1) After finishing your writing, use the free Calibre app to convert your MS Word document into an EPUB file. Using Amazon’s free Kindle Previewer App, open the EPUB file. Previewer will automatically convert the EPUB file into a MOBI file before opening the file in a simulation of one of the Kindle devices. Check the layout of your document in the MOBI file to be sure that it is as you planned.
2) Sign up for an account at Kindle Direct Publishing. This is found at http://kdp.amazon.com. You will normally open the Kindle Direct Publishing “Bookshelf” page. “Create a New Title,” select Kindle eBook.
3) Enter the Kindle eBook Details. This is your book’s metadata. Metadata includes your book’s title, subtitle, author and contributor names, categories, book description, and search keywords. This page also allows you to select the grade and age range for readers. The page also allows setting up a preorder option up to 90 days prior to its official release date.
4) Enter the Kindle eBook content page. This is where you will upload the MOBI file that you verified on the Kindle Previewer. You will also be asked to upload the Kindle eBook Cover. This should preferably be a JPEG file with 300 DPI. The page also allows you to preview the book on your computer, using KDP’s Launch Previewer. It is yet another chance to confirm that the book will look like you want before your readers see it. (Even though this is usually accurate, I always encourage authors to purchase a copy of their own book to be sure your readers are getting what you intended.) Under the Kindle eBook ISBN section, you can enter an ISBN or eISBN number if you want, but Amazon does not require this. You can optionally include a Publisher. If you don’t have one, I would suggest that you use your name followed by “Publishing.”
5) Enter the Kindle eBook Pricing page. The first section will ask you to decide whether you would like to sell your book exclusively through Amazon (using the KDP Select program) or through other platforms. If only selling through Amazon, enroll in KDP Select. KDP Select offers several promotional benefits in exchange for your 90-day commitment to sell exclusively through Amazon. It allows those who purchase your book to loan it for a short period to someone else. This often increases sales if that person would like to have a copy of their own. In addition members who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited are allowed to borrow up to 10 Kindle e-books at a time. Authors earn income based on the number of pages read by borrowers. Furthermore, authors are permitted to run special promotions that offer their books at reduced prices, or even for free, for up to five days per 90-day period. You will then be asked to identify your Territory Rights concerning the book. If you are the original author or if you have purchased the rights to the book, you should select “All territories (worldwide rights)” in order to gain the widest sales opportunities. The Royalty and Pricing section of the page provides a new tool to suggest an initial price that would give you the maximum income from the book. Remember higher prices often mean fewer sales and less profit. If you set your price below $2.99 or above $9.99, you will only receive a 35% royalty, minus delivery charge (not much). If you do price the eBook between $2.99 and $9.99, you’ll receive a 70% royalty. That’s why you see so many of the eBooks priced at $2.99. That is often the most profitable price point for profitability. The Matchbook section allows you to give a special price or free offer on your eBook if someone buys the paperback version. With the right kind of promotions, this can be very effective around holidays like Christmas. Someone can buy the paperback as a gift for a friend, but still be able to read the book on their Kindle device or app for little or no extra cost. The Book Lending section gives you a choice about whether buyers of your book can lend the book to someone else for up to 14 days. This option can sometimes result in another sale or at least another review. I do recommend that you read the Terms and Conditions.
6) Click Publish Your Kindle eBook. Although KDP says they have up to 72 hours to get the eBook online, I have usually had mine available in about 12 hours or less.
Your book is released for publication, but your work still isn’t done. Next, we will examine some of the most basic forms of eBook marketing that a new author can do.