Part Two of this tutorial on how to publish an ebook for Amazon Kindle.
6) Format your ebook for Kindle
Your ebook has to be formatted in such a way so as to read cleanly in an e-reader. Word processing programs add code of their own that can cause the ebook to appear wonky. No matter how good the content, readers will leave bad reviews if the ebook doesn’t look good in their Kindle.
Send your ebook to someone skilled in this area if you don’t want to mess with it. Once again, Fiverr.com has come to the rescue for me. I’ve hired out my formatting every time and have always been pleased. Hire someone with excellent customer feedback and you’ll do fine.
You can attempt to go ahead and list your final ebook with Amazon and use the Preview tool to see how it looks without hiring out the formatting. However, this can be very frustrating because errors will show up that you won’t know how to fix.
7) Write your ebook’s description
I recommend you do this on paper before you load your finished book and ecover graphic into Amazon. Take a look at the chapter titles of your ebook and create a benefits-laden description.
What do I mean by that? Answer the question “Why should I care/What’s in it for me?” on behalf of the reader. What will your ebook DO for them? Avoid passive language. Craft an action oriented, sexy description that makes people want to buy.
Don’t forget to use those keywords in your ebook description! This will help potential customers find your ebook more quickly and push you to the top of search results.
If you suck at copywriting (and there’s no shame in it, a lot of great writers aren’t good at copywriting), hire this out too. Your description is nearly as important as your ecover graphic.
If you’re feeling stuck, try browsing the descriptions of ebooks you’ve purchased recently on Amazon. What impressed you about the description? What didn’t motivate you to buy?
Take a look at other ebooks in the genre of the book you’ve written. Which do you like? What makes you want to hit the “Buy” button?
While you’re doing this, think about how you want to describe yourself on your Amazon author page as well. If you already have a bio written somewhere on the internet, you can use or edit that.
8) Sign up for an Amazon author account
Create your Author Account here. Create your author page to tell your readers more about you. People like to buy from people they like, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through a little bit while still sounding professional.
Go ahead and put your Twitter feed there as well so people can follow you on Twitter. Ditto for your other social media feeds and blog RSS feed.
9) Now it’s time to load your book into Amazon!
At this point, you simply follow the instructions to list your ebook into Amazon’s marketplace. It’s pretty simple and straightforward, assuming your ebook has been formatted properly.
Don’t worry too much about figuring out which categories your ebook should be in. Use your best judgment. Amazon will put the book into the proper category, after some time analyzing their website visitor’s activity, if you’ve chosen the wrong one.
A word about KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). There are a few benefits of enrolling your ebook into Amazon’s KDP program. There are also a couple of drawbacks. I recommend you read the book, Is .99 the New Free? This ebook will help you make a decision about KDP.
It will take Amazon a few days to run your book through their search engines to make sure it’s not plagiarized before they list your book into the marketplace. I recommend that you NOT sit around checking your email every 15 minutes (who, me!?). Use this time effectively.
10) Contact people about helping you market your book.
I typically make a list of a dozen or so bloggers whose audience will match the market I’m targeting. These are people who are already acquainted with me, either through networking online, or because I’ve been reading and following them online for some time. In other words, I don’t spam people or ask virtual strangers for favors.
I ask them if they would like to have a free copy of the book. I don’t ask them to DO anything in particular. Simply offer the book and remind them that since it’s available in Amazon, they can use their affiliate link if they decide to mention it. And be sure to offer to scratch their back in the future when they need a favor from you!
11) Market, market, market your ebook
Once your book is in the Amazon marketplace, announce it to your blog readers, newsletter subscribers, Twitter and Facebook followers, Instagram people, everywhere you are online.
Note: Amazon will email you and let you know when your book is officially listed. But don’t be disappointed if there is a lag of several hours between the time they email you your book’s page and when it actually shows up for you.
Write guest blog posts for people whose audience matches your target market. Be a guest on podcasts that are relevant to your niche. Answer HARO queries related to your topic. Do all the things to announce your book that you would do to announce a new business to the public.
More ideas on how to market your ebook on Amazon:
- Create an ecourse with helpful tips that promotes your ebook and load it into your autoresponder (if you aren’t doing email marketing, you MUST. I’ve been using this service for about 10 years and recommend it highly)
- Do giveaways of your new ebook on your own blog, and contact bloggers you have relationships with to do the same
- If you decide to make your ebook free for a period of time with Amazon’s KDP program, there are websites that allow you to list your book. Do a Google search to find many.
- A wonderful resource here is the collection of ebooks written by Kristen Eckstein. She’s a rockstar in the world of Amazon publishing. Her ebooks are broken down into specific topics for authors, so you may only need to buy one – and they’re priced very low. Be sure to check out all the titles.
Note: while results will certainly vary from niche to niche, it’s quite possible to earn a few thousand dollars from one ebook. My first Amazon Kindle ebook earned that much in just a couple of months. In addition, being a published Amazon author gives you authority in your market.
Do you have any questions about how to publish an ebook for Amazon Kindle? Leave them below and I’ll answer them!