Self-publishing an ebook for Amazon Kindle couldn’t be easier!
Start by going to the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) page and opening an account. From that point, publishing your story is as simple as following the instructions, but I also downloaded AmazonKindle’s free ebook, Publish on Amazon Kindle with Kindle Direct Publishing.
Of course, it helps to have your ducks in a row before you take the plunge, but there are very few ducks to line up. Here’s what you’ll need:
Your manuscript, of course–as good as you can make it, but you can edit and update it at any time, even after it’s posted. You can upload your Word document (.doc or .docx) directly, or “Save As” a filtered web page (.html).
Your cover, if you have one. A good cover makes a great showing. A poor cover screams “home job.” A thumbnail of your cover is the first thing browsers will see, so make your best effort or get help from someone with good graphic skills. I created mine using Gimp, a free photo editing program you can download to your computer. By layering photographs and experimenting with fonts and special effects, you can create a creditable image. Save it as a jpg.
A catchy description of your story. Remember our discussions about hooks? If you had to describe your story in 25 words or less, what would you say to catch a reader’s interest? Lead with that. You have a generous space to go into detail with a full “back cover blurb,” but when browsers look up your book on a Kindle dedicated e-reader, the first 175 characters or so are what’s displayed.
After that, it’s basically a matter of filling in the blanks.
I will say that I hit one minor snag. When I uploaded my manuscript as a document file, the kdp conversion process tended to lump short paragraphs into one indented block. Uploading the manuscript as an html filtered web page solved that problem, but this process could not read the black and white image of my cover that I used as my first page. I went to the Kindle Community–a support forum that you can access after you open a KDP account–and learned how to fix this by saving the cover image and html manuscript in a zipped file. There are all sorts of helpful discussion threads on the loop, and other writers tend to reply quickly with encouragement.
After you self-publish your first book, you can track your sales through your Kindle Direct Publishing account. Coming up: some ways to spread the word about your book!