Kindle Direct Publishing
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is Amazon.com's e-book publishing unit launched in November 2007, concurrently with the first Amazon Kindle device. KDP is used by publishers, to independently self publish their books directly to the Kindle Store.
My books are listed under amazon.com/author/andrewnoske:
Ice Cream = Sex: What your flavor says about your fantasy, and how to make it happen
The Ice Cream Flavors and Sexual Fantasy Guidebook: What flavor are you?
How to Publish on KDP - The Steps
(1) Finishing Writing it Already!
If you idea for a book is just black and white with no pictures you can write it anything - Google docs will do (and not a bad option to easily share with a friend to proof-read)! For a first book I recommend you keep it short and "done is better than perfect". You'll feel a bit lousy if you start something and don't finish.... so commit to just finishing it! You can update a book at any time on Amazon (via KDP) so get it done.
If you need extra motivation I recommend reading: Published.: The Proven Path From Blank Page to Published by Chandler Bolt and get yourself accountable to finish writing by a particular date. One hour of writing a day and you'll be done in no time. This book is largely focussed on non-fiction for "tell-your-story" and/or "write-a-book-that-generates-you-business", but it will help motivate you for a fiction book also and has many specific tips on KDP and getting yourself an audience and accountability ahead of publishing. It also has some great exercises to help you mind-map your book to get your structure ahead of writing. The author is a huge fan of self-publishing and explains the many ways KDP ("just-upload-it-yourself") is superior over the antiquated "this-is-gonna-take-years-to-get-onto-shelves-and-you-lose-creative-control-and-we-will-not-actually-even-promote-it" situation with traditional publishers. Let's be honest..... if you're not already famous your book probably won't make lots of money... so don't do it for that reason. Do it because you want the rush of being an author, introducing yourself to new peers as an author, and giving copies of your book (at print price - just a few dollars a book often) to everyone you meet. You won't get a better "business card" then giving someone a copy of your book. Even if they don't read it, it will be on their shelf to remember you!
(2) Design your Cover
KPD has a page size guide to help estimate your cover size, and also when you go to publish it will tell you the expected size. I think Adobe InDesign is a fantastic choice to design your cover and export it to a PDF, so I have a guide: How To: Make a Book Cover for KDP in InDesign.
(3) Upload Your Book and Order an Author Proof
Assuming you've written your book, log into https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/ and create a new book. There are three main steps (main tabs):
- Paperback Details. The important thing here is that you can't change the Book Title and Subtitle, so get it right the first time. Stuff like "descripiton" you can change afterwards.
- Paperback Content'. This is where you chose the paper type (which will affect printing cost) and upload your book. You will upload the cover as a PDF, and the book itself... well there are a few options supported (.pdf for best results, but can also be a .doc, .docx, .html, or .rtf). In my case I used Adobe InDesign for a 2 page spread exported to PDF with bleed area, since my book is a color coffee table book. Here you have a chance to use the "Launch Preview" which is very helpful and might tell you that your text is too close to the margins (so you have to upload again).
- Paperback Rights & Pricing. Here you chose a price... I believe "expanded distrubution" is the best way to go. Importantly, don't hit "Publish" yet... you'll want to hit the "Request printed proofs of this book" button and Amazon can pretty pretty ship you a hard copy of your book with "Not for Resale" printed over your cover design... and shows you the quality. It's cheap and I recommend you do this in case you think: "oh wow, this page doesn't look right". You can then go back and upload new PDFs over the top until you are confident your published book will look as intended.
(4) Submit Your Book
One you click submit, it says it can take up to 72 hours to "review" (although probably it will be much less). For me only ~8 hours, and even though my paperback passed the initial review, my cover, some of my text came within 10 mm of the edge, so I had to submit again. To my shock, once it's published it's published!
Really I would have like to figure out how to get pre-order copies (you can order 1-5 at a time at print cost - for me ~$8 for my 112 page color book) before it was published out there, but at least you can change the PDF at any time... pretty much only the title and author name are locked in forever, which is good, because I saw grammar errors in my description.
Other things like the "Look Inside" feature can take longer. More information lives under the KDP Timelines page.
(5) Create an Author Page
I'm not certain if you can create an author page profile ahead of launching your first book, but you can use this site to "add" your books (linked to the same email address), and you should link them very soon after you have launched each book. :)
(6) Create an Audio Book (optional)
- KDP Paperback Publishing: Is Full-Color Worth It? - Shows off a 8.5*8.5" colored book, self published via KDP and looks really good - with shiny pages and everything.
- Tutorial - Formatting & publishing children's ebook & paperback (KDP) - Demonstrates how you can create a children's with the Children's book wizard and a program like Adobe Photoshop (to export a single page at a time).
- KDP.com - Self-publish eBooks and paperbacks for free with Kindle Direct Publishing, and reach millions of readers on Amazon
- Wikipedia - Kindle Direct Publishing - Wikipedia.
- Design a Paperback Book Cover in InDesign: Tutorial - Useful tutorial for Adobe InDesign.