How to publish an ebook on Amazon- Complete Guide

Being a published author is not just a source of fulfillment, it marks a turning point for so many people in their different fields of endeavor.

From establishing you as a thought leader to giving you the chance to expand your influence and gather a new audience, publishing a book has been rewarding and fulfilling to published authors around the world.

For me specifically, publishing my first work in 2014 was one of the biggest milestones for me. The feeling was explosive. I didn’t believe I could actually become a published author because the odds were not in my favor.

Not only was I an unknown name, there was no way I could afford the connections or the onerous requirements of top publishing firms to get published by them. So I had to find a way around it.

Thankfully, with the emergence of Online platforms like Amazon’s CreateSpace, KDP, Lulu, I was able to secure a place to publish my book without lifting a finger or feeling bad from series of rejections from publishing houses.

Today, 6 years later, even more people are embracing the opportunity to become published authors online.

Many more are becoming very successful after publishing their books online and even more people are achieving their dreams of becoming published authors.

Why you should publish on Amazon

Now the question is not just about why you should publish your book on Amazon, it is also about why you shouldn’t publish your book on Amazon.

With the continuous widespread acceptance of online publishing platforms like Amazon, KDP, Lulu, etc it’s becoming easier for even more people to publish their books and become published authors.

So why shoudn’t you join the band of indie authors if you really want to?

For me, before I published my book online in 2014, I had already tried to embrace offline publishing without any success.

I couldn’t afford the bills as at that time or the marketing budget for my book so after months of trying to raise funds unsuccessfully, I had to quit.

That is how the dream died. And till date, even when the manuscript is still available, I have not yet found the motivation to publish that book anymore.

So technically, the project never saw the light of the day because I couldn’t afford the cost of traditional publishing. Perhaps that would have been different if only I could use online publishing as an alternative.

For you, the reason you want to publish your book online could be different. It could be based on what you’re writing about, your budget or your ability to get the word out for your book.

But one thing that’s important is that online publishing empowers you to publish your book without discrimination, stress or exccessive monetary budget.

The following are reasons why you should publish your book on Amazon…

1. Publishing on Amazon Kindle, Createspace or ACX is free. You don’t pay anything to get your book published.

2. No one asks you to wait for some time or provide any credentials before getting started. You or any internet John Doe can get published on amazon whether you just wrote your first ever article today or you’ve been writing for a millennium.

3. Publishing on amazon is fast and simple. It takes approximately less than 30 minutes to get your book published on the amazon platform.

And it’s so easy that even a non-techie person can upload his books and get published in minutes.

4. It takes just a maximum of 72 hours to get your published book live on Kindle or Createspace and accessible to people all over the world right there on amazon.

5. Make money selling your digital books online. Yes! Make up to 70 percent royalty on amazon when people buy your books. Earn some money when people borrow your books.

6. Update your books anytime. Notwithstanding the fact that it’s already been published, you can always update and upload your books without paying additional fees.

7. Fix your selling price at any amount you feel like and publish in digital format, print copy or audio format.

8. Free traffic and ready to buy audience to market your books. (especially when you conduct a decent research with appropriate keywords). 

I can go ahead and list out the many benefits of publishing with amazon but without wasting your time, let’s discuss the steps you need to take, to to publish your book on Amazon…

Steps to Publish your Book on Amazon

Before we proceed, this tutorial will be focused on publishing a digital book or what we call an eBook on Amazon.

So the platform used for publishing ebooks on amazon is the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

The KDP from Amazon is divided into two, the basic Kindle Direct Publishing and Kindle Direct publishing Select.

These two programs will give you the chance to publish your books to millions of Kindle users but they are a bit different.

The former only allows you to publish on Amazon while the latter still gives you the chance to publish both on Amazon and any other platform you’d want.

You see while self publishing on your website is a great thing to do, gaining access to the massive audience on Amazon is even a greater reason to publish on Amazon

So let’s check out the step by step process for publishing on amazon below…

Research your book idea

It is not enough that you have an idea about a book you want to write… To become a successful author on Amazon, you want to write a book that people will want to buy.

To have a good idea about the kind of book that people will buy, you’ll need to run some research on best selling books in the niche you want to write your book about.

So if your book idea is a non fiction focused on how to start a business online, you want to research other best selling amazon books with same niche or related content.

The research will guide you on what your potential audience is looking out for, what is appealing to them in terms of Book Title, Cover Design, Keywords etc.

As soon as this is sorted out, you can then work on writing your book to meet up with these standards.

Write and finalize your book.

After you must have completed your research, the next thing is to write and finalize your book.

Although there are a number of ways you can format your book for Amazon, the preferred format for most authors is the MS Word Format.

Where you choose to write your book in the Word Format, you can add some finishing touches to it via the Kindle Create, a free program designed to help transform a manuscript written in Microsoft Word or PDF format into a nicely-formatted Kindle ebook that’s ready to sell in the Kindle store.

Create an account on Amazon

Headover and create your publishing account on kdp.amazon.com. Giving them all the necessary details like your bio, a headshot and any other detail you want to add.

Format the book to meet digital publishing standards

Since we’ll be focusing on digital publishing here, your formatting should also be done in a way that complies with Amazon publishing guidelines.

That’s because the layout and format of an eBook is not going to be the same with that of a print copy because of the platform it’s going to be read with.

Also, like i mentioned earlier, if you’re writing your book on a Microsoft word processor, you may have to re-format it with Kindle Create so it can be properly displayed on the electronic reader.

* Read details formatting requirements for publishing on Amazon here.

Choose a Publishing Plan

Currently, there are two popular publishing plan exclusive to ebooks on Amazon viz Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDP Select) and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

Although Both programs connects you with millions of Kindle users around the world. KDP select does not allow you to publish your ebooks to any other platform except Amazon.

This means that If you choose to publish on KDP select, your books can only be made available on amazon stores alone. You can’t publish it on any other online book store for a specified period of time..

Also if your book is available for free or pre-order on any other platform, it is not eligible to be published on the KDP select program.

On the other hand, if you’re settling for the ordinary Kindle Direct Publishing, you can also publish your book elsewhere including your website and any other retail publishing websites online.

Here’s how to know the best publishing plan between KDP Select and Amazon KDP…

If you want to publish on Amazon and other online publishing platforms, then you should go for the normal KDP.

Although when you choose this program, you will not have access to the Amazon promotional services for publishers but you will be able to publish on any other platform you’d want, alongside Amazon.

On the other hand, in a situation where you want to publish exclusively on Amazon, and use the free promotional services for your book among other few benefits, then the KDP select program is the best way to go.

Another thing you should note as you get set to publish on Amazon is that if you’re settling for the KDP select, you can still promote your books on other platforms but you can only sell it on amazon.

And the Goodnews about the KDP select is that you can opt out of the program after the first 90 days.

This gives you the chance to publish your books elsewhere after the stipulated period. Although you’ll also give up the benefits that comes with KDP Select the moment you opt out of the plan.

In a nutshell, you can always decide to try the different approaches and see what works best for you.

Add your book on KDP.

From your dashboard area in your KDP account, where there are certain forms you’ll have to fill and add some details about your book, before uploading it.

Right on your book shelf (still within your account), select + kindle eBook.

Next, you’ll be prompted to enter your book details. This should include the name of your book, title, short description etc.

This is where a good knowledge of the appropriate kewords will be very important in helping your books to get the right rankings from the Amazon Search Engine.

You’ll also need to categorize your book in a way that will help you reach your exact target audience by adding the very keywords they’ll most likely use while searching for your kind of books on Amazon.

* Also, Include the keywords in your short description.

Be sure to pay close attention to this aspect of the listing process because this will to a large extent decide the success of your book.

Also if you’re not very conversant with this, you can get an experienced friend or expert’s help on this.

Create your Book Cover.

After filling out the listing, you’ll have to create a book cover for your work or upload a pre-made copy if you have any.

If you don’t have any cover designed for your work, there are some pre-made templates of book covers on the KDP platform. This can serve as a guide as you create a cover for your book.

Otherwise you can use a free platform like Canvas to design some cool book cover from pre-designed templates or get one for 5 dollars over at Fiverr.com, if you got some bucks to spare.

Amazon’s requirement for height/Width ratio is 1:6. Be sure your design falls within those limits.

Also, make your cover design catchy and attractive to potential buyers. And well illustrative of the content of your book.

Upload your book on Amazon.

Finally, after you’re done with adding all the necessary information on your about to be published book. Now it’s time to really upload it on Amazon.

Before we proceed at this stage, remember that Amazon accepts only the following document formats, Msword Doc, PDF, HTML, MOBI.

Also, where you wrote your book in the MS Word format, if possible use Kindle Create to convert it to a better publishing format for ease of readingit’s best you keep your book in the word format for ease of formatting according to Amazon.

To upload the material, click on “browse” and you’ll be taken to your device (computer or smart device) where you’ll begin the uploading process.

When you’re done, use the “preview function” to preview your book, see what it will look like on different devices when it’s being read and then make adjustments as appropriate.

After you’re satisfied with the preview of your yet to be published book, you can now settle on a price.

Before settling on a price for your ebook, there are so many things you want to consider.

For instance, the length of the book is important. Also your name, the value you’re passing across etc.

For most beginners, the automatic pricing for their first ebook is usually around USD2.99. There are people who price their book far lower than that but like i mentioned earlier, everything depends on certain factors including your goals and motivations.

Once you’re done setting up your price, you can now click publish and then your book will be forwarded to the Kindle Direct Publishing Team.

It will take a maximum of 72 hours for your book to be uploaded for purchase. It can also be uploaded before 72 hours.

Now before your book is finally live on Amazon, you can use the time between when the book is being uploaded and when it’s yet to be live, to create promos for the book and get the word out even before it’s live on amazon.

How to Make More Money With Your Book on Amazon

It’s a no brainer, Amazon is the number one publishing platform for self published authors around the world. It is also one of the best platforms to make a lot of money as a published author.

However, beyond publishing your book as an ebook on Amazon, you can also publish it as a paperback on same KDP.

Publishing as both ebook and paperback opens your book to a new audience beyond those that just want to read it online.

When you publish your book as paperback, Amazon prints your book on demand and subtracts your printing costs from your royalties.

To publish a Paperback of your ebook, Go to your Bookshelf, find your eBook, and then click + Create paperback.

When this is done, Amazon will update your paperback details with the details you provided when you set up your eBook earlier on.

Alright. So that’s where I’ll pause today. I hope with this guide, you’ve been able to learn a lot on how to publish an ebook on amazon?

PS: If you ever need further explanations, you can drop your comments here or request professional help to get your book published on amazon today.

One Thought to “How to Publish an Ebook on amazon – The Complete Guide”

  1. Chris

    Can you kindly help me?
    I unguidedly filled the tax section. How can I correct that?
    Secondly, I’m having difficulty with my royalty payment pls. The options are all abroad.
    How do I get my royalty in Nigeria?
    Thanks

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