Even if you’ve never written a book before, you can (and should!) publish on Kindle. With millions of fans, low prices and the current buzz around the Kindle devices themselves, Kindle books are flying off the virtual shelves. So grab yourself a piece of Amazon’s amazing marketplace – and promote your business at the same time!
Today I’m launching my new e-book Kindle Marketing: Grow your business by writing a Kindle book which will take you through quick ways of finding an angle for your book that sells; easy ways to write it, the facts you really need to know about choosing an effective title, cover and description; formatting your book to upload to Amazon and lots of great ways to promote your new Kindle book. Even if you don’t have a Kindle!
But if you’d like a quick introduction to writing an publishing a Kindle book, just read on…
Writing your Kindle book
The first step is to actually write your book, but you’d be surprised how many people fail at this point in the process. They don’t have the time, lack the skills, or simply lack the ability to finish such an apparently huge project as writing a book. If that’s you, don’t worry because I’m going to help you simplify this step.
First, choose your topic wisely. You’re far better off to write about something you know intimately than to have to spend hours or days researching. Many writers find research daunting and put off writing because of it. When you write what you know, not only will you dramatically cut back on research time, but your expertise will shine through and help readers know that you’re a true authority on the subject. Plus being an author of a book on your specialist subject makes you an instant expert!
Even if you know your subject well putting together a full-length book can be daunting. If you have trouble organising, or just don’t know where to start, consider starting with something that already exists. Compile a group of older blog posts and articles, look around for presentations you’ve written or even have your videos or podcasts transcribed. All these methods make a great starting point for a new e-book.
And if you’re totally stuck – or simply lack the time – you could find a ghost-writer.
So now that you’ve completed your manuscript, what next? Time to turn your book into Kindle format.
Formatting your Kindle book
To help you format your e-book, Amazon has a set of tools available for download. The MobiPocket Creator, for example, will turn your Word document into a properly formatted manuscript for Kindle. For Mac or Linux users, KindleGen is a tool that allows you to turn your HTML document into a Kindle e-book.
But if all this seems just too complicated, there are also many service providers who, for a fee, will ensure your book is Kindle ready.
Amazon’s own help section (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help) is full of useful tips and advice, plus they have an active community of publishers who are eager to help each other succeed. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for in the help section, head over to the forums. Chances are someone has asked your question before.
While you’re formatting, don’t forget the cover. It may be true that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but we all do. The good news is that if you’ve got some basic skills in editing graphics you should be able to easily design your own cover. And this is one place it pays to experiment – you can change your cover image as often as you like, so try out different versions to see which one generates more sales!
Now you’re ready to upload your e-book to Amazon…almost. Next we’ll look at pricing.
Pricing your Kindle e-book
Unlike selling an e-book through PayPal, Amazon does not give authors a lot of flexibility when it comes to pricing your book. You first have to decide what percentage of sales you want in your pocket – you can choose to earn either 35% or 70% of the cover price.
To see the full breakdown of prices and royalty options, see the Kindle List Price Requirements.
You can choose whether to write a short book and price it really low to capture the impulse buyers, or price it higher and increase your royalties.
Uploading and selling your Kindle e-book
So you’ve written your book, formatted it properly, priced it for maximum impact and uploaded it to Amazon. Now, unless you just want it to sit there and collect virtual dust, you need to market it.
First, know your market. You should already have a good idea where they congregate and how to reach them, but if not, some good places to start are Facebook (set up a page), Twitter (using your own account or one dedicated to your book), YouTube (Google book trailers for ideas), and your blog. Depending on your topic, you may choose to start a blog about your book, or simply add blog posts to your primary blog talking about it.
Next, make sure your book gets good exposure on Amazon. For this, you want to make sure you generate a bit of buzz. Use your blog and social media outlets to ask for reviews, go on a guest blog tour and use your Amazon author bio to link to your book, and most importantly, make sure your book description (the Kindle equivalent of back cover ‘blurb’) is compelling.
If you’d like to know more, grab your copy of my new e-book Kindle Marketing: Grow your business by writing a Kindle book. In it, I go through the process above in a LOT more depth and I share what I learned both when I published my own Kindle e-book, Business Blogging for Beginners and when I promoted Start a Family Friendly Business.