The following is a step by step guide to publishing through Kindle Direct Publication. Although the format will be different, every organization that publishes eBooks will ask the same questions.
Detailed information concerning KDP can be located at kdp.amazon.com. While the summary provided below is helpful, the writer/publisher should carefully read the information provided at the Amazon site. Neither I, nor this website shall be responsible for problems or loses encountered because of an error in the following summary.
You must create an Amazon account at kdp.amazon.com. Choose the option to Signup. Submit your email address and select I am a new customer. At this point you will be prompted to register. Once registered, Amazon will provide you with a Bookshelf and a Reports section. The Bookshelf lists your books and the reports section is used to track book sales.
Navigate to your Bookshelf. Select Add New Book. This will bring you to the page used to submit the book’s details. During the following steps I will refer to both the writer and the publisher. In the case of the self-published writer, both terms refer to you.
Enroll this book in KDP Select: If check-marked, you can, for consecutive ninety day periods, make use of several promotional strategies. Note that, for the same period, you commit to publishing only through Kindle. If unsure, leave this item unchecked – you can enroll into KDP Select at your convenience.
Book name: Enter the exact title of your book. The title of my first book was Difficult Times – A Weekly Serial – Episode One. If it were not a serial, the name would have been Difficult Times.
This book is part of a series: If you plan to write a series of books with the same name, this would be checked. In my case, I checked the box and inserted Difficult Times as the Series title and 1 as the Volume. If you were to write a series of books, you would do the same. If the novel is standalone, do not check this box.
Edition number: Normally this is left blank, but if a large change was made to a previously published manuscript; a new edition number would reflect the modification. A new Edition number would be useful if, for example, a description of new variety of plant was inserted in a book documenting wild flowers.
Description: This summarizes the contents of a novel, much like the back flap of a hardcover book. If composed properly, the description will entice a prospective customer into purchasing the book.
Book contributors: Those involved in the production of the manuscript will be listed here. This could include, among others, the author, illustrator, cover artist and editor.
Language: Select the language in which the book is written.
Publisher: This notes the publisher of the book. If the writer self-publishes, his name can be entered.
Publication date: Notes the day of publication. If left blank, the date will be automatically entered.
ISBN: If you have acquired an International Standard Book Number, enter it here.
Verify Your Publishing Rights: In this section the publisher either verifies that he owns full rights to the material being published or that he is publishing Public Domain work.
If this is original work and you are the writer or if you are a publisher who has been granted full rights by the author, select This is not public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing rights. If this is older material and deemed public domain, select This is public domain work. Note that work deemed public domain in one country may not be public domain in another.
Target Your Book to customers - Categories: This inserts your novel into the proper section of The Kindle Bookstore. In my case I clicked Add categories and selected Fiction. From there I chose the subcategory, Science Fiction. I then check-marked the box denoting the subcategory, Adventure. Any reader interested in Science Fiction adventure will be able to locate my book.
Target Your Book to customers – Search Keywords: Customers can locate books of interest by typing in keywords. The publisher can supply up to seven keywords to help guide a potential customer to their work. In my case I used words such as Science Fiction, Aliens, and Invasion.
Upload Your Book Cover: From this menu, the book’s cover can be uploaded to Amazon. If you choose not to upload a cover, Kindle will provide a place-holder image. Note that place-holder images denote unprofessionalism on the part of the writer. Sales will suffer.
Upload Your Book File – Digital Rights Management Option: DRM is intended to inhibit unauthorized distribution of the Kindle file of your book. Normally the publisher would select: Enable digital rights management. If wider distribution of the work is more important than receiving income from it, the publisher might consider selecting: Do not enable digital rights management. Beware that once an option is selected, it cannot be changed.
Upload Your Book File – Browse for book: Use this button to find the Microsoft Word document that contains your novel. Once the file is selected, click Upload book. It will be uploaded to Amazon and converted into Kindle’s format. Formats other than Microsoft Word can be converted. Check Amazon for further details.
Preview: After the document has been converted, it is important to preview it to ensure the formatting has survived the transformation. Check for typeface, indentation and centering... anything that would affect the reader’s enjoyment of the book. It must appear professional and be complete. Previews can be performed from the site or the converted file can be downloaded from Kindle. To view this file, Amazon’s free Kindle Previewer must be downloaded and installed.
Save and Continue: This allows you to save your work and continue the publishing process. I like to preview my work before taking this step.
Verify Your Publishing Territories: Normally as the self-published author you hold all rights to your work. In this case select World-Wide rights. In some cases a publisher’s rights would be limited to certain countries and he would choose Individual Territories.
Choose Your Royalty: In most cases the publisher would choose seventy percent. If the price point of the novel is below $2.99 or above $9.99 the only option available is the thirty-five percent royalty. At this point you choose the list price for your book. Generally I select a price for Amazon.com and choose Set price automatically based on US price for other countries.
Kindle Book Lending: If selected by the publisher, those that purchase the book can lend it out to friends and family for a period of fourteen days. This gains the author recognition although those that borrow the book are unlikely to purchase it. Of course, the borrower might purchase other works by the same author.
Save and Publish: This commences the publishing process. Note that, by selecting this, the publisher confirms that he holds full rights to the content and that he has complied with all KDP terms and conditions.
After the work has been published, it is possible to return to the publishing process and make changes. Simply go to your bookshelf and click the name of the novel. This brings you back to the publishing page. From here you can change the book cover or upload an updated copy of the novel. A number of the publishing options can be changed as well. When the changes are complete you must again select Save and Publish.