Amazon Self-publishing 3: Kindle eBook Publishing Using KDP | Brian Jackson | Skillshare

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Amazon Self-publishing 3: Kindle eBook Publishing Using KDP

teacher avatar Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Getting Started with KDP

    • 3. KDP Publishing Step 1: Your Book

    • 4. KDP Publishing Step 1: Book Cover & Preview

    • 5. KDP Publishing Step 2: Rights & Pricing

    • 6. Book Approval and Modifying Your Book

    • 7. Monitoring Your Sales Activity

    • 8. Amazon Self-publishing 3: Kindle eBook Publishing Using KDP

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About This Class

In this class you become a published author...

In this, the third class in the Amazon Self-publishing (ASP) series, you'll learn how to publish your formatted manuscript using the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) web based interface. This is the second of a pair of courses to dealing with publishing on Amazon Kindle, the first being how to format your book for publication using Microsoft Word.

I'd recommend that you pause the class after each lesson in order to perform the task just described using your own manuscript. By the time you finish the class you'll have a published author.

Ask questions in the Community if you get stuck.

Best of luck and I'll see you in the classroom,


Meet Your Teacher

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Brian Jackson



Born in Los Angeles in the middle of the last century, I have always wanted to be a writer. After twenty-five some odd years spent working in the computer industry in the heart of the Silicon Valley, first for Lockheed as a Systems Programmer and later for Cisco Systems as a test tool developer, I managed to retire early and begin my next career as a self-published author.

Along with writing and publishing my own novels I also publish the works of my wife, Melanie Jackson. During the past four years I've published well over 100 books in paperback and eBook formats. Oddly enough this includes eBooks on how to self-publish books and how to create professional looking book covers using the GIMP. I've also recorded and distributed a pair of audiobooks available for purchase on Amazon... See full profile

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1. Introduction: hello and welcome to my class on publishing your manuscript via the KDP Web based interface . This Siri's is all about Amazon self publishing. And in this course you're gonna learn how to publish an e book, which is gonna be your primary source of revenue. You're currently taking the third class in the Siri's and the second of a pair. Of course, is that have to do with publishing a Kindle E book, the first being formatting your book using Microsoft Word. And this the second being publishing your book using KDP subsequent classes go into create space and book promotion, which is a class we're going to reference a great deal in this class in this class. You were going to publish your formatted manuscript using the KDP Web based interface, and you're going to learn how to monitor your sales using the KDP report tab. So if you're ready to publish, then hold on to your hat, cause here we go 2. Getting Started with KDP: Hello and welcome to the class. I want to thank you for enrolling. And in this class, we're going to be using the Kindle direct publishing or KDP Web based interface to publish the manuscript that you have formatted for reading on an Amazon Kindle. To do this, all we need is a browser. So I'm gonna bring up my Web browser, and in it we're going to go to Katie p dot com. When you get here, you're gonna be asked to sign in with your Amazon account. I believe that's all you need is an Amazon account to use KDP. It may be the case that you also need a KDP account. It's it's been too long. But if you need one, I'm sure that filling it out the form to get is gonna be easy. I already have an account and I have an account on Amazon, and I'm going to use that the law again. Now what you're presented with is the main page or the bookshelf page for KDP. This lists all of your books that are published. Now I have well over 100 books published of myself and my wife. You can see that there's about 10 per page and we have 14 pages. So there's about 100 and 40 books here. Let's see what's in the listing for each book. First, it gives you the name. The A S I n is an Amazon number who it's by This book is live. I can take it an unpublished it, in which case it will no longer be live. Here is the price on Amazon. I can press on this button to run promotions. And then here's additional options, including unpublished ing the book. Now we have book after book of this information, and I just need to click on the book to go modify it up at the top of the page. Here we have create a new title, and it shows you what you're going to need before you start. You needed the content of the book, your book cover and a description, keywords and categories. Now we're going to talk about this in extensive detail in the marketing book, the sixth book in this series. So you might want to read that before actually filling out your KDP values, especially these three. Let's look at what else is available via the KDP interface. The next tab is reports on the report tab. You'll see information on your sales, and we're going to go in this on in detail in the lesson on monitoring your sales. There's also a community tab, which works an awful lot like a forum. You can ask questions and find answers in here on a variety of topics. And then the KDP select option is pretty much just sales information trying to get you to enroll in KDP Select. Let's go back to the bookshelf and the other major tad that I want to mention here is at the bottom. There's this. Contact us. Use that if you never need to get in touch with Amazon regarding a problem here, you can decide. I identify whether it's an account problem of publishing problem, and they ask you more and more questions. Eventually you get to fill out a form, and they're very responsive and email and very helpful. So use this to get your questions answered and let's go back to bookshelf. And right now your bookshelf is going to be empty of your following along on what we're gonna do in the next lesson. is create a new title and see the first page of the information we need to fill out to publish our book. 3. KDP Publishing Step 1: Your Book: And what I'd like you to do at this point is pretend that I clicked on the create new title , but in here and that I'm creating a new title. In reality, I'm gonna go edit an existing title that's already filled in That will save me a lot of time, and you don't have to watch me type into all the fields in all of their cases. By the way, the initial input and the modification form is the same. And I thought that the book we should look at his moving violation. The one that we was we're talking about that became a best seller. Let's go ahead and click on the picture of moving violation, and that takes us into modifying it and we'll scroll up to the top and start talking about the fields that compose the first page. You can see we're in step one here. You're a book, and we can also see that this is publishing available for purchase. Yours won't say that, and I can jump ahead to step two if I've already filled out Step one and navigate back and forth here. I can also go over here and once again they're selling KDP Select and trying to convince you to do it. Now, the first time that you enter a book, there's actually a big blue area here that explains KDP Select and you click it, We want you in KDP Select. So you're gonna pick that now? Moving violations are title, and here it is in the book title notice. We don't have a subtitle. Naughty, Naughty. That's an opportunity for key words. This book is part of a Siri's, which I recommend all your books be and we put in Chloe Boston Cozy Mysteries four key words that we want to score high for, and we put them into the Siri's title. Now this is the way that it's gonna form the title of the book. It's gonna say moving violation, and then it would say, colon space. If you had a subtitle, it would say that if you don't have a subtitle, you don't get the colon space. Instead you do. You do get the space, and then you get the Siri's title within parentheses. At the end, it will say Book one, so this will turn into Chloe Boston Cozy Mysteries Book one in parentheses. Next put in addition Number. Use it to keep track of how many major versions of the book you've got. We bumped ours to 2.0, when we released an illustrated version of the book. Come up with a fancy name for your publisher. You can use any name you want. Hear Mine is I. I be publishing for ignorance. Is bliss publishing when it comes to filling out the description? We're gonna talk about that a lot. How to copyright your description in the final class in this Siri's the one on book marketing. Notice that this description does have html in it, which you can use toe add some pizazz. You can add bold italics, text. You can add lists and we're gonna talk about how to do all of that when we get into copy writing your book description. Next we add a contributor here. The contributor is already my wife, Melanie Jackson. You put the first and last name, and then you pick what the contributor is. I recommend that you stick toe on Lee, an author, and don't have multiple authors and editors and illustrators. The reason is you don't want a clutter. Your book description with references to everybody that had anything to do with the book. It just makes the book look strange and stand out a bad way. So just put your author name here. The language Mine is gonna be English, but you can actually publish in any of these languages that come with the pull down and I ESPN, which is optional. Don't bother. I s P n's are a thing of the past. There's no reason to buy one. There's no way to get a free one here. And I find that the A S i n or the Amazon number is actually more commonly used in I s P N's Thes Day. Most people, instead of looking for a night ESPN number, just do a Google search for the name of the book. That's why you want the keywords in that name. Subtitle and serious name. Okay, this is not a published, no made public domain work. If it is, then you've got to click that OK, and here's another aspect of marketing which is important along with keyword analysis is what groups you get into because you're going to show up on your page as ranking within these groups if you get within the top 100 so you want groups that people are looking for but also groups that you can compete in. It's kind of hard balance toe ad categories. You go here and you pick the hierarchy of it of the categories. I work in fiction, so I would pick fiction and open that up and then within that is all kinds of fiction. Let's say we're doing science fiction Here's science fiction, and that goes further into sub Canada scores. Let's say it's cyberpunk. We go ahead and we click that and notice it warned you that you can only have two categories, so I can't add another category. Here Already have the hierarchy fiction, mystery and detective and cozy along with women's sleuths, so we'll cancel that. This is where you can set the grade age for your book. If you're writing a Children's book, you can say the minimum and Max age and grade range. Here's another important field. You get to enter seven keywords that people are searching for once again in the marketing guide, I tell you exactly how to determine what keywords to use. The point is to use all seven of them if you don't want to watch my marketing course than put any of anything you want. But put seven things here, you're not gonna lose anything by adding more keywords. And I am releasing this book now. I've never pre released a book before, so I've never played with that. 4. KDP Publishing Step 1: Book Cover & Preview: Now, here's another important part of your book cover. I provide two ways to make a book cover. One is via the Gimp, a free software tool that runs on Windows and Mac OS, and the other is to use Power Point. Either way produces beautiful covers. I think this one was produced to using the gimp. At this point, you browse for the image and uploaded, so I click for Browse Image. When you enter a brand new book of Obviously, You're Not Gonna Have an image there, you'll have a blank spot. Let me go to pictures covers Melanie. And here are the moving violation, which is interesting because there's one in Spanish and I just double click on that and that image would be loaded. Another thing you could do is you launch the cover creator. I don't recommend you do that. It creates rather crude covers that look similar to every other cover. But you know when push comes to shove, if you need to cover, it's better than nothing. And the covers look all right. Sorry, I am a cover creator, so I don't I don't have proved, um as faras, enabling digital rights management I used to. Now I no longer do this, so do not enable digital rights management. Digital rights management sounds great. It's a password protection kind of thing so people can't steal your files. But it's also kind of a signal to your customer that you think they're a thief. And there's kind of this movement anti DRM, so anything that could be anti my book I don't like. And by the way, anybody that wants to steal your book would just run one of the DRM scripts like the Python script that's out there and break your DRM. So people that really want your book and are going to steal it and broadcasted everywhere can break DRM so you're just snubbing your customers. Don't do it. The next is your book content file, and here once again you browse for it and he select the word file by double clicking on it and it will be uploaded. Now, a really important step to this is that once upload and conversion is successful. Oh, by the way, I was ignored this spell checker that you run preview. Let's go ahead and preview this book that we've brought up here, save changes and continue. Let's go ahead and discard changes and continue here. It's asking me to log in. So I enter my password and I'm logged in and it starts running the pre viewer Now with this version of moving violation. I know I said, keep things simple, but we got a little bit fancy. We illustrated the book so once again you noticed small illustrations centered. And then I got a little fancy with the title page. I admit you conduce that to a limited extent. We wanted this to be different. Here's the version information and this book is a work of fiction and all rights are reserved and how to discover their titles here we left justified it instead of centering it . So this looks a little bit different from what you're probably used. Teoh. And this is an important thing that we talk about to include in the marketing class in this Siris in. And that is to include a link to the sign up letter for your mailing list and to give away free things here. We're actually giving away three different books for free. If you sign up for Melanie's newsletter, this is a great idea. So, anyway, you go through and you preview. Here's the table of contents. You look at the formatting and make sure that you like the way that it looks that everything looks great. And if it does, then you go ahead and you publish. Now there are other options to look at. Things here he noticed we have a fire hdx. We can look at it on an iPhone and see what it's gonna look like. Um, well, it doesn't look good, but it doesn't look terrible. See, keeping it simple is important because you're gonna be displaying it on a lot of different devices. And in fact, let me show you one other option for displaying it. To get rid of this, we go back to book details where everything would have been saved if I said save when we continue on. But I didn't want to say any changes to this book. Now, here's another thing that you want to consider doing. Um, I can download a book preview file, so I have my Kindle attached via the USB cable to my PC, and as a result, my Kindle shows up as my e drive and If I go there, I'm going to see two directories. The directory. You want to put the file and is documents, and just go ahead and save the Mobi file. It'll replace spaces in your file name or in your book name with plus signs. Save it and documents, and you'll be able to view it and see what it looks like, actually, on the Kindle before ever publishing. Now this is the last step on this page if you have any questions or you get stuck and be sure to watch Class six on marketing before filling in a lot of these fields. If you get stuck, ask questions in community. Otherwise, I'm going to go on to the next step by clicking on save and continue. 5. KDP Publishing Step 2: Rights & Pricing: Okay, this is step to where you work on your rights and pricing, and I can go back to step one by clicking on Step one up here at the very top. If I want to go back to the bookshelf and stop what I'm doing at any time, there's usually a thing down here a the bottom that says right back to bookshelf. Click that instead and give him a chance to say of whatever you've been working on, Let's go back to the top and take a look at what's on this page. First of all, we have worldwide rights. If you have individual territory writes, I have no idea how to do that. I've never done it my life. But look, there are 245 territories that you can select. You have rights, and I'm not going to get into that right now. The next is setting your price and royalty. I go through an entire thing in our marketing class once more on why you should price your book a to 99 then, in this case this is a first in Siris, so we're making it 99 cents, so that we can lure people into the Siri's to buy the rest of the books. That air to 99. Now the problem is is at 99 cents, you only get 35% royalty, so we want to be able to click that. But look, we got to go up 2 to 99 to 9 99 to do that. So set the royalty according to your price and try to get to to 99 per book. That's the sweet spot. And watch my marketing course to explain why. Yes, always enroll in the Kindle Matchbook program. Remember, you're building up your E book description page, and it looks good to be free and programs. So what is the cost, by the way? The matchbook program, I think, is something where if they buy the paper back, they can get the Kindle book in this case for free. That's what you want to make it allow lending of this book. You bet, right, we're going to be as open and as helpful as possible. Now all you do is you say, by clicking and saving below. I confirm that I have all the rights necessary. I can go back and forth as many times as I want. And what? I'm ready. I say save and publish and the book will be published. 6. Book Approval and Modifying Your Book: Now, here we are, back on the bookshelf, looking at the status of moving violation, which has now moved to the top. What it wears, which is where the latest books that you've been working on reside in this list and it's live in reality. When you publish a new book, it's going to be in review State. Amazon wants somebody to take a look at your book and review it before publishing it. And this is a good thing. Actually, they have caught some mistakes I've made. I've actually published the wrong books under titles. I mean, when you have 140 or so books, these things happen. I've put the wrong but cover on things. They've caught that. So they're basically just going to take a look and see that you've got everything formatted correctly and that everything's in order and then they'll approve it. And then your book goes live. Now, the one thing I did want to talk about before leaving this section is how to modify your book. At any point, you can come here to the bookshelf. You can search for your books by title up here. If you have a lot of books. I have 100 like 100 and 40 and then click on the book cover. All your previously configured information will appear, by the way. We ought to take a look at how this stuff appears on an Amazon page. Let's go over to Amazon. Let's search for moving violation but will search in the Kindle store. There we go and we'll do a search. And here's moving violation. We click on the cover, and here's where your information shows up. You can see how the title was formed by taking your title and then placing the Siri's name in parentheses along with the book number Down here. It shows that this book, it shows that this book is in the Kindle Unlimited program, one of the things that results from being in KDP Select, and you can see that it's got a great, rather large paperback price. It even has an audible option. We recorded this eBook and audio and released it. Notice how this all emphasises how important the book is. Also notice how the print price is marked is crossed out up here and 99 cents is placed, and then look a big red free. This is all stuff that builds up your product description page on Amazon, and here you can see that the use of HTML, the format this page really made some things pop. Fourth anniversary edition, some quotes by people in here about the book. So that's how the things that you just filled out appear. 7. Monitoring Your Sales Activity: The final thing that I want to talk with you about is monitoring your sales activity. Eventually, your book will sell. It will be reported under reports. Here I am in the main screen for reports and you could see that by default. I'm shown a report of units ordered. Now the green Line here is the number of units that I've given away during a promotional event here. You can see that I gave away almost 600 books in one day. The red line down below is the number of units sold per day. Now you can't really see it in this case because the green line is overpowering it. If I wink that out Bayan checking that box, I can see my sales. Wow, this was a good day. The spike of 85 books sold in one day. But other than that, it looks like I average maybe 20 to 25 books per day. Ah, lot of my revenue is coming from kindle addition normalized pages, read or loaning books. This shows you how many thousands of pages have been read through the KDP Select Loaning program and you get paid about 5 20 per 1000 pages read. So if I hit 6000 up here, we're talking about over $31 just in that day from loaning books out. It's quite a bit of money, and in fact, it's. Our loans are beginning to compete with our sales for generating revenue down at the very bottom. It shows you the amount of money that you've made from sales in the last 30 days or actually the report period. So it shows you and then it shows you in various countries how much you made. Now we can change this report up above by selecting number of days and going to maybe we want to see 90 days instead and we say update report. Now here's that same report for the last 90 days. You can see that we've just started the free campaigns recently or resumed them recently, and as a result, our loans have climbed through the ceiling. At the same time, our sales seem to have gone up, So loaning books is one of the strategies I'm going to talk about in the marketing section . Let me show you some more interesting reports. I can go to month to date unit sales and see for this month how many of each book I'm is being sold. How many were refunded? How maney Kendall normalized pages were red and so on. I can get the very detailed information on the sales for the month here. I can also download the unit sales covering this period. So that's reporting in the next lecture. I'm going to wrap things up. You've pretty much published your book. 8. Amazon Self-publishing 3: Kindle eBook Publishing Using KDP: I want to thank you for taking the class and remind you that this class is part of a Siri's . I especially encourage you to take class Number six, the book promotion class. In this class, you learned how to publish your formatted manuscript using the KDP Web based interface. You also learned how to monitor sales using the KDP report. That's all for now, and I'll see you in the next class.