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How to Publish a Book on Kindle

by Chris Miksen

Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing has flipped the script on how authors can reach an audience with their work. Instead of querying an agent and hoping a trade publisher or e-book publisher offers you a contract, you can upload your book through Kindle Direct Publishing. The publication process requires you to simply add a few pieces of information and click a couple of buttons.

Create an Amazon account. Your Kindle Direct Publishing account is linked to your Amazon account. If you don't have an Amazon account, visit Amazon's home page and click the "Your Account" or "Sign in" button to create an account.

Visit the Kindle Direct Publishing home page. Click the "Sign in" button and confirm your Amazon username and password to access the Bookshelf page. This is your base of operations when you want to publish a new book and apply edits to or remove an existing book. Before you can add a book, you'll need to fill out a few pieces of information. Click your account name on this page to access your account information.

Complete the publisher information and tax information sections. If you would prefer to receive your royalty payments via electronic deposit, add your bank account in the royalty payments section. If you don't add a bank account, Amazon will send your royalty payments via a check. Click the "Save" button to return to the Bookshelf page.

Click "Add New Title" to begin the publication process. Complete each field as instructed. Some of the information you'll need to add includes your book's title, description, contributors, categories and cover. You'll also need to upload your book's file by clicking "Browse for Book" and then "Upload Book." After the file uploads, click the "Preview" button to ensure the formatting converted properly. Amazon's automatic formatting converter sometimes has difficulty converting certain types of formatting. If that's the case, you'll need to fix the formatting yourself. Manual formatting is somewhat extensive, but you can find plenty of guides on the Internet and in the Kindle Direct Publishing help guide. If your preview checks out, click "Save and Continue" to set your publishing rights and your book's price.

Choose whether you hold worldwide rights or rights to select territories. Choose your preferred royalty percentage, and then set your book's price. Amazon pays 35 percent or 70 percent royalties. If you opt for the 70 percent option, you must price your book between $2.99 and $9.99. Anything higher or lower results in 35 percent royalties. When setting your book's price, you can set a price for each individual currency or base all currencies on the United States price. All information is as of March 2013.

Click the checkbox at the bottom of the page to agree to the terms and conditions, and then click "Save and Publish." Your book will go through a review process and then the publishing process, each of which takes about 12 hours or less.

Tips

  • If you've never licensed any rights to your book, and you're not publishing content that is in the public domain, you hold all rights.
  • After you upload your work, use the preview tool to read through the entire book. Small formatting errors, such as improper paragraph spacing, sometimes sneak their way in.
  • Before you publish your book through Kindle Direct Publishing, read over it several times. Edit and revise until you're sick of reading it. You risk readers returning the book, writing negative reviews and refusing to read your future work if it's riddled with errors.

Photo Credits

  • David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images