If you’ve never created a Kindle eBook before you may be wondering what to put into it. Does it differ from a paperback? Does the formatting of the book matter more with the electronic version? What do I need and don’t need? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered.
In today’s post we’re going to go from the front to the back of your book – what you need, what you don’t need, and what to look out for in each section.
So, let’s kick if off with your book cover.
Kindle Book Cover
Your book cover is the first place your reader’s going to come into contact with your book, so it’s got to be a good one. It still amazes me that authors use the Amazon cover creator to make their Kindle book cover. If that’s what you’re planning on using I’m here to tell you not to bother publishing your book. Your book cover is vitally important.
While I don’t recommend creating your own book cover (I have a course on it here), if you’re going to go ahead and do your own, the best and easiest place to create a book cover is Canva.com. Using Canva’s easy drag-and-drop interface you can create an impressive looking cover with very little effort.
Whether you’re going to do it yourself or hire someone, the cover photo on your book cover is vitally important. A quick glance at the photo should instantly tell your potential reader what genre your book is in (if it’s fiction), or what topic the book is on (if it’s nonfiction.)
if you’re not sure what your book cover should look like, scroll through the section of the kindle store to plan to sell in. A few minutes there will reveal a lot of things. Pay attention to cover images, fonts used, and layouts that are used repeatedly.–Your book should mirror those.
Kindle Book Title And Subtitle
Once your potential reader has paused their scrolling because of the image on your book cover, their eye’s next journey is to your book title. Having a strong book title is next in the selling process and one that’s either going to make them click through to the book’s description or move on. Because of that, you need something strong, short, simple and catchy.
For example, the book title ‘Paleo Dieting 101’ tells you instantly what the book is. It’s based on the Paleo diet, and the 101 gives an impression that it’s a general book rather than in in-depth one.
When it comes to selecting a title for your nonfiction book, consider the main keyword you’d like your book to show up for in the Amazon search.
In the example, I want my book to show up in searches for Paleo Diet.– If you can do this without your kindle book title sounding ridiculous try to put it in there. If not, save it for your book’s subtitle.
With fiction, book titles don’t matter as much as you probably already have an idea of what your book will be called. But again, it should be short, memorable, and something your reader would have no problem telling a friend.
When it comes to subtitles, don’t dismiss how having a strong can make a difference to your book. Again, using the Paleo example above, changing the subtitle can make a difference to how the book is perceived.
- Paleo Diet 101 – The Ultimate Paleo Dieting Book for Beginners.
- Paleo Diet 101 – How To Finally Lose Weight With The World’s Easiest Diet
As you can see, although book titles are the same, the subtitle after each can make a big difference in how the book is perceived.
When it comes to subtitles, you can use them as an opportunity to use that keyword you couldn’t fit in the main title. But again, don’t just cram it in for the sake of getting it there. If you can’t use it in the subtitle, save it for the KDP dashboard and use it in your keyword selection.
Depending on how you’d like your book to begin you can pick and choose from anyone of the three above. Use a foreword and introduction, or just jump straight into an introduction, it’s up to you.
Foreword–A strong foreword on your book can set the readers mind on a positive note before they’ve even read a word of your book. For example, consider how much attention you’d pay to a book that started off with three pages of glowing testimonials, or a foreword written by a well-known celebrity or expert in your niche.
When it comes to having a foreword written for your book, you want your expert to mention, how they know you, what they like about you (professionally), and what the reader can expect from reading your book.
Preface–The preface in the book can be as simple as a short paragraph where you tell the reader prior facts that they need to know to get the most from your book. This saves time mentioning it later in your book.
Introduction–When it comes to your introduction, you should consider using some personal details. This can include details of why you wrote the book and the motivation behind it, to possibly personal stories and struggles you had with the topic you’re writing about. These help to build a connection between you and the reader and humanise you.
When it comes to health or making money books, you really need to have a legal disclaimer in your book. Not only does it make the reader aware that you won’t accept liability if they injure themselves/or lose money by not following your advice. But it also makes them aware that situations and information may have changed since your book was published. In these cases, they should do their due diligence on the information shared in the book.
Your legal disclaimer should also include information on the copyright of your book. This should have details of what’s allowed and not allowed with the information in your book. Although you should have your legal disclaimer written by a legal professional – with experience in publishing law, you can find samples of these online doing a simple Google search.
Table Of Contents
While something that’s very easy to add to a paperback version of a book, having a clickable table of contents in a Kindle book can be a lot trickier. Whereas you could mention a page number with a paperback, this isn’t the case with Kindle books. Depending on the size of font your reader uses, along with any images in your book, your Kindle book can either shrink or increase in size leading to hyper-links leading to all the wrong locations.
Because of that, you’ll find that very few (if any) Kindle books have a numbered table of contents and are simply hyper-links that lead through to the chapter headings. Although it can be tricky, a simple search on YouTube can show you how to do it, or if still seems too confusing, you can hire someone on Fiverr.com to do all the technical work for you. But getting this right is a must if you want to avoid negative reviews over a simple formatting error.
This doesn’t need an explanation, this is the main content of your book. When formatting your book, be aware of things like font choice, images and their sizes, and how clearly your information looks. You don’t know what version of Kindle reader your reader might have so that fancy font mightn’t translate well when viewed on their device. Also mentioning colors with examples of them in images is pointless when someone is reading on a black and white Kindle.
If your book is image heavy, be aware of how this will affect your book’s delivery and file size. Having a Kindle books with a higher delivery size may be charge more by Amazon, plus it’s also going to take up more room on your reader’s device.
When it comes to images also pay attention to how an increase in font size can affect how your book looks. You don’t want any blank pages on the lead up to or after an image because you book wasn’t formatted properly. Again, if this is something you’re not sure what to do hire someone on Fiverr.com to do it for you.
Acknowledgements/ Index/ Recommended Resources
When it comes to ending your Kindle book, you’ve got the same freedom as opening it. You can either use all the above or pick and choose what suits your book.
Maybe you want to use a final chapter where you go back and talk about everything you’ve covered? Or maybe you’d like to end with an offer of a free report, video course, or follow-up book, in case your reader doesn’t go any further. It’s totally up to you.
Or maybe you don’t want to make any acknowledgements, but you feel that adding an Index would help the reader to search through back quickly (again, these shouldn’t be page numbers but direct hyper-links).
Or maybe you feel that a recommended resource section would give your reader all the relevant information they need and round off your book nicely, it’s your choice.
While there are some things your reader will expect to find in the structure of a Kindle book if you follow the layout above you won’t go far wrong. And if you’re still not sure what to do, use the ‘Look Inside’ feature on Amazon to check out the layout of books in your niche.
But like everything, don’t use this is an opportunity to procrastinate until you get it right first time. Thankfully with the convenience and speed of the KDP dashboard you can have that mistake fixed before anyone even notices.
Now go get it up there!