Many of today’s successful authors will tell you that the best way to get started is to self-publish a Kindle eBook. If you want to get noticed in the digital age, waiting for someone to choose you is the worst strategy. You have everything you need to start sharing your message today, fingers, keyboard, and the internet. Even if they don’t consider themselves writers, most people dream of writing a book, and there’s never been a better time to do so. The stigma of self-publishing is fading away, replaced by countless success stories from first-time authors making a name for themselves. How are they doing it? Simply by publishing eBooks on Amazon.com.
Forget what you think you know about Amazon. It’s much more than an online shopping cart or web store. There’s a reason so many authors have already published exclusively to Amazon. It has a lot going for it:
- Amazon is the largest paid search engine in the world. People don’t Google things with their credit cards out, ready to buy, like they do with Amazon.
- Amazon dominates the book market.
- Amazon’s review system is an authority metric (even if someone plans to buy elsewhere).
- Amazon is a marketing machine. Once you start selling a certain number of copies, it refers your book to others who have never heard of you.
- Amazon makes it easy. You can publish elsewhere, but few places get your book online and ready in a matter of hours. When you publish first (and maybe exclusively) to Amazon, you concentrate your sales in a single place and can climb the bestsellers lists faster.
- Amazon is making it easier and easier for you to self-publish a Kindle eBook
Yes, you can get published, see your message spread, and make good money using nothing more than a keyboard and your brain. Here’s how:
Step 1: Start Writing
When publishing an eBook, the first step is to write it. Think in terms of three drafts:
· The ‘Vomit Draft’
This is just what it sounds like; you’re throwing up on the blank page. Certainly not the most warming image, but you get the idea. Here, you will write the Table of Contents, sketch out each chapter, and put down all your ideas, scenes, and stories. Don’t make it pretty, just make it.
· The Review Draft
This is where you spend time developing what you want to say and how. At this point, you should share the work with a few close friends for feedback.
· The Editorial Draft
This is where you get help from a professional or close friend who knows not only grammar but also story structure and style elements.
Each draft likely will have multiple versions and iterations. However, this three-step approach will help you get the work finished without endlessly stalling.
Step 2: Format and Design
Once you’ve written a book you’re proud of, here’s what to do next:
· Format it for Kindle
Years ago, formatting a book for Kindle was an absolute nightmare. However, with the release of Kindle Create, the process to self-publish a Kindle eBook is much easier. Kindle Create is a software program from Amazon that allows you to import your book from a variety of programs and then format the book correctly for Amazon.
Many authors choose to use another program called Calibre. This e-book management software is significantly more complicated and involved but provides more options.
Alternately, you can pay someone to do it. If this is your life’s work, it might be worth paying to get it done right.
· Design the Cover
Please don’t skimp on this or have your cousin who just discovered Photoshop take a shot at it. If you’re on a budget, you can check out some affordable crowd-sourcing services, such as Fiverr. Make sure you have an image that is a JPEG file and at least 2500 pixels on the longest side with a height/weight ratio of 1.6.
· Double-Check Everything
You can have your friends proofread your eBook for any errors. This is an important step, so make sure that you don’t skip it and forget about double-checking your eBook for any errors.
Step 3: Publish
How do you make your book available for sale on Amazon.com? Perhaps, this is the part that intimates most people, and the truth is that it shouldn’t. All it takes to publish your eBook is following the simple 12 steps we have highlighted below:
- Go to kdp.amazon.com and sign-in (you’ll need an Amazon account).
- Register your tax info for royalties.
- Click “Bookshelf” and then “Add new title.”
- Fill out the form, including book title, description, and keywords you want people to use to find your book.
- Upload the cover file (JPEG format).
- Upload the book file.
- Test your book with Amazon’s online viewer to make sure it looks right.
- Click “Save and continue” and advance to the “Rights and Pricing” page.
- Choose “Worldwide Rights.”
- Choose a 70% royalty rate and select your price, letting the international prices adjust based on the US price. Most e-books are priced at $2.99-9.99 (this is what I recommend to maximize your royalty rate).
- Click Save and Publish.
- Amazon will email you when the book is ready, which may take 24–48 hours but often happens much more quickly.
Step 4: Promote
Now you’re ready to tell the world about your book, but you need to get some reviews for your ebook before you do that. Reviews are critical because they are your ‘social proof’ that will legitimize your work to new readers and tell them what to expect from your book. So, before the eBook’s release, you should send your book to a few friends, family, and followers online who would be willing to leave a review online.
Looking to build a Review Team?
Five Steps to Building and Managing A Book Launch Team
If you don’t know anyone willing to leave a review for your eBook, you can check out platforms that help authors get free and ethical reviews for their books. Once the book is published, remind your early readers to leave detailed reviews. You can expect around 25% to 50% of those who promised to actually comply and leave reviews. They don’t have to be 5-star reviews that go over the top with praising your book.
In fact, having a few honest critiques of your work will give it greater authority than a bunch of reviews with superficial praise about your work. People can leave reviews on Amazon only a few days before the book is published. So, one way to get around this is to publish your book a week before you tell anyone about it. That way, you can build up a fair amount of early reviews, which help sell the book to new readers. When it ‘officially’ releases, you can then direct people to the page where they will see some glowing reviews of your work.
Step 5: Launch the eBook
After you’ve gotten some reviews of your book and you have promoted it, the time has come to launch your eBook to the public. Every book launch should be unique, but here are a few things that work every time when you are looking to launch your eBook:
- Send an email to your list of friends, family, and/or blog subscribers, announcing the release of your eBook.
If you are not building a list for your author newsletter, consider joining our Author Marketing Club.
- Offer an incentive for those who buy the eBook. This can be a time-sensitive offer or an ongoing opportunity. For instance, you can give away an audiobook, a 30-day email course, and exclusive membership to an online community with the book. Make it a no-brainer so that people can’t pass up the opportunity to get their hands on your book.
- Promote the book through word of mouth and social media. There are plenty of great resources for handcrafting messages that people can easily share. Another effective strategy is to use a launch team of volunteers to help you spread the word about your book.
- A key strategy in launching your eBook is to share your eBook with online forums and book directories. The more eyes it gets, the easier it will be to share your eBook with people.
- As the book begins to sell, you can tell people about it. This is called ‘social proof,’ and it will create a snowball effect that helps you sell even more.
- Give the book away free to some readers to get more copies out in the market. This will generate hype surrounding your eBook, and more people will want to get their hands on it.
- Promote your book with book promotion companies like Best Book Monkey. You can review our promotion packages by CLICKING HERE.
Books can spread pretty fast when everything is digital, including the product, the promotion, and the distribution. In other words, if you ever wanted to get a message in front of a lot of people, there’s never been a better time than now. The days of waiting for years to be picked and published are over. Now you don’t need to wait around, as you can easily publish your eBook online and promote it digitally to get it the type of publicity it needs for becoming a resounding success in the market.
So, what are you waiting for? If you are looking to successfully self-publish a kindle eBook, follow the steps that we have outlined in the article above, and you’ll find that you’re ready to self-publish a Kindle eBook.