Sunday, December 18, 2011

Self-Publishing eBooks on Amazon

Hi all,

This past week I managed to place both of my books in eBook format on Amazon through their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program. If you don't already know what KDP is, it is where you can turn your manuscript into a Kindle-friendly eBook and sell it on Amazon.  I struggled with deciding to do this because, even though Amazon is a great place for your books to be seen and easy for people to download, Amazon can also switch your prices around if your book is available for a lower price elsewhere and you can't do anything about it.  I decided, in the end, that the exposure and easy access of Amazon for readers made it more than worth placing my books on their site.  Here are some answers to questions you may have.

Was it Easy to Publish on Amazon?

I have to say, if I hadn't already gone through the extensive changes on my manuscripts for Smashwords, I think I would have been a bit lost publishing on Amazon.  For me, Amazon's instructions were not as in-depth as the ones you get at Smashwords, so I may have ended up with some formatting problems if I hadn't already formatted my books for Smashwords.  Because I had copies of my already formatted manuscripts for Smashwords in my files, I simply did a "Save As" and made the few changes that Amazon wanted in order for my manuscripts to become eBooks.  I believe the only changes I needed to make - other than the ones I'd already done for Smashwords - was to do page breaks at the end of chapters (something Smashwords doesn't want you to do so your manuscript will flow) and add a couple of bookmarks showing where the cover photo is, where the beginning of the book is and where the table of contents is ( if the book has one).  I then ran it through the Mobi Pocket Creator program that I had to download and everything went through well.  I also downloaded the Kindle Previewer, which let me see how the file will look on a real Kindle before submitting it.  Amazon gives you links to all of these programs in their instructions.

Am I Happy with the Result?

Yes, I am. My books were already on Amazon in Trade Paperback format so when the eBooks joined the site, the information and reviews of the books was automatically linked to the eBooks as well as links to the paperback books.  Amazon made this very easy.  Now, if Kindle users want to easily download one of my eBooks, they can do it directly from their Kindle instead of going to Smashwords, registering and downloading a copy.  This will hopefully increase sales.

What About Pricing?

Amazon lets you set the price of your eBook, however they will lower it if they find there is a lower price on another site.  Percentages that you earn from sales on Amazon vary - so instead of me trying to explain them, go to the KDP link above and read the FAQs before publishing your eBook.

Check out my eBooks on Amazon! Outlaw Heroes and Widow, Virgin, Whore.


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