You’ve written your business book and now you’re procrastinating because you’re worried that formatting your book for Kindle is going to be a technological nightmare?
Perhaps you have an idea for a book you can write but you’re putting off getting started as you think the upload process will be challenging?
Maybe you’re tempted to invest in hiring someone who will publish your book on Amazon and provide you with a handful of copies that you can sell directly – for a four figure sum and you’re worried about making the investment?
Keep reading. I’ve got you covered.
In this post I’m going to share how you can publish your book on Amazon – in Kindle and paperback formats – for a low upfront spend!
#1: Create your online publishing accounts:
Firstly, you’ll need to create your CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing accounts.
CreateSpace is the print on demand publishing arm of Amazon, and you can set up your account here: https://www.createspace.com/Signup.jsp
Kindle Direct Publishing is, as the name suggests, for publishing the Kindle format of your book. You can create your KDP account here: https://kdp.amazon.com/
#2: Format your document:
I cannot stress enough, the importance of formatting your document properly. There’s a ton of poorly formatted books out there and they look crap, really crap, when you’re trying to read them on a Kindle device or app.
Formatting for Kindle is really just a matter of setting your H1 and H2 tags, adding page breaks after every chapter, and adding your Table of Contents.
I’m not going to go into all the formatting ‘how-to’ here, but instead, I recommend you download this FREE “Building Your Book for Kindle” Kindle book from Amazon, which takes you step-by-step through how to do the formatting I’ve mentioned above, plus the few other bits I can’t remember now.
When I had finished writing my Kindle book, I opened this book at page one, and sat down with my Word document in front of me and followed their instructions.
Formatting a finished document for Kindle will take you about 20 minutes or so.
Once you’ve uploaded the Kindle version, you can reformat the same document for uploading to CreateSpace. The main difference between the two is that the Kindle book doesn’t need page numbers. The printed version does.
If you’ve got a paperback copy of my book, have a look at the pages to see which donut forgot to add the page numbers after uploading the Kindle version!
Who needs page numbers anyway?! 🙂
See how helpful I am to you? I make these mistakes just so I can help you to avoid them! LOL!
#3: Proofread your document:
If spelling and grammar isn’t your skill, and even if it is, get the document proof read before you upload it.
I proofread my own books, but they go through about 20 proofing sessions over about a week before I upload them.
I read it forwards, I read it backwards (when you read forwards, your brain anticipates what is coming next, so you can miss errors. Reading it backwards is like reading someone else’s work – it’s always easier to spot other people’s errors!)
I read it on the screen. Then I print it and read the printed version.
I leave it alone for 48 hours, then I repeat the process all over again.
I am far more diligent with proofreading my own books than I am with blog posts and other marketing. The reason is because your book has a permanence. Blogs etc. can always be edited later very easily.
You can never proofread your book too many times. Well, unless you’ve been proofreading it for months to avoid releasing it into the world, that is?!
#4: Your book cover:
There is no shame in self-publishing these days and personally I prefer it because you have full control over how the book is marketed and priced. I’m a control freak so I want to dictate what happens to my own book thank you!
On that note, I know of people who have been published by a ‘proper’ publisher, their book has gone through a rigorous editing process but there are STILL basic typos and spelling errors in the text. OMG! I would be fuming if it was my book but there would be nothing I could do about it either! Urgh!
Where was I? Oh yes…
Your readers won’t care who publishes your book, but there is one thing that tells people from the start that your book has been self-published, that is having a crappy cover design.
Do not attempt to design your own book cover! Hire a designer who knows about designing book covers.
I’ll let you into a secret… my book cover was designed on Fiverr by Vikiana, BUT she was working to a very concise brief from me, and once she had designed the basic cover, it went to my friend Neil, another designer who made it perfect. All in, I paid £100 for my cover.
Now the next bit is really important…
When you get the draft of your cover image, shrink it down to postal stamp size on your screen, and step back.
Can you still read the title? What is standing out most? Is it what you want to jump out at the reader?
Next time you’re on Amazon on your phone, have a look at the covers and see how tiny they are. Take note of what covers are standing out from their competitors and understand why they attracted you, so you can model the good points in your own cover design.
#5: Uploading your book to CreateSpace and KDP
That free book you downloaded at step 2 to help you with formatting, will also walk you through the Kindle upload process, step by step.
The CreateSpace upload is also very simple, with an on-screen step-by-step upload process.
I recommend you set up the book in CreateSpace first (adding the book and uploading the files are two different processes, so you can add before you start formatting.)
The reason is that CreateSpace will generate an ISBN number for your book. You can add the ISBN to your Word document before you start formatting.
Uploading to KDP and CreateSpace is free. There is a small charge of $25 to get extended distribution rights, but that’s it.
#6: Ordering copies of your printed book:
You can order printed copies of your book from CreateSpace for around $2 each, plus postage from the US.
Their postage ‘amuses’ me because the cheapest postage takes about 2 months to arrive!
We usually order 20 copies of my book at a time because we rarely sell the books from here. I usually just send everyone who wants to buy the book to Amazon.
But getting 20 paperback copies with ‘expedited’ delivery (takes about a week) costs somewhere in the region of $100 – £65 or so.
So rather than paying several thousand upfront for copies of your own book, just order them when you need them, and pay a lot less.
There is a little bit more involved with publishing your book on Amazon; knowing how to write a compelling book blurb and a great bio on your author page for example.
But the word count for this post is already high and to be honest, I’m not the expert in writing book blurbs and bios.
So, let me leave you with this – while I’m discouraging you from investing several grand in a ‘self-publishing company’ to get your book published and to receive a few copies for yourself, if the investment also includes coaching and accountability to get your book written and you need support, then there are some great book coaches out there who can help you.
I’m not saying you have to do the whole thing alone, or that you should never invest in your business book writing. Not at all.
But hopefully this will help you see that self-publishing on Amazon doesn’t have to be challenging or expensive.
Good luck and send me a link to your book when it’s available, I’d love to see it!