Wednesday, March 22, 2017

KDP with Hope Ann

Hello! I have Hope Ann here with us today to talk about KDP, Amazon's publishing platform for publishing directly to kindle. (Hense the name)

Hope was a beta reader for WPFP and a gamma reader for LDTD. I've read both "Rose of Prophecy" and "Song of the Sword" and highly recommend both of them, and I'm looking forward to her newest novel.

Find her on the Interwebs:

How to Self-Publish on Amazon: The beginning publisher’s step by step guide to publishing their first book

Considering self-publication on Amazon, but don’t have a clue where to start or what to expect? Take a glimpse behind-the-scenes, so when the time comes to push the button and create your own ebook, you already know what lies ahead of you.

Before you publish:
Assuming your book is already proofread and edited, the next step is formatting. You can hire someone to do this for you from places like Fiverr, or you can spend an hour or two and format the book yourself. Though some people use HTML code, I’ve found that following Amazon’s free ebook of guidelines using Microsoft Word works very well and is pretty easy to do. You can download a free copy of their formatting guidelines here.

You also need a cover. Don’t rush this step. Almost everyone judges a book by its cover to some extent and you don’t want your months of writing ignored because of a sloppy cover, especially when you can hire someone on Fiverr to make a good cover for as low as $20. Amazon’s guidelines for ebook covers can be found here.

Finally, research categories and keywords. You’ll be allowed to chose two categories and seven keywords when you self-publish your book, so pick the best ones you can to increase your book’s chance of being found in a random search.

Categories can be found on Amazon’s sidebar, with subcategories and sub-subcategories. Once you click a category, the number of books for that category will appear in the upper left hand corner, giving you an idea of the competition. If you click the first few books and scroll down to the book information, you can see what number the ebook is ranked in the kindle store, getting an idea of how popular the category is. Together, these numbers will help you figure out what categories will give your book its best chance.

Keywords are somewhat similar. Think of Amazon like a search engine and imagine what people looking for a book like yours might type in. Try out the keywords and see how many results you get and what the books are ranked.

Finally, set up your Amazon account. Even if you have one already, you’ll have to get a KDP account and enter in tax and bank information, as well as chose a payment option (electronic transfer, check, etc.).

The Publishing Process:
On your KDP dashboard, right at the very top, you’ll have an option to create a new title. Once you’ve clicked it, you have three pages to fill out.

The first page is metadata about your book. You enter in your title, subtitle, series name (if it’s part of one), author name, a description, categories (after all your category research, the categories you see here and the ones you see on Amazon aren’t quite the same. You might have to do some experimenting with them to get your book in the categories you want), keywords, and the age range of your book (optional, but if you want your book in a children’s or young adult category, you might need to use it).

The second page is your content. You will have a place to upload your cover and manuscript. If you have your own ISBN number, you can add that as well, but Amazon gives Kindle books free AISN numbers so you don’t need an ISBN number for a Kindle book unless you want it.

The third page is all about money. You set the price for your book and choose your royalty option. You can select between receiving 35% royalties or 70% royalties. To use the 70% option, your book must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99. Once you’ve chosen your price, you push publish, wait around 12 hours, and your book will be live on Amazon and ready to buy!

After Publication
You can’t set a book’s price to free, but if you want a permafree ebook for marketing purposes, you can upload it somewhere like Smashwords, then contact Amazon to ask them to price match your book. They’ll generally do so within a few days.

Also, if you find a mistake, want to update a portion of your book, or change a category or the description, it’s very easy. Just click on the book in your dashboard and it will take you to the same pages you filled in when you published the book. Switch or change whatever you like, push publish again, and the changes will be live around twelve hours later.

Set up an account on Amazon Author Central so people can look you up and see what else you’ve written.

And you’re set and ready to go! Don’t let the publication process scare you and if you have any questions, feel free to ask below!

Hope Ann is a Christian wordsmith, avid reader, and dedicated authoress. Her time is taken up writing, reading, archery, playing with inspirational photos, helping care for the house and eight younger siblings, and generally enjoying the adventures of life on a small farm at the crossroads of America. She is self-publishing a series of fairy tale retellings on Amazon and is currently working on several projects including a fantasy novel and futuristic trilogy. You can find out more about her on her blog:


  1. I haven't published anything yet, but I've been planning to through KDP. Really helpful information, Hope! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Very helpful! Even though I just went through this process in the past few weeks, I learned a few new things from this post. Thanks!

  3. I just bookmarked this for future reference. There was a ton of great info that I didn't know before in this! Thanks so much, Hope! :D

  4. Thanks for the helpful post. Depending where my writing career takes me, I may be coming back here in a few years . . . though, honestly, the bit that excited me most was the Fiverr thing. I'm going to have to check that out!

    1. Oh yes, Fiverr is cool. Especially when it comes to ebook covers. :)

    2. I feel like I've heard people metion Fiverr before, so now that you two have mentioned it, I might have to check it out ;).

      ~ Savannah

  5. Ooh, I've been waiting for someone to do a post like this! It was lovely to have all of this stuff (which seemed so complicated in my mind) summarized. THANK YOU for sharing this with us, Hope! I'll definitely be referring back to it ;).

    ~ Savannah

    1. Glad it helps. I basically ended up writing the post I wish I had when I started. ;)


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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