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Shows How to Self-Publish Your Book for FREE on Amazon KDP
It is now possible to publish your eBook or print book on demand on Amazon’s KDP platform for free. This is a great deal because Amazon sells 70% of eBooks and 50% of print books and the lines are great for authors. However, setting up an account, formatting the book and uploading your manuscripts can be a daunting endeavor. “How to Self-Publish a Book in 10 Easy Steps” offers guidance and logic on what to put in all those little boxes. Knowing the why and how makes the process a worthwhile and rewarding experience.
What makes this book great is that the author formulated this book when he uploaded an earlier version on CreateSpace to the new KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). Therefore. Beth Whittenbury faced and solved the same problems you will face in uploading your book. And the roadmap lays out that process in an orderly fashion that starts with deciding, do you want to be your own publisher? There are pros and cons and you have the information to make an informed choice.
Next is the ISBN, which not only identifies your book but also its format and publisher. This section also identifies the author, page size, format, and medium, whether it’s an eBook or a paper. Other classifications are the primary subject category, the intended audience and, if known, the publication date. ISBNs are available through myidentifiers.com and range from $125 to $29.50 each when ten are purchased.
The next step is to register your book with the Library of Congress for a PCN (Pre-assigned Control Number), which helps libraries track where your book belongs. This section also covers how to associate your PNC with your ISBN and the process for submitting a copy to the Library of Congress. Beth also discusses whether to copyright your book.
When setting up your KDP account, it recommends keeping Amazon KDP as your printer, not your publisher. This protects your rights. This section also lists the country where you work, your tax information, your bank routing information for royalty payments, and your Social Security Number or EIN.
After you have set up your KDP account, you can upload your manuscript into the KDP system. The book gives instructions on what information goes in which boxes. For example, you may have other contributors such as a photographer or co-writer. There are boxes for them. Other boxes include language, book title, keywords, subject category, and publishing rights. One of the more important entries will be the description box because it will appear on the Amazon book page and is what potential readers use in evaluating your book and making purchasing decisions. Look at similar book descriptions to help write this sales piece and choose strong keywords. This description and its keywords are also part of the search criteria that buyers use to find a book on a specific topic.
Once you’ve filled out the boxes in the Print Options section, you can start uploading your manuscript. First, you’ll need to download a free Word template for the size you’ve chosen. This is a complicated process and Beth walks you through the process with detailed step-by-step instructions. It also warns about choosing a font size and that using the default Garamond 11-point font when writing your manuscript might save you formatting work later.
The next section explains how to format the title page, colophon page, disclaimer page, and confirmation page. The colophon page is also known as the Copyright Page or Publication Notice. While the KDP template gives you the bare minimum information for what goes on the colophon page, suggests Beth. Adding a Library of Congress Number, a cancellation, and your tracking. This will make your book look more professional.
The author’s biography appears at the end of the book. Here you may want to add links to other books you’ve written or a link to Amazon’s “Write an Article” page. Once you are satisfied with the manuscript, you have entered the KDP template, consider converting the Word file to a pdf file. This is especially wise if you have images or illustrations, or if it’s a really large file.
Now we come to the cover of the book. Here Beth discusses whether to go with a free cover set up by KDP or pay a designer to create one. Going the free route is discussed in detail from selecting an image from the KDP Image Gallery to designing header, sub-header and author name graphics. Background information is also discussed including the book description, author image and barcode based on your book’s ISBN. The column size is also folded and includes the title of the book and the name of the author printed vertically.
The last section is “Paperback Rights and Pricing”. Here you will choose which regional rights you hold, your primary market, the list price of your book, and any wider distribution such as bookstores, libraries, and online stores. Beth recommends that when choosing a price, you should research other books in your category and not price it above average. Basically, royalties are calculated at sixty percent of the list price minus the printing cost.
Another indicator is the determination of value in foreign countries. Foreign sales through Amazon receive a sixty percent royalty and those sold through other channels are billed forty percent. Before publishing your book, get a proof copy because, some errors will not prevail in the electronic preview, but will show up in an actual, physical, proof copy.
Once you’re happy with the proof copy, you can click the Publish button and your book should appear on Amazon within seventy-two hours. Of course, now begins the hardest part of being a writer, promoting your book.
If you also want to publish an eBook, Beth’s book walks you through the steps. While it’s basically the same process as a paper book, they differ in some ways. As such, he walks you through them in Appendix A of his book. First, log in to your account and just to the right of your book cover, click on the blue words “+ Create a Kindle eBook”. Many boxes are already filled for you. Make sure they have the right information. Her book explains that the information will be different. These include the Age and Grade Range box and the Pre-Order box.
The Manuscript box has many options that need to be addressed. One issue is the restriction of sharing this book with others. You will also need a new ISBN to publish your eBook. Additionally, the options for your cover in terms of font type and color are less than for your printed book.
After you’ve uploaded your manuscript and cover, you can preview it on your computer or on your Kindle device. Your text may not appear as it does on a printed page. This depends on the digital device used to read the pages of your book and some devices may interrupt in places you did not intend.
If you want KDP to be your exclusive eBook publisher, join KDP Select. Benefits of choosing KDP include availability on Kindle Unlimited and receiving a seven percent royalty versus thirty five percent. The book includes other benefits.
The price of your book is based on the same principles as the printed version. Consult the prices of similar books. Foreign prices and sales conversions are based on the country’s daily exchange rate.
The Matchbook offer allows paperback buyers to place a price on your Kindle edition. Beth highlights the pros and cons of this option. Another optional program is book lending which allows customers to lend your eBook to friends and/or family for up to fourteen days. If you choose the KDP Choice program, seventy percent of the miles, you are automatically locked in “Yes” on these options.
The last point is the Terms and Conditions box and must be accepted before submitting your eBook. Once you’re satisfied with your answers loaded in all the boxes, click on the “Publish Your Kindle eBook” button and your book should appear on Amazon within seventy-two hours.
The last chapter in the book contains the next steps, tips and tricks. These include how to order copies of the author’s book, the number of books sold and royalties received. It also covers how to edit the text on your submitted book, create your own central author account and author profile. With your Author Central account, you can track your book sales. Customer reviews are also covered in this section and you can comment on the reviews,
When your book ranks 100 or lower in your book search category, you earn the honor of an Amazon bestseller. Beth shows you how to choose the best browsing category for your book and how to navigate the maze to get it listed.
This review covers part of the guidelines presented in this book. It gives you a general process. Beth writes on a variety of topics and consults with authors who want to self-publish their work. More information is available on her website, bethwhittenbury.com.
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