How to self-publish your book on Amazon KDP

Last February I self-published my first book on Amazon KDP, a collection of poems called “Talking To The Moon”, and the first volume of the Purple Sky series. Since then, I’ve been thinking about doing this kind of article, so that I could maybe help someone to achieve their dream or at least make it easier for them to take this new step.

When we think about self-publishing for the first time, it’s easy to get lost in the ocean of information you can find online.

First, you have to choose where you’re going to publish your book. In this article I will only talk about Amazon KDP because this is the only platform I’ve ever used so far, and to be honest for now I think this is the best you can use in order to self-publish.

Why ? Because Amazon is one of the first if not the first provider of books/ebooks around the world, their network is huge, and on top of that, publishing on their platform is free. (I might do another article specifically on Amazon KDP later, tell me if that would be of interest to you.)

But for now, back to self-publishing.

Once you’ve decided on the platform you’re going to publish on (in this article, Amazon KDP), you need to prepare. Your book is written, you have the final draft on your computer… and now what ?

  1. Make sure you proofread your book, or even better, hire someone. Spelling mistakes are a bother for the reader, and it can easily make your book look unprofessional, so if you can avoid them, do it !
  2. If you plan to publish a paperback, choose the size you will be aiming for for your book. (It will affect your layout, in the next step.) You have the list of the different sizes available on Amazon KDP right here !
  3. Define the right layout. Be careful, the layout of your book will not be the same whether you’re publishing a paperback or an ebook. If you’re doing both, you will have two versions of your book. For the paperback edition, you can find Amazon’s templates here -> LINK, and for the ebook… I’m going to be honest with you, it was not my priority so I did it as simple as possible, took my initial file from Google Doc, converted it to a Word document, and Amazon just accepted it as it is. And it looks okay haha. You can also hire someone to help you with this formatting step.
  4. Decide on a cover. You can do it yourself, or hire someone, or a bit of both. (I hired an illustrator but then I put everything together myself, for example.) If you’re doing it yourself, please make sure that you take the right dimensions otherwise it won’t be accepted by Amazon. You can calculate them here -> LINK or try Amazon’s templates here -> LINK.
  5. Create your account on Amazon KDP. If you already have an Amazon account, it will be easy to link both.
  6. Click on ‘add a book’ and follow the steps. Make sure that you bought your own ISBN numbers ahead of doing this, it’s better to have your own rather than use Amazon’s free one.
  7. Once everything is done and you’ve submitted your work, Amazon will show you a preview of your book, and they will tell you if there are mistakes you need to fix (mainly related to formatting). If all is fine, you will be able to confirm the publication.
  8. Now you just have to wait ! Amazon will have to validate your book before it’s available online. It’s usually quite quick, less than 24h. For me, the ebook was available after less than an hour and the paperback after 2 or 3 hours. You have the option to create a preorder for your ebook, but unfortunately this is not possible for your paperback so keep that in mind if you wanted to do a pre-release.

This is all you need to know in order to be able to publish on Amazon KDP ! If you have more specific questions about what you need to fill during the uploading process, feel free to reach out to me !

I hope you all have a beautiful day, and see you next Wednesday !

Marie.

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