Page breaks work. In a print book, you might add a page break to ensure that the next section begins on an odd-numbered page. No need for this in an e-book. If you want to send out review copies, you can generate either a. They asked for PDFs but I wonder whether anyone actually reads these ungainly monsters, either online or by printing them out? It is now possible to generate an instant preview which can be read without a Kindle.
Print it out at least once to look for typos and corrections. Always check after uploading a new revision. Proofread until your eyes are bleeding. Look out for weirdnesses. When my book was published, I saw some odd short green lines on the screen. I managed to fix them but have no idea why they were there.
Amazon will help you decide on a price for your book, but you have the power to change the price at any time, and to make it free for a limited period now and again. Marketing is essential and there are zillions of websites offering free and paid advice. I would have liked the option to show my ads in countries other than the USA, and I would have liked AMS to at least tell me that this service is not available.
However, the KDP people themselves are very helpful and pretty quick to respond. However, I later used CreateSpace to turn it into a paperback, and had a very good experience, so next time I might use them to make my next native Kindle. Every one of them seems right, until I see something better. You can change the title and subtitle of your book any time, which is great but obviously not something to do too often.
I considered changing the title after a couple of months, but decided in the end to just change the subtitle. I really enjoyed the process of making my own Kindle book from start to finish. But I have a lot more to say about it now, 25 years on. However, this is not the end of the story. Read on! At first I felt this was completely beyond my abilities but in the end I decided to give it a try.
I set up an account at Createspace to build a print-on-demand book that could be sold on Amazon alongside the Kindle version. I found people there very helpful and learned a huge amount. Here are some thoughts about the experience: When making the Kindle, I had created the manuscript in MS Word then saved it in webpage filtered html to upload it to Kindle. I reformatted the pages. I made some radical changes to the structure of the book. In the Kindle book, I had interspersed practical tips throughout.
In fact I ended up making quite a few small editorial changes throughout the book, including a change to chapter headings and even the subtitle of the book itself.
I was able to add a few black and white chapter plates, the same beautiful images that my sister, the artist Carolyn Black , had created for Technobiophilia: nature and cyberspace. I had lots of my own photos I wanted to choose from for the cover image, but none of them were anywhere near the necessary dpi. With print this is extremely important, whereas you can get away with a much lower dpi for web images.
In the end, I used a copyright free image found online, along with one of the templates provided by Createspace. Of course I could have paid a professional to design the cover, but I really wanted to do it myself. I went through quite a few versions before making a decision, and ended up paying for 3 different proof copies to be sent to me so I could hold them in my hands.
You can do this on Createspace, and you can sell your book from their platform too. But if you want to sell it on Amazon, the transfer process locks it and you can no longer buy copies from Createspace.
I got round it by buying a batch of copies just before I transferred the book to Amazon a non-reversible process, btw. Something else about sales of Print on Demand — when I sell a Kindle book, the sale appears pretty much immediately in my KDP dashboard.
I tested that by buying a copy of the Kindle edition myself and the sale appeared in the dashboard immediately. Bearing in mind that they have to be printed first, it will be interesting to see how long the whole process takes, both from the point of view of the seller and of the buyer. Postscript: Having made all those changes to the paperback version, I then needed to mirror them in the Kindle version.
So it was back to the e-book version again, more reformatting and reverse engineering, until the two editions matched. Now, at last, I think they do. It was on how to be more persuasive, something that I know quite well. It took two weeks to write. After writing the draft, I had a cover made on Fiverr. Then I uploaded the book to the Amazon Kindle store. The sales came organically from the Amazon search.
Not much, but I enjoyed the prospect of being a published author, so I kept writing. After all, whose first effort ever hits the mark?
I applied everything that I had learned about the process to my following books. Believe it or not, these are all top sellers Making the Paper I wrote 8 books within a few months, all on similar topics. I literally did nothing to get a sale after the initial writing and launch. Too easy. It was a fucking gold mine. Plus, since Kindle sales are all about the cover and book description, I studied copywriting, which helped a ton.
To scale up my process and start making real dollars, I needed one myself. And after looking at some of my reviews, I can see why it works. I tried eLance and Craigslist, but Warrior Forum was the winner. I auditioned 8 writers by sending them an outline for a book. They sent back 2, word essays. The person I chose deviates as he pleases to fit his vision of my outlines, which I like.
Plus, having a ghostwriter allows me to publish books on virtually any subject. For example, after noticing a hole in the DIY market, I wrote an outline my ghostwriter turned into a page book on gardening that started selling really well. Do I know anything about those topics? Hell no — but I make a hell of a lot of money pretending I do. These books are only about 20 pages and simple to create.
I find books that are selling well, check out their tables of contents, look at the negative reviews to see what they missed, and then do a little research on the web. I create a 20 chapter outline, filling each chapter with bullet points about main ideas, angles to explore, and specific things to mention. It only took a few months to master the self-help market, so at this point I just make what I know my audience will buy.
By the way, when most self-published authors brag that they are a best-seller, it technically means that they have reached the 1 spot in any category, no matter how small. And they are usually tiny categories, and only for a couple of hours. You can sell, or even just give away, 50 books and BAM — best-seller. Preach, baby. Thank you Fiverr. The key to creating a cover is bold lettering, strong contrasting colors, and a sexy image.
Amazon is the platform for impulse buys.
I tried a few and gave up.
But I have a lot more to say about it now, 25 years on.
Thousand of authors have tried to do what I have, and failed miserably. Amazon is the platform for impulse buys. Please feel free to share your own experiences in the comments. They sent back 2, word essays.
Plus, since Kindle sales are all about the cover and book description, I studied copywriting, which helped a ton. For example, after noticing a hole in the DIY market, I wrote an outline my ghostwriter turned into a page book on gardening that started selling really well. After writing the draft, I had a cover made on Fiverr. This is not a length that appeals to traditional publishers, but I was beginning to feel reluctant about spinning out a topic to 3 times its natural size.
I knew I could kick their asses even without experience writing and publishing a book.
But I have a lot more to say about it now, 25 years on. People interviewed me; PhD students emailed me; building companies were asking for my input. To be notified when that post is ready, enter your email below. Look out for weirdnesses.
I literally did nothing to get a sale after the initial writing and launch.