Create your first Kindle book in 4 steps (Amazon 2017)

First Kindle Book (1)

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Kindle has opened huge opportunities for writers (and even non-writers!) to earn a very good passive income from Kindle self-publishing, especially since Amazon has introduced KindleUnlimited. Here, I will show you how to create a kindle book and sell it too.

I have seen many people make thousands of dollars without even writing their own books. I have also written about those people and useful resources in How to earn your first $1,000 in 30 days.

Of course, that success does not happen overnight! And if you are not serious about dedication, you better leave this blog now. Otherwise, read further to learn how to self-publish your first-ever Kindle Book on Amazon and start earning money.

There are many courses in the market that also teach you self-publishing in insane details. However, the best two are below:

1 – Kindle Money Mastery

2 – Kindle Publishing – Self-Publishing Revolution

I am going to assume that you already know what you’re going to write about (niche); I’m going to focus here only on how to create and publish your first Kindle Book, the right way.

This post has got all the details that first time self-publishers and more experienced indie authors can utilise. The process of first time self-publishing can be intimidating, and a detailed guide has definitely been needed. –  T. J. Blake – tjblakeauthor.com

Step 1: Writing

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.Benjamin Franklin

Obviously, the first step to publishing a book is to write a book. I know many people are struggling in writing—they usually open a word file, name it with a title, and then it sits there for weeks and sometimes for months! Here is a quick training to teach you how to write a book in 24 hours.

There are only 2 ways to write a book! Either you write it by yourself, or you ask someone else to write it for you (yes, you can do that legally).

Write a book by yourself

The best way to write a book is to start right now, yourself. My favorite quote about writing is from Tim Ferris: “Write two s****y pages, every day, no exceptions.” That’s it—just write 2 pages every day. Don’t worry about editing, proofreading or formatting it now. We’ll discuss those elements later. Just write whatever comes to your mind.

If you’re really struggling in writing, Stefan Pylarinos, Amazon Bestselling author, has created a short and informative course: How to write a book in 24 hours. He helped me to get started in Kindle Business.

I am going to tell you the only 2 tips that I personally used to write my first book ever, The New Rich. Don’t worry, and I won’t overwhelm you—just a couple of quick tips.

Outline a rough content table

Do not overthink this process; you can always come back and edit. However, you should be able to jot down titles for a few chapters/sections that relate to what you want to write about.

If you are writing a book about Yoga, your chapters may be examples of the following:

  • Introduction to Yoga.
  • History of Yoga.
  • Main Types of Yoga.
  • Benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness.
  • Yoga Poses
  • …etc.

Set a daily target

Set a target every day. As we mentioned above, even 2 s****y pages would be great—you just really need to stick to your target. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you write, just write what you have committed to. The key here is to start and not procrastinate.

You might use the Coach.me app for iPhone or Android to help you stick to your daily target; this app helped me with many skills that I was dreaming of, such as writing every day, learning Spanish and meditation.

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Don’t want to write your book?

I know some people that want to get in the Kindle business, but they don’t want to write, or they’re just more interested in doing business and making money than writing their own book!

Fair enough! You can still hire someone to write a book for you—these people are called ghostwriters.

Here are the steps to get someone to write a book for you and make sure you have 100% ownership and copyright. Go to any freelancer website such as Freelancer.com or UpWork.com.

Create a free account, and then post a job. I will show you the steps for Freelancer.com below:

Go to Dashboard and then Create a New Project.

Create a New Project

You will see 5 required sections to create your job. Choose writing in the first section (“What type of work do you require?”).

What type of work do you require?

A Sub-category option will be shown; choose Writing a book.

Subcategory

Name your job, for example, “Writing Yoga Book”.

Project name

Write the required skills and job description as shown below. Also, I have included a ready-made template in the bonus to Describe Your Project.

Describe Your Project.

Choose a Simple Project option, and DO NOT CHOOSE ANY OPTIONAL FEATURES. It is very important for you to start as cheap as possible until you familiarize yourself with the process.

Simple Project

Click on Post Project Now, and you are set!

You will now probably get proposals from freelancers to write your book.

Proposals

Check the freelancers’ profiles and reviews for previous work they’ve done, and then choose whoever’s suitable for you. Make sure you ask them about the delivery time and any other specific questions you may have, too.

If you feel stuck, you can ask the Freelancers.com team to help; see below.

Team to help

After choosing your freelancer to write your book, you have to make sure that you own 100% ownership and copyright of the book. You should tell them that in advance, and they must agree to it. This will save you a lot of headaches later on.

No worries, I have included, the bonus, a template for ownership agreement that you can send to them to sign before starting writing.

To wrap up:

  • Make a choice to write a book, or just hire someone to do so.
  • Set a daily target if you want to write your book by yourself
  • Or, Go to Freelancer.com and UpWork.com to find someone to write your book.

Step 2: Editing, Proofreading & Formatting

Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.Joan Didion

There is a bit of work to do after you write your book or receive it from a freelancer. If you do not want negative reviews, you should make sure your book is edited and formatted well. The last thing readers want to see is a grammar mistake. You can get away with it in a blog like I do :), but not in a book. It may take extra time to get this right, but it is worth it. Let's have a look!

Add a copyright page

If you do not want people to steal your book, you need a copyright paragraph or page. This can seem overwhelming, but don’t worry; a Word-format template is included in the bonus section for that you feel free to use. Just add an author name and you are good to go.

Make sure the book is original (in case of freelancing)

If Amazon thinks your book is not original, or there is a doubt of plagiarism in your book, you may get blocked, and your book will be removed by Amazon. They may even have the right to take it further and sue you.

In short, you need to make sure your book is original. The best tool to use for this is CopySpace; they have both a free and paid service. You can use their Premium service (paid) to make sure your book is original for as little as $1 for a 20,000-word book. It is worth it.

Editing & Proofreading

It does not matter if you are writing your book by yourself or not; you need to ensure that it is well edited. You may ask someone you trust to proofread it, or simply find someone at Freelancer.com or similar to do so. The price will depend on your book’s length.

You can also use Fiverr.com and find someone to do it for as little as $20-50, but you won’t get as good quality.

Alternatively, you may use Grammarly; it is the best automated proofreading tool I have ever used. I even used it as part of proofreading this blog post. Of course, it is not free, but it is worth it; check them out, as they always run good promotions.

You will be able to edit, proofread and check the following elements:

  • Contextual Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Sentence Structure
  • Style
  • Vocabulary Enhancement
  • Plagiarism

You can also choose your content tone, whether it’s Academic, Business, Article, Creative, Medical, etc. With these extensive options, Grammarly can get you the best and most accurate results.

You can either create a report with one click and send it to your freelancer to fix the issues Grammarly found (You will find an example report generated by Grammarly in the bonus section), or you can simply fix them by yourself in a couple of minutes. See self-explanatory screenshots below.

Grammarly 1

Grammarly 3

Grammarly 2

Grammarly 4

Note: If you are using Mac, you can download their App, too; if you are using Windows, you can download their Microsoft Add-on, which will enable you to proofread your content in Word and Outlook instantly while you are writing.

In both Mac and Windows, you may download their Chrome Extension to proofread and edit whatever you write.

Formatting

The last step here before getting your book online is formatting. You need to make sure your book is formatted in a very easy reading format and as per Amazon Guidelines.

Amazon recommends using DOC/DOCX or HTML format; however, you can use any of the following formats, also accepted by Amazon:

  • MOBI (MOBI)
  • ePub (EPUB)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Plain Text (TXT)
  • Adobe PDF (PDF)
  • Kindle Package Format(KPF)

Some people write in a larger font to increase the number of pages in their books; well, if you think you can cheat Amazon, you are out of your mind! You will just get suspended. Also, Amazon now is reformatting your font if they think something isn’t right in your format, so just be legitimate and think long term.

Tips:

  • If you’re doing formatting yourself, make sure every chapter starts on a new page by using the Page Break option in Word/Pages.
  • You may want to outsource formatting of your book on Fiverr.com for only $5.
  • Add a Thank You page at the end of your book and ask your readers to review your book on Amazon. Don’t overdo it, just a couple of lines to thank them for reading and request that they review your book. Be careful to check Amazon’s guidelines for soliciting reviews to make sure you’re in line with them.
  • Ask at least one person to read it.

To wrap up:

  • Add a copyright page.
  • Use CopySpace to ensure your book is original.
  • Use Grammarly to edit your book.
  • Format your book as per Amazon guidelines, or pay $5 at Fiverr.com for someone to do so for you.

Chapter 3: Kindle Book Cover

Color does not add a pleasant quality to design - it reinforces it.Pierre Bonnard

The is probably one of the most important steps if you want people to buy your Kindle Book. Just like what we have discussed previously, you can either design your own Kindle Book Cover or pay someone to do it for you. Let’s discuss both cases.

Design your own book

I know what you’re thinking! You’re not a designer, right? Well, it doesn’t really matter; you will be amazed what can you design in just a few minutes. I designed my book, Blogging for Beginners, in just 5 minutes.

The best tool I have ever used for designing your own anything is Canva. You can design presentations, Facebook cover & profile photos, ads, book covers, blog banners and many other things.

Let’s design a cover together right now.

Go to Canva and sign up for a free account.

Click on Create a design and scroll down to Kindle Cover.

Canva 3

Choose a pre-made cover, or you can upload your own image (DepositPhotos is by far my favorite resource for royalty-free photos; give it try, and you will love it).

Canva 4

Add the type of text you like from the left, or just edit the existing one in the design.

Canva 5

Download your Kindle Book Cover. Yes, that’s it!

Canva 6

Note: While most of the features in Canva are free, if you used any non-free photo or text, you will need to pay them (though only $1) to be able to download your cover.

Get someone else to design your Kindle Book Cover

If you prefer to ask someone else to do this for you, that fine, too. I did this for my book The New Rich. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like designing anything and want to focus on the book content and promotion only.

There are many places to go to find a designer; I will discuss 2 of my favorites.

1 - 99Designs

If you have $299 to spend on a Kindle Book Cover, and you would like to use the same service that Tim Ferris used for his book The 4-Hour Work Week, 99Designs is your best shot. You submit a request online at their website, and tens (sometimes hundreds, if you pay more) of amazing designers will deliver designs for you to choose from; you will pay only for the design you like, or pay nothing if you don’t like any of them).

2 - Fiverr.com

Alright, what if you don’t have that much money to spend on just one book? What about $5, does that sound affordable enough?

So just go to Fiverr.com.

Type Kindle Cover in the search bar and hit enter. You will see hundreds of gigs varying from $5 to $50.

Fiverr 1

Look at the below example—it’s a great gig, it has over 1,000 positive reviews (5 stars), and it’s only $5. That means there are over 1,000 Kindle Book Covers created by that gig, so you should be comfortable buying it. Also, for some gigs, you can pay for express 24-hour delivery if you are in a hurry. For example, look at the same gig.

Fiverr 2

So you can get your Kindle Cover Book delivered to you in 24 hours for only $10—that’s really a good deal!

Note: One thing I have to tell you here: look at the reviews of people/gigs before you buy. It is very important to make sure the gig has at least 10 positive reviews before buying it.

Alternatively, if you are fussy about a design and have specific guidelines that your designers must follow, you can use Freelancer.com and post whatever requirements you have in mind.

To Wrap up:

  • Use Canva to design the book cover by yourself.
  • Use 99Designs to hire a world-class designer for $199.
  • Or, use Fiverr.com to get it done with $5 with average quality.

Chapter 4: Set up your KDP account

You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.Zig Ziglar

Congratulations! You are almost done! If you’ve reached this point, you should have a Kindle Book that’s ready to be sold. If you are stuck or feeling overwhelmed, that’s normal; just leave a comment below, and I will help you with whatever issues you face.

You can sell your book on many online platforms; however, I really do not want to make this blog 10,000 words! As we are talking about Kindle, I’m going to show you the steps to sell only on Amazon.

To sell your Kindle Book on Amazon, you will need to create a Kindle Direct Pushing (KDP) account on Amazon. Below is the step-by-step process.

Go to https://kdp.amazon.com and sign in using your normal Amazon account, or just create one if you do not have an Amazon account or want one specifically for business.

Sign in at KDP

Click on Create New Title.

 how to create a kindle book

Select Enroll this book in KDP Select (this is what I do, as do many others).

KDP select

Here, you need to make a choice if you going to give Amazon the exclusive right to sell your book for 90 days or not. You may read more about it here. This means you will not be able to distribute your book electronically through any channel but Amazon for that period. If you do, you may be in legal trouble.

However, you can still link to your book URL in Amazon from your blog or social platform, as long as people ultimately are buying it from Amazon.

Is it worth it to enroll in KDP?

So what will you get for this? Some cool features, like the ability to make your book free up to 5 days out of every 90 days—this will help your book get into the hands of hundreds of people, or even thousands. Again you can read everything about it here.

Why do you want to make your book FREE through KDP?

  1. Many people will download your book, which is a key element in your book ranking higher on Amazon.
  2. When your free promotion is finished, your book will have a higher rank, which can then translate into sales.
  3. You can also send many of your free readers to a sign-up page directly from your book, and get your email list built up! This is huge! It’s a free way to build a massive email list.
  4. You can run countdown deals too, giving a specific discount on your book, which Amazon loves—they even have a dedicated URL for countdown deals.
  5. You will be automatically enrolled into KindleUnlimited, where you will get paid per page view. Read more here.

Back to the steps, Here is how to make your first book through KDP, using my book The New Rich as an example.

Add a title and subtitle

Title & Subtitle

Select This book is part of a series but leave everything else blank.

In the description box, you should use an HTML code to make your description stands out, and I know this is a bit harsh for someone, that's why I have created a FREE Kindle HTML Description Generator.

Series and desription

Add as many contributions as you want in this step, for example, authors, editors, translators, .., etc. However, for now, you need to add only an author who could be your name or any Pen Name you may choose.

Contribution 1

 

Contribution 2

Also, choose the book language. And Keep ISBN blank as Amazon will automatically create one for your book for free.

Language and ISBN

Choose This is not a public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing rights. Because obviously, you have written this book or you own the ownership.

Public Domain

Click on Add Categories and choose 2 relevant categories to your book.

Category

Keep Age option untouched unless you are publishing special books (adult for example). Read more.

Age

The 7 Keyword option provided by Amazon is the most important feature to help customer and Amazon discover your book. You must take your time and do your research to choose the best keywords for your book.

Keyword

This is like SEO for Google! Below are the keywords I have selected for my book:

  1. Entrepreneurship Life,
  2. Young Rich,
  3. Make Money,
  4. Online Billionaires,
  5. Online business,
  6. New Rich
  7. Financial Freedom

Did you get it? I have chosen keywords that I believe readers may search for to find my book!

Upload your book cover and content. And Click Save to move to the next page.

Upload

SAve

Choose if you want to sell your book worldwide or only in certain countries. (I always choose worldwide)

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Now, you need to decide your book price but pay attention to the Amazon Royalty. Amazon will pay you either 30% or 70% of the book price for each sale, see 2 scenarios:

  • If you want to get 70% royalty, your book price must be between $2.99 and $9.99.
  • If you want to get 30% royalty, your book price must be between $0.99 and $200.00.

You might have realized that both cases share prices between $2.99 and $9.99. The reason is the 70% royalty option only applies to books sold to customers in the countries listed below. You do not need to live in one of the 70% territories in order to receive the 70% royalty option.

70% Territories:

  • Andorra
  • Australia (including territories Christmas Island (CX), Cocos Keeling Islands (CC), Heard & McDonald Islands (HM), and Northfolk Island (NF))
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil*
  • Canada
  • France
  • Great Britain
  • Guernsey
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • India*
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Japan*
  • Jersey
  • Lichtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Mexico*
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand (including territories Cook Islands (CK), Niue (NU), and Tokelau)
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vatican City

--> Learn more here.

Royalty

Tick Book Lending option as it give more exposure to your book. More people will share your book.

Ignore Kindle MatchBook option as it is valid only when you have other existing formats for your book such as paperback and audiobook.

Finish

That's it! You will now receive an email from Amazon that your book will be published within 24 hours. Congratulations!

To wrap up:

  • Create a KDP account.
  • Enroll at KDP Select (recommended).
  • Follow the steps above to create your first book:)
  • Enjoy your sales...

Conclusion

I can write hundreds of blogs about techniques and tips in Kindle business; however, this blog should give you enough to start a self-publishing business and start making money. Do not procrastinatestart your online business now.

Is there something you think I missed in the above steps? Please comment and let me know, and let’s update the blog together!

If you have any question, simply comment below and let’s discuss.

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