How to Publish an eBook – Publishing on Amazon

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This article is by P.T. Kendall.

If you are an author who has dedicated a lot of time to the pursuit of traditional publishing with little or no results, you may want to consider self publishing on Amazon’s Kindle store. Many seasoned authors have grown tired of making submissions to literary agents, polishing their query letters and waiting for publishers to give some sort of response. Fortunately for these authors the game has changed and authors can now take publishing matters into their own hands.

Authors with completed work need only take a few small steps to get their work live and for sale in the Kindle store.

Prepare Your Manuscript

When you have your book edited and formatted for submission, you are ready to learn how to publish it.  The first thing you will need is a cover.  A professional-looking, appealing cover will be crucial to your success.

Freelance cover artists can create a Kindle book cover for as little as $25. For a high quality cover with a lot of detail you may spend upwards of $300. You can find freelance cover artists on websites such as Elance, Odesk and Guru.

Once you have your cover art complete, I suggest getting your book formatted into a mobi file.  While Kindle Direct Publishing can convert multiple file types into an ebook, it handles mobi formatting and images especially well.  Amazon recommends using the free Mobipocket Creator to accomplish this.

If you prefer, you can hire someone to convert your book for you. Conversion services range between $10 and $50 and can save you a lot of headaches if you are not computer savvy enough to convert it yourself.

Publish Your Book on Amazon

When your book has been converted and your cover art is ready, you can then sign up for a free account with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). This is Kindle’s publishing website where authors can submit their work and track their book sales. Log into your KDP account and submit your book’s details which include title, cover, author’s name, description and the price of your book. Be sure and create a description that is sure to attract book buyers who may be browsing your title. Remember that the first ten percent of your book will be available as a free sample for interested readers.

Choosing your price point is a crucial decision, since it determines exactly how much you will be earning in royalties from Amazon. Any books priced between $2.99 and $9.99 are eligible to earn 70% royalties for the author. All other price points will earn 35% in royalties on each sale. In other words, if you have your book priced at $2.99, you will profit roughly $2.09 on each sale you make. Unfortunately many authors are using the .99 cent price point which only earns you .35 cents on each sale.

Once you have entered all of your book’s details on KDP, you can click “publish” and submit your book. There is an initial review stage when your book may be checked by Amazon for formatting errors. In most cases a book will go live in 24-48 hours.

Finding Success in Self-Publishing

Once your book is listed on the Kindle store you can begin marketing it and tracking your sales. It takes time for most books to start selling at a steady pace and some books never take off. Quality writing combined with a dynamic cover and an excellent description are the keys to obtaining a large amount of sales. The best thing an author can do to improve sales is to add more books each year and never give up on their dream.

Have you had success in publishing a Kindle ebook?  If so, what steps did you take to prepare and promote it?

To learn more about this and other aspects of self-publishing, visit our Publishing Forum at Mythic Scribes.

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7 comments
Riviera
Riviera

This is a super helpful article for me. I published something on another site and paid only $10 for the formatting, but sadly it's not available on Amazon. I am more than happy to pay for it to be done again so I can sell this way. I never realised it was so easy.

Kaylee Hammond
Kaylee Hammond

The key to seeing success on Amazon is to promote, promote, promote.  Too many authors list their books there and simply wait for the sales to roll in.  That won't happen typically.  You need to get the word out there and start gathering fans.

Dottier
Dottier

This is a really helpful and interesting article spelling out just what I need to do to get published as an ebook. I wonder if my artist son could do the cover for me, cutting out one cost?

Keith
Keith

This is excellent information. I see so many people publishing on Kindle and at similar platforms and have wondered how difficult it was to actually get a book out there and published. Thanks for an enlightening article.

Steve Redmond
Steve Redmond

 Thank you very much for sharing this information. I had been thinking of going this route when I finally finish my book, but I had no idea where to go to get started. This article held all the information that I needed and I can't thank you enough.

Aderyn Wood
Aderyn Wood

I didn't realize the difference the price meant, so I wonder why there are so many books available for 99 cents. Thanks for the information about the artwork too. I love ebooks but I find most of them have terrible cover art and for many readers this is still what attracts us to a book, initially anyway.

Ellen Violette
Ellen Violette

You can get an ebook cover at www.fiverr.com for just $5. Look at the work you've done before ordering. Some of them make really nice covers others don't. Also you can get high end covers for much less than $300.  Try www.ebookthis.com or www.killercovers.com Also would love to hear some Kindle success stories. Thanks for the article! 

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