The Complete Guide to Publishing on Amazon [7 Steps]

By Steph Fraser | Posted on April 11th, 2019

In the past, whenever you wanted to get your book published, you had to hire an agent. They would go over your content and decide if it was good enough. Luckily, publishing on Amazon is not as difficult.

Before self-publishing on Amazon was a thing, many publishing houses would decline manuscripts that did not come directly from an agent as regular writers didn’t know how to publish a book.

self-publishing on amazon

However, we now have Amazon which makes self-publishing more realistic to more writers. To some new users, it might seem a little complex. Here you will find a comprehensive and easy to follow guide for how to publish a book on Amazon.

Kindle, which is often known as KDP, or Kindle Direct Publishing, is under Amazon. This is where your books are published. It is a golden choice among self-publishers for two key reasons:

  • Free. You are not required to pay for posting on Amazon. It is entirely free to publish your book on the platform.
  • Fast. It takes only a short time to get your book onto Amazon. In a few hours, people from all over the world have access to it.
self-publishing on amazon

However, the fact that a wide range of people has access to it may be detrimental. Publishing on Amazon can mean your book may go unnoticed among the thousands of others.

Therefore it is important to know how to use Amazon properly when learning how to write a book and get the right audience to buy it.

Get Started Self-Publishing on Amazon

Before you even decide to start self-publishing on Amazon, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. It is imperative that things go smoothly when learning how to publish a book.

What You Need

  • Amazing content. Before you decide to delve into self-publishing on Amazon you have to make sure you have a good book. The book should be engaging and entertaining.
  • Flawless presentation. At some point in time, we have all committed the crime of judging a book by its cover. Everyone does it and the same happens on Amazon. There are a million books available to choose from, so your cover is important.
  • A precise and efficient website. Every author needs a site which is accessible by their fans. It should contain basic information, a short bio, and a list of your published works with links to purchase them.
  • Reasonable pricing. You must consider the fact that if you charge an unreasonable amount of money for your book, people won’t buy it. If you don’t charge enough, you won’t be making any money. It’s important to find the proper balance.
  • Correctly chosen metadata. To make your book more easily accessible, you must select the right search terms and keywords.
  • Advertising your book. This is the most critical process to complete after your book has been published. The best way to spread the word about your writing is to create a mailing list. You can create a mailing list from your website, where your fans have signed up with their emails, and you send them the latest offers for your book.

Step One: Write a Good Book to Publish on Amazon

Firstly, there are various types of books which you can publish on Amazon:

  • Memoirs and Journals
  • Fiction
  • Non-Fiction

Deciding on the kind of book to publish can be confusing if you do not already know how to write a novel or book. You need to find the genre you most want to write in and then consider your target audience.

While narrowing down a topic can be difficult, perhaps the most challenging part for most writers learning how to write a book is actually writing it. This is why having a plan, a process, and an outline in place make things much easier.

A Book Writing Template

There are many different methods for creating an outline. For a first time writer, some experimentation may be necessary to find the best one for you.

In addition to an outline, using a template can help you figure out where your book is going and keep you on track.

Squibler has many genre-specific templates available, as well as some more basic and general options.

For those learning how to write a novel, the general fiction template is a good place to start:

general fiction template

For those exploring how to write a book or other non-fiction project, there is a basic template for you as well:

general non-fiction template

These templates will offer basic guidelines for keeping the book moving in the right direction. Details can be added and additional sections created as necessary.

Step Two: Flawless Presentation

The presentation includes an intuitive cover that complements the genre of your book. The cover is just as important as the book because it’s what creates the first impression.

Your book could be the most interesting thing to hit the shelves this year, but if the cover is boring or ugly no one will be attracted to it.

There are several things to consider when seeking the perfect book cover. It is advisable to employ the service of a skilled graphic designer.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

  • Ensure that the cover looks just as good as when it is enlarged as it does on a smaller scale.
  • The purpose of the cover is to give potential readers an idea of what the book is about. Both the image, font, and book title should all coincide with the content.
  • The quality of the images you use should be top-notch. A poor quality image will be quite obvious.
  • Make the investment in a professional cover, even if it seems like a big expense. It will be worth it in the end.
  • Patience is vital, whether with you or with the person you hired to make you a cover. If they are not patient, they are not the right person for the job.

Step Three: Create Your Front Page Content

The front page content is what your readers will see on the first few pages as soon as they open your book. It should be compelling and entice them to read the book. This is a step many overlook when first learning how to write a novel.

The Front-Page Content Consists of:

  • Your cover.
  • The title page.
  • Formal confirmation. This is a section for short testimonials or reviews of the book. These can come from other accomplished authors, well-respected publications and critics, or some other form of media.
  • Social Confirmation.  This is like the formal confirmation, but they come from your regular readers. This section is optional and not always included.
  • A strong suggestion about the content of your book. This is a feature that allows the readers to know what your book is all about through tapping the ‘glance inside’ button. This is available on Amazon. Just like people who buy physical books, they check the blurb to know the content of the book since they cannot read it all right then and there.
  • Give a free book. Everyone loves freebies. This is another feature that can be available from the “glance inside” option on Amazon. You can offer another of your books for free – perhaps a novella or other short work that readers would enjoy.

Step Four: Develop Your Closing Features

Remember that the front-page content of your book is set and placed at the front to convince the potential reader to purchase it. However, the closing features have a purpose of their own and can accomplish much if done well:

  • Convince the reader to buy your other books.
  • Convince the reader to send you their email address.
  • Create an actual relationship between you and the readers.
  • Encourage readers to leave feedback.
  • Explain the reach of your writing, if you have a novel series, and how they should be read.

From here, you will see if they enjoyed it or not. You will have begun building a strong relationship between yourself and your readers.

Some Possible Closing Features

  • A fun author’s note. No one likes to read a dull note from their favorite author. Most of the successful authors usually have fun little blurbs, and you can tell because you can see their personality shine through. It lets the readers have a glimpse of the author even if they haven’t met them. Make it full of life, say thank you, and give your readers compliments.
  • Propose the creation of a relationship. You can create a bond by asking them to leave their email address. Offer them free chapters of upcoming books and other discounts in exchange.
  • A list of all your books. This is a necessary step to make sure that people who enjoy your book know what else you have written. List the books in chronological order of their release and provide information on where they can be purchased.

Step Five: Create Your Website

A website is essential for all authors who have their books published, and it is necessary to have the emails of all your readers. This is the primary purpose of creating a website.

Email Collection Process:

  • As explained in the former steps, you should invite your readers to read your free book or a few free chapters from a book which hasn’t been published yet.
  • A reader who wishes to read the book or chapter lets you have their email in exchange for your free offer.
  • Now you have the email, and they get a free book or sample. You have a method of sending them future updates, offers, and information.
  • Remember to assure them about the safety of their emails and that no third party will have access to it.

It is crucial to note that the site should be easy to use, quickly accessible and very simple. The link within the book you have published should lead directly to your website. Choose simple colors for the website background and buttons; distracting colors don’t work well.

Step Six: Choosing a Category to Publish on Amazon

It is vital to enter your book into the correct category. It will not gain as many fans and readers if it’s being advertised in a category that doesn’t fit the story.

You’re choosing the category which your book belongs to so that it sells faster. Readers enjoy scrolling through classes, and Amazon likes to direct them there, so it is in your best interest to categorize your book well.

self-publishing on amazon

You can compare the categorization of your book to that of some bestsellers in the same genre if you are unsure where to put it.

Step Seven: Self-Publishing on Amazon

To re-cap – by the time you get to this stage you should already have a few things:

  • An amazing book.
  • A flawless cover.
  • Perfect front page content and closing features.
  • An efficient website.

Publishing on Amazon will be natural and easy because once the steps are completed, all you must do is upload your book to the platform.

Since you have created a mailing list, let them know that you have a new book which you have just published. Give them the link to it and wait for the downloads to roll in.

Yes, it is that easy. If you keep informing your readers about new updates, you should continue to sell your work.

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