How to Self-Publish a Book on Amazon

I self-published four books last weekend. A lot of people ask me how to do it…

I use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It’s so easy to use. Your book will appear in the Kindle Store within about a day and be available to people all around the world. It’s completely free and you get up to 70% royalty on sales. Publishing takes less than 5 minutes and you can make changes to your book at any time after it’s live.

You don’t have to be a Shakespeare or Stephen King to be an author these days and you don’t have to battle with pesky publishers to get your book out there either. I’ve gone through the process over 12 times now and captured every step to help show you how to self-publish a book. Follow these steps below, and you will have self-published your own book by the end of today.

Step 1: Visit kdp.amazon.com and Sign In or Sign Up

To get started, first create an account with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Or simply sign in if you already have one. Then, visit your Dashboard.

Step 2: Add New Title From Your KDP Dashboard

Click on “Create new title”. This will bring up the “Introducing KDP Select” screen below.

Step 3: Enroll in KDP Select

I do this with all my books and have seen great benefits. It enables me to offer my book for free for a selected period after publishing, which encourages Amazon to promote it further and helps me build my email list. You can learn more about KDP Select here.

Step 4: Enter Your Book Title and Subtitle

Enter in your book name and subtitle. Tell your readers what your book is about so they know what they will get out of reading it. For bonus points, use keywords that your readers are searching for to increase your chances of being found. Here are 5 more tips for naming your book.

Step 5: Enter Your Book Description

This is your readers’ first real taste of your book’s content, like the blurb on the back cover of a printed book. Make sure it is well written, interesting and informative enough to give your readers a good idea of what your book is about. You can use some HTML to make your description more engaging.

Step 6: Enter Book Contributors

Click on the “Add contributors” tab to add yourself as an author.

Step 7: Add Author Name

Add in the author’s name — that’s you! This can be a pen name if you like.

Step 8: Verify Your Publishing Rights

As author, you own the publishing rights to your book, click here to verify that.

Step 9: Target Your Book to Customers

You can choose up to two categories for your book. Choose these carefully as they help your intended readers to find your book. I usually decide on the categories based on competing books that are performing well.

This is where a book’s category ranking is shown.

Step 10: Choose Categories

The more specific the niche your category falls into, the more likely it will be found by the right people.

Step 11: Select Age Range if Applicable

Leave ages blank unless it is a children’s book.

Step 12: Select Search Keywords

Search keywords help your book to be found by people who are searching Amazon for relevant topics. I choose these keywords based on merchant words, Google Keyword Tool and competitors.

Step 13: Select Your Book Release Option

There’s no time like the present so make your book available immediately! You can make changes to it at any stage after publishing if needs be.

Step 14: Upload or Create Your Book Cover

Your cover image says as much about your book as your title does. You can create your own using their cover creator but it won’t be nearly as attractive as having one designed by a professional designer.

To display optimally, read the guidelines to ensure your image is in the required formatting.

Step 15: Cover Uploaded Successfully

Step 16: Select a DRM option

If you click on “What’s this?” you can learn more about digital rights management (DRM). You will see a window that looks like this:

Essentially, DRM determines if your readers are permitted to lend your book out to others.

Step 17: Upload Your Book File in The Correct Format

If you need help with how to format your book correctly read this, or go ahead and upload it in one of the following:

Word (DOC or DOCX)



ePub (EPUB)

Rich Text Format (RTF)

Plain Text (TXT)

Adobe PDF (PDF)

Kindle Package Format (KPF)

Step 18: Converting Book to Kindle Format

Once your book has been converted, click “preview” to see if it has converted properly. This is a crucial step if you have more complex formatting like tables and graphs.

Step 19: Verify Your Publishing Territories

Verify whether you have the rights to distribute your book worldwide or only in certain territories.

Step 20: Set Your Pricing and Royalty

Select your pricing dependent on your goals and marketing/ sales funnel. Here’s some more info to help you make the right choice:

List Price Requirements

Sales and Royalties FAQ

Pricing Page

Step 21: Enroll in Kindle Matchbook

Selecting this means that readers who’ve already bought the print version of your book, get a discount on your Kindle version. This is a good incentive to help hang on to those recurring customers.

Step 22: Select Kindle Book Lending

Selecting this means readers can lend your book out for 14 days. This helps spread the word about your book and bring in more buyers.

Step 23: Check All the Boxes

I suggest you select both Kindle MatchBook and Kindle Book Lending. Agree to the terms and conditions and then click “Save and Publish.”

Step 24: Publishing

Within 12 hours your book will be live on the world’s largest bookstore! It’s just that easy.

Now your book is published your next step is to market it. It’s important to draft up a marketing plan before you hit publish so you are already prepared for this stage. Now’s the time to get out your plan and get your book out there!

Categories: Self-Publishing