How To Self Publish On Amazon
Like anything, selling your self published book on Amazon isn’t very difficult when you know what to do. To make it as easy as possible for you to get your self published book on Amazon just follow the simple steps below.
First of all let’s look at what we’ll need.
How To Self Publish Your Book On Amazon – Shopping List
The Inner Part Of Your Book – Whether it’s an ebook or paperback book, you’d like to self publish through Amazon, you’re not going to get far without this.
Depending on the type of your book you’re uploading, the format can vary. The Amazon self publishing dashboard accepts… .doc, .docx, HTML, MOBI, ePub, RTF, Plain Text, and KPF.
While this can seem a little intimidating at first glance, if you’ve got your book in a simple .doc format you may never need to use any of the others ever. For anyone who’s creating a children’s picture book, or manga comic, they may use the .MOBI feature, but that’s about it.
The Exterior Of Your Book – Again the format of your book will dictate what your book cover will look like. If you’re self publishing an ebook on Amazon you’ll require only a front cover image in a .jpg format.
The dimensions of your book cover should be height/width ratio of 1.6:1. (This means that for every 1,000 pixels in width, the image should be 1,600 pixels in height. – Up to a maximum of 2,500 pixels high.)
For paper back books the sizes can vary as to what size you’d like your finished book to be in. Six inches by nine inches is a common size for most fiction paperback books. But if think your book would look better in a wider format, for example if if contained images, you may want to choose another cover size that would suit.
For paperback books covers you will of course need images for the front, back, and if you want, one for the spine image. The thickness of the spine image will depend on the quantity of pages in your book. The higher the page count, the thicker the spine will need to be.
* If you haven’t got a book cover yet, please don’t make the mistake of either doing one yourself, or using Amazon’s book cover creator. A bad book cover will affect your sales and announce to the world that you’re a self published author. – Although times have moved on, some readers still look down on self published work and avoid it like the plague. – You don’t want that.
If you want a good book cover you can either purchase a ready made one, and get the front cover edited to show your books title and author name, or you can go to a website like Fiverr.com and hire someone with more experience to do it for you.
How To Get Self Published On Amazon – Your Book’s Information
Although you will need to fill in details (which I’ll be covering in a few moments) three important parts of your book’s information are, the keywords, book category, and book description. I’ll take them in reverse order, because this is the way you’ll be filling them in.
- Book description – If you want your self published book to sell well in the Amazon kindle store, you’re going to need a compelling book description. If you’ve never written one before, go to the Amazon store and check out other books in your niche. After reading a few you’ll notice that word choice can make or break a book. – A good book cover will catch your readers eye, but it’s a good book description that’ll sell it.
If you’ve never written one before it’s best to leave it to someone with more experience than you. Doing it yourself may hamper your book’s sales and cost you money in the long run.
* Like buying a book cover, I recommend you visit Fiverr.com to hire someone with the skill and talent to do this for you.
- Book Category – This is of course is self explanatory. If you wanted to self publish a romance book, you’d pick romance as one of your two category choices. However the category ‘Romance’ is a general one and one that a novice self published author will never be found in. Because of that you’re going to have to niche down, or look for a small pool for your book to swim in.
So for example, if your romance book has a historical romance theme to it it could go into the ‘romance/historical romance’ category. Any even at that, you could go even smaller and place you book in a category within that subcategory. A western theme romance book could go into a ‘romance- historical romance- western romance’ category.
As you can probably guess a book in that category will have less competition to compete with and stand a better chance of being found.
But there’s something else you need to be aware of. – Not all categories sell the same. A book in a historical romance military category may sell better than a book in a romance western category.
If you’re not sure where your book would sell better in, check out and record the top 10 – 20 books in each one to see which has the higher book rankings. Going from that you should have a better idea of which one is selling the more books.
An easier way to do the same homework in a fraction of time is using the KDSPY tool here.
- Keywords – If you’re unsure of the term keyword, it’s simply the words buyers type into Amazon’s search engine to find what they’re looking for.
If they wanted an action book, they’d type that term in and be given back a list of results featuring those books.
Like choosing a book category, your keyword choice can make or break your book sales. Put in keywords that aren’t being searched for, aren’t ‘buying’ keywords, and your book will suffer for it.
Take for example someone who types in ‘scif fi book’ compared to someone who types in ‘sci fi alien invasion book.’
As you can see the second has more definiteness to it and you can be sure that this person knows what they’re looking for. There’s also a chance that someone typing that in wants to buy a book in that category.
To see what keywords Amazon recommends for your book, type your main keyword and hit the space bar. Like Google, Amazon now tries to help out and complete the search term for you. Take note of what shows up as you add the letter ‘a’ after your main keyword (like this ‘romance a’) then replace the ‘a’ with a ‘b’ and see how the search terms change.
Going through the alphabet like this will give you ideas for words that buyers are typing in. However this is a long process and you still can’t be sure that those words are underused or overused. If you’re using a word that’s too crowded you may be too far down the search ranking to be found.
* Like finding categories, KDSPY is very helpful at finding the right keywords and one that aren’t heavily used.
How To Self Publish Your Book Through Amazon
Now that you’ve got your book interior, book cover, and your books information you’re ready to take it to the Amazon KDP dashboard.
How To Self Publish With Amazon Kindle
To self published with Amazon kindle you need to go to the KDP platform and set yourself up with an account, you can find it at kdp.amazon.com. Click the yellow button to sign up.
In this example we’re going to be publishing an ebook, so I’m clicking the ebook option. Now follow along with me and we’ll go through everything it takes to selling self published books on Amazon.
1 – Choose your books language
2 – Fill in your books name and subtitle if it has one.
3 – If your book is in a series this is time to mention it.
4 – If this is the second edition of your book fill this in. If not, carry on.
5 – Author name and surname.
6 – If you’ve had an contributors working on your book and want to mention them, fill in their details here.
7 – This is where your compelling and enticing book description goes.
8 – If you’ve written the content yourself, click I own the copyright. if not choose the second option
9 – Your important keywords. Be sure to fill all of them in.
10 – Category choice. Which categories will your book sell best in?
11 – If your book has an age range fill in those details here.
Once you’ve completed all the details on this page, click continue to move on.
12 – At this point you can enable, DRM as a security and copyright measure. Honestly you’ll never need it. But choose yes, or no here. Then click the upload button to select your manuscript and upload it for publishing.
13 – Select your book cover and upload it. I’m doing an ebook here so I’m only uploading a front cover image. You can use the Amazon cover creator if you want, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
14 – To preview your book interior, click here. It’s highly recommended you do this as you can catch any mistakes before your book gets published.
15 – Although not needed, you can if you want, fill in your publishing details. You don’t need an ISBN number for a kindle book so you can click save and continue at this point.
16 – If you haven’t signed your book up to Kindle Unlimited you’ll be given another chance to sign up for it here. Be aware that this is a 90 day contract where you can’t sell your ebook anywhere else.
17 – Choose your territories. Choose all for maximum book sales.
18 – Depending on your price, Amazon will show you the percentage of commission you’ll receive on each book. Below $2.99 and over $9.99 and you get 35%. Between $2-99 and $9.99 and you get 70%.
19 – If you’ve got a paperback version of your book, you can give the ebook at a reduced price to your reader if you want to.
20 – Allow readers to share your book with friends and family.
21 – Publish. Wait 72 hours (although usually a lot less) and Amazon will have your book in the kindle store.
Congratulations, you’re now a published author and selling self published books on Amazon. But now your work is only beginning, the next thing you need to focus on is selling as many copies of that book as you can.
Click the image below to pick up your free copy of ‘How To Sell More Books‘ and let me show you the tips, tricks and mistakes to avoid doing so.