How to Self-Publish Your Own Book On Amazon
We live in a time when creating side hustles are becoming the norm, not the exception. People all over are finding ways to increase their income by working on projects aside from their typical desk jobs. Side hustles are a great way to add some padding in your bank account, especially during these uncertain times during the global pandemic of COVID-19.
So, if writing is a passion of yours and you’re thinking about maybe self-publishing some books or guides or e-books on Amazon, let’s dive into how you can do that to make some extra cash.
BTW, if you need help writing the actually book, please check out my other blog post on how to write on own ebook.
1. Sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
KDP is Amazon’s self-publishing platform. This is what you will use to put your put for sale on Amazon as well as where you can monitor your sales and stats of the book or books you publish. You can either sign in to KDP with your regular Amazon account if you have one, or you can sign up for a KDP account here: https://kdp.amazon.com/
2. Create a new title
Once you have completed signing up for KDP, you will be taken to your KDP dashboard, this is where you may need to fill in any remaining details like your bank account so that you can receive royalty payments. One that’s complete, go to Create a New Title from the Dashboard, here you will be able to choose whether you want to publish a Kindle ebook or a paperback book.
- When it comes to choosing the right title, here are a few tips to remember. You want your title to be:
- Genre-relevant: For instance if you are writing a romance book you don’t want to title it Aliens or Cooking, you want your title to make sense.
- Easy-to-digest: You also want your title to be easy for people to read and understand what the book will be about. If they have to read the title several times to understand it or even have to do some extra research before even opening the book up, it’s likely they will just move on to another book entirely. This also applies to the length of the title, keep it short, sweet and simple.
3. Enter your description
Now it’s time to enter the description of your book. Here are some tips for a compelling description:
- Attention-grabbing: You want readers to be intrigued and interested enough so that they feel like they have to buy your book just from reading the description. To grab their attention, try pulling a quote from the book, talk about the book’s genre and any awards or recognition it has received.
- You want to summarize the book in the description but you don’t want to give anything away. Summarize it succinctly enough with enough compelling details that keeps readers interested and wanting to read more.
4. Set keywords and categories
Now you will determine the keywords and categories for your book. These are the terms that people will use to search and find your book. You want your keywords to be as relevant as possible so that readers are actually directed to your book.
Here are some examples of categories that are offered via KDP:
- Fiction > Thrillers > Supernatural
- Juvenile Fiction > Social Issues > Prejudice & Racism
- Nonfiction > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
- Juvenile Nonfiction > Technology > How Things Work/Are Made
- Comics & Graphic Novels > Manga > Superheroes
- Literary Collections > Caribbean & Latin American
5. Upload your manuscript
Here’s where it starts to get real: uploading your manuscript! To do so, click the yellow button that says Upload and choose the correct file. Be patient, this may take a few minutes to load. Once complete, you will see a green notification pop up. If you are publishing an e-book, KDP will automatically convert your file into a mobi— the format used by the Kindle store.
6. Upload your book cover
No book is complete without an enticing book cover, so let’s upload yours now. Amazon requires a minimum image size of 1,000 x 625 pixels. It also must be in RGB color space, which most images are already automatically formatted this way.
The final version of your cover needs to be converted to a JPG or TIFF before you upload it. If you have any more questions, Amazon has an e-book cover guidelines page that you can access through KDP. Now that you’re ready to upload your book cover, select the yellow button to do so. Just like uploading the manuscript, you will see a green notification when the upload is complete.
7. Enroll in KDP Select
KDP Select is an awesome, free program that you can use to help you promote your book, as long as you keep your book exclusive to Amazon.
The benefits of KDP include: 70 percent royalties in countries like Brazil, Japan, Mexico and India. Your book will be included in the Kindle Unlimited Library where you can earn royalties by page. You will have the ability to run Free Book Promotions and Kindle Countdown Deals, this enables you to get 70 percent royalties when your book is priced under $2.99.
8. Price your book
In the next step, you will price your book. We recommend choosing the 70 percent royalty plan. If you do that, you must price your book within the $2.99-$9.99 range. If you choose the 35 percent royalty, you can price your book between 99 cents and $200. Once you set your price, you will see calculations for your royalties per book.
The delivery rate will depend on your book’s size, this will be subtracted from your royalties if you choose the 70 percent option. If you choose to print your books via KDP Print, the printing costs will be subtracting from your royalties too.
9. Enroll in other options
Now that the price is set, KDP will ask you about other options that you can enroll in. Kindle Matchbook allows customers who buy a print copy of your book to download the e-book at a lower price or even for free.
Kindle Book Lending allows people to lend your book to other readers for 14 days— this is a mandatory feature with KDP Select. If you aren’t enrolled in KDP Select, we still recommend you check Yes on both of these options because they allow more people to access your book.
10. Publish your book
Ahhh, the finish line!! Review your book one last time and now you’re ready to publish. To do so, hit the yellow button that says Publish Your Kindle e-Book. It can take as long as three days for your book to hit the “shelves.”
Becoming a published author is a great side-hustle for people who are experts in certain fields or people who just love writing. Thanks to online tools like Kindle Direct Publishing, it is easier than ever to become a published author. Good luck!