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How to Get Published on the Amazon Kindle

By Edited Aug 22, 2016 5 13

Write for Kindle Direct Publishing

And Instantly Become a Published Author

Have you ever wanted to become a published author? Do you have an old novel or non-fiction guide tucked away in a drawer, gathering dust? Perhaps you haven’t even written a book, yet, but you’ve been thinking about the one you would like to write. You may feel a little shy or uncertain about how to go about getting it published. If so, Kindle Direct Publishing may be the perfect writing venue for you.  Even if you are a complete beginner to online publishing, you should be able to handle the simple formatting requirements involved.

With Kindle Direct Publishing you do not need to invest any money in getting your book published. You simply put in your own time and energy and, when you are ready, you can easily publish it yourself in less than an hour. It is exciting to see your book in print and to know that some people will soon be reading it. You may even be able to earn extra money, and build up a following of fans of your books.

See the full line of Kindles from Amazon.com by using this link.

If publishing your own book or short story is something you have always wanted to do, here’s how to get started:

Writing a Book for the Amazon Kindle

The first step you need to take is to write your book. Amazon has its own formatting guide to help aspiring authors. The formatting is not complicated. They recommend that you write your book as a Word document, and save it in .doc format. You can use bold characters, italics and headings, since they will easily translate into the Kindle format. Avoid bullet points, special fonts, headers and footers.

As you write, each time you finish a chapter you will need to enter a page break. Simply click “insert” on your tool bar, and select “page break.”

Using the tab to create indentations at the beginning of each paragraph will not work. Instead, you have two choices to automatically indent your paragraphs. First, use the ruler bar at the top of your page to set your paragraph indents so they occur naturally, each time you start a new paragraph. (If you don’t see a ruler, click on “View” and look for the ruler option.) Second, you can click on “Page Layout” and specify the amount of indentation in the “indent” option. If you have done it right, each time you start a new paragraph the first line will automatically be indented without you needing to hit the tab button.

Create Front Material

Don’t forget to start your book with a title page, followed by a page break. Then insert a copyright page and a dedication page, both followed by page breaks. You should look at a few sample Kindle books until you have decided on the exact wording that appeals to you.  If you need an example, look at my Kindle book.  You can read the first 10% of any book on Amazon without having to purchase it:  "Your Guide to a Fabulous Las Vegas Wedding."

Once you have set up your basic book, there are more complicated formatting tricks you can try. However, you may first want to publish a book to see how everything is working before you try the more complicated choices, such as an active Table of Contents. When you do feel ready to try these more complicated steps, Kindle Direct Publishing has very detailed instructions to help you.

Save Your Book as Filtered HTML

After you have your book typed up as a Word document and you have inserted all the page breaks, you are now ready to save it to your documents or desktop in Web Page, Filtered (*HTM & *HTML) format.

Once your have your book written and saved in the proper format, you are almost ready to upload it onto the Kindle Direct Publishing site. First, however, you will want to create a book cover.  Here is an example of one I created for my teen novel "The Mayor and the Garbage: The Teen Who Saved His Town."

  

The Mayor and the Garbage: The Teen Who Saved His Town
                                        

Creating a Book Cover

When I wrote my teen novel, “The Mayor and the Garbage,” my biggest challenge was creating the title page. In fact, I created several, and changed them out a few times, before I had one that satisfied me. Fortunately, it is possible to edit and redo things on your Kindle book, if you are unhappy with your first attempt. I looked at my first novel as an experiment, and it helped me feel more relaxed, since I changed things several times until I was satisfied.

You have the option of using a place holder cover page. I thought about it, but decided to try my hand at creating something unique. I started with a photo that was in the public domain. Then, I used Microsoft Paint on my computer to add the title and author information to it. The process was much easier when I wrote my second book, “Romantic Budget Wedding Ideas."

 

                                                 

Cover of "Romantic Budget Wedding Ideas"

Uploading Your Book and Cover

Once you have finished your book and cover, you simply need to log onto: kdp.amazon.com and open an account. Like most websites, it will take you through several pages of questions that you need to complete. When you are ready to upload a book, here are the questions you will need to answer about the book:

Book name (and series information, if it is part of a series of books)

Description

Book contributors (enter your pen name, and other contributors)

Verify Your Publishing Rights

Pick two categories

Add keywords

Now, upload the picture you have altered and saved to use as your book cover, or use the placeholder book cover. Be sure the box is checked that says “the book cover inside your book.”

Finally, upload your book file from the documents on your computer. Check the box “enable digital rights management.”

You can preview your book right then. If it doesn’t look right, you can fix the problem and download a new cover or version of your book right over the old one. The new one will automatically replace the old one. (I was worried about that the first time I made changes and re-uploaded both the cover and the book. However, it worked just fine.)

Set Your Price

Once you hit Save and Continue at the bottom of the publishing page, you are moved to another page where you can do things like set the price for your book. I now have five books that I have written under the name Deborah Dian, with more in the planning stages. Currently, I have priced them between $2.99 cents, and $3.99, which gives me a 70% commission.  If I decide to lower the price on any of them to $.99, I will only get a 35% commission, but I may sell more.  I will have to experiment with the best price for each book.  I have chosen the option to be in KDP Select, which is a lending library for Kindle Prime subscribers.

Once your books have been uploaded, check your “bookshelf” and add your new title. Once that is done, you can check “reports” to see your month-to-date sales. The reports section will also show you how many units have been borrowed. Books borrowed through the Kindle Prime lending library will also earn you a commission.

If you want to promote your books, you can offer them for free for up to five days during the first three months. That is a good way to publicize your book!

Join Shelfari

After your books have been on the site for a couple of weeks, you will get an invitation to join Shelfari. This site is a nice complement to Kindle Direct Publishing. It gives you an opportunity to follow other authors and get followers. You also can join groups of other writers in public forums. You can use this site to produce more detailed information about your books, such as favorite quotes, or a brief synopsis. If you do decide to join Shelfari, feel free to follow my author name, Deborah Dian, and I will be happy to follow you back. Kindle Direct Publishing is all about authors helping each other!

If you don't already own a Kindle of your own, you may find it helpful to get one.  Here are some Amazon ads for popular Kindles:

The 7" Kindle Fire

The 8.9" Kindle Fire

The 6" Paperwhite Kindle

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Comments

Mar 23, 2012 2:36pm
DebDavies
Good job, takes the confusion out of the equation.
Mar 23, 2012 5:01pm
Introspective
This is very helpful information! Thanks so much, Deb!!
Mar 23, 2012 6:36pm
Deborah-Diane
Thank you both for your comments. I hope this does smooth things out for others who also want to see their books published. I honestly have to say it was easier than I thought it would be!
Mar 27, 2012 3:57am
Ddraig
Congratulations on being a published Kindle author, thank you for this article. I am far from ready to do something like this, but at least I have the knowledge to know that I can do it when I want to. Bookmarked for future necessity.
Mar 27, 2012 12:31pm
jeni10
I'm an aspiring fiction writer, so thank you for the info on how to get published on the Amazon Kindle. Posted to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Great article!
Mar 27, 2012 9:12pm
aidenofthetower
I really, really need to get to work! I have so many ideas and not enough time. But I want to join those making money on Kindle too. :-D Thanks for making it even easier with this article!
Mar 28, 2012 12:03pm
divaonline
Thanks for the complete and detailed information. I will be doing this soon. It seems the options for the cover are somewhat limited because you can't use special fonts etc. But there's a way around that. Bring the photo for your cover into Photoshop or similar program. Add all the fancy font titles you want. Save it as a jpeg file. You now have the cover you want for your book. Because the font and image are merged, it will be recognized simply as an image file and not cause a problem special fonts ordinarily might.
Mar 29, 2012 2:14pm
InfoJunkie
Thanks for this information. I have started writing an ebook and I don't know much about the process. Even if I never publish my book I still want the experience of writing it.

I am curious to know if you made any sales yet.
Mar 30, 2012 7:12pm
Deborah-Diane
So far, I have sold about 10 books, and given away about 163 in a promotion. (I get about a penny a book for those given away.) One of my books has been for sale for about 4 weeks, the other for 2 weeks.
Mar 30, 2012 10:19am
JudyE
Great article as always Deborah. This is probably a stupid question but do you need a Kindle to write a book like you have done? Or is it all done with the computer and internet?
Mar 30, 2012 7:15pm
Deborah-Diane
You don't need a Kindle in order to write a book for the Kindle. You do everything on the computer and the internet. They even have a way to see what it will look like on the Kindle, when you submit it.
Apr 17, 2012 11:56am
andrewagreen
Great article - hope the sales go well.
Jan 26, 2015 3:17pm
Deborah-Diane
I hope that more people will try writing books. Everyone has a story to tell!
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