Wednesday, October 1, 2014

KDP: The Next Steps; Details, Details

So you have the novel written and with the proper formatting that will work with Kindle Direct Publishing. Now it's time to log into your KDP account and begin giving Amazon the info needed to publish your eBook.

First you'll need a KDP login. If you have a current Amazon login you can use it for KDP. If not go to the site ( and create one. Once logged in since this is your first book you'll need to create it. Under the Bookshelf tab click "Add New Title".

Note: If you are uncertain on any of these choices you can click the "What's This" hyperlink to open a box for more details.

The first option for enrolling into KDP Select. Essentially you have to commit to list your book on Amazon and only Amazon for 90 days. If you have no plans to publish anywhere else, then there are benefits to enrolling. Be sure to read all the guidelines. This is a personal choice that you will need to decide. For my short story and novel I did do this for the first 90 days. After the 90 days is up you are free to publish on other eBook sites or enroll again for another 90 days.
  • Check the Box: Enroll this book in KDP Select if you want to join
Section 1: Book Details
  • Book Title: Enter the title of your book
  • Subtitle (Optional): Use this if it's a series to more easily identify your book series
  • Check the Box if it's part of the series
  • Edition Number (Optional): Again if it's part of a series, give it a number like Book 1 and so on
  • Publisher (Optional): Leave blank unless you have a publisher
  • Description: A description (book synopsis) of what your book is about. You have a lot of room here (4000 characters), so use as much of it as you can. Look at other descriptions to see what others have created. You want it to catch the readers eye and is generally the third thing about your book that readers notice after Title and the Cover, so it's very important Much like your book I'd have this written out in advance and run past your beta readers for feedback.
  • Book Contributors: This is crediting you the author and anyone else you want to single out for your work. Click Add Contributors, enter info into all the fields and click Save when done
Section 2: Verify Your Publishing Rights
  • Either the work is in the Public Domain or you own the rights. Choose one here
 Section 3: Target Your Book To Customers
  • Categories: Make sure you select the proper category of your book as you only get two choices. If its Sci-Fi select it and the proper subcategory. Mystery choose that. Again look at books similar to yours to get this correct as it's essential for helping users searching Amazon to find your books
  • Age Range (Optional): If your book is targeted for Adults or Children set it here. There are minimum and maximum settings. Be careful using this as it may limit your audience unintentionally. Again look at similar books.
  • U.S. Grade Range (Optional): Here you can set the grade level for the reading. There are minimum and maximum settings. Be careful using this as it may limit your audience unintentionally. Again look at similar books.
  • Search keywords (up to 7, optional): This is for the Amazon search engine. Here you can put in 7 keywords or phrases to help users find your book. If it's a Mystery book, enter Mystery. A Cooking book enter Cooking. Use all 7 of these for the best results. Think about these choices carefully. Separate each entry with commas
Section 4: Select Your Book Release Option
  • Two options here. Either I'm ready to release my book now or make my book available for pre-order. Choose one
Section 5: Upload or Create A Book Cover
  • A critical step here. Make sure you have a quality book cover to upload. I strongly suggest getting a professional to create your cover unless you have graphic skills. It needs to be in JPEG or TIFF format. Use the highest quality file you can. A minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side. For best quality, your image would be 2820 pixels on the shortest side and 4500 pixels on the longest side.
  • Click Browse image, find it on your computer and upload it. You will see a preview of it on the screen
Section 6: Upload Your Book File
  • Select a Digital Rights Management (DRM) option: You can apply DRM to your book or leave it open. This is personal choice. For a new author I suggest not using DRM. But it would leave your book open to digital theft, though DRM can be removed with some tools
  • Book Content File: The most important step, uploading your book content. Click Browse, find the file and upload it. Once it uploads it will convert the file which can take a few minutes. Once it completes you then have the option to view it in the Kindle viewer online. I would suggest spending time looking through each page to make sure the formatting looks correct. If not you'll need to go back to your source file, fix it and then upload again.
The final steps on this page are "Save and Continue" or "Save as Draft". I would suggest doing "Save as Draft" for now, as Save and Continue begins the process of submitting the book for approval, which can take 12-24 hours. Wait to select "Save and Continue" when you are sure the book is ready, especially for someone new to the process.

My next blog post will go through the next page of steps in KDP, which is Rights and Pricing.

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