When Johannes Gutenberg started his earliest printing experiments in 1440, it took him about 10 years to commercialize his project and two more years to print the Bible, which was the only book released directly from his shop. Even though Gutenberg had visions of being able to massively produce printing machines and set up circulation networks for publications, there is no chance that he could have ever imagined how the internet ultimately advanced his revolutionary invention.
The playing field of the publishing world has been thoroughly leveled by the various digital eBook formats. Authors now have the option to exert complete control over their creations. You no longer have to go through the traditional route of submitting manuscripts, dealing with house editors, and leaving distribution of your work to publishing labels such as HarperCollins or Random House; thanks to new players like Barnes & Noble, Lulu, and Amazon, your written content can be offered directly to readers. It does not matter whether you have been previously published or not; as long as you have the interest and commitment to connect with readers, self-publishing will be the easiest step.
In this article, we will be discussing Amazon self-publishing because of its dominant market position; nonetheless, it should be noted that quite a few competitors have emerged in recent years. Amazon has the clear advantage of being the absolute leader in terms of online book sales, and there is also the important matter of the Kindle device, which has proven to be very popular among readers.
With all the above in mind, let’s review the general steps you need to take in order to publish your work on Amazon in 2021:
* Kindle Direct Publishing: There are various publishing platforms within Amazon, but KDP is the one that will give you greater freedom to self-publish. When creating a new KDP account, you will be required to furnish tax information, so be sure to have it ready.
* Setting Up Titles and Subtitles: Many authors wait until their manuscripts are complete to come up with a book title. In the case of Amazon self-publishing, you should be ready to enter a title that fits the theme of your book as well as the target audience. Subtitles are not mandatory by any means, but you should strongly consider them because they can help in terms of search engine optimization.
* Book Description: Online searchers will appreciate a short narrative that tacitly explains what your book is about. Along with titles, subtitles, and covers, Amazon book descriptions are the elements that can make or break a purchase. Using some sales language and SEO keywords is acceptable when writing descriptions.
* Keywords: You only have seven keywords to add in this field, and they can be repeated from the title, subtitle, and description. While you can do some SEO keywords research here, your best bet is to accept the auto-fill functionality provided by Amazon.
* Amazon Book Category: Once your book starts generating sales, you will have a chance to be deemed a best-selling author within a certain category. The Kindle marketplace provides hundreds of categories, which are designed to respond to keywords and key phrases entered by readers. A good technique to apply here would be to choose categories that are trending among searchers; however, some authors prefer to assign their books to categories where competition is lower.
* Author Profile: This section of Amazon is where you can do a bit of self-promotion and marketing. The recommended length should be about three paragraphs of about 75 words. You can look at Aaravindha Himadra’s author page to get an idea of an effective biography. Don’t forget to add marketing elements such as invitations to visit a website or social media profile.
* Book Cover: Unfortunately, this is where many authors who are new to the world of self-publishing end up missing the mark. While you can always design a book cover using KDP templates provided by Amazon, your best bet is to hire a designer to take care of it. The problem with many Amazon eBook covers is that they often look the same because there are limits to the KPD design tool. You should not look at professionally designed eBook covers as unnecessary expenses because they can actually be smart investments.
Finally, if you really want to generate sales for your Amazon eBooks, you cannot assume that they will sell themselves. Many of the most successful Kindle authors have significantly invested in marketing campaigns, and this something for you to remember in 2021.