Kindle Direct Publishing 101: How to Write & Publish Your Book
Are you struggling with Kindle Direct Publishing? Can’t seem to write that first book? Working on your next bestseller but simply don’t know what to do next? Look no further — in this ‘Kindle Publishing 101’ we’d like to show you exactly how to Write & Publish Your Next Bestseller.
Why Write a Book?
It’s not true that everything that has been said has already been written. Since that unfortunate axiom came into use, the whole universe has changed. Technology has changed, ideas have changed, and the mindsets of entire nations have changed.
The fact is that this is the perfect time to write an ebook. What the publishing industry needs are people who can tap into the world as it is today — innovative thinkers who can make the leap into the new millennium and figure out how to solve old problems in a new way. Ebooks are a new and powerful tool for original thinkers with fresh ideas to disseminate information to the millions of people who are struggling to figure out how to do a plethora of different things.
Let’s say you already have a brilliant idea, and the knowledge to back it up that will enable you to write an exceptional ebook. You may be sitting at your computer staring at a blank screen wondering, “Why? Why should I go through all the trouble of writing my ebook when it’s so impossible to get anything published these days?
Well, let me assure you that publishing an ebook is entirely different than publishing a book in print. Let’s look at the specifics of how the print and cyber publishing industry differ, and the many reasons why you should take the plunge and get your fingers tapping across those keyboards!
Submitting a print book to conventional publishing houses or to agents is similar to wearing a hair shirt 24/7. No matter how good your book actually is, or how many critique services and mentor writers have told you that “you’ve got what it takes,” your submitted manuscript keeps coming back to you as if it is a boomerang instead of a valuable mine of information.
Perhaps, in desperation, you’ve checked out self-publishing and found out just how expensive a venture it can be. Most “vanity presses” require minimal print runs of at least 500 copies, and even that amount will cost you thousands of dollars. Some presses’ minimal run starts at 1,000 to 2,000 copies. And that’s just for the printing and binding. Add in distribution, shipping, and promotional costs and — well, you do the math. Even if you wanted to go this route, you may not have that kind of money to risk.
Let’s say you already have an Internet business with a quality website and a quality product. An ebook is one of the most powerful ways to promote your business while educating people with the knowledge you already possess as a business owner of a specific product or service.
For example, let’s say that you’ve spent the last twenty-five years growing and training bonsai trees, and now you’re ready to share your knowledge and experience. An ebook is the perfect way to reach the largest audience of bonsai enthusiasts.
Ebooks will not only promote your business — they will help you make a name for yourself and your company, and establish you as an expert in your field. You may even find that you have enough to say to warrant a series of ebooks. Specific businesses are complicated and often require the different aspects to be divided in order for the reader to get the full story.
Perhaps your goals are more finely tuned in terms of the ebook scene. You may want to build a whole business around writing and publishing ebooks. Essentially, you want to start an e-business. You are thinking of setting up a website to promote and market your ebooks. Maybe you’re even thinking of producing an ezine.
One of the most prevalent reasons people read ebooks is to find information about how to turn their Internet businesses into a profit-making machine. And these people are looking to the writers of ebooks to provide them with new ideas and strategies because writers of ebooks are usually people who understand the new cyberspace world we now live in. Ebook writers are experts in Internet marketing campaigns and the strategies of promoting and distributing ebooks. The cyberspace community needs its ebooks to be successful so that more and more ebooks will be written.
You may want to create affiliate programs that will also market your ebook. Affiliates can be people or businesses worldwide that will all be working to sell your ebooks. Think about this? Do you see a formula for success here?
Figure out what your subject matter is, and then narrow it down. Your goal is to aim for specificity. Research what’s out there already, and try to find a void that your ebook might fill.
What about an ebook about a wedding cake business? Or an ebook about caring for elderly pets? How about the fine points of collecting ancient pottery?
You don’t have to have three masters degrees to write about your subject. People need advice that is easy to read and easily understood. Parents need advice for dealing with their teenagers. College students need to learn good study skills — quickly. The possibilities are endless.
After you’ve writtten your ebook
Getting your ebook out is going to be your focus once you’ve finished writing it, just as it is with print books. People will hesitate to buy any book from an author they’ve never heard of. Wouldn’t you?
The answer is simple: give it away! You will see profits in the form of promoting your own business and getting your name out. You will find affiliates who will ask you to place their links within your ebook, and these affiliates will in turn go out and make your name known. Almost every single famous ebook author has started out this way.
Another powerful tool to attract people to your ebook is to make it interactive. Invent something for them to do within the book rather than just producing pages that contain static text. Let your readers fill out questionnaires, forms, even crossword puzzles geared to testing their knowledge on a particular subject. Have your readers hit a link that will allow them to recommend your book to their friends and associates. Or include an actual order form so at the end of their reading journey, they can eagerly buy your product.
When people interact with books, they become a part of the world of that book. The fact is just as true for books in print as it is for ebooks.
That’s why ebooks are so essential. Not only do they provide a forum for people to learn and make sense of their own thoughts, but they can also serve to promote your business at the same time.
How to Write a Book (Easily & Quickly)
The hardest part of writing is the first sentence. When you look at the whole project, it seems like an impossible task. That’s why you have to break it down into manageable tasks. Think of climbing a mountain. You are standing at the foot of it and looking up at its summit vanishing into the clouds. How can you possibly scale such an immense and dangerous mountain?
There is only one way to climb a mountain — step by step.
Now think of writing your ebook in the same light. You must create it step by step, and one day, you will take that last step and find yourself standing on the summit with your head in the clouds.
The first thing you have to do, as if you actually were a mountain cli
mber, is to get organized. Instead of climbing gear, however, you must organize your thoughts. There are some steps you should take before you begin. Once you’ve gone through the following list, you will be ready to actually begin writing your ebook.
Beginning Steps to Writing an ebook
First, figure out your ebook’s working title. Jot down a few different titles, and eventually, you’ll find that one that will grow on you. Titles help you to focus your writing on your topic; they guide you in anticipating and answering your reader’s queries. Many non-fiction books also have subtitles. Aim for clarity in your titles, but cleverness always helps to sell books ? as long as it’s not too cute. For example, Remedies for Insomnia: twenty different ways to count sheep. Or: Get off that couch: fifteen exercise plans to whip you into shape.
Next, write out a thesis statement. Your thesis is a sentence or two stating exactly what problem you are addressing and how your book will solve that problem. All chapters spring forth from your thesis statement. Once you’ve got your thesis statement fine-tuned, you’ve built your foundation. From that foundation, your book will grow, chapter by chapter.
Your thesis will keep you focused while you write your ebook. Remember: all chapters must support your thesis statement. If they don’t, they don’t belong in your book. For example, your thesis statement could read: We’ve all experienced insomnia at times in our lives, but there are twenty proven techniques and methods to give you back a good night’s sleep.
Once you have your thesis, before you start to write, make sure there is a good reason to write your book. Ask yourself some questions:
* Does your book present useful information and is that information currently relevant?
* Will your book positively affect the lives of your readers?
* Is your book dynamic and will it keep the reader’s attention?
* Does your book answer questions that are meaningful and significant?
If you can answer yes to these questions, you can feel confident about the potential of your ebook.
Another important step is to figure out who your target audience is. It is this group of people you will be writing to, and this group will dictate many elements of your book, such as style, tone, diction, and even length. Figure out the age range of your readers, their general gender, what they are most interested in, and even the socio-economic group they primarily come from. Are they people who read fashion magazines or book reviews? Do they write letters in longhand or spend hours every day online. The more you can pin down your target audience, the easier it will be to write your book for them.
Next, make a list of the reasons you are writing your ebook. Do you want to promote your business? Do you want to bring quality traffic to your website? Do you want to enhance your reputation?
Then write down your goals in terms of publishing. Do you want to sell it as a product on your website, or do you want to offer it as a free gift for filling out a survey or for ordering a product? Do you want to use the chapters to create an e-course, or use your ebook to attract affiliates around the world? The more you know upfront, the easier the actual writing will be.
Decide on the format of your chapters. In non-fiction, keep the format from chapter to chapter fairly consistent. Perhaps you plan to use an introduction to your chapter topic, and then divide it into four subhead topics. Or you may plan to divide it into five parts, each one beginning with a relevant anecdote.
How to make your ebook “user friendly”
You must figure out how to keep your writing engaging. Often anecdotes, testimonials, little stories, photos, graphs, advice, and tips will keep the reader turning the pages. Sidebars are useful for quick, accessible information, and they break up the density of the page.
Write with a casual, conversational tone rather than a formal tone such as textbook diction. Reader’s respond to the feeling that you are having a conversation with them. Break up the length and structure of your sentences so you don?t hypnotize your readers into sleep. Sentences that are all the same length and structure tend to be a good aid for insomnia!
Good writing takes practice. It takes lots and lots of practice. Make a schedule to write at least a page a day. Read books and magazines about the process of writing, and jot down tips that jump out at you. The art of writing is a lifetime process; the more you write (and read), the better your writing will become. The better your writing becomes, the bigger your sales figures.
In an ebook that is read on the screen, be aware that you must give your reader’s eye a break. You can do this by utilizing white space. In art classes, white space is usually referred to as “negative space.” Reader’s eyes need to rest in the cool white oasises you create on your page. If your page is too dense, your reader will quit out of it as soon as their eyes begin to tear.
Make use of lists, both bulleted and numbered. This makes your information easy to absorb, and gives the reader a mental break from dissecting your paragraphs one after the other.
Finally, decide on an easy-to-read design. Find a font that’s easy on the eyes, and stick to that font family. Using dozens of fonts will only tire your readers out before they’ve gotten past your introduction. Use at least one and a half line spacing, and text large enough to be read easily on the screen, but small enough so that the whole page can be seen on a computer screen. You will have to experiment with this to find the right combination.
Of course, don’t forget to run a spell and grammar check. You are judged by something as minor as correct punctuation, so don?t mess up a great book by tossing out semicolons randomly, or stringing sentences together with commas. (By the way, that’s called a “comma splice.”)
Last of all, create an index and a bibliography. That’s it! You’ve written a book! Now all you have to do is publish your ebook online, and market your book to your website visitors.
Creating Your Kindle Direct Publishing Account
Before we go any further — you obviously need a place to publish your freshly finished book. Better yet, a FREE Place to publish your book (…multiple books, even) — and that place is Kindle Direct Publishing.
It’s free to use and incredibly simple to set up. (hence why this section is so short) — see the few images below to show you what you should see when navigating to KDP.Amazon.com to set up your free account.
You’ll be required to enter in a few personal details — (Name, Address, Social Security) — all necessary for you to receive payment.
Speaking of payment — you have a few options. But first; it’s important that we clarify — you are paid 60 days after any given sale is made. And you have 2 payment options — Direct Deposit (straight to your provided bank account) or Paper Checks.
It’s all a matter of personal preference. But I’d highly suggest going with the Direct Deposit choice. It’s quicker and there are usually no problems when ‘cashing out’.
Publishing Your Book(s) to KDP
Since this is a very straight forward process — we’ve limited the amount of effort to understand it by showing you a few images that should better explain just how simple this process really is.
Remember though; keywords and your title are VERY important. You should NOT quickly rush a book just to get it published. Take your time. The more time you invest into publishing your book now cuts down the time you may need to spend helping your book survive in the future.
Once you select ‘Create New Title’ — you’ll be prompted to enter in some book detail information. Such as your Title, Subtitle, Author, Description, Keywords etc… This is a VERY IMPORTANT step in making sure you have an optimal launch for your book.
Don’t forget to actually upload your book file (and cover art) — these are very crucial. For obvious reasons as well as the fact that one actually DOES judge a book by its cover. One theory is that if your cover is professional looking a potential reader may associate that level of quality to what they think your book will be. So make it count!
From here; you’ll be able to select your pricing and royalty settings. They’ve very straight forward — if you only want 35% of each sale — you’ll need to have a pricing of $0.99 or more. And for a 75% slice — you’ll need at least $2.99
From this moment — (after a few personally decided settings below this table) you’re ready to publish your book. It will take around 24 Hours or so for it to show up and changes take around 12–24 Hours to take effect.
So once you’ve published your book — it’s time for the meat and potatoes of this article… Marketing & Selling Your Book(s).
Marketing & Selling Your Books
When you put your all into learning something that you need to know, you can bet that other people can benefit from what you have learned. Internet marketing is one of those topics that lots of people need help with. So once you’ve gained knowledge and experience writing and selling an internet marketing ebook might be a good opportunity for you.
In order to make money in ebook publishing, you have to have a product that people want. How-to books that fill a need are undoubtedly best-selling ebooks. An internet marketing ebook falls into that category.
There is nothing worse than an internet marketing ebook or how-to ebook that is filled with junk. Thus, in order for your internet marketing ebook to be a best seller, it has to offer useful information. If it doesn’t, you’ll get return requests and charge-backs left and right. Besides, if you don’t have quality content in your internet marketing ebook, you can’t comfortably offer a money back guarantee which is actually a vital aspect of marketing ebooks for profit.
Every ebook, especially an internet marketing ebook, needs to have a clear purpose before you begin to write it. Decide who your target audience will be — who will buy your book? Selecting a niche market to sell your internet marketing ebook to is half the battle. When you narrow your market rather than trying to satisfy the masses, you will have a much higher quality product and less competition. The trick to producing a best seller is to provide a solution to an existing problem that isn’t effectively solved by numerous competitors.
Add value to your internet marketing ebook by offering freebies as bonuses for buying the ebook right away. A customer’s perceived value is very important. Examples of bonuses might include things like a report on how to set up an affiliate program for an ebook, how to manage a pay-per-click campaign, or how to write results-oriented sales copy for an internet marketing website.
Realize that if your internet marketing ebook is going to make money, you’ve got to apply the internet marketing principles that will get your ebook noticed, walk the prospect through the sales process and close the sale. The first principle is driving traffic to your website. Whatever internet marketing techniques you use to accomplish that, targeted traffic is vital. Once you have visitors at your website the sales process kicks in.
Long-copy sales letters are undoubtedly best for selling an internet marketing ebook or any other ebook for that matter. Short copy just doesn’t cut it. You see, when you are selling information products online, like an internet marketing ebook, you don’t have the advantage of a face-to-face sales opportunity. Your web copy has to accomplish the sales for you.
To close the sale, the copy must convey a unique selling proposition — one or more t
hings that stand out apart from your competition. It has to be attractive and compelling to your well-defined target market with headlines and subheads that grab attention by stating the product’s benefit or solution, or invoking curiosity. Your pricing strategy and relative bonuses must give readers a high perceived value so they feel they are getting an internet marketing ebook and additional information or products that are worth what they are paying.
The sales copy also has to build credibility either by stating the author’s credentials, using testimonials, or both. The reader’s objections also have to be countered by the sales copy. This can be accomplished by addressing them directly and by offering a money back guarantee.
A long-copy sales letter for selling an internet marketing ebook or another “how to” ebook that creates a sense of urgency can result in immediate sales. People have a tendency to be impulse shoppers so creating urgency by offering a “limited time” price or bonuses or making the product available only for a limited time will prompt the close of the sale.
Another factor to consider when writing sales copy for your internet marketing ebook is, buyers want to know they can contact you. When you provide valid, easy-to-find contact information your credibility increases tremendously and as a result so will your sales for your internet marketing ebook or any ebook you choose to publish.
When publishing your book(s) with the Kindle Direct Publishing platform — it’s incredibly easy to master the art of book marketing. With some of their free resources that you can utilize to not only increase your sales — but grow your readership.
A few of the tools that the Kindle Direct Publishing platform offers are the ability to offer promotions on your books. Of 2 choices you can select one; Free Book Promotion (which is pretty self explanatory) and a Kindle Countdown Deal — which periodically (from a starting price) increases the prices so it evokes a sense of urgency to your potential readers and (ideally) causes them to ‘impulse buy’ your book.