Now that you’re all set – formatting and conversion complete – and ready to begin the Kindle publishing upload stage, this article will walk you through the main points involved. It sounds like there’s nothing to it – but you might be surprised. (The distribution process I’ve chosen is from Amazon’s KDP Program – but don’t worry, most other distributors usually ask for very similar criteria)
1. Book Title: This one doesn’t need much explaining, but there are a couple of things to consider. If your title is a little modest, you might want to think about adding a little extra something. For example, my book titled Alex sounds like it could belong to any genre – but when titled Alex (a Psychological Mystery Thriller), all confusion disappears.
2. Author Name: No explanation needed. Your name or your pseudonym.
3. Contributors: I haven’t noticed many books listed with contributors, but there’s nothing wrong with adding some. For example, Mr Read, your editor, could be entered as a contributor, as could anyone else who aided in the book’s completion.
4. Language: No explanation needed, though it wouldn’t be a bad thing to double-check it’s set to the right one.
5. Kindle Publishing Date: This is usually optional. Just enter your upload date.
6. Publisher: If you have a publisher, you can enter it here. If you’re an indie author, you can do one of two things: either enter your author name and keep it simple – or be a little bit cheeky and make up your own publisher!
7. ISBN: An International Standard Book Number – this is found on the back of all paperback books. Some ebooks have them, and for a price, you can get one too – but it’s not overly important at this stage, and so I would suggest skipping this part – unless you already have one, of course.
8. Kindle Publishing Rights: In short, if you’ve written your own book (and haven’t prized it from the fingers of another author), then you should check the box that says This is Not a Public Domain Work and I Hold the Necessary Publishing Rights. There’s normally a link where you can find out more info about this, but the above is usually the option for indie authors.
9. Categories: Sounds self-explanatory, but you might want to have a think about not only where your book belongs on the virtual shelf, but also where it’s likely to sell the most. Avoid clicking general areas like Romance, Drama or Thrillers. These are too broad and you want to convey your book’s content the best you can. The ultimate faux-pas would be to list it in Fiction – how much more vague could you be!
10. Search Keywords: Very important bit! Imagine a reader is searching for a book. They’re not going to type in the title of yours because…well, they don’t know it exists yet, do they? So think hard about what these keywords should be that guide them to your book. Unless it’s literally titled Spy Thriller, it’s best to not use your title as a keyword.
11. Product Image: Your book cover, in other words. This should’ve already been taken care of. As it’s the first thing potential readers will see, I really can’t stress how important it is. Distributor’s guidelines shouldn’t be ignored – follow them strictly, adhering your image size, measurements and file type with that advised. You want your image to be as clear as possible.
12. DRM: Digital Rights Management. In short, you’re being asked if you want to add extra protection to your book to inhibit copying. You might be eager to click Yes, but consider that it’s unlikely many people are interested in stealing/plagiarizing your work. And think of it this way: if they do copy it and send it to their friends for free, it’s helping spread your name and build your audience. Note: once your DRM decision is set, it is irreversible.
13. Upload Your Book: Sounds straightforward and it should be. Just make sure you’ve read your distributor’s book upload guidelines, making sure your book is converted to the right kind of file – and most importantly, reads well (correct conversion). After you’ve uploaded your book it should be available to preview. If you haven’t already used a desktop Kindle Publishing Previewer app for this, now is the time to run through it – readers loathe poorly formatted books.
14. Kindle Publishing Content Rights: Again, if it’s your own original work, then check Worldwide Rights. It’s your book, you hold all the rights – it’s that simple. Distributor’s guidelines can be checked for more details.
15. Royalty/Price Selection: Distributor’s options may vary, but I know Amazon offers 35% for books listed under £1.49 ($2.38), and 70% for those listed at £1.49 and over. For your first book, even though it might hurt you deeply – or seem like it could kill you! – I would swallow your pride, hit the 35%, and sell your book for the cheapest amount at £0.77. It means less profit per book, yes, but it could lead to more sales and a higher ranking. Your book may be worth a heck of a lot more – of course it is! – but unfortunately your reputation isn’t yet.
After this, agree with the terms and conditions and finally hit that Publish Now button. It’s a truly momentous occasion. Remember, there will never be another first time that you publish your book – so enjoy this Kindle publishing milestone!
It would be great to hear your thoughts on this article! Did you find it helpful? Anything I missed out or that you would like to add? Please let me know in the comments.
Also, if you haven’t yet been chilled by ALEX, my debut mystery thriller which has now sold over 250,000 copies worldwide, it’s available on Amazon UK and US – just click below.