My Kindle Direct Publishing Experience: Part I _Starting From Scratch

Image by Stephen Key with backdrop from Pixabay

First Step: Choosing A Platform

With my manuscript ready to publish, I went on the Internet to learn about Kindle Direct Publishing (aka: KDP). After doing research about which publishing platform to use, it was obvious that KDP controlled over 90% of the market. And the platform was not only free to use and prepare your manuscript in, it also provided me with a free ISBN number.

An ISBN is essentially a product identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and other supply chain participants for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control purposes. The ISBN identifies the registrant as well as the specific title, edition and format.

To go backwards on my journey a bit, I did extensive research on locating adequate publishing platforms to prepare my manuscript to no avail. Adobe InDesign is an expensive subscription-only platform (approx. $240. per year) but may be the best one out there. Scrivener gives you a 30 day free trial before charging you a fee. Scribus is free but requires a lot of knowledge to use. So I was getting frustrated trying to find self-publishing platform that promised to give my novel a professional appearance when completed.

When I zeroed in on KDP, I learned several things.

  • Their software is Free to use
  • They give you All the Tools to prepare your manuscript for publishing
  • They give you a free ISBN
  • Their KDP Jumpstart program takes you step by step through the process
  • Their KDP Select program helps you market your book
  • You can make up to 70% profit on your sales through Amazon

So I chose to go with the entirety of their program, even though I have to remain exclusive with KDP Select for the eBook version for 90 days. Their Free ISBN number means you have to either publish your book through Kindle or get your own through Bowker (the U.S. ISBN agency). for a cost of $129 (KDP Publishers Package). for one number, or $28. per number for quantity purchase discounts . But for me it was a no brainer to test my first book with KDP’s free offering..

Second Step: Getting Started

KDP starts you off on their KDP Jumpstart program with information about publishing on two different venues:

A. Ebook Platform:

  1. Can be read on Kindle Reader
  2. Can be formatted for, and read on a Cell Phone or Tablet style device
  3. Can be reviewed on Amazon on Look Inside The Book (LITB) feature.
  4. Can be borrowed
  5. Can be lent out
  6. Can be readily available just by logging on to Amazon website

B. Paperback Platform:

  1. Can be reviewed on Amazon on Look Inside The Book (LITB) feature.
  2. Is only printed when order is made by individual buyer
  3. No warehouse fees
  4. Can be resold on Amazon
  5. You will publish on each platform at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

You will allow a book cost creation allowance to go to Amazon, and the rest of the money goes to you.

Your first choice out of the box is which platform to choose first. I chose the eBook one because it was the easiest one to learn. That was a mistake. I should have chosen to muddle through the Paperback process first because of several reasons:

  • This process takes you much deeper into the required formatting items
  • You can work backwards from your Paperback format into the eBook process.
  • You can launch your eBook faster by loading up your formatted Paperback document into Kindle Create which will allow for quick adjustments to make it ready at the same time you launch your Paperback version.

So I wound up going through the Paperback process first, then reformatting my eBook through the Kindle Create program. If all this sounds confusing, please read on.

C. Third Step: Setting Up My KDP Account

I started out answering the following questions:Amazon account and logged in (or can create one)

  • Went to KDP Jumpstart website
  • Clicked on Sign In with Amazon Account login info
  • Entered Name, Address, Phone No.,Author Publisher Information
  • Entered Banking Information (For where to send your payments)
  • Entered Tax ID information (EIN or Social Security number)

D. Fourth Step: Setting Up My Book MetaData

  • Clicked on Bookshelf
  • Saw 2 choices:
             + Kindle eBook
             + Kindle Paperback
  • Clicked on + Kindle Paperback
  • In the Language box I Chose English
  • In the Book Title Section I entered: Fate Stalks A Hero
  • In the Subtitle Section I entered: Resurgence
  • In the Series Section I entered: Fate Stalks A Hero
  • In the Series Number Section I entered: 1 (Sequel to follow)
  • In the Edition Section box I entered: 1
  • In the Author Section I entered, First, Middle, and Last Name
  • In the Contributors Section: (I left blank)
  • In the Keywords Section I typed in 7 applicable Keywords (Military, Adventure, Romance, etc.)
  • In the Categories Section I Set Up 2 Categories with subcategories
  • In the Adult Content Section I clicked Yes (To play it safe)

Notes:

I chose KDP because it is the most readily available platform with the most exposure. I can’t sell my book on my website because I have chosen KDP Select as the exclusive marketing agent for a defined period of time.

I was not allowed to create embedded hyperlinks to my website from the Amazon Account, but I did identify my website account by name as SJKeyChronicles, the publisher in the copyright section of my book.

I can use an affiliate link on my website to direct readers to my book on the Amazon site and collect an affiliate commission as well as royalties from the sale of my book directly. I set up my link as a banner in the guise of my book cover that, when clicked on, will take potential buyers directly to the Amazon page that contains all of my book details and purchase information.

Next: My Kindle Direct Publishing Experience:Part II_ Wrestling With Manuscript Manipulations.

 

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