NEWBIE WRITERS: How To Make Your eBook A Pre-Order On Amazon

So, you’re almost finished formatting your very first eBook and now you’re ready to put it into the Amazon Kindle store. From the research I’ve done, most authors suggest doing a pre-order of your book, so you can make more people aware of it even before the launch date. I finished this process yesterday. Here’s the Amazon page about pre-orders that details all the information you need.

Having just gone through this process, I ran into a few issues that frustrated me.

Frustration #1
At the beginning of the process, I logged into Amazon.com and expected to find the Kindle page from there. WRONG. Use this link to go directly to Amazon KDP. KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing.

Frustration #2
The registration process of setting up your Amazon author account includes a tax section. I hate filling out forms, especially when I don’t understand what I’m filling out! One section within the tax part I had to either check the box or leave blank was FATCA. What the hell is FATCA? My brain saw “fatcat”. Anyway, I couldn’t find the answer in Google or the help section, so I decided not to check the box. When I tried to submit the form, Amazon let me know that I had to check the box. Unless you have a super special circumstance, check the FATCA box! If you must know what FATCA is, here’s the wikipedia entry. Basically, it’s a way for our government to track non-U.S. royalties. When you put your book into the Amazon marketplace, you’re automatically putting it into all the Amazon stores all over the world. Read this to find out what countries. This is an amazing opportunity that has never existed in the history of humanity. Powerless people from any spot on the earth have the ability to reach the whole world and make income from a global platform, all for free, in theory. The only cost is effort. It’s unbelievable, actually. You can theoretically do it for free, if you figure out all the steps.

Frustration #3
I’m not 100% done with my final edits for my eBook. Do I have to finish my eBook completely to make it available on Amazon as a pre-order? NO. You can upload a draft of your eBook and make it available for people to purchase as a pre-order. You have to upload the final manuscript file 10 days before the release date. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

In case you’re wondering how much I’ve spent on my first eBook, here’s a breakdown:

$250: Editor
$30: Printed giant replica of book cover for street guerilla marketing
$30: 6 Tiny books for giveaway at book launch (from social print studio)
$100: Book launch party food, drinks and entertainment
$0: Book cover design (I created the cover myself, but I’ve heard that 99designs is good. If you can’t afford that, try fiverr).
$59: Ebook formatting program from Pressbooks.com. I tried to use Scrivener and Calibre but I found them too difficult to use. But many writers love those so I wanted to mention them in case you want to give them a go. I even considered paying someone else to format my eBook. However, I want to learn every aspect of eBook creation, so I found Pressbooks to be the easiest program to use. I’ll report back on how it comes out, but so far, I’m really happy with this application.
TOTAL AMOUNT SPENT SO FAR: $469

Today my Un-Crap Your Life eBook is available on Amazon as a pre-order. This is big day for me. And I finished my Amazon Author profile, too. It’s pretty scary and exciting.

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