Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 7: KDP Publishing Part 3 | Brian Jackson | Skillshare

Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 7: KDP Publishing Part 3

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 7: KDP Publishing Part 3

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

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4 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Enhance Public Domain Work

    • 2. Choose Categories to Become a Bestseller

    • 3. Specify Age and Grade Ranges for Children's Books

    • 4. When to Release for Preorder

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About This Class

Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 7: KDP Publishing Part 3

What more can I say, this class covers yet more on filling out the KDP fields to optimize sales.  Stick with it, because you're almost done... with page 1 ;-).  Seriously, this is important stuff, so pay attention... especially you there in the third row ;-).


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. Enhance Public Domain Work: Hello and welcome to my lecture on enhancing public domain work. Now most of the work that you release is going to be your own, so it's not gonna be in the public domain, But you might want to actually make some money by releasing public domain works. If that's the case, then this is the lecture for you. So we'll begin by looking at the field. Here it is. Verify your publishing rights. You can click whether this is in the public domain or it's not in the public domain, and you hold the publishing rights. So what is public domain work anyway? When a work is in the public domain, it means that that work is generally available to the public and no longer subject to copyright law. Now, this could be because it's never been copyrighted or because it's no longer in copyright because the copyright has expired. Anyone can publish a work that's in the public domain without having to pay anybody or license the work or anything like that. It turns out that it's not easy to determine if a work is in the public domain. Everything published before 1923 is already in the public domain. That's easy. The rest of it. It gets complicated after 1923 and the best that I could do is provide a pointer to a resource that I found. This is the best resource I've found on determining if something is in the public domain. It outlines all of the rules in a big table. Now let's talk about public domain publishing for scanning works. This is one of the ways that you might digitize a work. Let's say you only have a book if you need to scan it and do optical character recognition on it. I recommend using Blue Leaf books scanning, and this is a link to it there at Blue Leaf Books scanning dot com, and they provide digital versions of paper books. Now they charge less if they don't have to return the book, and they could destroy because they pull it apart and scan each page individually. But if you want the book back, you could even do that. Be sure to review the scanned results. Looking for OCR airs, for instance. It's quite common for the characters are end to be mistaken for the character em, and this can really mess up your scan results. This results in bad reviews. If people start reading your stuff and they find OSI Air OCR errors or scan airs, then they're going to give you negative reviews. I've seen it a lot out there. People that scan books release a digital copy, but they don't review the book toe. Look for scan airs. Add document navigation like a table of contents. Ah, fully active table of contents and the ability to jump back and forth can enhance a public domain work. Now, one of the problems is that public domain works are pretty much free on places like Project Gutenberg. So if you're gonna charge, you have to add some benefit to your version of the document. Navigation is one of the benefits that you can add. You can also add other points of interest, like an introduction by someone popular or someone famous or your own introduction or gather multiple works together. If you have several works and that makes the release much more valuable on, people might be willing to pay as much as 99 cents or 2 99 for a public domain work. Now what I recommend most of the time. If you're writing it yourself, the work is not going to be in the public domain. So check the box appropriately. If you know that you're publishing public domain work. If you've been able to figure out that it's actually in the public domain, then check that box. Enhance public domain works to add value to your product. Otherwise, people aren't going to want to pay. They'll just go to Project Gutenberg and get the free version. So you gotta add something more than just the public domain work. Okay, here is the field that were filling in again. Most of the time you're gonna check. This is not public domain work, and I hold the necessary publishing rights. That's about all I have to say on the topic. And I'll see you in the next lecture. 2. Choose Categories to Become a Bestseller: hello. In this lecture, we're going to look at choosing categories to become a bestseller. Doesn't that sound like a good thing to dio? OK, in other words, how to find categories with acceptably low competition. So let's begin by looking at the field that we're gonna be filling in. Here it is. It's called categories. Once you click it, it gives you the ability to select two categories for your book, and you should select them both. So how do you choose less competitive categories? First of all categories is one way in which readers can search for your book. So this is the reason why you want to have categories in the first place. They can enter search keywords and the key in the search field, which we've already looked at. And the other way is that they can browse by category, going through the hierarchy of categories displayed on the left hand side of the screen. And we're going to see that once we get into Amazon and start looking at how these things work now, you want to use both categories. You get two of them to describe your book. Don't leave one of them blank This is an important way to find your buck. Note that Katie P categories do not match the Amazon categories. There isn't a 1 to 1 correspondence, so sometimes it's difficult when you're looking at the Amazon categories to figure out what Katie P. Categories to fill out to get there, and sometimes it's impossible. You should choose a category that is deeply nested. Categories are listed in a hierarchy. Keep going down the hierarchy until you make it to the very end leaves. This is where the least competition is going to be. Jews categories that apply, but that you can a Rankin now sometimes the category. Gorey's air going toe loosely apply. They're not gonna be the best categories to specify, but there's less competition in the categories, and and you're actually going to possibly be listed on the first page of the category display, which is very important. Now let's look at those benefits of ranking well in a category. Here's what the categories look like as the reader browses them on the left side of the screen. You can see that they're in a hierarchy from Kindle Store to Kindle e Book two mystery thriller and suspense within that we have mystery and then cozy and then animals within cozy. So it's ah hierarchy with AH users able to make their search more and more specific by browsing the categories. Now the reason that you want a category with little competition is that you want to show up on the first page of 20 search results for that category. You can see here in the middle of the screen are the results of the search, and if you do very well in the category, then you'll just be displayed over on the right hand side and the hot New Releases area. Notice that the first book on the hot New releases is the third book listed in the result. For the category. You can just barely see its head poking out in the third position down there in the lower left. And then there's a book that's listed in both hot new releases and its top rated, so getting good ratings being, ah, hot new release. Being in a category where you can compete is really important for displaying your book. There's also benefit that occurs in your book description. Down at the bottom, you show up as a Amazon best seller and it shows you the categories. In this case, this book is ranking number one in three different categories. This looks really good to readers and impresses them and will prompt them to by your book. So you want to rank well in the category that you're in. Okay, Once again, we're back on Amazon, where Kendall Spy is going to be our friend. To tell you the truth, more, I think about it. I can't imagine doing this stuff without Kendall Spy. Let me show you how this works. We're going to research categories. We have two of them to select of the easiest way to get to the right category to use is to run, Kindle, spy, have it fail and then follow its link to searching for categories. You'll see that when it fails because we're in the wrong category Here were at the root of amazon dot com, and you have to be in the Kindle store is to just click on, browse the categories and it takes you to the Kindle store right where the categories are over here on the left. Now let's say we're working on a mystery, so I'll go ahead and I'll pick mystery and thriller and suspense. Now one of the problems you're going tohave is that the categories that show up here for people to search don't match the categories that you get to Endor. So there are actually some categories you can't get into. For instance, let's go into mystery and then within mystery, cozy, mysterious selectable. I can set that within KDP, however, cozy animals, crafts and hobbies and culinary are not selectable. And it turns out that if I want to add my book to any of these categories, I just send a message to KDP support and ask them to add it. OK, now we're going to take a look at this category animals and see just how crowded it ISS or actually, whether it's a good category, and as it turns out, it's got great popularity. A lot of traffic is coming this way. Great potential as far as revenue. But the competition is really very strong for this category, which makes sense. So this isn't a category you'd want to enter, but notice what I found. As I was nosing around. I came to mystery and collections and anthologies and let's run Kindle spy on this particular category. It'll take a while, and here we can see that this is almost unheard of. I rarely see this, but it's a triple green dot meaning full speed ahead go for this category. So if your book happens to fall into mystery collections and anthologies, I've got a perfect category for you here to select. So what you do is you keep looking for categories and hoping to find that green, green green. Maybe you'll find green, green, yellow, and that will be a good category to go after. So keep searching the categories and running Kindle, spy and each one. Now, as far as those categories that you can't get into, let's go back into that cozy and animals if we want to get into that category. What you have to do is send to support request to the KDP staff, asking that they add you. And here's how you do that. You go into KDP, where we go down to the bottom of the screen and notice there is a contact us button. Go ahead and click on contact us, and it will allow you to submit a question this happens to be about. Let's say the product page. And here you type the subject and you say I'd like to add my book. Give them the A s, the A s I n number of the book. They can find it and the exact hierarchy of the category that you want all the way from Crows E. And I usually type a dash greater than between. So it because he dashed greater than animals and you send that request and they'll add it to that hidden category for you. So there's a little tip for you now. Let's look at what I recommend. Select two categories for your book. Always fill them both. Ensure the categories air deeply nested and have his little competition is possible. You'll probably use Kindle spy to verify this. Use Kindle spy To evaluate the book categories, Contact KDP support to request unavailable book categories. This is a really important one because probably the categories where you're gonna find the least competition are these weird leaf categories that actually aren't specified on the KDP categories. Page. You have to make a request to Katie P support to get into them. Okay, and you do that by clicking the contact us button, which is at the bottom of every KDP page. Okay, so just go to your Katie P tab in your browser, go to the very bottom of the page and click contact us and then fill in a contact request form that looks kind of like this. The question about categories Could you add moving violation and give them the A sent to the category and then give them the full hierarchy of the category all away from the Kindle store through Kindle books, mystery thriller and suspense mystery cozy and finally animals. And they will place it into that category. For you. This is a really important trick. So here's the field. We're gonna be filling in categories. You're gonna pick two of them, you're gonna pick the best you can. In most cases, you're probably gonna end up actually contacting Katie peace support to get into some of those hidden categories. And I'm gonna talk to you again in the next lecture 3. Specify Age and Grade Ranges for Children's Books: Hello and welcome to my lecture on specifying an age and a grade range for Children's books , in other words, helping readers to find your book. Now this applies primarily, and it's impact on Lee to Children's books or books for those that are 18 and younger. If it's any older than that than the pay great or the grade range in the age, don't apply because they only go up to the age of 18. So if you're writing for adults, this won't apply to you. Don't bother filling it in its optional. But if you're writing for kids and young adults up to the age of 18 then you should specify that and you specify the minimum and the maximum age and the minimum and maximum grade ranch okay has already indicated these fields allow the readers to narrow their search for books based on the desired age and grade range. For the book. This is a wonderful way to focus your marketing towards the target audience. Think about it if you have this for adults, if you could cut down your target audience to maybe the 10% of the total audience that the book applies to that would be wonderful. And that's what you're effectively able to do here by specifying an age and agreed range, always specifying appropriate age and grade range for books targeting ages 18 and below. This information doesn't apply to books targeting adults, so don't specify it. It's optional, and it won't hurt you at all. There's no benefit to having it because nobody is going to be searching for age and grade ranges for adult books and they don't apply. The Rangers won't cover it. There's no for 50 and above or something. Now what I recommend, then I've already stated it Always specify an appropriate age and grade range for books targeting ages 18 and below. So here's the field. We're gonna fill in if you're writing for young people than filling a minimum and a maximum for both the age and the the great range. And that's about all that I have to say about that. I'll see you in the next lecture 4. When to Release for Preorder: hello and welcome to my lecture when to release for pre order. Now this is a field that I have absolutely no experience with, never having released for pre order. So there's not a lot that I'm gonna be able to tell you, except that it's probably a bad idea of your new released author. So let's look at the field we're talking about. Here it is. You select whether your book is ready now to be released and published, or whether you're just defining a book description page for a book that's going to be out soon so that you can generate pre orders. Now that sounds like a good idea getting preorders. But really, is it going to apply to you? Here's what I recommend. I have no experience with releasing work for pre work for pre order, so it would seem to be a good strategy for someone who is well established and has a next book that people are really looking for. Why not get your money as soon as possible? If you're publishing for the first time, it's probably a waste of effort. How much built up anticipation is there for your very first book, none. So you're probably not gonna have any pre orders. So slow down. Don't worry. You'll get your money eventually. There's no need to rush things, I think preorders adjusted distraction. If this is the first time you're publishing as I say, have you been out for a while and you've got built up anticipation for your next work? Why not get your money now by doing preorders? Otherwise, you should check. I am ready to release my book now, and you probably are. So that's all I have to say on this field. I'll talk to you in the next lecture.