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Thursday, 9 August 2012

Self Publishing Masterclass 1 - Amazon KDP in 3 Steps

Go back through the Archive and you will discover that we have always been pro -eBook and way back in 2010 we predicted that the next publishing superstar would come from the self publishing community - E L James, Amanda Hocking, John Locke - damn, it's good to be right.

And so the Archive offers a self publishing masterclass that will run for the next few days, in which we tell you everything you need to know. All you have to do is write a pretty good book and we have lift off.

Not all ePublishing platforms use the same format, which is a right royal pain in the back end,and so in this series we will look at all the major formats and take you through the publishing process step by step.

There is no industry standard as yet although it looks like the ePub format will eventually take over, but for now the biggest miscreant in the failure to adopt a standard format is Amazon which uses its own AZW format for eBooks.

So for the first part of this series we will look to publishing to the Kindle.

 Amazon  offers the greatest potential for getting your work read. As I've stated we will look at the other self publishing platforms later in this series, but for now it seems a nobrainer to concentrate on Amazon's KDP system.

Coming late 2012
KDP - Kindle Direct Publishing offers an easy way to get your book online and on sale worldwide. It takes around twenty four hours from hitting the publish button for your book to turn up in stores and here we will take you through the publishing process step by step.

1- The Book - Ok you've written your book and are ready to go, but it is a good idea at this stage to go through your book again looking for typos and spelling mistakes - do this even if you've already done this several times.It is my experience that readers may forgive the odd mistake but, as I discovered to my cost, reviewers will point out any mistakes in their online reviews. A case in point is my popular novella Granny Smith Investigates in which several typos slipped through the proofreading net which resulted in me receiving reviews that pointed this out. Thankfully the KDP process makes it easy to upload corrections, but you really want to get things right the first time, so a little extra time proofreading will pay dividends in the long run - remember there's a lot of competition out there so you really want to look professional from the get go.

2 - That all important cover. - Take a look on the Kindle bookstore and you will see many different covers for eBooks - some good, others not so good and some that are terrible. Of course we have been told never to judge a book by a cover but that doesn't really ring true and even the best book will fail to find an audience if the cover is substandard. If you know your way around Photoshop or other editing software you can design your own covers, as I did with the Granny Smith series but for something more complex it is far better to hire a professional artist. I use Tony Masero, an award wining artist who has been designing book covers for years, all the way back to the golden age of the paperback - you will find a link to Tony in the sidebar of this blog. His rates are reasonable and his work is excellent - check out the cover here for The Dead Walked which is Tony's work.

3- Publishing -  The first thing you will need is an Amazon account - once that's set up point your browser HERE and log on. Now you can upload a Word file directly to KDP but this often leads to errors in the formatting and so I find it better to run the file through Mobi Pocket Creator first which can be downloaded for free HERE. Using this software is simplicity itself and the finished book will contain your cover image and whatever metadata (basically info on author, title and a blurb) you added. Then you simply upload your Mobi file to the KDP process and go through the steps of setting DRM, price etc. In my experience it is better to select no DRM during the KDP process as readers don't really like this and it limits the way they can use the eBook. Yes it will mean your book can be pirated but that's not something you should really worry about for the moment.

Next - selling your eBook

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