How To Publish A Book Through Amazon

A step-by-step guide

I am both a traditional and self-published author, and enjoy dabbling in both. This week, however, I took another dive into the indie world, and self-published my new book, My Inner Critic, through Amazon. I thought I’d give you a step-by-step guide to how I did it, in case you are thinking of doing the same.

Step 1. Write the book.


I won’t go into much detail here. I assume you’ve already written your story or that you’re at least in the process of it. If you’re still on step one and need some motivation, you’re welcome to read: 3 Ways To Grow As a Writer and 30 Creative Writing Prompts To Get You Unstuck. However, for the sake of this article, I’m going to assume you’re already finished on or your way to finishing.

Step 2. Edit the book.

Please, please, please, please — always edit your book. Edit it once, edit it twice, edit it three times. Edit it until you are happy with it.

Step 3. Send it to an editor.

Once you’ve edited the book yourself, send it to a professional editor to give it another look. It doesn’t matter how good you are at grammar, you’ll more than likely miss a lot in your own editing. Grammatical and structural errors are going to take your readers out of the book, so get this part right first before doing anything else.

Step 4. Create your book cover.

Create both ebook and print versions of your cover. If this is something you’re not comfortable with doing yourself (and most authors aren’t), then hire a professional and make sure they’re someone who creates book covers in your genre. The right cover will attract the right audience.

If you are doing this yourself, Amazon has guidelines to help you with dimensions.

Step 5. Format your book.

Again, you can hire someone to do this through places like Fiverr, or search for some formatting companies. There are plenty to choose from.

If you’re going to do this yourself, I recommend using either Vellum (for Mac) or Atticus (for PC and Mac). I used to be a huge advocate of Vellum, and still am in many ways, but without a Mac I simply couldn’t use it anymore. I recently discovered Atticus and decided to give them a go.

Using Atticus was a very positive experience for me. It was a bit of a learning curve but they have tons of videos online to help you through the process, and their customer service is INCREDIBLE. They responded quickly to my emails and helped me whenever I was stuck. It’s a lifetime purchase of $147 for both ebook and print formatting, and I’m happy I found them.

Remember that formatting is different for ebooks and print. If you’re doing both, make sure to create / order both versions.

Step 6. Upload to Amazon

And now for the exciting part — finally adding everything to Amazon.

1. Create a KDP account if you don’t already have one. If this is your first time setting one up you will have to fill out your personal, business and tax details. You will only have to do this once.

2. You will then add your new book by creating a title, a book description, content, cover, pricing. This is all done in a step-by-step format which is easy to follow. If you haven’t done it correctly, or missing something, you will be unable to continue. Here you will also load your cover and your manuscript (either one created by you or your designer/formatter).

3. Before you hit publish — ALWAYS check the preview of your book to make sure everything is fine. It is through this previewer where you will see if everything is the right size or if anything is missing.


Step 7. Order author copies

A day or two after hitting publish, Amazon will email you to let you know if everything was successful or if something needs to be changed. If all is good, I always order myself an author copy of my paperback to make sure it looks good before sharing my book with anyone. You can order up to 999 author copies of your book, so be sure to make the most of this as you get it at cost price. I start with one to make sure I’m happy with my book.

Step 8. Share and sell

And that’s it. Once you’re happy with your book, you are ready to make some money. Share with everyone, advertise, and look for as many creative ways as possible to share your book with the world.

Oh, and of course, there’s a step 9. Do you know what it is? Write another book, of course!

Good luck everyone! I look forward to reading your books. Any questions, please feel free to ask me.

Here’s a list of my other books if you’re interested.

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