I’m finishing up a book that I intend to publish on the Kindle store in Amazon. Last year I came up with a diet that I successfully used to lose over 10 pounds and decided to write about it. The weight loss world is full of confusing information, and it’s been an interesting journey to look at the food we eat and the entrenched problems with the food industry and the struggles many have with obesity.
Since I knew nothing about self publishing on Kindle it has been a learning curve. However it’s not rocket science and below are some of the useful resources and guides I have found for publishing on Kindle on Amazon
While this post just focuses on Kindle, which is the biggest marketplace for self published digital books, the Kindle Store is not the only market. However Amazon offers the KDP Select program, where in exchange for listing your book exclusively in the Kindle store you get the ability to offer your book for free which can be a great marketing tool to get your book noticed. So I will start with that and then decide after the 90 days whether the lock in is worth it.
To start you will want to set up your account with Amazon which you can use with your existing Amazon username. There you will find some basic information as well as a video on how to format your book properly. While you can write your book in a variety of formats, for example Microsoft word or HTML, the book will need to be converted into a proprietary format (.mobi) for publishing. The KDP publishing process will convert it for you but there are some formatting rules you should follow to make the process go more smoothly.
Additionally you can download the free “Building your Book for Kindle” book from the Kindle store for the formatting instructions.
To have more control over the finished product, you may choose to convert your book to the .mobi format prior to adding it to your Amazon publishing bookshelf. This is highly recommended if your book has charts, tables and graphics. There are a number of tools you can choose from if you want to go this route. The free (donation based) calibre tool is one. There are also cloud based tools such as LiberWriter that will handle the conversion for you without you having to install anything on your computer.
A major part of your book success will be the book cover. The thumbnail image that shows in the Kindle store is key to attracting initial interest to your book and can make or break your sales. I’m still designing mine but one place to get some inspiration is the book cover archive.
Of course there are a ton of courses and and ebooks out there that will help you with publishing on Kindle. I’ve purchased a few and have gleaned some great tips from them. Some, focus more on helping you write, other help with the marketing aspect. One comprehensive guide that covers practically everything, from formatting to marketing, is “Successful eBook Publishing” available from Amazon. This guide fills in many gaps the other leave.
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Image courtesy of alienratt – Flickr Creative Commons License
Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.