Self-Publishing? Using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing

Have you ever wanted to see your own book in print or at least on sale? I know I have. Well now you can.

Heard of Fifty Shades of Grey? I bet you have. You might be surprised to learn that half of the author’s success is because she published it as an e-book. It wasn’t just the sex that put it in the top sellers. It was the fact the sex was in an e-book that did it.

People who might have been embarrassed to hold a book with a cover that told the world what they were reading are more than happy to download an e-book. It can be read on the train on the way to work without anyone knowing how steamed-up you are getting.

So, even though I’m not writing steamy sex scenes (honestly – although there’s a big market for it, so watch this space) I’ve been trying to get to grips with Amazon’s ‘Kindle Direct Publishing’ – one way in which to self-publish your stories and books.

The sign-up process was a bit fraught, particularly going through the bank accounts bit and trying to find out what my International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) were. I discovered these were available at the bottom of an online statement … I only had to look.

While I haven’t gone into it too much at the moment, it looks as though anyone could be self-publishing quite quickly. This seems to be a rising fad and an easier way of getting your books and stories (and blogs, I discovered) out there in the public domain. Publishers are notoriously difficult to get past and rightly so. If they have a reputation to keep up they will be very choosy who they publish.

Anything from short stories to full-length novels can be published. It’s up to you what you publish and how much you set the price at. Be reasonable about the pricing – it probably helps to look at what others are charging for similar products. Don’t overcharge, you won’t be thanked for it and customers will only too gladly give you bad press.

There are various services available, including the option of choosing a suitable cover, good layout and having a hard copy of your book published. You can even have your book translated into multiple languages! Some of these services come at a price but the basic self-publishing to Kindle is free.

If you are going to self-publish it will help to take a leaf out of the publisher’s books (see what I did there?) and put yourself through the same kind of rigorous examination before you even think about putting your book on the shelves of the world’s library. It is really important that you edit and proofread and re-write until you are satisfied that you have the best you can give.

This is going to be your shop window on yourself and if people don’t like what they see, you have no chance. Your customers are more picky than you can imagine. Bad grammar, bad layout and a bad cover will drive people away. Don’t think you can slap your book together willy-nilly, whack it on the shelves and expect it will be a best-seller … it won’t. You need to polish until you have the deepest shine possible and then give it a bit more spit and polish. Make it look as professional as you can and you stand at least half a chance.

I also discovered that there is a ‘Kindle Publishing for Blogs’ section. Put in a few details about you and your blog and publish it to the store and wait for the interest to grow.

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