Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Formatting the text of your book is only one small part of getting your book ready for publication. Now don’t get excited. I’m not going to explain how to “format” your book.
You have to be high to think I will be sitting here giving you step by step instructions when you can purchase Joel Friedlander’s the Design Templates and let that software do all the work for you.
However, this post will go over setting up your book on the different sales platforms. So, grab a big ass drink and clear your head.
Go to the KDP Select dashboard to begin uploading your book for sale as AN EBOOK.
The description section is one of the most vital steps. You need to craft this to get the attention of perspective readers. Find authors that you read on Amazon, and check out their descriptions. You should see a pattern of how to structure this. You can check out the HTML codes that you can use here that will help make your description stand out. (Bolding, italics, etc.…)
The next sections, Keywords and Categories are two critical steps. These are what people will use to search for a book. Dave Chesson has some great information on keywords and how to use them.
Next, you’ll come to pricing. As a new unknown author, you need to price yourself so that you make a profit, but don’t scare prospective buyers away. However, you need to have $2.99 minimum to get the 70% royalty. I suggest listing your book at $3.99. According to Amy Collins from New Shelves Books this is the sweet spot for pricing.
You will need to decide, if you are posting your book as a pre-order or if you are ready to publish. If you are doing a book launch (see my post on this here), you may want to consider putting your book in a pre-order status. List it for the price you are going to sell it for. Not an introductory price.
IF you are going to offer your book for print, I suggest you use Createspace. You need to reformat some of the things for that. You need to create a print book cover. I use BOOKCREATIVE. You can hire someone to make one for you. You can use Createspace to create your book cover as well. You will need a blurb for the back cover. That is something I mentioned working on in part one of this series.
1. You can use the EBOOK you uploaded on KDP for your print book. You will remove any pictures except for your author bio pic. Save it with another name, and then save it again in a PDF format.
2. You will want to change your description from time to time with new keywords. Remember to change this across all sales platforms.
3. Kindle Unlimited - you need to decide before you go any further if you are going to list your book in the KU library. If you are, you will not be able to list your book any where else for 90 days. As a new author, I suggest you do this. Use KU to get reviews and interest in your books. When your second book is ready for publication you will pull book one from KU.
After you list your book in KDP, go to Author Central and set up your author page. DO NOT SKIP this part. This is free space on one of the largest search engines in the world. Here you will list a bio. Make sure it is not a boring, dull bio. Use this space to get people interested in you as a person. Help them want to buy a book from an unknown author. Here you can also link your blog. I suggest you do this too. Every time you post a new blog post, it will show up here. (You can’t do this step until you list your book in KDP.)
Kobo is so simple to load your book up. You can use the same description throughout all the platforms. It's best to keep that same description with only minor tweaks across the web. You want consistency no matter how many platforms you list your book on. I am not even going to walk you through these steps, they are that easy.
iBooks. I had more trouble with this than any other site. I wouldn’t list my book here without an aggregate if you held a gun to my head. At this moment you are probably asking what an aggregate is. It is something like Smashwords or Draft2Digital. I don’t use Smashwords. So I got nothing for you. I do know that it is very hard to get your book formatted just to get it listed on their site.
I use Draft2Digital. It was again so easy, I don’t know why you wouldn’t. They list your books on:
Barnes & Noble
Kobo (you can do this yourself)
Inktera (formally Page Foundry)
Tolino (subscription service)
Playster (subscription service)
They’re working to add several others as well. The thing is, I like having only one place to go to make changes. If I change my book, within 24-48 hours the changes are made, (same as Amazon or the others). I recently changed my covers, took less time than it took Amazon for the book covers to reflect the changes. Draft2Digital will take a piece on the back end. Like 10% or 15%.
Bear in mind that you will need to upload all changes you make in your book, to all the platforms individually. For me the work needed just wasn’t worth the hassle. So I let Draft2Digital do it.
When I make changes to my book, I go to Amazon, Createspace, KOBO, Draft2Digital. That’s it. Keeps my life simple. As I magically gain more time in a day, I may list everything myself on each sales outlet.
Your book should be live within 24-48 hours on all the sites. Congratulations. IF you think you’re done and you get to sit back and reap the riches of your book sales, you are completely delusional.
Now is when the hard work actually begins. The next post will discuss your marketing techniques or lack thereof. I am hoping to show you some ways that you can market your book without being a used car salesman.
See you back here in a week or two. Whenever I can get my shit together and write the next post.
If this post helped you or you just enjoyed my wit and humor, please share.
I write crime fiction horror, thriller, and paranormal novels. My time in the Coast Guard and my degree in Forensic Chemistry helps me create fantastic stories.
If I'm not writing, I am binge watching Netflix and probably drinking whiskey.