Boy how times have changed. Today, self-published Amazon books are some of the best-selling books out there. If you’re considering self-publishing through Amazon, here’s are 10 things you need to know.
Amazon Books: What You Need to Know
1. CreateSpace/Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) are the names of the self-publishing companies run by Amazon. CreateSpace is the one in which you would publish a book in print; KDP is for Kindle versions of your book. Speaking of which….
2. You can decide if you want Kindle, print or both when you publish through Amazon books. Publishing on Kindle is totally free. Publishing in print requires actually printing the book (which isn’t free), but since it’s print on demand, you would really only eat that cost when your book is ordered online.
3. Amazon will allow you to create an author profile page. Do it! When you publish your book through Amazon, you will have the opportunity to create an author profile page with your photo, bio, genre, keywords, etc… Make sure you do this, as it can make a difference in the number of books you sell.
4. Yes, you can easily link from your author website to buy the book on Amazon. I get this question from authors all the time … if you build me an author website, can you link to Amazon so people can buy the book? Yes. Absolutely we can.
5. You can set your own price. Yes, when you self publish through Amazon, you can decide how much your book costs. Offer your e-book for only 99 cents if you want to increase readership. Or decide that $3.99 is a fair price. It’s your call.
6. You control the whole process from start to finish and retain all the rights to your book. Unlike going through a traditional publishing house, you are in charge of what your book is titled, what the cover looks like, etc… Best of all, you retain the rights to your book and can even sell it to a publisher later.
7. The percent of your sales that you collect may vary. It’s basically either 70% or 35%, depending on your pricing, your location, etc… Check out the Amazon guidelines to understand which bucket you would fit into. Either way, it’s a lot more than what you’d keep through a traditional publisher.
8. You can take advantage of Amazon books promotions. I’ve spoken with many authors who have found that taking advantage of one of Amazon’s many promotions — like giving away your book for free for up to 5 days — made a huge difference in exposure. Other promotions include earning money when people borrow your book, the Matchbook program (which offers the free Kindle version with a hardcopy) and the Kindle Countdown Deals.
9. Publishing is free, but you may still need to pay for various services. It doesn’t cost you a penny to self-publish through Amazon (except the printing of purchased books). But what doesn’t come with self-publishing through Amazon is the services you usually get through a traditional publisher — editing, book cover design and any marketing services. And these aren’t areas you want to cut corners in, so make sure you set aside some budget to get professionals to help you in these areas.
10. Don’t forget to start building reviews. Once your book is available on Amazon, people can start posting reviews of it. And you want them to! Ideally, you’ll want to readers themselves to be raving about your book in a review on the book’s page. But before that happens, you can ask friends and fans to get that conversation started. Having reviews posted can make a world of difference for a prospective reader.
Okay, so what have I forgotten here? What was your experience with self-publishing Amazon books? Share your experiences, opinions, little known facts, etc… in the comments box below.