How to publish an eBook

I was thinking about writing an eBook so I took Nick Loper’s course about selling non fiction ebooks on Amazon for $10

https://www.udemy.com/kindle-launch/?couponCode=HUSTLERSUNITE

I would recommend taking Nick’s course– I definitely got more than the $10 I spent out of it. The rest of this blog is a combination of what he said in his Udemy course and what I did myself.  

After taking his course (in which he recommends that you publish your eBook through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

I did some of my own research.  Here are some other resources on publishing eBooks that I found:

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/

After doing research, I agree with Nick Loper that the best way to publish is through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). 

I already have my title “Everything I learned about sales I learned from my dog”.   I have already trademarked that name through the Library of Congress. See my blog to see how I did that. 

I also had an outline of my eBook but I haven’t written my eBook yet.

I went to the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) (https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/)  and spent a lot of time on the KDP site reading their directions on how to publish. I logged into the site with my Amazon Prime account so I didn’t have to create a new account but you can create one if you don’t already have an Amazon account.

Here is what I did:

  • I watched their KDP Jumptart video to get an overview
    • It said the first step is to set up an account so I clicked on that hyperlink and did the following:
      • Filled out author/publisher information (my info)
      • Getting paid (my bank info) and clicked “Add”
      • Next I went to “Complete tax information”
        • It asked if I was an individual or a business.  I’ve got an LLC so I wasn’t sure what to put but there was a note that said to put individual if you are a Sole Proprietors or Single-Member LLCs so I selected “individual”
        • It asked my name on tax records, address, whether I was a US citizen, my business name (optional) and social security number.  I had to certify that everything I put was correct for a W9. I certified it was and typed in my legal name under the signature. 
        • It then showed me a copy of my W2 to review and hit either “make changes” or “submit form”.  Mine looked good so I clicked “submit form”. 
        • I got a screen with a green check mark that said “Validated” and I clicked “Exit interview”. 
      • Still in the KDP jumpstart, I went to Book Details and clicked on the hyperlink for “Write your book description” and watched the video called “How to help readers find your book”. 
        • I went to the main page (Bookshelf) and under Create New Title clicked on “Kindle e-book”. 
        • I had to fill out information such as author, title, description, categories (it would only let me add two) and whether I wanted to let folks preorder it.  It said you have 90 days to publish it once you commit to preordering. I thought that would be a good deadline for me so I said yes to preorder and got a message that I have to submit my manuscript by 9/20/19.  
        • The next page asked if I want to enable DRM (Digital Rights Management).  I had no idea of what that is. The KDP site says “DRM (Digital Rights Management) is intended to inhibit unauthorized distribution of the Kindle file of your book. Some authors want to encourage readers to share their work, and choose not to have DRM applied to their book. If you choose DRM, customers will still be able to lend the book to another user for a short period, and can also purchase the book as a gift for another user from the Kindle store. Important: Once you publish your book, you cannot change its DRM setting.”  I also googled it and read several articles about it. The thing that resonated with me is that if you enable it users can’t read it on multiple devices. I am a fan of using multiple devices to read and it would irritate me if I couldn’t switch where I read a book so I decided for the user experience aspect, I would not enable it. 
        • It next asked if I was ready to upload my file.  I selected that I would upload my file later.  
        • Next it asked me to upload a cover or create one.  I decided to try their cover creator so I went through the process.  My book is called “Everything I learned about sales I learned from my dog” and I had hired someone on Fiverr in the fall to create an avatar of my dog so I uploaded that avatar as my image.  I then changed the fonts a bit to create the title and my name and saved the image and it gave me a green checkmark and said “cover uploaded successfully”. 
        • The next box was a Kindle eBook Preview but since I haven’t upload the manuscript there is nothing to preview. 
        • The next field asked about an ISBN but said that Kindle eBooks don’t require one.  I had read that you don’t need to worry about that for an eBook so I left it blank.
        • The next field asked for a publisher (optional)
          • I googled it and couldn’t find a good answer as to whether or not to include a publisher.  I am doing everything under my brand of The Ordinary Mom so I put that as the publisher but I’m not sure if that was a good idea or not. 
        • Next it asked me about whether I want to enroll in KDP Select.  On Nick Loper’s udemy course on this, he explained it the following way (and I paraphrase):  This gives Amazon exlusive distribution rights to your book for a 90 period (and then you can opt out)
          • Benefits of KDP Direct
            • Amazon Prime members can borrow your book for free (1 free borrow/per month)
            • Kindle Unlimited- $9.99/month for unlimited borrowing
              • For authors, you can make ~$1.50-$2.00 per borrow (someone will have to read at least 10% of your book to get paid
            • Kindle Countdown deals- can discount in for a limited period of time
            • Ability to promote your book for free for up to 5 days over a 90 day period (huge exposure for new authors and puts materials in front of new readers and generate email sign ups through a free offer)
            • The downside is exclusivity (Amazon has ~65% of the market)
            • Either select or don’t select 
          • He enrolled in it and so did I
          • Next you have to select which Territories you hold the rights in.  I selected “All Territories”. 
          • Next you select the royalty.  You get 35% for books under $2.99 and 70% for books over $2.99.  I selected $4.99 for my book. I haven’t really researched this but it just feels right (not too cheap and not too expensive). 
          • Next was whether to enroll in Kindle Matchbook.  It said to allow customers who purchased your print book to purchase the eBook at a discount (i.e. $2.99).  I hadn’t really thought about a print book but I’m open to it. 
          • Next was Kindle Book Lending.  This is locked as yes and when I clicked on the link to find out more it said that books with 70% royalties are automatically enrolled in this. 
          • Next I clicked “submit for pre-order” and it said “Your Kindle eBook has been submitted”.  
          • Next it said, “Publish your book as a paperback.” So I clicked “Start your paperback now”.  Again, I hadn’t given much thought about print but I decided to do it too. 
          • It walked me through the same screens but everything was pre-populated so I just accepted it.  
          • Next it asked if I wanted KDP to assign an ISBN or provide my own.  I selected that I wanted them to assign one.  
          • It gave me a green check and had my ISBN 
          • I selected all of the defaults for paper, size etc. 
          • It then asked me to upload my manuscript. 
          • Since my manuscript is not written yet, I clicked “Save draft”

Less than a day later, I got a note that my eBook is available for pre-order at:

Now I have a 90 day deadline to write my book and upload it to KDP.  I am using Nick Loper’s guide of having an eBook be 15,000-20,000 words and I am going to shoot for 15,000 which is ~30 typed pages.  I am taking the philosophy of my The Ordinary Mom persona that it is my first book so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Part of the journey is learning how to do it so it will be faster and easier next time.  I am going to do the best I can with the 2-3 hours a week I can set aside to get this completed by my deadline. Wish me luck!  

Email me at julie@theordinarymom.com if you have any questions or want to share your experiences of writing your own eBook. 

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