The process for publishing a piece of work on Amazon isn’t difficult. It might look a little daunting when you first sign in to the site, but it’s all pretty straightforward. As I published Shadow Ascension I took screenshots so that I could share the process with you.
First up you need to go to the Amazon KDP site which is where everything is controlled. It’s a nice clean-looking page
I’m assuming here you already have an Amazon account, in which case click the Sign In button and enter your account details. Once you’ve done that you’ll be taken to the home page in KDP which is the bookshelf
I already had a draft version of Shadow Ascension in the bookshelf, but I deleted that so we could go through the screens together. Click the Add New Title button and you’ll be taken to the book creation page.
The first option here is whether you want to enrol your book in KDP Select. This is an option only if you exclusively sell your material through Amazon for 90 days and also gives you the option to reduce the price of the book to zero for up to 5 days in that 90 day period. Why would you want to give it away though? Well, believe it or not this can actually help sales – there are so many books available on the Kindle that you need to do something to make your’s stand out, and free does exactly that. Word of mouth and reviews should help to drive sales after the free period is over. KDP Select also allows your novel to be part of the Kindle Lending Library and dependent of the number of times its borrowed you’ll get a share of Amazon’s KDP Select Fund. If you don’t enrol initially you can do so later on the main screen.
Obviously you need to enter a book title and whether it’s part of a series. Then comes the description. This is what will sway people as to whether to buy it or not and if you think writing a synopsis for a book is difficult try doing the description. I spent the past week writing, revising, re-writing and badgering my wife to help.
You’ll also need to add the author details. I write under a pseudonym, but it’s equally relevant if you use your real name. Click the Add Contributor button and a small pop-up appears
Complete the information as you feel fit and then move on to the slightly more exciting stuff, the book itself! First off you will need to declare that you have the rights to sell the book and then fill in the categories you want it to appear in. This is what people who don’t search can use to find the book.
Now you’re finally ready to upload some book related material. The first thing is the book cover which I’m assuming you have. You will notice there is a tick box there for the book cover – if you tick this box the system will apply the cover you upload to your book, so if you already have a cover in the e-book you’re uploading don’t tick it. Click on Browse For Image and select your cover and then click upload. All being well your image will appear on the screen.
Now we’re ready to upload the book. But before we do that you have to answer the question about whether you want DRM. The pro’s and con’s are well debated everywhere, at the end of the day it’s personal choice, but be aware that it’s easy for someone who knows what they are doing to strip the DRM off in about 10 seconds. Anyway, once you’ve decided click on the Browse for Book button, select your book and click Upload. KDP will upload the file and import it into the system.
You’re now ready to set pricing and territories for your book on the next page.
I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to sell it in all the territories, but the choice is there. You’re then moving on to setting the royalties and price which is a whole talking point in its own right.
Amazon offer two royalty levels, 35% and 70%. Unless you are selling your e-book for more than $2.99 and less than $9.99 you have to go with the 35% option. There are other considerations as well, but I’m guessing anyone who has looked at publishing an e-book will already have looked into the options for themselves. Given I’m starting low to attract readers I went with the 35% option.
And that leads us nicely onto pricing. How do you price an e-book? Well, the default is for Amazon to use the USD price as the basis for the others, and that seems fair. Working in IT I see the old $ same as £ conversion too often to do it, so I priced my first book at $1.49 equating to 95p in the UK. Reasonable I think for 300 pages!
At the bottom of the page is the declaration and whether you want to enable lending.
I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to enable lending – it allows you to benefit from the new Amazon scheme and you may get some extra cash out of it. Once you’ve ticked the declaration click Save and Publish and that’s it.
What should happen now is that the bookshelf will show the book as ‘In Review’. Assuming Amazon don’t find any issues with the book/format/name the status will change to ‘Publishing’ and will start to appear on the sites. It takes around 12 hours for the process to complete and you should get an email from Amazon confirming it’s been published.
So there you go, how to publish a book on Amazon. Good luck and I wish you loads of sales!