Tips for Self-Publishing eBooks with Amazon

If you’re a fan of reading e-books on Kindle, you know how popular they are. But they are also increasingly popular for those who want to write and publish their own titles. You can publish an electronic book that is beautiful and looks as great as a traditional printed book. Offer it on Amazon, and you reach a global audience. You do it much cheaper, faster, and easier that traditional print publication. That’s why you’ll want to know how Amazon self-publishing of e-books works, before you create your e-book.

Kindle Direct Publishing

Amazon has a department called Kindle Direct Publishing, which is free to use to help you publish an e-book and then market and sell it through Amazon. There are ways to use Kindle Direct Publishing to enroll in royalty programs, too, to get paid when people buy, download, and read your book. That includes shoppers who download to read on Kindle devices and Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android-based devices. To learn more about how to participate in Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), check out the program’s website. There is also a resource called KDP University. Once you are ready to learn everything there is to know about publishing with Amazon, it will give you lots of information in great depth. A good place to start and get an overview of how it all works when you create an e-book with Kindle Direct Publishing is the video Amazon produced, which you can view at this link.

Kindle Direct Publishing Select

For marketing purposes, you can also choose to enroll in a program called KDP Select. This gives you access to more marketing tools and strategies, and allows you to earn your royalties from global Amazon markets. You can, for instance, schedule a limited-time promotion using the Kindle Countdown Deal or do a promotion where readers get to download your book for free for a limited time. That kind of free download can help you get more readers and reviews for your book, and spread the word as readers tell others about what you wrote. Word of mouth advertising is still one of the best ways to sell any product.

Exclusive Selling Restrictions

When you own the rights to your e-book, you can generally sell it wherever you want and to whomever you want. But you should be aware that Amazon enforces it own special rules once you decide to join Kindle Direct Publishing Select. In that case, you have to agree that you will let Amazon be the exclusive distributor of your title. That means that you cannot legally sell it anywhere else, except if you convert the e-book into a traditional printed ink and paper book. Then you can sell it outside of Amazon. But as long as it is a digital format e-book, and you are a member of Kindle Direct Publishing Select, it can only be sold on the Amazon platform. That means that even you cannot sell it somewhere else like on your own website or blog. To read the legal fine print, visit this Amazon link.

Pricing and Royalties

Amazon’s exclusivity rules are highly controversial, and many authors and publishers think they are unfair. But many others don’t mind them because of the fringe benefits they derive from Kindle Direct Publishing Select. You’ll have to decide for yourself. But you can earn as much as 70 percent of your sales when you self-publish with Amazon. That is more than twice as much as you might earn if you sell a book on Amazon that you didn’t publish through Amazon. If you join the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program your book will also be automatically placed in the Kindle Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited…giving you additional access to readers. If people find and read your book through those portals, you can get paid a royalty based on how many pages of your book they read.

How to Convert and Send PDF Files to Read on Your Kindle

Almost all the documents you read these days are either Word style documents or they are PDF files. PDF is usually preferred when you want to display text in a format that makes it look more like a book or magazine. With a PDF file (which, by the way, stands for Portable Document Format), you can display text as well as pictures and graphs and the presentation is very book-like. You can also add a special graphic or photographic cover, just like a book. What you wind up with when a PDF file is put together in this graphics-rich layout is basically an e-book. That’s why so many fans of e-books and owners of Kindle e-reader devices want to know how to transfer PDF files to their Kindle.

Let Amazon Do it for You

In order to read a PDF file on a Kindle or similar e-reader device, and make it look high quality, you need to covert the PDF to ePub format. That includes the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Apple iOS iBooks platform for readers who use an iPad or may even read from a smartphone. But Amazon makes it as easy as just attaching them to an email and emailing it to your Kindle.

Start by selecting and uploading your PDF from wherever it’s stored, and attaching it to the email the way you would any file or document. Then email it to your Kindle’s email address. Sending a PDF to your Kindle using that Kindle email address is really simple. But before you hit “send” make sure that you put the word Convert in the subject line of your email. Unless you do that, the file won’t be converted out of ordinary PDF format and into a more Kindle-friendly format.

How to Find Your Kindle Email Address

If you aren’t familiar with that address, it’s part of your Kindle account on Amazon. Go to your account and look under the section labeled Manage Your Content and Devices. Then go to Settings, and scroll down to find Personal Document Settings. Once you’re in your Personal Document Settings, you should see a section called Send to Kindle Email Settings. Click to access those settings and you should see your unique Kindle email address listed there.

Use a Kindle App

You can also download the convenient Send to Kindle app from Amazon. If you don’t have the app, visit the Send to Kindle page on Amazon and you’ll see options to download it to your desktop computer or Android Device. If you send PDF files to your Kindle using the app, you may need to open up your Send to Kindle settings and click the option to have the files converted. Otherwise, if the default setting doesn’t automatically convert them, they’ll stay in regular PDF format.

Use the App on the Web

You can also install the app in your internet browser. That way, if you are surfing the Web and you find an article or blog post you want to save to your Kindle for future reading, you can do so with the app. You may also have a website, and want to make it easier for visitors to your site to capture your blogs or other content and send that content to their Kindles. In that case, you can add a Send to Kindle button to your website and that lets them do it with a click of the button.