If you are considering self-publishing your book, it is likely that the first fiction platform you thought of was Amazon. Amazon KDP has carved out a great reputation over the years as one of the best self-publishing companies out there. It’s become a haven for writers who want to escape the shackles of traditional publishing. It is also where many of the most successful self-published authors got their start.
Here is a step-by-step guide forself-publishing on Amazon, along with some tricks of the trade along the way.
Finish Your Rough Draft
The first step of self-publishing abook on Amazon is actually completing the book in the first place. There are lots of fiction platforms out there for authors who want to self-publish as they write—Fictionate.Me and Wattpad being two examples. But Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is ideal for authors who already have a finished, polished manuscript.
Revise, Revise, Revise
Once you’ve finished your first draft, you may have the impulse to try to publish it right away. But that is just a recipe for disaster. You owe it to yourself and all the time you spent toiling over this story to make it the best it can be. Firstly, you should take a break from the book—a few weeks at minimum (ideally more like a few months)—and come back to it with fresh eyes. Then once you’ve edited it, hand it off to some writer and/or reader friends for feedback and try to find a critique partner to trade manuscripts with if possible. If you can afford it, I would also suggest hiring a professional editor. I’ve been a professional editor for over a decade and still have a tough time editing my own work, so don’t be afraid to call for some backup as you revise.
Pick Your Title
Odds are, you have already chosen some sort of title for your book by this point. While there are writers out there who refer to their works as Untitled until they’ve finished, most of us end up giving our books some sort of name quite a bit earlier in the process. Sometimes the title is even the first piece of the story you come up with.
But before you get ready to self-publish, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions about your title. Is it evocative? Does it give the reader some idea of what makes your book special? If the answer to either of these questions is “no,” then you need to come up with something else.
Write Your Product Description
Writing your product description will definitely be a test of your conciseness skills. After all, it is very difficult to boil down a 100,000 word book down into just a few hundred words. Your product description is so, so important. It is the first exposure a potential reader will have to your story and is what will hopefully convince them to read more. Take your time with it, and make sure it’s punchy.
Find Your Formatter/Book Cover Designer
This is the point in the process where you have to be willing to spend some dough. There are plenty of options to create a free book cover online, and Amazon even offers a comprehensive guide on how to format yourbook yourself.
But with so many other self-published authors out there trying to make it on Amazon, it’s important that your book looks as slick and polished as possible, inside and out., and have been nothing but pleased with their work.
Make a List of Keywords
When you publish your book, Amazon will ask you for a list of keywords. These keywords are what you imagine potential readers will type into Amazon’s search bar when looking for a book like yours. This is one of the key ways for readers to track down your novel, so really put some thought into them. Read up on keywords on self-publishing blogs and check them out on Google Trends to help determine the types of keywords that will suit yourstory best.
Once you have all your pieces in place, the only thing left to do is input everything into Amazon KDP and publish. I know theself-doubt that can plague a person as you hover over that “Publish” button, but you can do it! You’ve written your book, edited and polished it, made a million tough publishing decisions, and now you are ready to send your book baby out into the world.