Before I decided to publish my first novella ABB, I did a lot of research. I wanted something easy. Something free (or close to it). Something that made it easy to track (both royalties and copies sold). I e-mailed a few successful self published authors. Two got back to be me with wonderful advice -- thank you Tammy Blackwell and Denise Grover Swank. I hemmed and I hawed. Then I finally bit the bullet and dove in head first.
I settled on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Since I already owned a kindle, I figured this would be the easiest for me to figure out. And it was.
But before you jump in without being prepared like I did But before you decide to self publish, you need to complete a few simple steps.
1) FINISH YOUR BOOK. I know. Duh, right? But seriously. Finish the book.
2) Edit your book.
3) Give your book to someone to read.
4) Edit your book AGAIN. Seriously, you cannot edit enough.
5) Save your file as webpage, filtered. This will make it adaptable to KDP. There are several other things you can do to make your book look professional in the ebook format; I'll make a separate post about that.
6) Design a book cover. It doesn't have to be anything fancy (mine certainly aren't) but you need something to attract potential reader's attention. The minimum size kindle requires for a book cover is 500 x 800. I'll make a separate post about this too.
7) Write a description for your book. This definitely needs to attract attention. Go to your local bookstore. Read the blurbs on the back of the books in the genre you are publishing in. See what works. See what doesn't.
8) Sign up for an Amazon account. This is completely free and easy. You probably have one already.
9) Go to KDP. Sign in with your amazon account info. Click Add New Title.
10) Step one of two. In this step you fill out all the basic information about your book: title, author name, book description, language, publication date, etc. Since this will be an ebook, you do not need a ISBN number. KDP will automatically assign you an ASIN (the ebook version of an ISBN). Make sure all of this information is error free and reads smoothly because it will be going out to the public on your book's store front page. You will also upload your cover image and your actual book in this step.
11) Review your book in the kindle format. This is extremely important. Go through page by page at least twice. Check for any grammatical errors or formatting errors. THIS IS HOW YOUR BOOK WILL LOOK TO EVERYONE ELSE so it is very important you get it exactly how you want it.
12) Step two of two. This is where you do all the rights and pricing information. Decide what you want to sell your book for and what percentage in royalties you would like to receive. If you sell it for $2.99 and more you can choose to get the 70% royalty option. I opted for $1.99 which automatically gave me the 35% royalty, but since it was my first book I wanted to be competitive in the market and that was what other ebooks by first time authors was going for in my genre (historical romance). You will also decide if you want Amazon to electronic transfer your royalty check (delivered every 60 days after you make $10) directly to your checking account, or deliver it by check. I chose check. You will have to fill in some basic tax information (name, SS#) and that's about it! Once you accept the terms and conditions, your book will be live on the Amazon site in 12 hours!KDP does an awesome job of walking you through step by step by step. Everything you need to fill in or click or sign off on has a good explanation. Most of all, it is all FREE. You don't pay a dime. You also do not have to own a kindle, another plus.
So that's it! The basics of how to publish online through KDP. Have more questions? Ask them in the comments or shoot me an e-mail! Posts on how to design a cover and how to format your book are coming up next!