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.