Now the fun begins. Don’t worry, this is fairly easy. Amazon has gone to a lot of trouble to simplify their process.
If you haven’t already, create a publishing account at: https://kdp.amazon.com/signin. Use your regular Amazon account name and password. That way if you have to change your email address, you just do it on your regular account and everything else changes. You’ll need a bank account number for them to direct deposit your royalties, so have your checkbook handy so you can copy the routing number and account number from it.
Okay, now you’re ready to publish your first book.
- Sign in to your publishing account
- Click on “Create New Title”
- Fill in the blanks starting with #1, the title of your book. If it’s part of a series, don’t put the series name here. There’s another place for that.
- Subtitles are probably going to be rare, so skip this if you don’t have one.
- When you click on the “This book is part of a series” box, you’ll get a field where you can enter the series name and the number this book is within the series.
- Publisher is optional, especially if you’re self-publishing and don’t care to create a false “publishing house”.
- Description is where you put your sales/advertising blurb/copy you created in an earlier step.
- “Contributor” is you. Keep it simple. Don’t list everyone involved unless they made major contributions (co-author or extensive illustrations).
- Unless you’ve gone to the trouble of getting your own ISBN number (expensive), don’t bother with that item. Amazon will assign an ASIN number which it uses as a stock number. Many places where you advertise will just want that ASIN code. Don’t use the ISBN number assigned to you by Smashwords here! You’ll mess up your money flow.
- In item #2, this is probably NOT a public domain work.
- Item #3 (categories) is a lot of “fun” (work). You’re limited to 2. Use the two “best” subjects you picked when developing keyword phrases and drill down to them on this form.
- You don’t have to enter age ranges unless you think it’s important to your marketing.
- Enter your 7 best keyword phrases in the box, separated by commas. Yes, you can copy/paste them in if you used commas on your list when you created them.
- #4 is your choice of publish now, or do a pre-release promotion. DON’T PUBLISH IF YOU INTEND A PRE-RELEASE. You only get one shot at a pre-release and if you’ve “published”, you can’t go back and pre-release.
- #5 upload your book cover. The big one.
- Upload your manuscript in WORD format. Contrary to a lot of chatter, you don’t need to pre-format it. If you’ve followed my earlier instructions, it will convert just fine.
- Wait for the upload to finish. You’ll get back a list of spelling “errors” to go through. Some may be “real” (it’s really quite good at this), while others may be words you’ve invented and want to keep. Fix the bad ones and “ignore” the good ones. Then reload the manuscript.
- You’ll get an opportunity to preview your book AND/OR download a mobi copy of it for your own use or to preview on your Kindle. Look it over to make sure everything went right. Some strange fonts may produce strange results (like empty little boxes) in the final package. Fix them and try again.
- The mobi file can be sent to people as an ARC. You can still complete the steps and save your work as a draft (at the end of these steps).
- Eventually, you can save your work and go to the next page, Rights and Pricing.
- #8 is usually worldwide rights unless you want to limit where it gets sold.
- Select your royalty. I suggest 70% unless the price is under $2.99, then you’ll have to settle for 35%
- #9: Enter your price. If it’s 99-cents it has to be entered as “0.99” with the leading zero, otherwise it will choke on it.
- Check off every other price for auto conversion if that option is still available.
- Step #10 only applies if you’re selling a paper copy through Amazon and you want to do the MatchBook program thing. Fly your cursor over “Details” to see a pop-up explanation.
- Step #11 is “no” unless you chose a 70% royalty, then you’re stuck with it.
- Click on the box that binds you to their contract (check for updates every month), then
Click on Save and Publish (unless you want to fiddle with it some more before publishing it, then you can save it as a Draft. You can change the draft as many times as you wish. When you finally publish it, expect a wait of up to 24 hours (maybe more for some situations) before it appears in Amazon’s catalog.