Important: Want the top tips on getting your online business off the ground? Then 'like' our Facebook page (link opens in new window) for all the latest tips and advice. Come and say hi. 🙂
This lesson is continued from Lesson 11 Part 1: How To Format And Style A Kindle Ebook To Draw in Readers.
Putting Your Book On Amazon Kindle
Now that we have our book made, the next stage is to put it up on Kindle. I’m going to walk you through this process step by step.
- Go to the KDP home page and log in.
- When you log in, you will be on a page called ‘Bookshelf”. Click the orange ‘Add new title’ button in the top left hand corner of this page. You will be taken to a new screen where you can enter the information and files for your book.
- If you want to enroll your book in KDP select, then tick the check box next to the text ‘Enroll this book in KDP Select’. If you’re not sure if you want to enroll your book yet or simply don’t want to, then scroll past this.
- Enter your ‘Book name’.
- Click the check box next to ‘This book is part of a series’, and enter a series title. This also shows up as part of your book title, at the end in brackets. Because of this, make sure it’s something you don’t mind people seeing, but also make sure it includes a new keyword string to help you get found more. Where it asks what volume it is, put ‘1’.
- Skip the ‘Edition number (optional)’ part.
- Under ‘Description’, enter a description of your book. We’ll look more at how to write a good description in the ‘Writing A Good Description’ section below.
- Next, it’ll ask about the book contributors. Click the ‘Add contributors’ button below, then add the author name as instructed. Under ‘title’, select ‘Author’. If you want to add more people, do it here by clicking the ‘add another’ button. Once you have finished adding everyone you want, click ‘save’.
- The next section gives you the option to add the ‘Language’, the ‘Publication date’ , the ‘Publisher’, and the ‘ISBN ‘. You can skip past this part, unless you really want to add something. Amazon automatically adds the publication date as you add it, so only add it at this stage if you want a specific date of your choosing.
- The next task is to ‘Verify Your Publishing Rights’. Check the box that says ‘This is not a public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing rights.’. This just tells Amazon that you created this book, it is your own work, and you are allowed to publish it.
- Next, ‘Target Your Book to Customers’. Click on the ‘Add categories’ button, and find a topic that matches what your book’s about. You want to add two categories, as that is the maximum they allow you to do. Adding categories allows your book to be found in more places, and gives Amazon a better idea of what your book is about.
Notice that wherever there is a ‘+’ sign next to a category, you can click it and you’ll see more categories related to that one. Once you have selected and clicked on two categories, click the ‘save’ button to be taken out of that section.
- Underneath, you’ll see the text ‘Search keywords (up to 7, optional)’. You will want to add 7 keywords here that relate to your category. These will help your books get found for more things. If you need help on how to pick good keywords and more information about it, look under the ‘Using Keywords To Rank Instantly On Kindle’ and ‘How To Find These Keywords’ sections in the last lesson.
- Once you’ve added your 7 keywords, the next step is to ‘Upload Your Book Cover’. Click the ‘Browse for image’ button, and then ‘Browse’ on the next section that comes up. Find your book file on your computer in this screen, and select it by double clicking it (Alternatively, click it once, then click the ‘Open’ button). Click the orange ‘Upload image’ button that now appears, and you will see that your images starts to upload. When it says ‘Uploaded successfully!’ and you see the picture image in small, click the ‘x’ button at the top right hand side of this small pop up screen.
- In section 5 it’s time to ‘Upload Your Book File’. First, select the option to ‘Enable digital rights management’. This just means that people won’t be able to copy your book. If you don’t want this (Although I recommend you do keep this unless there’s a real reason not to), then instead select ‘Do not enable digital rights management’. Click the ‘Browse for book’ button, then select your HTML or Word book file. Double click to select, or click it once then click the ‘open’ button. Click the orange ‘Upload book’ button that now appears, and you will see that the book is uploading. It will also say it’s ‘Converting book file to Kindle format…’. When it’s done, you will see a sign which says ‘Upload and conversion successful!’. A new section will appear below which allows you to preview your book. Click the ‘Preview book’ button to make sure everything’s in order (As in you uploaded the right file, and to see how it looks on a black and white Kindle).If everything’s alright, click the orange ‘Save and continue’ button at the bottom of the page. This will take us onto the next page and the final stage.
- You will now be on the ‘Rights & Pricing’ page. Here you can choose the price your book is to be sold at, as well as where it is to be sold.
- Section 7 at the top allows you to ‘Verify Your Publishing Territories’. By default it is set to ‘Worldwide rights – all territories’. Unless there is a reason you don’t want to try and sell to as many people as possible, you should leave this section how it is.
- Section 8 will allow you to ‘Choose Your Royalty’. This is how much of the book selling price you will get. If you will be selling your book for under $2.99 or over $9.99, you have to pick ‘35%’. This is not optional.
If on the other hand you are selling your book for between $2.99 and $9.99, click the ‘70%’ royalty option. This will of course benefit you more then the 35% royalty option as you will get more money per book sold.
- Once you have selected your royalty, enter the price you want to sell your book on Amazon.com (List price). Once you add it, you will notice that the prices for all the other countries will automatically be filled in. You can either leave these at the prices they are, or you can un-tick any box you want and manually enter the price. I like to manually round up any price that doesn’t end with a ‘9’ or a ‘0’. So say for example the price in the UK store ended up being £3.56, I’d change it to £3.59 or £3.60.
- In section 9 ‘Kindle Book Lending’, you will only have the option to change this if your book is on the 35% royalty. If it is, un-check the box that says ‘Allow lending for this book’. This will mean other people will be able to read your book without paying for it if they borrow it from a friend. Only keep this option ticked if you want as much exposure as possible. If you’re on the 70% royalty, it’s not possible to un-check this box.
- Lastly, you need to read the bit at the bottom which asks you to confirm you have all the rights to the books. Once you have read that, tick the box.
- Click the ‘Save and publish’ button at the bottom of the page. You will see the book is saving, and it will tell you when it’s done. It will let you know it’ll take 24 – 72 hours to publish.
And that’s it, you’ve now submitted your first Kindle book for publication. You will be emailed when your book is up for sale, with a link leading to the sale page. Once it’s up there, people will be able to buy it and you will be able to promote it. Good times.
Writing A Good Description
Let’s look at how to write a good description for your book’s sales page. There are two things you want to achieve with this description:
- Entice the reader into buying it, and
- Include keywords so your book appears in more search results.
You will want your description to be at least a few paragraphs long, so you can really draw the reader into the idea of the book. You’ll see what most of the top selling books don’t just have one or two lines in their description, and this is not coincidence.
While you want to add a good amount of information in your description, you don’t want to give everything away. Yes you want to let the reader know roughly what the book’s about, but you should also leave a question in their mind.
So for example, if you have a romance book, you could tell the reader that this is a story about two lovers. But then you may ask ‘But how will Danny react when Lucy’s family gets involved? Find out in this sensual romance by *Your Name*’.
Leaving a question in their head that needs to be answered will help get the reader intrigued, and in effect increase your sales.
If you want to include information about you as an author, do so at the bottom of the description. Don’t add too much information, as most browsers search for books on a specific subject, and only look into the author if they’ve already read something they like by them. By that point they already know about you anyway.
Next up, you want to make sure you leave some of your keywords in the description. This will make your page more relevant for that result, and make it more likely your book is seen when people search for that term.
When you’re adding keywords, make sure you do so in a natural way, as your description still has to be comfortable for people to read. If it’s not, people will doubt your writing abilities and most likely not buy your book.
When your book has been selling, if you get any positive reviews, go back and include quotes of them in your description. This saves people having to scroll down for the reviews, and allows you to pick only the best ones.
How Much Should You Price Your Books At
Alright, so now to the subject of how much you should price your books at.
How you price your books will determine what you want to achieve with Kindle books. Your three options are:
- Permanently Free.
If you want to use your Kindle books strictly as a way to drive traffic to your site, you could offer them to the Kindle users for free.
- High / Industry Matching Price.
If your main aim from Kindle is to make money, then pricing your book high could be the best option for you. While it won’t be possible if you’re in a niche where all the books are low priced (Say 99c – $2.99), if you’ve created a How To book you’ll find that most are between $5.99 and $9.99. It’d then make sense to price your book around the same price, as you want your book price to say you’re on the same level as these top selling books. You could always undercut these other books by a dollar or so, but don’t go much lower then this if you want to be seen as offering a similar value as your competitors.
- A Low Price For The Best Of Both Worlds.
If you want to get a decent amount of exposure for your book but also make money from it, then it’ll probably be best to charge it at between $2.99 and $3.99.
My advice is to go for the third strategy; Pricing it low enough to make a decent amount of sales. These people that buy it will often go on to click on your website link if you provide them with a good quality book.
While you can always price it lower at 99c (The minimum price you can sell a Kindle book for unless you do the trick I’ll look at in the section below), there is one thing you need to remember. If you charge your book under $2.99, instead of getting 70% of each book that sells from Amazon, you will only instead get 35%.
35% of 99c is roughly 35c. 70% of $2.99 is roughly $2.10. If you do the math, you’ll see that you’ll need to sell 6 times as many books at 99c as you would at $2.99 to make the same amount of money. Because of this, the 99c model isn’t ideal if you want to make money from Kindle in it’s own right. It can however be a good idea if you want to reach as many people as possible and drive them back to your website.
Like I said though, I’d stick to the $2.99 price point initially, only lowering it temporarily to 99c if I am getting my friends to buy the book. This will mean it’s cheap for them (And for me to pay them back if needed) and will help you rank your book in your chosen category. We spoke a bit more about getting your friends to buy your book to boost your rankings in the last lesson, so go back to that if you want to refresh your memory.
As well as having the majority of your books at $2.99, I’d also have one or two short books available for free. This could be an introduction book, and help get you on people’s raider. As well as linking this book to your first paid book on Kindle, you should also link it to your website. Tell people they will be able to get more of your work by signing up to your mailing list, and link them to a page where they can do this. From here you’ll be able to keep in contact with them.
While it won’t have to be as long, make sure your free book is still of a good quality. Even though it’s free, it’s still representing your brand remember.
One final things I want to say about the pricing of your book, is that this isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ type of affair. What might work for one person in one niche, may not work for someone else in another niche. Because of this, it can be a good idea to test your prices here and there. For example, if you’re only getting one or two sales a week at one price point, why not change it higher or lower to see if that makes a difference? Some times pricing a book higher can actually generate more sales, as it’ll have a higher perceived value. People often think that because something’s more expensive it’ll automatically be a better product. You can use this to your advantage when pricing your product.
Some books will sell better at higher prices, some will sell better at lower. Test all of your books individually, and see what works for each one.
Making Your Books Free On Amazon Kindle Without Amazon Select
So let’s say you want to get your books out there as much as possible. What’s the answer? Well, to give them away for free of course! The problem though, is Amazon doesn’t give you an option to price your books at $0. Thankfully, there is a way around this.
Please Note: This trick only works if your book isn’t enrolled in the ‘Amazon Select’ program. It is against Amazon’s terms of service to do this if your book’s enrolled in Select, so don’t do it if it is.
What you need to do is sign up to Smashwords, and add the same book there for free. Smashwords allow you set your price point to $0, so do it there.
The thing about Amazon, is they have a price match policy. If your book is available somewhere else for cheaper, they will also change their price to the same, and slash out your old price. So a few days after you’ve added your book to Smashwords, you should notice your book price on Kindle also goes down too.
If your book price still hasn’t gone down after a week, you can inform Amazon about a lower price in the ‘Product Details’ section of the sales page. In there there’s a link which says ‘tell us about a lower price?’. Click it, and follow the instructions.
Ideally you will want this process to happen naturally, but you can do that if the price still hasn’t changed after a week or two. Now that your book is free in the Kindle store, you will hopefully get more exposure and more people downloading it.
Using Your Amazon Select Promotion Days Effectively
Alright, here’s an additional section for those that have decided to put their book on Amazon Select. If none of your books are enrolled in Amazon Select, this section won’t be relevant to you. You can skip to the ‘Doing More With Your Books’ section below for alternative additional tips.
The main reason you’d want your books in the Select program is for their free promotional service, and for the book borrows. Right now we’re going to look at the promotional service.
You may want to take part in this because:
- It makes your book appear alongside others in the ‘User also bought this book’ section. Even though your book was just downloaded and people never paid for it, your book will still appear here and get more exposure.
- It allows more people to read your book which will hopefully lead to more good reviews and ratings.
While the Amazon Select program allows you to give your book away for free for up to 5 days in three months, simply giving them out and hoping for the best isn’t the best plan ever. There are a few things you can do to increase the chance of success with this program, such as:
Spreading Out Your Promotions
Like I said, you get 5 days of promotion over 90 days. If you use all these 5 days in a row, you aren’t allowing your book to get the right type of promotion.
The whole point of this promotion is to create a buzz around your book. If you create a buzz and people start hearing about it, you want them to go to your sales page over the next few days after the promotion and be able to buy the book. If you’re doing a 5 day free promotion though, a load of the people that hear about your book through the buzz will now also be able to download it for free.
This is one of the reasons that you shouldn’t do more then one or two promotional days in a row.
Another reason you shouldn’t do more then one or two promo days in a row is because you want to be able to promote your book through Amazon more then once every 3 months. Use all your 5 days up in one go and you won’t be able to do any more free promos for another 90 days.
If however you was to spread your 5 days out evenly through the 90 days, you’d be able to do one promotional day every 18 days. This will help to continue to get your book out there.
Getting Your Community Members To Download
The more your book gets downloaded on your free promo days, the higher you’ll move up in your category’s rankings. The higher it appears in your category, the more exposure your book will get as a result. Because of this, you will want to get as many people downloading your book as possible.
If you have an existing community already, you should contact them the day before, and let them know your book will be available for free download the next day. I say to let them know the day before, as it will give them time to see your message. Then also message them at the beginning of the day to let them know it’s now available.
Even if you’ve only got a small community, you should still do this. Having even a few more downloads can make all the difference in terms of how far Amazon push your book.
Don’t Run Your Promo Days On Weekends
Ok. While this tip isn’t set in stone, you generally shouldn’t have your free promotion running over the weekends. From my personal experience, you get a lot less downloads then you do in week day promotions.
I’m saying this tip isn’t set in stone however, as I’m guessing this is also niche dependent. If you’re in a niche where there is a lot of weekend activity, the weekends may actually be the best time to give out your book for free. If anything, test it and see what works for you.
I’ve personally found that Monday is a good day to do your free promotion, so you may want to start your testing there.
Doing More With Your Books
In the same way the above tips were only useful if you enrolled your books in Amazon Select, the tips in this below section can only be used if you didn’t enroll your book in the Select program. This is because they involve you adding your books in other places, so go against the Select rules of keeping your book exclusive to Amazon.
If you have a book that isn’t part of Amazon Select and want to give it more exposure, here are some things you can do:
- Put Your Book On Smashwords.
Smashwords is a ebook distributor that will not only send your books to Apple and other platforms, but also sell them on their own website. A lot of people make a decent additional income with Smashwords, so if you’re not making your books exclusive to Select, then definitely get your books up there.
- Put Your Book On Your Own Website.
You can also put your books on your own website. There are two main ways you can do this: Firstly, put up a preview of your book. This could be say 1000 words worth, or even a quarter of the book to get people engrossed. Then at the end of the 1000 words (Or however much your choose) tell them they have only read a bit and can read the rest by buying the full book. Leave a link to your Amazon sales page.
Then other way you can put it on your site, is by selling it either as an ebook or as a members site. So for example, if you have a few books, you can tell people they get access to all of them for a monthly fee. Alternatively, they can get access by paying for them one by one like they do on Amazon.
If you do sell them on your own site, I suggest you give people access to them in a private members area instead of as a PDF ebook. This will stop people copying them, and mean you can take them back off the market and enroll it on Amazon Select if you choose to do so in future.
While putting your books on your own site is an optional option, you should definitely put them on Smashwords for some extra money. Having said that, both of these ideas are worth implementing if you have the time.
Creating An Author Page
Lastly, you should create yourself an author page. An Amazon author page is a page where your books will be automatically listed, and you’ll be able to put a load of additional information about yourself on top of that. So for example, you can add an author bio, add your picture, add your Twitter page so people can see your latest tweets, add your website feed so people can see your latest blog posts, and much more.
All of these things will be viewable on your author page, and lead to people clicking back onto your site to find out more about you.
When you create your author page, Amazon will automatically link to it from your book’s sales page. They’ll put one link inside your author name at the top of the screen, and a second link lower down the page near where they show some of your author bio and your picture. If people click on either of these links, they are taken to your author page.
So how do your create an author page? Well, first off you go to Author Central. You will need to create an account here, or you might be able to sign in with your existing Amazon Kindle details. They will ask you to set up some of your details the first time you log in, so follow the instructions they give.
Once you’re in, you will see if you click in the ‘Books’ tab, you will get the option to ‘Add more books’. Select that, search for your books, verify you are the owner, then add them. After a while, your books will show up on your author page.
As well as adding your books, you should click the ‘Profile’ tab at the top of the screen, and fill in the options they allow you to do. For example, you can create a unique url that is easy to remember and share. You can also add your blog, your Twitter feed, your videos and your photos. You can even add a list of any events you are going to do if you decide to go down that route.
Once your Author Central account is set up, it is automatically attached to the books that you have selected as being your own. You will find that as you create more books, more people will start to look at your profile, and you will get people clicking back on to your website and Twitter via this page. You will also find people will use your author page to find your other books and buy those as well, so it’s definitely worth investing the small amount of time it takes to create an author page.
Amazon Kindle books are something that every website owner should be doing. Not only can they help provide traffic to your site, but the real benefit comes in the form on income diversification. You will have something that you don’t have to work on much in terms of promotion, but that will keep bringing in money if you manage to rank for a good keyword (Sometimes as simple as incorporating the keyword and publishing the book).
Give Kindle books a go alongside the other methods we’ll be using, and watch as it benefits your business.
What To Do Now
Here is what you should do between now and next lesson. If you don’t have the time, that’s fine. Do as much as you can, and do the rest when the time is there:
- Decide On Your Book Price.
Before we go any further, you’ll need to think about how much you’re going to price your book at. This will depend on if you want maximum exposure to your website, if you want to make as much money as possible with Kindle, or if you want a healthy balance between the two (Which is what I recommend). The ‘How Much Should You Price Your Books At’ section above will help you with this decision making.
- Format Your Book.
If you’ve finished writing up your book, the next step is to format it. Using the guidelines in the ‘Creating Your Kindle Book’ section above, create an attractive book that your readers will love to view.
- Publish Your Book.
Book formatted? Then next you have to publish it. Follow the instructions in the above ‘Putting Your Book On Amazon Kindle’ section to get it in the Kindle marketplace.
- Promote Your Books On Amazon Select Or Put Them On Smashwords.
If you’ve decided to enroll your book on Amazon Select, then give it a promotional day to gain exposure and encourage reviews. If you’re not making it exclusive to Amazon Select however, also put your books on Smashwords and possibly tasters on your website as well.
- Create An Author Page.
Create an author page to help make it easier to lead people back to your site and make additional sales. You can do this via Author Central, and see how to do this in the ‘Creating An Author Page’ section above.
What’s Happening In The Next Lesson
Next lesson we’ll be looking more at how to make a product. We’ll be looking at some writing techniques that will have you making products a lot easier, how to get affiliates on board to make selling even easier, how to create a unique selling point for your product, and a lot more. I’ll see you then. 🙂