Step-By-Step Self Publishing on Kindle: Getting Started

It’s all at the tip of your fingertips.

You see it. Wealth, fame, and immortality. Your destiny is in your hands. It’s written on the proverbial page. Now all you have to do is get it from your hands and into the hands of others. As quickly as possible.

Ta-da, Amazon Kindle’s instant gratification, self publishing platform – Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

Wait one second. You might want to rein in that horse there, partner.
 Photo Credit: Dai KE, Article Credit: BC Brown
Kindle is a fantastic opportunity to take total control of one’s writing to get it to the public but, keep in mind, that it is a lot of work to write, edit, design, publish, and market your own novel. To see tips on marketing your novel read this article. For today, we’re going to start with the basics of getting your novel on the KDP platform.

Create an Amazon account. Fairly self explanatory, you will need an Amazon account in order to use KDP. Once that is created, you will have the opportunity to go directly to KDP to begin work on self publishing your book. I cannot stress the importance of making absolutely sure your book is ready to be published before taking this step.

KDP Account Information. Don that business professional hat; you’re in the publisher seat, baby.

  • Publisher Information. Before choosing to publish, after all the technical “author” details like editing, formatting, layout and cover design, you have to decide who your company is. Many writers will chose an “imprint name” that represents their books. It’s important to pick a name that is unique but also encompasses what you write now and what you might write in the future. Due diligence in researching your imprint name is required. You don’t want to inadvertently steal someone else’s hard word.
  • Payment Information. Even those who write for love or art want to get paid if they’re charging. With KDP almost all royalties are done via electronic funds transfer, so have your banking information ready. I keep my royalties separate from my primary funds (for easier accounting purposes) and created a special savings account with my bank. It isn’t a necessary step however, if you are more organized and a better grown up than I am.
  • Business Type. There are 3 types of businesses to choose from: individual, partnership, and corporation. Go with “Individual” if your book isn’t affiliated with any business except your designated imprint. With the “Individual” account, you’ll use your social security number to register under.
Royalty Rates and Royalties. Now that you’ve told Amazon where to pay you, you should tell them how much to pay you. There aren’t any hard and fast rules to pricing books. But there are a number of good suggestions to keep in mind when pricing your work for the market. Personally, I do a little genre research. If fantasy ebooks are selling, on average, for $5.99 I will use that as a benchmark for pricing my novel. You want to keep in mind what you consider your work valued at, but you also want to be careful not to price yourself out of the market.
Amazon allows you to set your royalties manually for each book you upload. While those rates change from time to time, typically you can select to keep either 30% of your royalties or 70% of your royalties. Understand that, while it may seem like a no brainer to keep a great royalty profit margin, there are benefits offered through KDP at choosing the smaller royalties.
Okay, so now we’ve reviewed the most very basic requirements to self publishing your book on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Look for more information about going through the steps required on each individual book project. 

BC Brown
BC Brown is the author of three novels and has participated in multiple short story anthologies. Having committed almost every ‘bad deed’ in the book of ‘How to Be An Author’, she now strives to educate others through humor and simple instruction.
Books: A Touch of Darkness ◘ A Touch of Madness ◘ Sister Light (out of print)

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