Monday, July 9, 2012

My guide to self-publishing ebooks with Kindle.

When I first considered Kindle I refused it, as it seemed too hard and I heard and read bad things in the kindle forums where there were troubles with payments and people not getting help. So, I decided to go with Smashwords for ALL of my eBook formats, however, sales have been slow, and I always had this inkling that it was because I had not published on Kindle. I just relied upon the Kindle format through Smashwords to get me through.

It didn’t work.

So after posting in several forums at CreateSpace, I was told I could use my Smashwords word doc for Kindle, and with a few simple changes, I could upload it to Calibre and convert it into a Mobi file. I did all of that and was a bit confused about how to save a Mobi version to my pc as the saved version never said Mobi and just said Kindle and showed a blue book with the tag hanging out. I assumed it was the Mobi version and kept a saved version for uploading just in case. But it converted into Mobi really well and looked quite good, with the Table of Contents still working well. I learned that it was the correct version but used the html version to upload to Kindle instead.

But after thinking long and hard, and reading a few more boards in the CS forum, I realised I'd need to do a few more things than simply convert a version.

STEP 1- if you have already gone through Smashwords and uploaded to them, then use a copy of that version and remove ALL Smashwords related wording.

STEP 2 - Download the BUILDING YOUR BOOK FOR KINDLE book, it's free, and read through it and follow the steps that apply to you. GO HERE TO BUILD YOUR BOOK FOR KINDLE 

If you don't have a Kindle, don't worry, just go HERE TO AMAZON and download a free version called Kindle PC for your computer. And there's a Mac version as well.

The book explains in such easy and simple steps how to do your word doc. And once everything is done, how to convert it into a html document to upload into your Kindle book page. Kindle does the converting to Mobi for you.

STEP 3 - save a HTML version into your Kindle folder.

STEPS 1/2/3 + If you don't save the HTML version and prefer to make a Mobi version, you will need to download Calibre and convert it through there instead. Although it does convert HTML versions into Mobi so you might want to save your doc as a HTML anyway.

You also need to have a cover image that is at least 2500 pixels on the longest side. I took that to mean the actual length. So it may take a bit to resize a copy for your cover. And mine did turn up a bit pixelated.

STEP 4 - if you haven't joined KDP yet, go and join. It costs nothing and you only need your pen name details and email address. You don't have to fill out your account or payment bits until you get an account or are being paid by cheque. Head over HERE TO KDP and sign up.

STEP 5 - When you are ready, GO TO THIS KDP PAGE and watch the video. It tells you exactly what to do and how to do it with uploading, adding the book's name, your name, all of the details. It's fantastic and I used it. I also had it going in a window side by side with the window I had the page for adding my book so I could go back and forth easily.

STEP 6 - start a new book page and fill out the form, upload your cover (if you have one) and HTML version and wait until it's finished, that way you can download a version of it to check through.  It also tells you to have a look at your book through the KINDLE PREVIEWER or an actual Kindle, and then you can see any issues. When done, click save and continue. Finish filling out the second page and click publish.

STEP 6.2 - when I clicked publish, it told me it couldn't do it until I had filled out more details in my account. Go there and fill out your address and country. That's all I had to do, and then I went back through the pages I had just completed with all of my book details and clicked published on the final page. It then went into review.

Once you fill out your book page at Kindle, it will let you know if there are any issues that need solving. I didn't have any so all I had to do was wait for the review.

One last piece of advice, make sure all of your links and Table Of Contents are live, I uploaded Vegas and realised two days later that all of my Connect Online links were not live and had to re-upload to Smashwords and Kindle.

I also updated Lotto and London and re-uploaded them to Smashwords and uploaded to Kindle for the first time.

Bizarrely, all of this was incredibly simple and easy, as many people had told me with making Kindle versions. But with some of the information I had found from other people's websites, it seemed incredibly detailed and too much to do at the time. But if you go for Smashwords and follow their guide, it's actually really simple to just use a copy and follow up into Kindle.

Now, all I have to do is sit back, watch the money roll in and think about starting another book.

Yeah, right!

1 comment:

  1. Great info. Thanks! Kindle publishing is effortless, and requires only a computer, an internet connection, and an e-book written in the appropriate format. Kindle self-publishing through Amazon takes care of everything. Not only is Kindle self-publishing effortless, but it doesn't require an agent or traditional publishing firm. Very interesting indeed.


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