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How to Publish a Book on Amazon

Crystal Barrow

There have been some major changes in my life this year.  I got married and moved into our home.  This meant that all of those boxes that I had stored in my mom’s garage would now move with me.  As I was unpacking boxes, I discovered some of the books that I had written in elementary school. When I was a little girl, I always had stories running through my mind.  Every time there was an author’s faire at school, I would participate.  I was the author and the illustrator.  Looking at those books gave me joy.  I look at them now and can appreciate my youthful enthusiasm to just go for it.  I discovered many saved composition books with stories that were started but not finished. One of the composition books contained numerous ideas for stories that were never written.  Thinking about it, I realize that life can change dramatically when you enter middle school.  I still had ideas, but life just could not afford me the opportunity to follow up and complete any of the story ideas that  still ran through my mind.  I believe that I saved all of those ideas, because I knew that one day I would be able to write again.   I decided to take the first step again into being an author by writing about some of the challenges and blocks that I came across in life as I grew up with the hope that the book would be relevant and helpful to the reader.  Then I needed to figure out how to publish my book.  There are many publishers that would love to help you publish your book for a substantial fee.  That just was not in my budget.  My research did bring to my attention that I could publish for free through Amazon.  So, I went for it.   I was able to publish my book, “A Talk With Myself'', on Amazon and found it to be a fairly easy experience.  Authorship is possible for those that want to put in the time.  It is my hope that those of you that want to write can  now realize their dream.  Fast forward-you did it.  You wrote your book!  

1. Create an Amazon account. 

  • If you have an Amazon account already, you will be able to use this account to publish your book or you can create a kindle direct publishing account.
  • If you are creating a new account, you will need to input your personal information.  The personal information will include your name and your independent publishing company, your address, your email address, and your phone number. 
  • Decide how you would like to receive royalty payments. You can choose from three choices: direct deposit, wire transfer, or check.  If you provide your bank information you will be able to receive your royalty payments electronically. There are certain qualifications for the three different payment methods. Royalties are every month or approximately 60 days after the end of the month the sales were reported. 
  • You will also need to provide some tax information which will include your social security number. If you have an individual taxpayer identification number, you will need to provide that as well.  

2. Determine if you would like to publish an ebook, paperback, or hardcover book.

  • When you select either an ebook, paperback, or hardcover you will need to provide the book title, option subtitle, add series details if applicable, optional edition number, the author or authors names, a description of the book, the publishing rights, 7 keywords that describe the book, two categories, age and grade range if applicable, and if the book can be preordered.  
  • If you are doing a paperback or hardcover book you can input the ISBN number or you can have one generated for you. 

3. Format your book to be compatible with the Kindle ebook and/or book option.

  • You may have written your book with Microsoft Word or Pages for Mac.  If you have used this type of word processor, it will need to be reformatted to be compatible with the ebook or paperback form you decide to use.  Kindle Create can be downloaded on PC and IOS platforms.  When you open Kindle Create, it will walk you through how to edit your book.
  • I have a paperback and an ebook so I used the Kindle Create software to format my book for both so I had to create two different files.  

4. Upload your manuscript using the documents from Kindle Create.  Make sure that your manuscript has been carefully edited several times.

5. Either upload a book cover or create one through their link. 

  • You can either upload your own cover that you created, but keep in mind that you will need to make sure that your uploaded image is large enough. Amazon recommends that your image for your cover is 1,000 by 1,600 pixels.  
  • If you do not have a premade cover page, you can use the Cover Creator feature that is offered.  This is a site built in design feature that walks you through how to put the cover together.  With this feature you are able to create professional looking covers fairly quickly. 

6. Make sure to preview your book by clicking the “Launch Preview”

  • When you preview your book you are able to see what it would look like in book, ebook and phone form. 

7. Determine which royalty strategy would work best for you.

  • Set the price for your book that you believe is reasonable compared to other similar books to yours. 
  • Make sure to thoroughly review the two royalty plan options.  There are pros and cons to both royalty plans.  You can find out further information on Royalties at 

8. Once you have published your book, it will be available within 24 to 48 hours as long as it has passed all of Amazon's criteria. 

  • Time approval varies. I was able to receive approval for my ebook within 2 hours.  My paperback book took a little longer. When I published my paperback book in the evening, I was able to receive my paperback book approval by the next day.  

If you are interested in checking out my recent book, check out the products page or click here to link to my book “A Talk With Myself”.

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