“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.” ~Enid Bagnold
So, you’ve written a book (or you’re writing one) and you are ready to get it published. Good news for you – these days? It’s easier than ever to make your words available to your potential readers.
How do I know what I’m talking about when it comes to Kindle publishing, anyway?
In addition to the fact that I’ve published 17 Kindle ebooks under my own name (and a few others under pen names), I’ve been in the online writing and marketing business since 2005.
As a journalist, author and certified life coach, you can imagine that people ask me lots of questions.
One of the biggest questions that aspiring writers ask me when they find out what I do for a living is “how can I get my book published?“
The old answer would’ve been pretty standard: write the book (or at least a few chapters with an outline of the rest), submit it to agents and/or publishers, and hope for the best.
But today, the internet has afforded writers new and more accessible avenues to get their words out to the world – and the chances for success are multiplied exponentially when we take advantage of all of the various tools that we have at our fingertips.
Just consider people like Amanda Hocking – breakout millionaire writer who makes us all believe it could be us. She went from broke waitress to respected, rich writer in a matter of months, thanks to her Kindle publishing efforts.
Read More: OWP’s Amanda Hocking Case Studies
Let’s start with the basics today – how to actually get your book online once you’ve got it written.
How to Get Your Book Published on Amazon.com’s Kindle Store: 6 Keys to Success
It’s easy to learn how to publish a book on Kindle, and doing so offers a free opportunity for every author who has a story to be told. You can publish fiction or non fiction books at no charge – and even better, you can start selling them immediately after receiving approval from Amazon.com. If you want to get started selling right away, you need to be aware of a few things before you hit that “publish” button.
- Before You Publish, Pick a Niche and Write the Book–Start by selecting your topic and writing your book. Don’t worry about length. It’s more important that you write a good book ‘ with enough details to satisfy your reader ‘ than it is to ensure you reach a certain page count. Here are a few more niche selection hacks for you.
- The Cover Seriously Does Matter (And People DO Judge Your Book By It) – After you find the perfect title for your book, you need to start working on your cover. If you’re a graphic artist or even someone who is pretty skilled in design, go for a self-made cover. But if you’re like the other 90 percent of us, find someone who can create a professional ecover graphic for you. When buyers are searching for Kindle books, the first impression they get is your cover, so it pays to upgrade from a standard DIY if you’re not a pro. You need to stand out above thousands of other authors, after all. The cover is your first impression.
- Formatting Matters, Too. A LOT. – When you complete your book, make sure it’s formatted correctly for Kindle. You can write it in Word and save it as an HTML file, or use one of the many tools sold online that format the book for you with ease. I’ve found a ton of luck with using Google Docs for this kind of formatting, myself.
- You Can Outsource Formatting Starting at $5. – I’ve been lucky that I’ve found formatting for Kindle to be pretty simple. But to be fair, I refuse to format my own paperbacks – pretty sure I found a few gray hairs after the last time I tried – so stressful – so I just hire someone from Fiverr to do it for me. Worry free now! You can also hire someone to do your Kindle formatting for you, starting at just $5.
- Get the Book Online. The upload process is quick and easy. You have the option to enroll your book in KDP Select, which gives Amazon exclusive rights to it for 90 days (so it can’t be sold for the Nook or at other online stores). You also get a total of five built in free promotional days, so you can expand your readership and get more reviews during this time.
- What to Expect While Uploading Your Book – First, you’ll enter all of your book details, like the book’s name, series and volume information, and write an attention-grabbing description for it. You’ll be able to list the contributors of the book, which would be yourself as the author in most cases ‘ or a pen name if you prefer.
- Some of the information is optional, such as publication date or ISBN (you don’t have to have one). Amazon will ask you if it’s a Public Domain Work or if you have the right to publish the material.
- Categorizing Your Book – Next, the system will ask you to categorize your book to a certain target audience by putting it in two appropriate sections. Don’t worry too much about this ‘ just get it as close as you can. It doesn’t mean it won’t get sold in other categories. As customers find your book and help tag it, you’ll cross over into other areas automatically.
- Categories Hack: Look at popular books that are similar to yours in niche and concept and borrow those categories if you’re not sure where to start here.
- Files to Have Prepared – You’ll upload your book cover file and the content file, and have the opportunity to preview it in a browser for formatting and other issues. Once you’ve accomplished this, you’ll be choosing what type of geographical rights you want to give, and setting the prices for everything.
- After finishing the process of uploading and detailing the rights, you’ll have to wait up to 12 hours for the Kindle creation to go live. Once it is, make sure you set up an Author Central account and add your first book listing under your name!
As I’ve discovered so far in the Great Kindle Publishing Experiment, KDP Select offers an almost unbelievable opportunity for self-made authors to break into the publishing world.
Want an honest review? As part of my Pay It Forward initiative, I’m offering to ACTUALLY read your book (up to 250 pages) and provide an honest, verified review on Amazon.com. Get the details, right here, and schedule your review now!
If you need marketing help once the book’s been published, hire a reputable Fiverr marketer (like yours truly) and get it done for you – it’s fast, cheap and allows you to get back to what you do best (writing your next best-seller!).
The new publishing truth? You no longer have to worry about securing an agent, getting accepted by a publisher, and adhering to rules others dictate for your content. You get to put something out there that represents you – and it’s an endless opportunity you can take advantage of – what are you waiting for?
Did you enjoy this post? Did it help you out? You can help me out by taking a look at my Kindle ebooks at BooksAngieWrote.com and sharing the link(s) with your friends. Thanks in advance.