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How to Publish a Book on Amazon: In 6 Easy Steps

Publishing, Marketing, & Writing Tips

Always dreamed of being published? And making money? Publishing your book on Amazon is way easier than you might think.

How to Publish a Book on Amazon: In 6 Easy Steps
Table of contents

Always dreamed of being published? And making money? Publishing your book on Amazon is way easier than you might think.

We’ll show you how to navigate the self-publishing jungle that is Amazon (see what we did there?). And no, it doesn’t involve getting your manuscript in front of Jeff.

If you are looking to find out how to publish a book on Amazon, read on.

Pssst: If you want to blueprint to start earning extra side income on Amazon from Kindle Publishing, sign up for our free webinar today. We'll reveal the ins-and-outs of how our students can earn an extra $9,666 a month. Read more success stories here.

Gatekeepers Go Bye-Bye

Publishing has changed a lot in the last few decades. Much of it due to Amazon. And the rise of AI will further disrupt publishing.

The traditional publishing industry was basically you (author) desperately writing your book. Then desperately sending out query letters to agents hoping they pick you (like being picked for sports at recess, not cool). Then those agents desperately trying to get your work across the desks of publishing companies.

That’s a lot of desperation. Thankfully, there’s a better way.

Stephen King’s nail story sums up traditional publishing. Mr. King would hang up every rejection letter on a big nail in his office. His advice to aspiring writers: when the rejection letters pile up to the point of not fitting on the nail, get a bigger nail.

Or how ‘bout throw the nail out and just publish the dang thing yourself.

Authors like yourself can now publish their works straight to the masses. And using Amazon’s self-publishing tools is one of the best ways to bypass those pesky gatekeepers, make money, keep control over your work and save you time trying to get published.

So is it better to self publish or get a publisher? We think the answer’s obvious.

Benefits of Publishing Your Book on Amazon

If you’ve ever wondered, “Is self-publishing on Amazon easy?” you’re in the right place. Here are just a few of the many benefits.

Easy, fast and free: With Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you can publish your book Amazon book for free--and in less than 5 minutes. Within 72 hours, it will be available on Kindle stores around the world.

Benefits of Publishing Your Book on Amazon

Reach millions: Publishing your book on Amazon KDP gives you access to a massive worldwide audience.

Cold hard cash: Despite what some of your family members might believe (hi Mom!), you really can make money on your work. Using the KDP platform means you can make money online with Amazon publishing—up to 70% royalties for every sale of your eBook. And by signing up for KDP Select, you can make even more money with Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

More control: By self-publishing, you guessed it, you keep control over the rights of your works. You can also control things like the book’s list price and even make changes to your book whenever you want (like if you decide to kill off that annoying character in chapter 3 instead of chapter 7). 

And you can even publish your book in hardcopy format for all those old-school folks.

Basically, when you launch a book on Amazon, it means you’re always in the driver’s seat and don’t have to answer to any big-wigs at a publishing company.

Now we’re ready to dig in and learn how to publish a book on amazon step by step.

Step 1: Write your book

Before you publish a book and make money on Amazon KDP, you first have to, wait for it, have a book to publish. (This is either the hardest or easiest part depending on what kind of writer you are.) 

So, step 1 is to write something. Anything. Whatever you’re passionate about. Whatever you have a lot of knowledge about. Your story. Your 8 tips on how to make a killer casserole from your great-grandma’s World War II recipe. We don’t really care. And honestly, there’s a market for everything these days. 

And since we’re still not convinced AI will replace human authors, the world needs your story and talent.

After you finish a draft you feel good about—or even if you don’t feel good about it, since most authors have enough self-doubt to fill the Grand Canyon—share it with others. Get some feedback from people who read, and we’re not just talking about friends and family. Connect with other groups of writers online or in your city and ask them to take a look at it.

And don’t forget a solid edit and proofread. You can edit it yourself if you think you’re up for it, or hire a freelance editor. (We recommend having a pair of fresh eyes do the editing.)

This is also a good time to think about the genre of your book and who your target audience is. This will help later when you focus on Amazon book marketing.

Finally, hire someone on freelancing sites like Fiverr or Upwork to format your book. This doesn’t cost as much as you might think, so don’t sweat this part. But keep in mind your book must be formatted correctly for it to be accepted by KDP. Amazon gives you the publishing guidelines to make sure the formatting is right and your book will look good on devices like Kindles.

Now, you’ve got your masterpiece, it’s formatted and ready to go. Now let’s get you published on Amazon.

Step 2: Create a Kindle Direct Publishing account

Create a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account

First you’ll need to create an Amazon account (if you’re one of the 5 people in America who doesn’t already have Amazon Prime).

We already know all the amazing things an Amazon account gives you access to—free shipping, sales, movies, music, and a lifetime supply of empty cardboard boxes. But did you know your Amazon account also gives you access to self-publishing platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing? Yep, it does.

Create your KDP account and follow the steps to filling out all your account information and payment details. Your KDP account will be your one-stop-shop to upload your book, set the list price and take care of all the other details.

Step 3: Create a New Title

Create a New Book Title

Now you’re ready to start the process of uploading your book to KDP.

First click the “Create” button and then “Kindle eBook.” Obviously, if you want to experiment with other formats, go for it. But we’ll focus on how to format a book for Amazon publishing here.

KDP splits the uploading process into three sections: Details, Content and Pricing.

Here are some of the details you should have ready:

  • Language your book is written in
  • Book title and description
  • If it’s part of a series
  • Author name and bio
  • Champagne for when you publish! 

Step 4: Pick Your Categories and Keywords

Pick your categories and keywords

The next step is picking the right Kindle publishing keywords and categories for your book. This is actually a huge part of making sure people find your work. KDP lets you pick up to seven keywords and two categories.

Choose categories and keywords that best fit what’s in your book. Amazon KDP offers some great tips on choosing the right categories for your book. They recommend doing things like picking the most accurate categories, adding fewer categories instead of a lot and focusing on subcategories for the best reach. They also warn against changing your categories later. You want to give your book time in the initial categories you choose to be found by readers. It’s that whole almighty-algorithm thing.

KDP gives this colorful werewolf example: “If you publish a werewolf romance book, choose ‘Romance > Fantasy’ as a category instead of ‘Nature > Animals > Wolves.’” After all, who really wants to learn about real wolves when you can read about werewolf romances?

Step 5: Upload Book and Preview

After all that paperwork, now you can finally upload your manuscript and preview how it will look to potential readers.

This is also the part where you will put in your book title, upload your cover and your ISBN if you have one (it’s not required for eBooks).

Once you upload your book, you’ll have the chance to preview how it will look. Make sure all the details are correct and that everything looks the way you want.

Step 6: Set Your Price

Now the fun part—picking the price of your Kindle book. How many bucks are you going to sell it for?

Amazon gives you two pricing options for eBooks: (1) a 35% royalty rate or (2) a 70% royalty rate. This means you get paid either 35% or 70% of each sale. 

This is where math gets fun, despite our High School Algebra teacher’s attempts to make it as boring as possible. Start calculating these royalties plus sales and your dream life gets a little closer to reality.

If your eBook sells one copy (and we all know it’s gonna sell way more than that) at a price of $10, you’ll either get $3.50 or $7 for each sale.

If you go with the higher 70% royalty rate, you will have to set your book price between $2.99 and $9.99 and meet some other requirements, too, that Amazon outlines.

And the KDP platform gives you access to people across the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, India and many other countries.

Finally, hit the yellow button “Publish your Kindle eBook” and you’re on your way. It will take up to 72 hours for your book to be available on Amazon’s platforms. And also keep in mind that you can update a lot of the info later on if things change or you made a mistake.

You’re now officially a published author and you didn’t have to spend three years sending boilerplate query letters to publishing agents just to share your work with the world.

Congratulations!

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