Well done on finishing your book (haven't typed 'the end' yet? Then you might want to revisit this guide)
Before we dive into the ins and outs of publishing your masterpiece, congrats 😉 ! Writing a book is no easy endeavour. But you've done it, and you're ahead of 99% of people who only say they are going to write a book. So again, high fives!
OK, without further ado, let's look at how you can self-publish your book, step-by-step 😉
Format Your Book
Whether you've decided to use Microsoft Word, Scrivener, or any other writing software, your finished manuscript is not ready to be uploaded to Amazon or other retailers unless the file is correctly formatted. Once your work has been converted into .mobi or .epub format, then you'll be able to upload it to the various ebook outlets. When it comes to formatting, you've got two main options: doing it yourself, or outsourcing to a pro. Here are the resources you need in either case:
Add "front matter" and "back matter"
Your book is not complete without some 'filler' pages that readers absolutely expect to see (and which make your book look more professional and 'polished'. Typically, these pages will be created when formatting the book (see above), but if you still haven't included them, now is the time to do so.
What to include before the bulk of the text:
What to include after the bulk of the text:
- An Author's Note (optional)
- An index (optional)
- A call-to-action to get people on your email list
- A request for reviews
- Contact information (website, social)
Create an Awesome Cover
Getting a cover for your book is one thing you should never save money on.
Craft a Great Blurb
Also known as book-description, your book's blurb is basically its sales-page. It's what will entice your readers to purchase or skip your masterpiece. Once again, you can DYI or hire a pro.
Format Your Blurb
Having an enticing blurb is not enough. In an age where 'scrolling' and 'skimming' are king, your blurb also needs to be properly formatted so that its key points stand out and catch the reader's attention.
You can read this article and use this tool created by Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur.
Create Your Author Page on Amazon Author Central
Very few authors (trad or indie) put a lot of effort into their own Author Page on Amazon. Don't be like them.
A good Author Central profile speaks professionalism and gives you another opportunity to connect with your readers.
Read this article by Written Word Media to learn the ins and outs of this often neglected resource.
Upload the Book to KDP
Once you have all the elements above done and dusted, it's time to upload your book to KDP.
Don't worry: the process is as simple as clicking a few buttons and uploading your formatted file.
Choose The Right Keywords
Choosing the right keywords when uploading your book to Amazon (or the other retailers) can make or break your book's visibility in the store. Don't be scared by the process, but put some thought and effort into choosing your keywords (and test constant variations for best results).
Choose The Right Categories
Selecting the right keywords is essential, but so is choosing the right categories for your book. This is another operation you should not overlook, and one which can put you miles ahead of your competition if done right.
Read this article on Kindlepreneur to learn how to best choose your categories.
Analyse the data through the reports prepared by K-Lytics.
Check Your Book on Various Kindle Devices
Alwats best to double check your file once you've uploaded it to KDP. Fortunately, Kindle has a nifty little app called Kindle Previewer, which can show you what your ebook will look like on various Kindle devices.
You can download it here.
What's next? Read our Book Marketing Bible to launch, market and profit from your book!