How to Publish a Book on Amazon

In my formatting biz, I get asked this question from time to time. I'm always happy to walk a client through it in a live video, but here's the step-by-step in case that's more your speed.


This guide assumes you've already set up your KDP account, including your business and tax information. KDP requires that before you can list a title for sale.


1. Go to kdp.amazon.com and log in.

2. One of the first boxes you'll see is this one. Click on Kindle eBook.

3. This will open up the Kindle eBook Details page.

  • Enter your Title. You won't be able to change it in the future so be sure you enter it correctly.

  • For Subtitle, you can leave it blank, or use the space to say something descriptive about your book like my client Tom Farrell did for his book WagerEasy: "A Sports Betting Mystery Thriller." Using the subtitle this way essentially adds additional keywords to your listing, which can help your book be found by readers. You can always change the subtitle in the future.

  • Series: If your book is part of a series, go ahead and set that up, but you can also do it later, if you want.

  • Enter your Author Name as you'd like it to appear. This can't be changed once you push "save".

  • Contributors: Only add anything here if you want to list an illustrator or co-author. It's not a good idea to add editors, etc., to this section. Most people leave this section blank.

  • Description: This section can be edited/changed in the future. I love to use the tool Dave Chesson built for formatting the text. Use Book Description Generator, and follow the detailed instructions given on his page.

  • Under Publishing Rights, choose the top option: I own the copyright and the necessary publishing rights.

  • Keywords help readers find your book. If you're not sure what keywords to use, check out these articles from Dave Chesson at Kindlepreneur. (If you can't tell, I think the world of his tools and resources.)

  • Categories: Dave has help for those, too.

  • Age and Grade Range: Regardless of whether your book is for kids or not, you're required to list the minimum and maximum ages for whom your book is suitable. Same goes for the grade levels.

  • Pre-Order: choose whether you're ready to release your book now or if you want to set a date up to 12 months in the future.

  • Click SAVE AND CONTINUE

4. You're now on the Kindle eBook Content page.

  • MANUSCRIPT:

  • Digital Rights Management: DRM is intended to inhibit the unauthorized sale or distribution of your book. It's not 100%, but it does help. Conversely, you can choose not to use DRM, so that readers can freely share your book with their friends. There's no right or wrong here, but you can't change this in the future.

  • Upload eBook Manuscript: Upload an .epub file. This is where things start to get real!

  • KINDLE eBOOK COVER: Upload a .jpg or .tiff file of your eBook cover.

  • KINDLE eBOOK PREVIEW: If you haven't already done this from the desktop app, it's a good idea to take a look now just to make sure everything looks good.

  • KINDLE eBOOK ISBN: Most people skip this part, since an ISBN is not required for publishing eBooks. However, if you want to have all your assets linked with your business, you can use your own ISBN. If you're not sure which option to go with, check out the Kindlepreneur site.

  • Click SAVE AND CONTINUE

5. Kindle eBook Pricing page:

  • KDP Select Enrollment: No one can tell you which option is best--to go with KDP Select or publish wide. You'll need to do your own research and thinking and choose for yourself. You can always change it in the future. You can start at Kindlepreneur for your research.

  • Territories: Choose all territories.

  • Primary Marketplace: Choose your home country, or the place you think most of your sales will come from.

  • Pricing, Royalty and Distribution: Again, you'll probably want to do some research to determine the best price point for your book. Most authors play around with their pricing quite often until they get it right. As for 35 or 70% royalties--choose 70% unless you're pricing your book below $1.99 when you are required to choose 35%.

  • Book Lending: This is a personal choice you can change in the future. To learn more about it, KDP has a link there you can check out. (I always allow lending.)

  • Read the terms and conditions, then PUBLISH YOUR KINDLE eBOOK!

6. Follow most of steps above to publish your print book. Much of the information is pre-filled, so it's pretty quick and easy!

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