If you’ve got a book in you, whether it’s a guide to SEO or how to build your own apps, (or perhaps you’ve written the great American novel), then the Amazon Kindle e-publishing system makes it incredibly simple to get your book out there and selling to the public. There are a lot of bloggers and website owners who would love to share their expertise in a format that works side by side with their blog but don’t realise just how simple it is. This article will outline the steps you need to take to get that book published online.
Firstly, clearly you need to have written the book. Ideally it will be in Microsoft Word and saved as a .doc file. Other formats tend to not work as well with Kindle. Make sure that it is formatted correctly for Kindle, which means you are allowed to use indents, italics and bold formatting, but avoid oddball fonts, headers and footers and bullets. If you need to put in images then make sure they are in .jpeg format and are aligned centrally. Also bear in mind that Kindle will only display them in grayscale.
Next you need to sign into Amazon. If you don’t have an Amazon account then you should create one; if you do, then sign into your Amazon account and then sign up for the Kindle Direct Publishing program. Approval is very quick and once you get it you are ready to publish your very first book! All you need to do is log into the Kindle interface and then click on the link that says Add New Title.
Once you have done this it is time to fill in some details about your book. In front of you will see fields to be filled in for title, edition and description. Give as much detail as you can for the description of the book – the more in depth and full your description is, the greater the chances of people finding your book (and buying it!) Take a long time to write this section, the idea obviously being to make your book sound appealing and something your target audience will want to buy. Make the most of keywords and choose wisely the Amazon categories in which the book will go, all obviously to be related to the content of your book. You will also need to fill in fields for any extra contributors, language, ISBN number (optional but worth doing) and publisher and upload the cover image for the book.
After you have confirmed your ownership and rights to the book it is time to upload the book itself. HTML is the preferred format and there are a number of programs (some free, some paid) out there which can convert your Microsoft document to the Kindle HTML format. Alternatively you can simply save your .doc file as a HTML file and upload it – that should probably be fine. There is a preview feature for you to check how your book will appear. Once you’re happy and ready to go you just follow the three simple steps and hey presto, your book is uploaded to Amazon!
Lastly it’s time to think about the money. Now you have to decide whether you want to publish the book worldwide or in individual countries. Once you’ve done this you then choose either the 35% or 70% royalty options and how much you want to price the book at.
One more click and you’re a fully-fledged author.
Alex is a writer and blogger. He currently writes a blog about freelancing and small businesses for the Bedouin Group.