Creating Your First Book - Step by Step Guide to Amazon KDP

Thursday, September 23, 2021

2020 and 2021 were the year of the most unusual, weird times we have lived through, but it was also year of side hustles. No really, it was. Anything from creator fund TikTok, to affiliate programs, and like hundred MLM business came up. One of those side hustles is publishing a book on Amazon using their Kindle Direct Publishing platform (KDP). Self publishing is becoming more and more popular so I wanted to write this post to talk about and my experience with it. 
I created a few books in order to give you my honest (and hopefully helpful) feedback, and here is what I learned:

Using Amazon KDP is fairly simple, cheap with no upfront costs (All publisher fees, printing costs come from the platform) with eBook version costing close to nothing. The royalties are higher (70%) and you don't have to worry about printing, shipping etc. Another positive is that you can create and publish so many different things. I believe the struggle or negative side of self publishing is that creating the book is just half the battle. You have to promote it, talk about and after initial sales after release I think sales taper down. 

Step #1 create your amazon KDP account.
This process was super simple, you log into your amazon account, provide some personal info and set up banking information.

Step #2 create a Canva account.
Canva account has a free and paid version. Canva is an online design and publishing tool with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere. I originally signed up for a free version but did find I had to upgrade to paid in order to get access to everything I wanted.

Step #3 sit down and make a plan
This is probably the most challenging part - making a plan about what you wanna make - self help books, novels, note books, sketch books, puzzles, cookbook... the possibilities are endless.  Than you have think of enticing descriptions and titles that will get readers to click and buy your books, and you have to design a cover page,

Step #4a create your cover
Once you have a plan use Canva to create your cover page, and the back page. Once you have the front and back of your book you have two options: one use Amazon KDP cover creator to make your cover or use Book Bolt (which is comprehensive content book publishing software).

Step #4b create your manuscript
Create the manuscript (AKA the inside of your book). 
 You can use Canva or Book Bolt to create your manuscript or just the good old word document.

Step #5 submit your creation
Log into your Amazon KDP
  • Under Create a New Title pick either paperback or hardcover
  • Fill in all the required info under the Paperback Details and when you are done click on save and continue
  • Under the Paperback Content tab you will fill out the required information but this is also where you will upload your manuscript (has to be PDF) and cover page (also PDF) and you have to remember to Launch Previewer. The previewer takes a while and you have to run it each time you make any changes to your cover page and the manuscript . The preview will open a new page and you can make sure to check that everything fits and if its good to go you go ahead and approve it.
  • Under the Paperback Rights & Pricing you pick the price under your main market and the system converts and fill its out for all regions.
  • Once you are done filling out all three tabs click on "Publish Your Paperback Book". The approval process takes anywhere between 42-72 hours.
Tips and tricks:
  • Make sure that your cover page and manuscript are the same size and meet the printable area meet the requirements laid out on the resource page. I know this seems like a silly thing to be mindful of but the first book I created the manuscript and the coverage were .5 inch off. 
  • Your cover/back page and manuscript should be save in PDF format as its easiest to upload and save into Amazon KDP.
  • Use the Book Bolt KDP Spy feature to do some research. There is so much being created but producing low content or no content books and journals on the KDP platform, it is essential that you know what is selling and this will also help you with titles and book descriptions. 
  • Use the Book Bolt Keyword to do some research which will help you create better keywords when making titles and descriptions.
  • Book Bolt Software
  • Amazon can take up to 72 hours to approve your book. My first book took 5 days but it was approved. You get notified via e-mail once its ready. (You also get an e-mail if you have to correct things).
  • Creating any sort of book is awesome but once its published that's when the real work starts. LOTS and lots of marketing.

Here are couple of things I have created, I would love to hear what you guys think. Happy creating