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Shows How to Self-Publish Your Book for FREE on Amazon KDP
Now you can publish your eBook or print-on-demand book for free on Amazon’s KDP platform. This is a great deal as Amazon sells 70% of eBooks and 50% of printed books plus royalties are favorable to the authors. However, creating an account, formatting the book, and uploading your manuscripts can be a daunting undertaking. “How to Self-Publish a Book in 10 Easy Steps” offers guidance and reasoning on what to put in all those little boxes. Knowing the why and how makes the process a viable and rewarding experience.
What makes this book worthwhile is the fact that the author formulated this book while uploading an older version to CreateSpace broke into the new KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). So. Beth Whittenbury encountered and resolved the same problems you’ll face uploading your book. And her roadmap outlines the process in an orderly fashion starting with the decision, do you want to be your own editor? There are pros and cons, and you have the information to make a rational choice.
Next is getting the ISBN, which identifies not only your book, but also its format and publisher. This section also identifies the author, page size, format, and medium, whether an eBook or paperback. Other classifications are the main category of the subject, the target audience and, if known, the date of publication. ISBN numbers are obtained through the myidentifiers.com site, and prices range from $125 for one to $29.50 each when you buy ten.
The next step is to register your book with the Library of Congress for a PCN (preassigned control number) which helps libraries locate where your book is kept. This chapter also explains how to match your PNC with your ISBN and the process for submitting a copy to the Library of Congress. Beth also debates whether to get a copyright on your book.
When setting up your KDP account, he suggests keeping Amazon KDP as a printer, not a publisher. This maintains your rights. This section also identifies the country where you work, your tax information, bank information for royalty payments, and your social security number or EIN.
Once you’ve set up your KDP account, you can begin uploading your manuscript to the KDP system. The book provides instructions on what information goes into which boxes. For example, you may have other contributors such as an illustrator or co-author. There are boxes for those. Other boxes include language, book title, keywords, subject category, and publishing rights. One of the most important items will be the description box since it will appear on the Amazon book page and is what potential readers use to rate your book and make purchasing decisions. Look at similar book descriptions to help you write this selling piece and select strong keywords. This description and its keywords are also part of the search parameters buyers use to find a book on a particular topic.
Once you’ve filled in the boxes in the Print Options section, you can start uploading your manuscript. First, you’ll need to upload a free Word template for the cut size you’ve chosen. This is a complex procedure and Beth walks you through this process with detailed step-by-step instructions. He also cautions against choosing a font size, and that using Garamond’s default 11-point font when writing the manuscript will likely save you the formatting work later.
The next section explains how to format the title page, colophon page, dedication page, and acknowledgment page. The colophon page is also known as the copyright page or edition notice. While the KDP model gives you the minimal notifications for what goes on the imprint page, Beth suggests. adding the Library of Congress number, a disclaimer, and your fingerprint. This will make your book look more professional.
The author’s biography goes at the end of the book. Here you may want to add links to other books you’ve written, or a link to Amazon’s “Write a Review” page. When you’re happy with the manuscript, you’ve entered the KDP template, consider converting that Word file to a pdf file. This is especially prudent if you have photos or illustrations, or if it’s a very large file.
We have come to the cover section of the book. Here Beth debates whether to choose a free cover created by KDP or pay a designer to create one. The free route is covered in detail from selecting a photo from the KDP Image Gallery to designing the graphics for the title, subtitle, and author name. Information on the back cover is also discussed, including the book description, author image, and the barcode based on your book’s ISBN. The spine layout is also covered and includes the book title and author name printed vertically.
The final section is “Print Book Rights and Pricing.” Here you’ll choose what territorial rights you hold, your primary market, the list price of your book, and any broad distributions such as bookstores, libraries, and online retailers. Beth suggests when selecting a price, that you look at those of other books in your category and don’t rate it above average. Basically, royalties are calculated at sixty percent of the list price minus the cost of printing.
Another consideration is pricing in foreign countries. Foreign sales through Amazon receive a sixty percent royalty, and those sold through other channels are charged at forty percent. Before publishing your book, obtain a proof copy as some errors will not be prevalent in the electronic preview, but will show up in the actual, physical proof copy.
Once you’re happy with the proof copy, you can click the Publish button and your book should appear on Amazon within seventy-two hours. Sure, now the hardest part of being an author begins, promoting your book.
If you want to publish an eBook edition as well, Beth’s Book walks you through these steps as well. While they are basically the same as the paper book process, they differ in some ways. As such, she walks you through them in Appendix A of her book. First, log into your account and just to the right of your book cover, click on the blue words “+ Create Kindle eBook”. Many of the boxes have already been filled for you. Make sure they have the correct information. Her book goes on to explain where the information would be different. These include the Age Range and Grade box and the Pre-Order box.
The Manuscript Box has several choices that need to be addressed. One thing is to limit sharing of this book with others. You will also need a new ISBN for your eBook edition. Also, the options for your cover are inferior to those for your paperback in font and color.
After you upload your manuscript and cover, you can preview it on your computer or Kindle device. Your text may not look the same as a printed page. This depends on the digital device used to read the pages in your book, and some devices may cut out at unexpected points.
If you want KDP to be your exclusive eBook publisher, join KDP Select. KDP Select benefits include being available on Kindle Unlimited and receiving a seventy percent versus thirty-five percent royalty. The book covers more benefits.
Pricing your book follows the same principles as the print version. Check prices on similar books. Foreign prices and sales conversions are made according to the country’s daily exchange rate.
The Matchbook provision allows paperback buyers a reduction in the price on your Kindle edition. Beth points out the pros and cons of this option. Another optional program is Book Lending which allows buyers to lend your eBook to friends and/or family for up to fourteen days. If you opt for the KDP Select program, the seventy percent royalty, you’re automatically locked into a “Yes” on these options.
The last item is the Terms and Conditions box and must be accepted before submitting your eBook. Once you’re happy with your responses loaded into all of the boxes, click the “Publish Your Kindle eBook” button, and your book should appear on Amazon in seventy-two hours.
The final section of the book covers the next steps, tips and tricks. These include how to order author copies of your book, determining the number of books sold and royalties received. It also explains how to edit the text on your submitted book by creating your central author account and author profile. With your Author Central account, you can track the sale of your book. Customer reviews are also covered in this section and you can comment on the reviews,
When your book is ranked a hundred or less in your book browsing category, you earn the honor of an Amazon bestseller. Beth shows you how to choose the best navigation category for your book and how to navigate this maze to get on this list.
This review covers a portion of the instruction offered in this book. It gives you an overview of the process. Beth writes on a variety of topics and consults with authors who wish to self-publish their work. More information is available on her website, bethwhitettenbury.com.
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