Do you have a story to tell? Has your life been a wild roller coaster ride filled with lessons to be learned? Have you created a new self-help formula that could change someone’s life? Or, do you dream of seeing your book on the best-sellers list?
No matter what you have to say, or how you want to say it, there is plenty of room for your book on the shelves and the best-seller’s list, especially the Amazon eBook shelves of Kindle Publishing.
Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry and even Daily Planners are being created and published on Amazon right now.
Check this out. According to statistics, publishing industry revenues reached about $6 million in the United States this year. Out of that, digital books, or eBooks, account for 22 % of that total. And of that 22%, Amazon’s kindle publishing share is 67%.
I know what you’re thinking, “Say what????”
And while I know that as an author, you are not into writing just for the money. But c’mon. If you can profit as well as get your story out, then so be it.
Using the Amazon Kindle publishing format not only gives you a way to publish your eBooks, but you can also publish paperback copies. This doubles the sales opportunities you have and doubles the potential profits.
Let’s break down the Kindle publishing business from your viewpoint, the author.
Why Amazon Kindle Publishing?
As of March 2019, Amazon had over 145 million users. When you publish on Amazon Kindle, you have immediate access to all their users, and they have access to you.
You may already be an online social media superstar with tons of followers. But for most of us, we need a little help. Amazon gives us that help.
Okay, so that’s the short answer. There are a few other major reasons to choose Amazon Kindle publishing. They are:
- You don’t have to have a degree in computers to use the Amazon platform. In fact, you don’t need many skills at all. That’s because Amazon has made the process easy for everyone. You can literally publish your book in a very short period.
- It doesn’t cost anything to publish. Amazon gets paid when you get paid, when your book sells. More about this later.
- Amazon knows how to help you market. They have their own marketing plays to help your book sell, but they also provide an easy to use advertising model in which you can run paid-for ads that pop-up on their site in front of users. You can also link your product to your social media posts to share with your communities.
- Amazon is huuuuuge! It’s the third largest search engine platform. There are several other platforms for publishing your book, but they just can’t compete with Amazon Kindle publishing.
Now that we know Amazon is king, we can start detailing the steps of how to publish using Kindle publishing.
Step 1: You, the Author
You are the most important factor of this whole gig. Without you there would be no book. To begin the process, you must understand what type of author you want to be.
Becoming a non-fiction author means you are an educator. You have learned something so life-changing that you know others can benefit from it. Or, by telling your life story in a memoir, you will be able to relate to others.
You may even want to tell someone else’s story, like a death row inmate who is innocent, or a potential presidential candidate.
Non-fiction authors are writers who tell the truth. Everything you write is true, can be proven, and is filled with facts. If you want to exaggerate greatly or make up most of your story, then you are a fiction writer.
Works of fiction are fantasies and just plain made up tales. You can create any character the way you see them in your mind. They can be human or not, live on the planet Tygaz, time travel through mini coopers, or all the above. It’s totally up to you and your creative talents.
Side Note: Non-fiction writers will succeed best if they gain a following on social media or have a platform that allows them to be well-known. Non-fiction writers can build this platform over time by writing and publishing multiple books and building status on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The number of followers you have will likely determine your sales.
Fiction writers simply need to be excellent at writing. It has been reported a fiction writer can make great money on just a few books, if the books are written well. Plus, you don’t need to have a platform like you do with non-fiction books.
Step 2: Research and Review the Amazon Kindle Publishing Site
Amazon lays it all out, in simple terms, how to publish a book. All you must do it take the time to read it. They even created a video for those of us who prefer that learning format. They even further explain the benefits they offer like getting to keep the rights, quick publishing times, features and distribution.
They then provide information on the steps to publishing your material.
Step 3: Prepare for Publishing
At this point, you have written your book and are ready to publish it. You have also created a cover for your book. To help you with your cover, Amazon has created a Cover Creator tool that is free for you to use. Again, they make it simple.
Now you are ready to set up your Kindle publishing account. The process is short and asks for the basics: your contact information, tax information, and how you want to get paid.
Once your account is created, you will be given your own “bookshelf”. This is where you will create your listing and publish it.
It is here you will enter the details of you and your book. Title, description, keywords, categories, pricing, royalties, etc.
Step 4: Title, Description, Keywords and Categories
Before you create your title, description, keywords and categories, do a little research on Search Engine Optimization. I tell you to do this because it can help you get found by potential buyers. You want to use the language of your buyer.
Ask yourself, how would my reader search for my book?
If your book is about diabetes, your reader may not even use the word “diabetes”. They may search for “diet without sugar” or “how to lower glucose levels”.
Or, if your book is a fiction, you will want to put what type of fiction describes your book. Is it “erotic heterosexual” or is it “teen wizards”?
Use popular search keywords that when typed in by your reader, links it to your book.
There are many good resources on how to use Search Engine Optimization. You can find inexpensive but helpful books on Amazon Kindle.
Step 5: Choosing a Royalty Program
Amazon has several plans from which you can choose regarding royalties. One is called the “35% Royalty Option”. The other is called the “70% Royalty Option”. These are the most common. It has been reported they will soon offer a “50% Royalty Option” for the Great on Kindle program.
Let’s take a closer look at these options:
- The 35% royalty option is the simplest, with Amazon paying you 35% of the royalties. You must agree to Amazon’s pricing, which is usually beneficial for the author.
- The 70% royalty option sounds much better, right? Who wouldn’t want mo money, mo money, mo money? Before you sign up for this option, take note there are some requirements.
- You must set your list price at 20% less than what it may be listed at on other sales channels.
- You must pay a megabyte delivery charge for each book sold
- You may have to pay a network delivery fee also
- If Amazon must change your pricing, they charge you taxes
After choosing and inputting this information, you will then be able to preview your book as it will appear to potential customers. If you approve, you will submit it for publication.
The Amazon team will review and approve your work.
If you wish to publish in paperback also, and yes, this is a good idea, then you can follow similar instructions provided by Amazon.
Now, your book is live!! Way to go!!
Step 6: Create a Marketing Strategy
After your mom, extended family, friends, and friends of friends have purchased your book, you may see a slow-down in sales (I know this from experience). If this happens, don’t freak out. Your book is far from being done selling.
To kick up sales again, create a marketing plan. Amazon provides you with several tools, including their author central program that allows you to share information about yourself and your work with potential buyers.
They also have Amazon advertising, Kindle countdown deals program, pre-ordering, share previews and a lending program.
These are not the only marketing tools in your bag, however. Social media is by far the best way to promote your book. Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms make it cheap and easy to advertise to people around the world.
You can target your audience and even create a Book Launch online where you can promote your book through giveaways and other rewards for those who attend your online launch party.
One of the best tools Amazon offers is the Forum for authors and publishers. Here you can get advice from the pros and novices.
Step 7: Use Kindle Publishing Resources
Don’t just publish your book and collect a paycheck, even though that sounds like the dream life. Continue to use the resources available to see where and how you can improve. Below are examples of resources available to authors.
- Look at your Sales Dashboard often
- Check your ranking to see if you need to make changes to your keywords to get higher rankings
- Stay up to date with Kindle publishing content and publishing policies and guidelines
You are on your way to becoming a published author. There are just a few more tips to help you really make money doing what you love, producing content.
- Get Reviews- the reviews, or customer ratings, on Amazon help you move up the search ladder. Many customers will search based on ratings. So, this step is important. Get your friends, family, and all other buyers to leave you a review. You can even request they do so at the front, middle and back of your book.
Give advanced copies for free to people who will leave you a good review. Or, send digital copies for free to book clubs, podcasters, or random social media picks in order to get reviews.
- Don’t write a book based on trendy topics. Write about what you know and what you love. Don’t try to be an expert on a topic you know little about. That goes for fiction, too.
- Have your work edited, and not by grammar check on your word document. If you can’t afford an editor, ask an English teacher at the local school. Or, at the very least, use online resources like Grammarly.
- Research your audience. Fiction readers may like long novels, while non-fiction readers may want a quick book they can read in a couple of hours.
- Never stop learning about kindle publishing, your topic, the writing process, and improving your craft.
- Have fun!
No matter where you are in the process of writing and publishing your book, don’t give up. Whether getting your book published is to fulfill a bucket list project or to quiet that internal voice telling you to go for it, don’t give up.
Using the kindle publishing system can help you check that off your list, grow your brand, and create a legacy.