Monday, January 02, 2012

How To Publish Your Book In Kindle - Part I

As promised I will try and give a step by step pointer on publishing a book on Kindle. However before beginning, I should take the time to answer the comments made on my previous post If You Are Going To Publish Your Own Work... These comments were important and deserve some space.

My personal opinion, is that I have absolutely nothing against the query--->agent--->normative publisher route. Indeed, I still think after all these  years that this is the route one should always attempt to follow. I do not personally agree that reputable agents are either greedy or do not earn their money. The exact opposite is true. I have dealt with and dealing with an agent who is straight, honest and does not try to BS at all. I think having an agent is still very critical and certainly necessary if you sell a book to the big publishers, and then have to deal with them about rights and subsidiary rights. I also think having a lawyer here is critical, (no matter what the agent and publisher tell you. Unless the agent has a law degree and has kept up with the legal ramifications in publishing.)

HOWEVER, I also believe that if your book for whatever reasons, cannot, will not, or is not making it into the normative "print" market, for whatever reasons, either objective or subjective, that currently, the market offers you, as an author, a viable alternative, to publishing that book ELECTRONICALLY. I never mentioned that this is a viable alternative to "print" and at this moment I honestly have no opinion on that one. There are many negatives to vanity publishing or self-publishing a book in "print", that do not exist in publishing it electronically and these should be explored in their own series of posts.

Additionally, any new author who expects to make "real money" from their first few attempts in KDP or in any of the electronic book markets is dreaming. Yes there are exceptions. But these exceptions prove the rule. What you are out to do, is to "brand" your name as a serious author in whatever genre you wish to be in. That should be your goal. If money comes, then consider yourself lucky and blessed. But your initial goal should be to equate  your name with that of the title of "Author". 

As to the comments made about Amazon and then the environment. 

I have heard this environment claim before. I don't go for it in this case. Computers, tablets, Cell phones all are extremely non-green friendly. They are the tools we use today. Additionally, at least for the next generation, reading a book that is actually printed on paper, is still a very important thing. Or a magazine. Electronic publishing has not yet replaced totally the print medium. (Thus by the way the lack of a finely tuned "financial and marketing model" by the publishers and agents.)

Like it or not, the choices today, though not limited are certainly among the big names. Amazon, Apple, B&N, Smashwords etc. If you are an author you MUST pay attention to these markets simply because not doing so will guarantee failure. There may be other markets out there and viable alternatives, but to ignore the big names is catastrophic to any author who desires to get their work "out there".

Why begin then with Amazon & Kindle? Well that is simple and complex. There are a myriad of reasons for this and I will try to explain them all.

Let us assume, hypothetically, that you as the author, own a computer and do not own any of the tablets or devices.
Let us also assume that you are starting out and do not have any money.

1. Amazon is associated with books. The Kindle, though not the most widely used tablet, has entered the big-boy market with the Kindle Fire.

2. B&N in its e-Pub, and Apple demand from the author a CC and other information. Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) makes no such demands except for a valid email and an address. (B&N makes some outrageous demands but we will get to them in a later post.)

3. The Ipad, Iphone and all Android phones have a Kindle reader application. This extends the reach of KDP books and all Kindle books to many platforms.

4. Producing a book in Kindle format can be done with absolutely NO COST (if you own Word) and even if you do not own Word it can be done. This is CRITICAL!

5. Finally, Amazon has made it the easiest and most cost effective to create and publish an electronic book. Like it or not, KDP, even if a lot of the documentation on publishing and formatting a book is not good, is still the best documented way of creating one, and does not demand any other outside sources that cost you money. Amazon also does not demand you join KDP. You can publish your book without adhering the KDP 90 day exclusivity. This denies you certain "perks" but then again, that is business. You publish with KDP enabled, you get the perks. You publish without, you do not get the perks. But in the end it is your choice, and  you can always publish.

Caveat: Smashwords, will allow you to do all this, but with certain pre-conditions.

Now in order to lead to the next post of the first steps, this is what you will need to do as follows:

1. Go to Amazon KDP Select and open up an account. Make sure you read the terms and conditions so you do not violate their TOS when you publish your book or books. I will get into the more salient ones in the next post.

2. On the main KDP page scroll down and click to get to their FAQ. 

3. Give it a reading - Top to Bottom - so you at least will be familiar with terms.

4. The next thing you want to do is to go to the Help Topic (Left hand side of the page) called Conversion Resources

5. You should download them all, BUT for now you will need the following for a PC on XP, Vista or W7
At the very least the Mobipocket Creator & the Kindle Previewer. (Links here are for PC if you need for a MAC links are on the Conversion Resources page). Install these programs on your computer.

Mobipocket is an old program. There is a conflict between Internet Explorer 9 and MobiPocket, which will not allow MobiPocket to work correctly. The only workaround I have found for this that really works, is to uninstall IE9. Since I do not use IE at all that was not a big problem for me. However, if you use IE and need MobiPocket you will have to go back to IE8. (I have found no other solution that actually works besides this!)

6. Now get out  your MS. make a copy load it in Word (or in Open Office or whatever program you have, as an RTF file) and REMOVE all headers and footers. Electronic books have no page numbers the way we are used to them in Word or PDF format and these will not translate correctly. Save that file under a name you will know. This is the file we will work with!

Ok this is enough for one blog post. Next with pictures and steps I will show you how to convert that Word Document of yours into an Ebook ready for uploading to Kindle.

Meantime of course, I have do my own PR.

So..."Ancient Tales, Modern Legends" has had really good success so far. The books are priced @ $1.99 in the USA. (Other countries Amazon adds VAT etc.)

Ancient Tales, Modern Legends

A Tale That Is Told - Part I (The Chronicles Of The Children Of Heaven Series)

Please remember to write a review as well!

1 comment:

Self Publishing Kindle said...

It has never been easier for writers to publish their books than today. As a writer yourself, all you have to do is visit Amazon's Kindle platform, to easily write and publish your potential bestseller Kindle eBook.