Welcome to your complete guide to self-publishing on Amazon! In the world of self-publishing, one of the most widely used platforms is Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Whether you are a seasoned author or a first-timer, understanding how to self-publish on Amazon is an important step toward your publishing success.
Setting up your Amazon KDP account
Setting up an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account is the first step in your self-publishing journey on Amazon.
- Start by creating an account.
- Next is entering your tax information. Amazon requires you to fill out tax forms, which can be especially complicated if you’re an international author. Make sure to consult a tax professional to understand the requirements for your specific situation.
- Then comes the payment and royalty settings. Amazon KDP offers different payment options and royalty structures. Take time to understand these thoroughly, as they will directly impact your earnings. You’ll need to choose between a 35% or 70% royalty option and select the territories where you have the rights to sell your book.
- Finally, KDP provides additional settings, including territorial rights and pricing tiers, that can influence your book’s visibility and sales. These need to be configured in a way that aligns with your specific goals for your book.
By taking the time to understand and accurately complete each of these steps, you’ll save yourself potential headaches later and set the stage for a successful self-publishing experience.
Research and planning: your roadmap to success
You might have penned the next business book, but if it doesn’t reach the right readers, all your hard work might go unnoticed. Market research and understanding Amazon’s algorithms are essential factors that can make or break your self-publishing success.
In order to succeed, you need to understand your target audience. Who are they? What are their reading habits? Which other books are they buying? Armed with this information, you can make informed decisions about everything from your book’s cover design to its pricing. Find out more about how to write your first book.
Understanding Amazon’s algorithms
Amazon’s recommendation algorithms are fantastic tools that can significantly impact your book’s visibility. Understanding the basics—like how keywords work, what drives book rankings, and how customer reviews impact your book’s performance—can give you an edge.
How much does it cost to self-publish on Amazon?
The financial aspect of self-publishing is a major concern for many authors, especially those who are new to the industry. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is an appealing platform due to its relatively low entry costs, but there are still some expenses you’ll need to consider.
Direct costs on Amazon KDP
- Manuscript assessment (optional): $500 to $1000.
- Developmental edit (optional): $500 to $2000.
- Copyedit: $1600 to $3200. Will be at the lower end if you write well and have worked on your manuscript a lot before sending it to the editor.
- Interior layout: $1600 to $3200. Will be at the lower end if your book is mostly text. Will be at the higher end if you have many different styles of text or lots of images, tables, diagrams and the like.
- Cover: $400 to $1500.
- Proofreading: $600 to $900.
- Indexing: $600 to $2000.
- ISBNs: Free to about $70 each.
- Barcodes: Free to about $70 each.
- Project management and publishing advice: $1000 to $3000. Find out more about how much it costs to self-publish a book.
Don’t want to deal with the nitty-gritty? Check out one of our self-publishing packages today – we’re sure to have one that suits your needs.
These include the hours you spend writing, editing, marketing, and managing your book, which also have a monetary value.
Preparing your manuscript for Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
Formatting is a crucial step in the self-publishing process, especially when publishing on a platform like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Proper formatting ensures that your eBook is compatible with all devices. Here are some essential tips for preparing your manuscript:
General formatting guidelines for Amazon KDP
- File format: KDP accepts several types of file formats like MOBI, EPUB, PDF, and even Word documents. However, it’s best to stick with MOBI for eBooks to ensure maximum compatibility.
- Text and paragraph formatting: Use a standard, readable font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Make sure to set your paragraph indentations, line spacing, and chapter headings consistently.
- Images: All images should be high-resolution and well-placed within the text to enhance, not distract from, the reading experience.
- Metadata and front matter: Don’t forget to include essential front matter like the title page, copyright page, and table of contents. Metadata such as your book description, keywords, and categories should also be meticulously crafted.
Designing a book cover that sells
A captivating book cover is one of the most potent tools in your self-publishing arsenal. It’s the first thing potential readers see and can be the deciding factor in whether or not they choose to click on your eBook in a sea of options. On platforms like Amazon, where you’re competing with thousands of other authors, your cover isn’t just a design; it’s your first sales pitch.
The crucial elements of an Amazon-compatible book cover
- Dimensions: Amazon has specific requirements for eBook cover dimensions, generally recommending a height/width ratio of 1.6. You also need to consider resolution quality.
- Text: The title, subtitle, and author’s name should be clearly visible and legible. They should also correspond exactly to the metadata you’ve entered during the publishing process
- Imagery: Choose images that are not only striking but also relevant to your book’s content. Make sure the images used are high-resolution and free from copyrights or are licensed.
- File format: Amazon prefers JPEG or TIFF formats for eBook covers. The image should also be under the file size limits set by Amazon KDP.
Seamless ebook publishing on Amazon with Publish Central
Once your manuscript is ready and your eye-catching book cover is designed, the next crucial step is actually publishing your eBook on Amazon.
Step-by-step: navigating Amazon’s publishing interface
- Dashboard setup: Your Amazon KDP account dashboard is where the magic happens. From adding a new title to monitoring sales, it’s the central hub for your eBook.
- Enter book details: This includes entering data like the title, author name, description, and keywords. Proper metadata ensures your book is discoverable to the right audience.
- ISBN assignment: If you opt for one, you’ll need to enter your ISBN number, which uniquely identifies your book.
- Manuscript and cover upload: You’ll upload your formatted manuscript and your meticulously designed book cover.
- Pricing and royalty options: Amazon gives you the flexibility to set your own prices. You’ll also choose a royalty option, either 35% or 70%, based on your pricing and book’s eligibility criteria.
- Review and publish: Before hitting the publish button, you’ll have a chance to review everything. Once you’re satisfied, it’s time to make your eBook live to the world.
How much can you make self-publishing on Amazon?
The burning question on the minds of most aspiring authors is, naturally, how much money can they make from self-publishing? When it comes to self-publishing on Amazon, the answer is that it varies widely. Factors like your book’s topic, price, and how well it’s marketed can all significantly impact your earnings, but there are two royalty options: 35% and 70%. Why would you choose the 35% option over the 70% option? Well, the 70% option is only available in eligible territories and for in-copyright works only (good news though – Australia is eligible). You can find out more on Amazon’s Digital Book Pricing Page.
Maximising your Amazon book sales
Once you’ve published your book on Amazon, the journey doesn’t stop there. To truly maximise your sales and reach, you’ll need to engage in effective marketing strategies. Amazon provides a platform for visibility, leveraging additional tools like Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) and collecting authentic reviews can propel your book to new heights.
Self-publishing on Amazon with Publish Central
Navigating the intricate world of self-publishing on Amazon can be a daunting task, but with Publish Central, you’re never alone. From initial planning to post-publish support, our comprehensive eBook publishing package is designed to make your self-publishing journey not just achievable, but also rewarding. We provide expert guidance at every step, ensuring that you’re well-equipped to maximise your book’s potential for success.
If you want to unlock the full potential of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and make your mark in the self-publishing world, there’s no better time than now to get started. Reach out to Publish Central today and embark on a fulfilling and profitable self-publishing journey.