Is Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing one of the best things that has happened to writers since the invention of the printing press?
Well yes and no. Amazon have created a wonderful tool for writers to take matters into their own hands and easily publish to a potential audience of millions of readers.
Amazon will also pay you 70% of royalties. So what’s not to like?
Writers H.M Ward and Rachel Van Dyken would certainly agree. In April their self published eBooks were number 1 and 2 on the Amazon best seller list.
But don’t rush and press that publish button, as easy and shiny and tempting as it is. If you’ve finished writing your Amazon Kindle eBook, have you looked at the basic steps all writers must consider before they publish?
Here are my top 6 Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing tips to getting your book published quickly and effortlessly. They will also ensure your new Amazon Kindle eBook is a quality product that readers will want to buy..and read.
Tip 1: Write your Kindle eBook to the market.
Have you maximised your Kindle eBook’s chances by researching your market first? What else is selling in your genre? What are the niches? Where are the gaps?
Have you written a book just to express yourself or are you serious about generating sales, readers, reviews and lets face it, money? Any eBook project should start with a bit of market research.
If you’ve already finished, you should still research to get an idea where your book will sit in the marketplace. More importantly, what your unique selling pitch may be. At the end of the day why do people want to buy your book?
What needs wants and desires are you hopefully filling? Search Amazon itself for similar titles in your niche.
Tip 2: The big red pen is your friend. Why editing cannot be ignored.
We’ve covered this before because editing is incredibly important. Just because you can publish to Amazon Kindle Direct in 5 minutes to millions of potential readers doesn’t mean that you should.
Whatever it is that you’ve written; fiction, non-fiction or an informational ebook, you should always be focused on quality at every single step.
Because it’s your words that are going to appear on your customers Amazon Kindle eReader. And you want them to be right, make good sense, be in the right order, not repetitious. You don’t want a reader to point out a glaringly obvious editing problem. So, do yourself a favour and hire an editor. A good editor can cut the flab out of your project and help your writing reach your target audience.
Tip 3: Ignore good design and readers will ignore your new Kindle eBook.
You just cannot put a Kindle eBook out there without a professionally designed cover. Full stop. So unless you are also a graphic designer go and hire a professional.
For less then a couple of hundred dollars a good graphic designer can create a cover that will stand out, look slick and have some resonance with the content inside your eBook. If you can’t find a local designer, there are some great reasonably priced designers on-line. Search ‘Amazon Kindle eBook cover designers’ on Google. You could also try outsourcing with a site like freelancer.com.
Design doesn’t finish with the cover though. You need to ensure your layout design is consistent throughout your eBook. Amazon Kindle Direct does have a little on-line cover designer which works well enough but if you want your Amazon Kindle eBook to look truly unique and not have a cookie cutter cover, hire a designer.
Tip 4: Quality conversion starts with your master file.
Once you’re ready to upload your eBook you’re really at the pointy end of the eBook conversion process. If your master file isn’t in good shape, the Kindle Direct conversion process may spit out something ugly. When you upload your document to Kindle Direct it gets converted into a format that the Kindle loves. MOBI.
To get the best result with Amazon Kindle Direct make sure you use either HTML or MsWORD as input files. If you have a PDF only or another format, you’re not going to get the best result. Amazon have a easy to read guide on the process here.
Amazon recommend to go back to the source file and ‘save as’ either HTML or WORD format. If you are all thumbs with computers and software you can hire someone to do this for you. Again freelancer.com is a good start.
Tip 5: Don’t price your Kindle eBook out of Amazon
eBook pricing is a blog topic in itself and I’ll cover it in a future post. The price you set for your Kindle eBook really depends on the content. Lets have a look at the differences between an information title, a reference title and a novel.
Information type eBooks are usually short, about a niche topic and often used as a marketing tool to build authority within a blog. Free to $0.99 cents seems a standard price point. Usually they upsell to a larger reference series or even on-line training and seminars. If this is your intent, giving away a small bit of information for free to build your authority as a trusted source can be a good marketing tactic to sell your larger titles and products.
A reference book would be quite large, maybe part of a series and have some detailed specific information about a subject. You can charge a much higher price as this is something the reader will be coming back to again and again. Depending on the title and the market, reference books can charge a higher premium. Anything from $49 to the hundreds if it’s an insanely specialised topic with in depth useful advice.
Fiction seems less clear cut. Unless you are an established writer, you’re probably not going to get a new reader to pay more then $7. Prices between $0.99c and $6.95 seem the norm for previously unpublished writers. Though a $0.99c price point can be a great marketing tool.
Tip 6: Join the Kindle Direct Publisher Select program.
By giving Amazon exclusive digital rights to your eBook for 90 days, your book will be available for free on the Amazon Kindle Owners Lending Library. This can be a great way to generate positive reviews of your book which will drive through to more sales.
As an unknown writer you need to get your book in front of as many readers as possible. So try the free option to start generating some positive word of mouth about your book.
So there you have it. Not an exhaustive list and not limited just to publishing on Amazons Kindle Direct Publishing service. The 6 tips apply just as well to any eBook publishing venture,
What experience have you had with Amazon Kindle Direct? Share your experiences with us.
Of course, if you want some help getting your eBook together and published we are always happy to give you an obligation free quotation for your next eBook project.