Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, I am sure you have thought about writing a book. Self-publishing books on Amazon Kindle and iBookStore have become the new normal for freelance writers mainly because it’s simple and easily accessible. Especially when you compare it with sending numerous drafts to publications, and then hoping to get accepted.
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And the great part about all of that is? It’s all superbly affordable, and you are your own boss.
Why choose Amazon Kindle for self-publishing
- Amazon is the largest e-commerce platform in the whole world
- Amazon completely dominates the book market
- The review system on Amazon is an authority. (Whether you plan to buy something from Amazon or not, you do check the reviews on it)
- Since the platform is so big, many customers who have never heard of your book, get referred by Amazon
- Amazon makes it possible to get your book online in a matter of seconds
The simple steps to self-publish your book for free*
(*Technically, you can do it for free, but you can also invest in your book to make it look more professional and alluring for readers. I will be going more in depth about that in each step.)
Step 1 – Start Writing
Before publishing a book, you need to start writing a book. I am sure you already have a story in mind. So all you need to do is start writing. Do remember that the first drafts are supposed to be crap, so do not get overwhelmed.
There are three stages of writing a book:
The crap draft: This is the first draft of the book, and it can be as crap as you want. The important part is to finish the book and put all your thoughts
Revision draft: This is where you should revisit the book and develop the important parts. You can also share it with your friends for feedback.
Editorial draft: At this stage, the book is ready, but it needs to be checked for grammar and story errors. If you can invest some money, I would strongly suggest getting a professional editor to do the editing part. While you might be a great writer, sometimes a fresh set of eyes can find more mistakes.
Formatting and Designing
Now that you have your book draft ready, it is time to format it according to the Amazon Kindle format to make sure it is easy to read.
Before you move on to formatting, take note of the following:
- There is a table of content for the books with page numbers and correct heading style for titles and chapters. Check this for more elaborate explanation.
- The draft should be in a .doc format and nothing else, not even .docx
- No empty pages or more than 3-4 blank lines
- Keep the paragraph style ‘Normal’
- Text should be left-aligned
- Font size should be 12
- Single line spacing
- Keep the font simple like – Times New Roman, Calibri, Book Antiqua, or Arial
- If you have any images in the ebook, make sure it’s in JPEG and centrally aligned.
Designing the Ebook cover
Now, you can choose to either hire an experienced graphic designer or design the cover yourself.
If you are designing yourself, you can use tools like Canva that already has some pre-made layouts which you can edit accordingly.
Convert the draft into Kindle format
I wrote an elaborate article about how to convert your book into optimum Kindle format
Publishing the book on Kindle
Okay, your book is written, edited, formatted, and designed, and now all you have to do is upload it to Amazon Kindle. Here is what you need to do:
- Go to Kindle Direct Publishing and sign in or sign up
- Complete your account details and add bank information
- Go back to the main page and click on ‘Create a ‘
- Enter information about your book including title, description, and keywords
- Upload the cover photo for the book (It should be in JPEG format)
- Upload the book file
- Check the book with Amazon’s online viewer to make sure everything is perfect, and there are no aberrations
- As you move to the Rights and Pricing page, select the commission for the book. Amazon provides two royalty options -35% and 70%. Use this table to get more information about both, and pick one.
- Choose a price for your ebook. Most of the ebooks on Amazon are priced between $2.99 – 0.99. Local rates for every country are adjusted automatically
- Click and Save and Publish and wait for Amazon to review and mail you within 24-48 hours