Before you set off to self-publish on amazon kdp, there are many things I personally advise you to put in place and decide.
Advice: This tutorial article is a bit lengthy because I explained every step bit by bit to make sure you self- published your books easily. It will guide you through your book setup and publishing Process on Amazon. So prepare and relax your mind and then keep a cup of coffee or tea beside you!
The first thing is your book manuscript. Make sure you have properly formatted and converted it to the format and file extensions that amazon recommends and accepts.
Here are some interior file formats that amazon accepts both for kindle and paperback ebook version:
- Word (.doc or .docx)
- HTML (.zip, .htm, .html)
- MOBI (.prc)
- Rich Text Format (.rtf)
- Plain Text (.txt)
- Adobe PDF (.pdf)
- Kindle Package Format (.kpf)
Ensure your book manuscript contains some preliminary pages like:
- Preface, etc.
- Table of Contents (TOC)
Don't include a cover in your manuscript compile, you will upload it separately to in .jpg format.
But if you are conversant with Microsoft Word Editing application (from version 2007 and later), you don't need these tools. You can use MS Word to edit, format, generate table of content and convert your manuscript from .docx format to .htm format by clicking to File tab > Save As > Select Web Page, Filtered in the Save As Type and then clicking on Save as shown below. When you upload it on amazon kdp, it will be converted to the required format automatically. Note that you will need MS Word version 2007 and later to achieve this.
Remember, book formatting and editing needs professionalism!. If you can not do it yourself, hire an expert.
Book Cover Design:
Another important thing is your book cover. Your book cover is the first to speak about your book when ever a potential buyer comes across your book. Always use professional book cover designs for your books. You can use software like Adobe Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Spark and Canva, among others to design your book cover both for kindle and paperback formats.
Book Interior Dimension (for Amazon Paperback and CreateSpace print books):
There are various sizes for paperback formats depending on the size of hard cover you like. Note that you must format both your book manuscript and the cover with the same dimension. The most popular and standard sizes are:
- 5 x 8 in., 13 x 20 cm
- 6 x 9 in., 15 x 23 cm
- 7 x 7 in., 18 x 18 cm
- 8 x 10 in., 20 x 25 cm
- 10 x 8 in., 25 x 20 cm
- 13 x 11 in., 33 x 28 cm
- 12 x 12 in., 30 x 30 cm
The required image resolution for kindle ecover is 72 pixels/inch or DPI and 300 pixels/inch or DPI for paperback formats. Also ensure that your cover image is less than 500MB to avoid compression.
Decide between KDP Select and KDP
Make this decision before you continue the publishing process! Both Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and KDP Select your work with the millions of Kindle owners and readers who use Kindle apps on their smartphones and tablets. Both offer 70 percent royalties for books priced $2.99 to $9.99. I will advise you to enroll your book in the KDP select program for at least the first 90 days from the date of publication.
The main difference is that KDP Select requires 100 percent exclusivity i.e. you cannot sell your ebook anywhere else even in your own website. Also, KDP Select offers a free promotion period which allows you to either offer the book free for five days or discount it for up to seven days through a Countdown Deal, which helps to boost your book ranking.
Another advantage of including your book in KDP Select is that your book will be included in the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library [KOLL] and Kindle Unlimited [KU]. This means you get a share of the KDP Select Global Fund depending on the amount of pages read and your books borrowed by customers, thereby increasing your monthly royalty payments.
The decision all depends on you! Another strategy is to opt in for KDP Select at the early days of your book, then once your platform grows bigger, you can choose to opt out and sell on other book publishing platforms.
Research and Choose the Right Title, Category and Keywords:
Take time to do a keyword research for your book. This will enable you find the best fitting title, keywords and categories for your book. Amazon allows only seven keywords to be used per book. Selecting the best keywords for your book is critical to being discovered both on Amazon and Google.
There are lots of keyword and market research tools that can help you carry out extensive research keyword research. Some of them are:
Merchant Word: I recommend Merchant Word Keyword Research Tool for you. It shows you rank of each keyword by country and the categories they best fit in. It is not only used for amazon keyword research.
Amz.one: A powerful keyword research and marketing tool for kindle books. It shows you how popular a keyword phrase is. I use it myself, it is awesome. You can use it for free for keyword research but if you want to use it to promote your book, then you will opt in for a premium version. Just sign up and click on the Keyword Research tab and then search some keyword phrases.
KDP Rocket: A great tool for comparing Google search results to Amazon. It gives you a competitive score from 1-99, gives you a number of how many people type the keyword into both Google and Amazon, and how much money other books are making.
KW Finder: It gives an analytical view of the keyword popularity using a competitive ranking. This is free for only five keyword searches a day.
The strategy I use is to first make a list of possible keywords for my book and then, begin the strategies process of testing these keywords with these keyword research tools. Though this strategy takes a lot of time, but it yields desired results in terms of book sales and ranking.
Amazon also allows you to choose a maximum of two categories for your books. The best and easiest way to find the matching and suitable category for your book is to search and checkup the categories of similar books on amazon.
I wrote on HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR BOOKS RANK FOR AMAZON & GOOGLE SEARCH ENGINES in one of my tutorial articles.
Decide on the Optimum Price for Your Book:
The question of How much to price your solely depends on you as an author. Amazon gives you that free hand! The only condition is that any ebook that you price between $2.99 and $9.99, you get 70% as tour royalty. If you price over or under this price range, you get 35%. I always utilize this highly yielding price range ($2.99 to $9.99). You just need to set the price in Dollar and then amazon converts it to the equivalence in other sales store countries currency.
There are many things you should consider when setting a price for your book. The first is the quality and category of your book. Fiction books are always cheaper than non-fiction novels. You should also consider the price of similar books.
I have also discovered that the optimum price range for most books is between 2.99 to 4.99, with the greater percentage closer to 2.99. You can always experiment yourself! But more popular books can still thrive well at a higher price.