How to publish your manuscript on Amazon is very easy and quick.
This is a tutorial on uploading your manuscript to Amazon.
I know this is jumping the queue a little as I haven’t post the Calibre tutorial yet! But as my friend L. Lee Scott was ready to upload her new ebook Storm Borne, I asked her if I could do it for her and record the images as I went along. She happily agreed and so here is the result of that upload.
This tutorial will be using a finished manuscript that has been converted from HTML to MOBI, which is Amazon’s Kindle format. If you want to see how to add HTML to your manuscript, then head over to my How To Make An Ebook series.
Let’s get started. First you need to create an account with Amazon to upload your ebook. Click this link Amazon KDP Select to create an account. It will open a new window.
There are really good links on the page to take you to the community and the FAQ page. Go through them, they are very good. When you have done that you will receive and email with a number of links that will explain what you have and what you can do. One link with take you to your Amazon Author Central.
Here is your hub to help you tell future readers who you are.
Another link on your email ( so don’t lose it. Make multiple copies of it! ) will take you to your Bookshelf. This is where we can add our books and see sales. There’s a link to Community and the KDP Select programme. If you can clicked on any, you will see the links at the top on every page you click on, click back to Bookshelf.
You can see my first book is already in the bookshelf. You see this when you have successfully uploaded your book. From here you can always make changes to the settings you chose when you first uploaded your ebook. Everything is changeable. Price, distribution, copyright etc.
Let’s upload an ebook.
Now that you are on the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing screen ( above ) You can click on Add new title. You may not see the above and go straight to adding a title. It doesn’t matter.
When you are on the screen to add a title, you will see that it is set in two parts. Let’s deal with part 1 first.
As you can see from the Fig 3, You have the choice to enroll in Amazon’s exclusive KDP select. Here Amazon has total exclusivity of your ebook and you cannot sell it with any other digital retailer. It’s a good idea and a bad idea. If you want my thoughts then you can click this link for an update of what I thought after using KDP select.
If you do click it then Amazon does give you three days to change your mind. After that you have to stay with it for 90 days. If you change you mind during the 90 days you can unselect the option and after 90 days it will NOT automatically enroll you on it again.
You can enrol on the programme any time after your ebook is live and selling like hotcakes!
I encourage you to read everything on the page. It’s not much but is precise and to the point.
Now, I am presuming you do not click the ‘Enroll this book on KDP select‘ so scroll down and look at what we need to do next.
Okay on Fig 4 Book Details we enter the details of your ebook. On this example I have entered:
1 – Name of book – Storm Borne
2 – I have not clicked the box for part of a series. For my Faeries book I did as it is part 1 of a series. You choose this.
3 – Edition number – It has 2 as this is edition 2. The original one was ready to go up, but there were some last minute changes to the manuscript and so the author declared that the one to be uploaded would be the 2nd edition. You can do this at anytime.
If you have an ebook for sale and you make changes, add some extra text etc, then when you come to upload the new version you would add the number to represent the edition number.
4 – Description – Easy enough. As you can see there is some descriptive text added. I just cut and paste it in from the original manuscript.
5 – Add contributors. This is where you will select from a menu people who have helped you with the story such as a co-author. You will add yourself here as Author.
The boxes ask you to add the name of the contributor then you select from a drop down menu the Title. You can add as many as you want and if you change your mind you can remove the person.
So far so good. Let’s move on.
Sections 2 to 4 are important to get right and some time may be needed to think them through. Let’s see what I mean
Section 2 – Verifying Your Publishing Rights. You do own your story, don’t you? I hope so. ( Actually there’s a film coming out about this called Words. Publishing someone else’s work and taking the credit. Sorry transgressing. )
Public Domain which means that no-one owns it so it can be published by anyone and take credit for it. many classic books come under this and you may see some popular and well know titles but have another authors name on the cover. They have taken the time and trouble to convert the book into an ebook and sell it. They have the right under Public Domain. It’s not a subject to copyright.
I expect you don’t want that and so you better tick the other option.
Section 3 is Target Your Book To Customers. This can be tricky as you need to think of the categories that he book will come under and found. Click on the button Add Categories.
The above box will pop up. After scrolling the categories and sub-categories you can see I selected Fiction>Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology and Fiction>Short Stories.
You can only choose two categories and what ever sub-categories they have. Again, it needs careful thinking for this. You can change later on even after publication.
After you are happy just click Save.
The next part of the section is just as important and probably get you scratching your head. Keywords.
These are words that people will use to search for your book. It may seem easy at first but think of all the words that people may use and also, think of how people spell words. You can actually get great results with misspelt words.
Amazon allows you up to seven keywords or phrases. What it does not mean is one word only. It means a word or a series or words separated by a comma. Once it has been separated by a comma it is then classed as a keyword, even if you have eight or ten words it’s still classed as a keyword. Between two and four words make a good keyword. One word can be too generic. Try and be precise. Be the reader searching your book.
The above keywords are the ones that I used for the ebook.
Section 4 is the window of your book, your image. Have you made a good image that is 800 x 600 is size? That is the image size for the front cover of a Kindle ebook. If not, then go away and get that done now.
Click the button Browse for Image.
Fig 9 has the button Upload image. Click that.
You can see the path where I had stored the image. If you create an image with the dimensions 800 x 600 then the thumb nail image that Amazon will display will be the correct size and not look distorted.
There is one annoying trait that I have found when I have uploaded images. The box stays displayed and you get the very small message Uploaded successfully! I would like the box to automatically close then the image displayed with the same message.
When I first did this I presumed this, went off to make a cup of tea and when I came back my heart sank as the box was still on the screen. Looking and not focusing I saw after a minute or so the message.
You have to click the small Close box on the top right hand corner.
After you have successfully uploaded the image you now need to upload your book.
Section 5 is where you can either upload your .DOC file and let Amazon sort out the formatting, or you can upload your HTML prepared .MOBI. Here I have uploaded a HTML prepared .MOBI file. The HTML file is converted to .MOBI using Calibre.
First, you can select ‘Enable digital rights management‘ or ‘Do not enable digital rights management‘
I never choose it. My book and this one is DRM free. Personally, I think DRM undermines the intelligence of the reader. DRM is suppose to be a copy protection system but it has long been broken and can be taken off very easily. I don’t like it and won’t have it.
Hats off to Amazon who give you the choice.
Click on Browse for book and go to where your ebook .DOC for MOBI file is located.
If you have a .MOBI then look for the .MOBI extension on your book.
It’s funny, if you use Smashwords which is a DRM free company they do not add it. When it comes to distributing through Apple, Apple automatically adds DRM and you have no choice on the matter.
Once you have done that and Amazon processes it you will see the lovely message.
Now that’s what I call good news. It does not mean the book is live. That takes a few hours.
After you see the above message you have the option to ‘Preview your book‘
On Fig 13, click on Preview book.
It will always open your Table of Contents if you have one. It really bugs me when an ebook that I have bought has no table of contents. I do expect it. You have one in a physical book!
You do have options to look at other parts of the book.
On the drop down menu button. Fig 15.
You can go to any part of your ebook. You can see Table of Contents – Go to Beginning – Go to Cover and Close.
I have chosen Go to Cover.
On fig 16, you will see black and white or a grey image. Kindle is an grey only ebook reader. Always make your images full colour for future colour readers to diplay.
The previewer is really good and gives you a very good representation of how your ebook will look on a Kindle. Always use it. When you have finished with the preview click the close button – Top right corner.
Now we have come to the end of the first part of uploading your ebook to Amazon.
We need to save everything. We have two options.
On Fig 17, you see ‘Save and Continue‘ which takes you to the next and final parts of getting your ebook live. Pricing section. Or you can click on ‘Save as draft‘ and come back later. I think that’s really good.
When you click Save, it will then take you to a new page. Part 2
Here you first need to select your Distribution Rights. Fig 18 shows you that you have two options. Worldwide rights ( I presume you want that ) just click it, or you can select individual territories.
Next we come to pricing.
You can add one price then select Amazon to work out the other prices for the other countries. Again, everything is optional.
Fig 19 shows that I added $2.99 then I selected the box ‘Set _ automatically‘ It clearly shows you the royalty rate for each country.
You can change this any time you want.
Next, fig 20 shows you the last section. Lending. This lets Libraries borrow books and you can get paid.
After that click on the box, ‘By clicking …‘ Then click Save and Publish!
It takes you away from here and Amazon now gets on with checking your manuscript ready for sale.
Fig 21 is your Bookshelf where you can see the status of your book and where you go if you want to change any of the above details As you can see the books status is ‘In Review‘
6 hours later it went live and was for sale.
That’s it. All done you have now successfully uploaded your ebook onto Amazon.
Congratulations! You deserve all the credit and success.
If you have enjoyed this tutorial please pass it along, facebook it, twitter it or copy it. I hope it has helped you out.
Ian S. Rutter is an indie publisher of a children’s book called ‘The Faeries of Birchover Wood’ He is writing the sequel, a short story and a horror novel. For fun he spends time with his three children and his wife. He loves reading, drawing, walking and daydreaming.
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