How to Publish a Novel: Part 3

The anticipation is like the applause that happens when the conductor bows, turns to the orchestra, and you are poised, ready to play the first note, waiting for the downbeat. Don’t time it wrong, be precise and be beautiful. Is it time yet???

I’m excited to share my coming soon novel with you. This has been such a journey. I have learned that going from writer to author take a lot of work. This is my story and it may not be the same process for everyone, but it helps me stay organized and hopefully you learn something too.

This post is one of my eight part blog mini-series.

Part 3: Amazon, Oh Amazon

At this point, I was feeling frustrated. I felt like I had accomplished something, I had finished a novel, and instead it felt like there was so much up hill to go! I said to myself, fine, if I want do all it all myself, then what do I need to do? I went to Amazon KDP, which is so easy, I really could publish right then and there. But when even that engine pointed out spelling and grammar in my upload, I knew I wasn’t ready. By that time, I had learned that if I actually want readers of my book, I needed to take a step back and do more research.

There are tons of posts out there about how to use Amazon to publish, and not all are still relevant. Amazon listened to their users and it is REALLY EASY to self-publish. Honestly, if you are committing to the self-publish thing, you can do-it-yourself! You don’t need help anymore because Amazon does it all. It means you can work on all that other stuff I like editing that I talked about in part two.

Back to Amazon.

Funny thing is, Amazon is a prolific corporate force in my near-future novel. Musk gets to Mars. Amazon and Google run the world. Delivery drones are common place.

So it seems fitting to share a few real-life warnings about using Amazon and their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP):

Tip 1: Free ISBN

An ISBN is needed for each version and format of your book (ebook is one, print is another, an updated print version is a third). If you buy 1, it’s $125, but if you buy in bulk you get a deal. Which is why Amazon gives it away for free.

Secondly, an ISBN on Amazon is only good for printed Amazon copies, so be wary of identification numbers that aren’t ISBNs in other places too.

Tip 2: KDP Select

This is putting your book into the Kindle Unlimited library. This is common for indie authors. Every “checkout” or “book rental” gives you the author a small commission (not the same as a sell). Because readers rent your book for free, and more people will download it if it’s free, you have the potential to gain tons of readers and therefore gain reviews, that leads to moving up on the best sellers list, which leads to people hearing about your book, and finally people willing to pay to read your book.

The problem with this is: Amazon is an exclusive publisher while your book is in KDP Select. Meaning you can’t publish on B&N, Kobo/Walmart, or any other indie channels like Smashwords.

It also means, your public library.

Libraries don’t use Amazon as a distribution partner. They use OverDrive, and other services. Which means for your ebook you pick either the Amazon “library” or the public library. There. I said it.

You can have it available on both, but only if you don’t go with KDP Select.

Tip 3: Creator Tools for formatting

Some of the older blog tips mention using CreateSpace to format the pages. It’s all built into Kindle now and is called Kindle Create. You download it, format chapter headings, and page breaks, and you’re done! Again, I really appreciated the check that they put your book through a final spell check. All for free!

KDP even has a Cover Creator if you want to go the simple route. They look pretty good too! I’m not artistic in that way at all and they look professional enough! I will tell you about my cover in my next post and what I ended up doing for my scifi novel.

Attend my cover reveal event
to see the real deal compared to my first attempt at a cover!

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