Publishing a book today is easier than ever. You no longer need to go through painstaking efforts to land a book deal which locks you into unrealistic deadlines and cuts you out of most of the earnings. You can now have complete control of your book, and its revenues, by self-publishing.
But many writers get overwhelmed by the abundance of information about self-publishing. It can be intimidating for first-time publishers. So we created a step-by-step comprehensive self-publishing guide for you to follow in order to get your book published on Amazon’s Kindle (KDP) Network.
This guide will cover:
- Creating a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Account
- Crafting Your Book Title/Subtitle
- Writing Your Book Description
- Choosing the Right Keywords
- Selecting the Right Categories
- Utilizing the Preorder Option
- Uploading Your Manuscript
- Creating a Book Cover
- Pricing Your Book
1. Creating a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Account
Amazon has a platform called Kindle Direct Publishing that can create and manage your Kindle eBook, paperback, and audio books. It’s widely used to build books from the ground up. Fortunately, setting up your KDP account is easy, and should be the first step you complete.
- Go to https://kdp.amazon.com and register with either your Amazon account or with your email address.
- Next, click “Update” in your account information and fill in your tax information. It’s important to note that you need to complete your tax information BEFORE you can publish your first book. So don’t skip this step!
- Once your tax information is complete, click “Finished” and return to the main page.
- Your profile is complete!
With your KDP account setup, proceed to setting up the details of your book.
2. Crafting a Book Title and Subtitle
In your KDP profile, you need to fill in the title and subtitle of your book. While a subtitle is optional, having a good subtitle is something you should definitely consider.
Here are a few tips to crafting a great book title:
- Use a Book Hook: Your book hook should speak to the reader in a unique voice that grabs their attention and feeds into what they are looking for.
- List the Benefits: Your potential readers want to know what they will get from reading your book. One technique is to deliver the benefits in the subtitle,providing enough tantalizing information to further attract readers.
3. Writing Your Book Description
Here’s what people notice first when seeing a new book:
- Book Description
A book description is essentially a short written narrative that illustrates what your book is about. It should be written like a sales page to capture the interest of your reader. This is crucial because the description, in many cases, is the final factor that determines whether the reader will read your book or not. Done correctly, a well-written book description can practically sell a book on its own.
Here are some strategies to help craft your perfect description:
- Make your first sentence as enticing as possible
- Write your description like a sales page or advertisement, not a dry summary of your book
- Have the description feel personal and empathetic
- Detail the benefits your reader will gain by reading your book
Here are our favorite books with great descriptions:
- Champion Mindset: Tactics to Maximize Potential, Execute Effectively, & Perform at Your Peak – Knockout Mediocrity! By Patrick King
- Novice to Expert: 6 Steps to Learn Anything, Increase Your Knowledge, and Master New Skills by S.J. Scott
Spend some time crafting your eye-catching book description. It will make your book stand out to your readers and motivate them to purchase your book. For the best results we recommend using the Free Amazon Book Description generator at kindlepreneur.com
4. Choosing the Right Keywords
If you want your book to show up in Amazon and Google search engines, you’ll need the right mix of keywords. Since Amazon allows only seven keywords per book, keyword selection requires strategy.
You can research the right keyword phrases by using search tools such as:
- KDP Rocket: This is a great tool for comparing Google search results to Amazon. It gives you a competitive score from 1-99, keyword results from both Google and Amazon, and how much money other books are making.
- KW Finder: This tool gives an analytical view of the keyword popularity using a competitive ranking. You can search five keywords for free per day.
- Amazon’s Autofill Function: Take advantage of Amazon’s search box to find good keywords. Amazon’s suggestions are based on search history so you want to search for words that are high in demand with little competition.
Make a list of possible keywords for your book, then leverage the tools above to test your keywords. Putting in the time to get keywords right will have your book rank higher and appear more frequently to readers.
5. Selecting the Right Categories
Amazon provides a collection of categories and subcategories to choose from. Like keyword selecting, your goal is to look for trending areas that don’t have tons of competition. You can also check the rankings of the top three books on the first page of each category.
Amazon sales ranking measures how well a product is selling compared to its competitors. All books that are ranked 2,000 or less are considered to be highly purchased products in that particular category. Unless you have an established audience with significant downloads and reviews, try to aim for categories with books that rank between 10,000-30,000.
6. Uploading Your Manuscript
To upload your manuscript, it first must be saved in a supported kindle format. Once that’s complete, you can upload your book very quickly:
- In your KDP account, go to “Your Bookshelf”.
- Locate and click on “Kindle eBook Actions” next to the title of book.
- Locate and click on “Edit eBook Content”.
- Click on “Upload eBook manuscript”.
- Upload your manuscript file on your computer.
- Upload complete!
Once Amazon finishes uploading your file, a confirmation message will be sent and you can preview the uploaded file to check for any errors. You can upload the manuscript as many times as you want and the new version will override the existing.
It’s important to check how your book looks using the “Look Inside” feature once the book is live on Amazon. This feature is often the first thing your prospective readers will click on when checking out your book. If the formatting is off here, it can deter readers from picking up your book. Take this extra step to make sure your formatting looks good here too.
7. Creating Your Book Cover
When it comes to publishing a successful book on Amazon, having a perfect book cover is one of the most important aspects to get right. Your cover is exactly how your book will be judged on first glance.
So you must make sure that it is created professionally and that it will stand apart from the rest of the books in your genre or category.
You can find cover creators on freelancing sites such as:
Prices will depend on the level service, but these sites will give you plenty of amazing graphic designers to choose from! It’s a great investment that will make your book stand out perfectly.
8. Pricing Your Book
A question often asked is: “How much should I be pricing my book at after the initial launch is over?”
This is up to the author, but generally the best range to have your book priced is between $2.99 to $9.99.
The royalty payments vary depending on the country, but you can learn more on KDP Select pricing page.
One popular strategy for beginners is to price your book at $2.99 and gradually increase it by $1 per week. At some point, your sales will begin to dip. And while that’s normally a negative statistic, for this case, it confidently tells you the perfect price of your book that guarantees profit.
Here are the 4 main pricing strategies to consider in order to be competitive and sell books:
- Know the price of your competitors. Compare the list price of your book to the books around you and determine if you would be able to sell your book for a higher price.
- Know the size of your followers. Famous authors can charge a lot for their books because they have a big following. If you’re not in this category, your book should be priced lower to encourage new readers to your work.
- Determine price based on size of your book. Size makes a difference when it comes to books. Don’t charge $20 for a 75 page book. Customers will immediately be turned off with the lack of content at that price point.
- Measure price based on reviews. Reviews carry a big weight on influence, and is social proof that your book has been read and well received. Therefore, a book with higher reviews (1000+ reviews) can be priced higher compared to a book with fewer reviews (30+ reviews).
You can get legitimate and honest reviews from:
- Your personal launch team
- Amazon’s top reviewers
- Fans of your social media page
- Personal email list
Experiment with these strategies to pinpoint the price for your book, it will drive long-term success.
If you want to become a self-publishing author, you must be fluent with platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Use these guidelines to self-publish your book, and it will appear on Amazon’s bestseller list in no time.