Any writer that has ever conjured even the thought of finally putting their thoughts on paper and shaping them into a book has grappled with the notion of the arduous process of publishing. The long-hauled system was and remained the first hurdle (besides the apparent occasional writer’s block) authors face.
The gatekeepers of the publishing industry have kept the tiring cycle of writer-agent-publisher-agent-writer in a continuous loop. Persistence and connections may work for some writers who send their samples directly to the publishers. However, the barriers still stand firm.
Amazon – Kindle Direct Publishing: A Solution for the Aspiring Dreamers
In 2009, Amazon launched its self-publishing unit called only Amazon Publishing or APub. Since then, it has become a boon for writers who want to avoid the exercise of going through the conventional publishing rote to get their book out.
Today, thousands of writers have found success in both monetary and self-achievement aspects. One of the biggest and most remarkable success stories of Amazon publishing is Mark Dawson. Since publishing his John Milton series of thrillers and subsequent books on Amazon, Dawson has since become an entrepreneur in his regards.
Prospective writers interested in this avenue of writing have the opportunity of writing an ebook and gaining a new stream of revenues. Amazon publishing is an excellent route for accessing your reader market and finally set your book out there in the cloud for people to find.
Let’s dive in:
1. Finding your Niche
Your niche will be the broad and eventually particular category your book’s topic will be covering. This is an essential step as it will determine proactively whether your category attracts sufficient buyers. This step should be covered before you begin writing the book.
To get a glimpse of how you can find it by going to the Kindle eBooks’ best sellers’ page. Once these, choose a category from the side menu.
Please choose a category (we chose mystery, thriller, and suspense). Then select a sub-category (we wanted Crime Thriller and then further selected Murder as a niche), and then click on the number one book on the page.
Once you have selected the book, scroll down to the bottom to see the book’s Amazon Best Sellers Rank. Here, The Girl Who Lived by Christopher Greyson has done pretty well within the category. It’s number on the Paid type on the Kindle Store. This means it’s selling hundreds of copies in a month.
If you look at other books in the same category, it is a sign of a niche worth publishing if the books fall under the 10,000 rank.
2. Choosing a Topic and Title
This is an important step. Putting a lot of thought into the title and subtitle is crucial. You want to make sure that potential readers gravitate towards your book just from the title. This depends on the niche you’re targeting and the topic you choose.
For example, if you’re writing a murder crime fiction, just A Gruesome Murder as the title might not work as well. It’s a little vague and promises what all other books in that niche are providing. Try to amp it up a little with a subtitle that explains a little more – for example, Henrietta: The Mind of a Poison Fanatic Killer.
The second title gives a little more detail and is intriguing to those who follow this fiction niche.
If you’re writing a non-fiction book, numbers work well in the titles – case in point, Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits book series.
3. Outline and Write your Book
The next obvious step is letting the title inspire you and writing the book. Start with an outline that gives some structure to the plot and storyline (if it’s fiction) and sets the tone and flow of the book. This is not to say that it should be placed in stone as you might get some inspiration in the middle and make some changes. The material, context, language, and length of the book are all in your control, one of the main benefits of self-publishing through Amazon.
4. Get the Book Professionally Edited
There are agencies out there that specialize in ebook writing. They provide services where you can hire an editor or proofreader for your book or ebook. It would be best if you got your paper proofread as many Amazon published books go without being corrected, which readers notice.
Having somebody meticulously comb through the content, fixing grammar, making editorial changes to improve the sentence structure, etc., will all pay off in the end.
5. Cover it. Well!
If you have been an avid reader or even just read the classic children’s books, there will be many that you will remember the cover of but not the name. Now, why is that? The theory goes that human beings are more prone to respond to and remember visual cues and stimuli.
You don’t have to do it yourself. There is no need to take Photoshop and Illustrator classes and get crafty. You can hire a designer to do it for you. You can contribute your ideas and the picture in your head, letting them execute.
6. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Format
Before uploading the file on Kindle Direct, your book needs to comply with the publishing format. Again, you can hire a professional to do it for you. Or you can check the KDP website for a detailed explanation of how to format the book.
You can use MS Word or a similar program to write and format the book, or you can download the Kindle Create tool to write and edit the book.
The format includes instructions for the heading styles, paragraph indentations, tables of contents, indexing, and so forth.
7. Upload the Book on KDP
Here’s a breakdown of what needs to be done to upload the book and publish your labor of love finally:
a) Sign In/Sign Up
Visit Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing website to get started. Make an account if you don’t have one and begin.
b) Getting Started
As your account is verified, you will get the following screen:
Choose the option you want to publish and move ahead in the process to add further details about your paperback or eBook. We will select the eBook option for this article.
c) Add Title, Description, and Other Relevant Details
Fill out all the fields with the appropriate details. Put in the title and subtitle (optional) using keywords relevant to your book and the niche you had chosen. The series and edition numbers are optional. If you know with complete surety that you will be writing more books in the series, you can enter the relevant details or leave them out. And then lastly, enter your name and other contributors (if there are any) as well.
As for the description, put some time and think about it before opening it. Too often, there are descriptions barely more than three sentences long. You have 4,000 characters to make use of. Come up with a narrative that gives your book an excellent introduction while still leaves your audience intrigued and interested in reading the book.
To make your description more engaging, utilize HTML. Here’s the KDP resource that explains further.
d) Up next, Publishing Rights, Categories, and Other Details
You can choose between having your book in the public domain or not.
After that, choose the categories your book will fall under. You can select up to two categories. This is where your research during the niche-search phase will come in handy. These will determine your book’s visibility to relevant audiences. Also, select an age range and grade range only if applicable.
e) Keyword Research
Conduct keyword research using Google Adwords and similar tools to make your book more search-friendly.
f) Book Release Options
Select whether you want to release the book now or would like to follow the pre-ordering model.
g) Book Covers
Upload the book cover you had gotten designed. There are Cover Guidelines mentioned in the cover creation section on the KDP portal. It should be in JPEG or TIFF format and at least 1000 pixels on the long side.
h) DRM and Uploading the Book
DRM or Digital Rights Management is enabled to allow your readers to lend their eBooks to other readers. Once you have made your decision, it’s time to upload the book. You can upload it in the DOC or DOCX format or KPF (Kindle Package Format) format.
The next step is selecting the publishing territories. You can choose worldwide or limit it to individual territories.
Pricing is a critical element of your book. You can list your book as free for the first five days or set a charge from the get-go. You can also start at a low price and gradually increase it later.
j) And Finally, Publish!
The last and final step is to get published on Amazon. It will take somewhere between 12 to 24 hours from the beginning to the end, from creating your KDP account to your book being self-published and uploaded on Amazon.
Now that your book is ready for your audience to read, the next step is marketing the book to gain an audience. Keeping in terms of the latest digital and social media marketing strategies, you can boost your ratings and visibility.
If you have already written your masterpiece and looking for an avenue to let other people enjoy it, Amazon Publishing is one of the best self-publication tools currently accessible to people worldwide.
With this simple process, it will take you considerably less amount of time to get published. You will also certainly avoid the hassle and frustration of the conventional publishing cycle. With the potential for becoming a successful author and having an audience, it’s an opportunity with close to no risk in giving it a try. If you find yourself still requiring some help, there are expert ebook writers ready to be of assistance, facilitating your transition from a writer to a published author.
A reader, writer, and Sr. Editor by vocation, Rob Davis is a master of his craft. He guides his team of eBook writers with zeal and enthusiasm to ensure each eBook they deliver is the best in its niche. Rob realizes the responsibility he has in taking client ideas and providing that he does justice to them. And he uses his experience and expertise in eBook writing services to deliver up to his client’s expectations every time.