How to self-publish for the Amazon Kindle
If you’re an aspiring author and have written a great story, you will undoubtedly be seeking to publish your work. Traditionally, the route to being published was arduous and involved agents, publishers and a lot of luck! But this is 2011, so let's kiss "goodbye" to tradition! Now you can use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) web portal to self-publish and sell your work at the Amazon Kindle Store. KDP is fast, free and easy. It also allows published authors to participate in a 70% royalty program which makes it a great way to sell your work! So stop by, read this 8 step guide and discover how you can self-publish and start making some money from your creativity.
What you'll need:
A great story!
A PC (or laptop) with Microsoft Word
Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (optional)
An internet connection
An Amazon user ID
Confirm that your story is ready to be published: It may sounds obvious, but before you rush ahead and throw your story out to the world, ensure that it really is the ‘final draft’. As a minimum, run a spell-check, get it proof-read and undertake one final read-through yourself to ensure you’re fully satisfied.
Check that the document formatting is good to go: Document type and formatting need to be considered for suitability for the KDP ebook conversion process. The process works especially well with Microsoft Word .doc files as long as complex formatting is avoided. If your content has been created in .docx format, re-save your document in .doc format. Should you require additional assistance there are some useful guides available on the KDP help pages.
Consider cover artwork: If you’re feeling artistic, design a cover for your story using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Alternatively, utilise the services of an online consultancy to do the hard work for you (see tips section below).
Draft-out a description for your story: Ultimately the description is what the customer will see when they browse the Kindle store. Think of it like the back cover of a paperback. This is a reader's first experience with the content of your book so don't simply tell them what tell them what the story relates... entice them into buying it!
Time to Self-Publish: The great news is that you’re ready to publish! Get on the internet and navigate to Amazon’s self-publishing platform using the appropriate link at the bottom of this page. You can sign in using a regular Amazon user ID.
Fill out new title information: Navigate to the KDP bookshelf and add a new title. Complete all the required information including: name of your story, author information and the description created above. If at any stage you are uncertain of anything, simply click on a link for assistance. You can also upload your cover design at this stage.
Upload and convert your story: Upload your document when requested and once the conversion has completed successfully, you can preview your work and ensure that it displays perfectly on the Kindle ebook reader. Only proceed if you’re satisfied that everything looks good. If not, you will need to return to your original document and make any necessary changes before uploading again.
Set the price: Last but by no means least, is the pricing section. This is where you set the price that will be charged to the Kindle customer and most important of all, where your royalty payments are defined. When you're done, click the publish button and your creative work will be sent off to Amazon’s publishing team. You will shortly receive email confirmation that everything is in order and that your work is available to buy on the Amazon marketplace. Congratulations you are now a published author!
The Kindle Direct Publishing platform provides a simple, straightforward process for self-publishing and an established marketplace which delivers to a proven and popular technology. In addition from showcasing a whole host of new talent to the world, KDP is also helping to revitalise the short story genre, as author Jonathan Cruz explains: “I know so many talented writers, who have struggled for years to publish their short stories via traditional publishing methods simply because there is no significant profit in short stories… it’s fantastic news that finally we (short story writers) have a way to make our writing available to the public!”
Kindle content is also available for Kindle apps on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android-based devices
Online publishing companies like notes from a barstool provide useful consultancy services such as proof-reading and cover artwork design