Unless you’ve just returned from a round trip to Mars, you can hardly fail to be aware of the Amazon Kindle.
This new e-book reading device has taken the world by storm – so much so that Amazon, the world’s leading online bookstore, now sells more Kindle e-books than paper ones!
And the best news is that Amazon has made it easy for ANYONE to publish a Kindle e-book and sell it through its online store, keeping up to 70 percent of the proceeds. Compare that with the miserable 10 percent royalties most book writers get!
If you fancy yourself as an author, but have been put off by the difficulty of breaking in with traditional publishers, this is a great opportunity to get your book out to an eager public.
Who knows, you could follow in the footsteps of 26-year-old Amanda Hocking, who has self-published nine ‘paranormal romances’ on Kindle and sells approximately 100,000 copies per month (according to Novelr.com). She is one of a growing band of authors who have become millionaires publishing on Kindle.
If you don’t have a novel in your bottom drawer, don’t worry, though. There are lots of people making money from non-fiction on Kindle too. ‘How-to’ titles do particularly well – anything from how to buy a used car to how to survive through college.
Just don’t pick a topic that will require lots of illustrations, as these don’t tend to work well on the Kindle platform.
So how do you get your book into Kindle form?
The good news is that Amazon have made this as easy as they could. There are various methods, but the simplest is to create your masterpiece in Microsoft Word (or some other word-processing program).
Top Tip: Keep the layout as simple as possible. With e-book readers such as Kindle, you don’t control the appearance of the text on the page – the reader does – so there’s no point trying for jazzy effects.
Once you’re done, save your e-book in web page format (.htm or .html). In Word, select ‘Save As’ and choose ‘Web Page, Filtered’ from the list of options. This will save the text in a form suitable for uploading to the Kindle Store with a minimum of unnecessary code.
Now all you have to do is submit your e-book via Kindle Direct Publishing. You can find this at http://kdp.amazon.com/.
If you don’t already have a customer account at Amazon.com (not Amazon.co.uk) you will need to open an account , but this is free and takes only a few moments.
It’s then a straightforward, step-by-step process to upload your book and provide Amazon with the info it wants (author name, book price, whether you want your title available world-wide, and so on).
If you get stuck, Amazon have some excellent help pages at https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help.
Here are a few additional tips to help ensure your first Kindle e-book is a success and makes loads of money for you…
* Price your title between $2.99 (£1.82) and $9.99 (£6.09) – this will help ensure you qualify to receive Amazon’s highest (70%) royalty rate. Books priced outside this range receive only the standard 35% royalty.
* Make sure the first few pages of your e-book hook the reader. People can see the first 10 percent of your book free in the Kindle Store. If the opening pages don’t grab them, they will soon move on to something else.
* Be prepared to spend some time, and maybe money, marketing your e-book. Amazon will help, but with thousands more titles coming onto the market very day, a bit of effort spent marketing your e-book can pay rich dividends.
* Create a cover image for your e-book. This is not compulsory, but can make a big difference in converting visitors to your sales page to buyers. If you don’t have any design skills, try http://www.fiverr.com/, where there are people offering to create e-book covers for just $5 (£3.05).
* Consider producing a print version of your e-book as well – this will open up a whole new market for you. The two most popular options are Amazon CreateSpace (http://www.createspace.com/) and Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/).
* You should also consider publishing to other e-book formats, perhaps using the free Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/) service. Through this site you can create and sell additional versions of your e-book suitable for smartphones and other brands of e-book reader.
* But don’t price any of these other versions, print or e-book, below the price for the Kindle. Amazon don’t like this, and may unilaterally lower the price of your Kindle e-book as well.
Good luck, and if you have any questions drop comment below and I’ll try and help you the best I can.
PS: I’ve produced an in-depth, step-by-step guide to Kindle publishing, it’s a downloadable manual called Kindle Kash.
For more details, including an exclusive offer for MMR readers, see www.nickdaws.co.uk/KKMMR.htm.
You might also like to check out my humorous sci-fi novella, The Festival on Lyris Five, in the UK Kindle Store at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004ISLSLU.
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