These days, Amazon Kindle Print (KDP) claims to do everything: both convert and publish eBooks and convert and publish your print paperback.
However, never let an automatic system control the look of your new (print) book: get a book designer on board. Or carefully read the guides and implement!
Amazon KDP Formatting Guide for eBooks (Goes to Amazon)
Print with Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle Print Publishing Guide:
Minimum margins are not ideal margins. The ideal margin depends on what size your book will be, and how much white space it needs to look good. A book that is 8.5 x 5.5″ could be fine with 15 mm outside/18 mm inside margins. A photo-heavy, 12″ x 12″ coffee table book would look best with 25 mm margins.
Some Australians who can afford a designer choose INGRAMSPARK to print their book and print on demand. ($65 for set-up, refunded on 50+ order). But nowadays Amazon lets you have cheaper proofs and has faster shipping (as they have a base here), most mainstream authors choose Amazon.
Stop the Press!
If you have technical details like thick paper requirements, metallic colour, embossing, colour photos on just one section, or UV spot, then you will need to use a book printer – not Print on Demand with IS, Blurb or Amazon. The Print on Demand system does not cater for customised books. Here are some recommended book printers:
SOS Printing – Sydney – can house bulk books and ship (a smaller print on demand)
Eureka Printing – Melbourne – beautiful colour pages
Action List for Amazon Bestseller: Download Here
Learn about Amazon Marketing
Category Finder/Research Tool
Kindle Rocket is a research tool and category finder for serial authors who would like their books to rank better on Amazon. Nothing replaces marketing and a good sales blurb, so remember there are other factors at play.
–> About Publisher Rocket (US$97 lifetime access – discount link)
How To Research Categories (Free):
Research those competitors listed on first page of Amazon’s search in three to five categories of your choosing. Note any rare categories your competitors rank in, and apply them to your upcoming book.
Within these few categories, look at those competitor books whose rankings fall between #10,000 – 30,000 in overall ‘rankings’. (Higher than #2,000 overall ranked books are considered too competitive for new authors).
For even better results, later we tell you how to use the KDP Calculator to calculate how many books you would need to sell in order increase your ranking.
When uploading your book the first time, Amazon will offer you a select list of categories to choose from. You may notice that the selection is missing plenty of categories that you’ve seen other books rank for. This is so that Amazon can place new books into their own Kindle categories.
Don’t let Amazon determine your categories! There are over 1,000 sub-categories your book can rank for, and you can even include up to an additional eight sub-categories not normally found. To access these, follow all of these steps:
- Use Amazon Keyword Selection. Include the name of a desired category as one of your “Amazon keywords”. In order to obtain a particular category, you must include specific keywords in the Kindle submission form. For more information on Categories and Keyword requirements, visit Amazon’s browse category page to learn more.
- Place desired categories in strategic places. To convince Amazon that your book should be placed in a specific category, try to work the words of the category into the subtitle or the summary of your book page.
- Contact Amazon. You can contact Amazon and request your book to be placed in a particular category. Amazon will then assess your entire book and determine if it’s an appropriate fit for the specific browse category.
Experiment with these strategies to acquire additional sub-categories for your book.
Have your book Meta Data (details), Book Size, Bio, and Launch Date in a file, ready to go when making a title on Amazon. No typo’s allowed!
Set up an Exclusive Kindle Deal
You will need to decide whether you want to distribute to wider range of platforms (like Apple iBooks, Scribd, Play and Kobo) or launch with Kindle Select for the first 3 months. Select is a program which allows for price promotions and a share of some Kindle Lending Library views (a small pittance) in exchange for eBook exclusivity — in the period you’re not even allowed to post the eBook to your website.
The video is below about Select.
If you decided to stick with Amazon for ebook distribution:
After you have set up your ebook and had the same price point for the past 30 days (or part thereof if new) then you may decide whether it is to be ‘exclusive’ to Amazon Kindle (tick on KINDLE SELECT) — and eligible for 5-day promotions: free and countdown specials, e.g. 2.99, 1.99.
These specials are viewed at Amazon.com and .co.uk, and so direct everyone to those. They end at midnight US eastern time (after the same time in AEST).
Note: you do need to promote this on your socials and email to get some interest! You can schedule a Facebook post in advance (under Pages). Countdown deals may not be available in Australia’s pages, only .com or .co.uk.
Set up a Preview Widget on a Website
Hey, do you have a website you control? Your ebook is published on Amazon?
Then you can put a Book Preview widget on any sidebar or page.
Here are the 3-step instructions. Once you get to copy the URL or code, then you need to go to your website’s main ‘widget’ and paste that HTML code or URL in. If your CMS does NOT have a widget, then just put it down the bottom of a page using a HTML block.
Set up Amazon Author Central
After publishing on Amazon (they have reviewed it as ‘published’), only then can you set up your Amazon Author Central: your biography and book feed.
So you’ll find these instructions now in the Marketing section (week 10).