: a Guide to Kindle Direct Publishing

I get this question alot (so much so that I wrote an entire book dedicated just to this topic, the Kindle eBook version of which you can buy for only 99 cents).  I thought I would also make a post about it, in case someone didn’t want to read an entire book on this subject.

Here are the basic steps to publishing a book on Amazon:

  1. Write and edit your manuscript: The first step is to write a book and revise and edit the manuscript until it is in the best possible shape. It’s often helpful to get feedback from beta readers or professional editors to improve the quality of the manuscript.
  2. Start building your audience.  Whether this is your first book or your twentieth, ultimately you need to get those people on an email list (which you can do with the help of this book), but you can start with a website and some social media.
  3. Create an Amazon KDP account: If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one. You can do this by visiting the KDP website and clicking the “Sign up” button.
  4. Prepare your manuscript: Before publishing your book on Amazon, you’ll need to format your manuscript to meet their requirements. Amazon provides detailed guidelines for formatting your manuscript, including recommendations for fonts, margins, and spacing. You can use Word or Pages for this, but the industry standard is to use something that makes it look more professional, like Atticus or Vellum.  I cover all of these options  at length in my book “Funny You Should Ask:  How to Self-Publish a Book.”
  5. Get your cover ready.  You can make a cover yourself using a graphics program like Photoshop, Affinity Publisher, or even Canva, or hire someone to make your cover for you.  Fiverr is an option for this, as is Upwork.
  6. Create a new title: Once your manuscript is ready, log in to your KDP account and click on “Create a new title.” You’ll be prompted to enter information about your book, including the title, author name, and book description. You’ll also need to upload your manuscript file and cover image.
  7. Set your price and distribution options: You can choose to publish your book in digital format only, or in both digital and print formats. You’ll also need to set the price for your book, and choose the territories where you want it to be available.
  8. Preview and publish: Once you’ve entered all the required information, you can preview your book and make any necessary changes. When you’re ready, click the “Publish” button to make your book available on Amazon.
  9. Promote your book: After your book is published, it’s up to you to promote it and drive sales. You can use Amazon’s promotional tools, like Kindle Countdown Deals and Kindle Unlimited, as well as other marketing strategies like social media, email marketing, and book reviews to reach potential readers and build your audience.

Overall, publishing a book involves a lot of hard work and dedication, but it can be a rewarding experience for authors who are passionate about their writing. Whether you choose traditional or self-publishing, it’s important to research your options, hire professionals to help you, and put in the work to build your audience and market your book to them.


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