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How to Write a Book for Kindle

Young woman wearing a golden alice band in her hair looking on digital tablet or e-book device lying on her bed on a red and white polka dot bedspread.

Kindle Direct Publishing [KDP] is a great way for writers to publish their work quickly and easily. If you want to know how to write a book for Kindle, then there are some publishing guidelines you will need to follow to have a successful experience.

If begins with signing up for an account in the first place. You can visit https://kdp.amazon.com/help and just click on the “Your Account” link to start the sign-up process. Once you’ve completed that task or if you already have an account, then you’re ready to follow these additional steps.

#1. Your book must follow KDP’s content guidelines.

KDP will not accept work that contains offensive content. Think 50 Shades of Grey and you’ll get the picture. You can publish work from the public domain, but you can publish content that either infringes on another person’s copyright or violates proprietary rights. KDP also has a clause which states they will not accept a book which offers a poor reader experience.

#2. There are content guidelines which must be met.

KDP requires all authors to identify errors in their book before uploading a file. Some errors make a book be considered unusable or incomplete. This will cause the book to be removed from its listing until the error is corrected. If there are enough typos in the book, this would be considered a “Distracting Issue” and also require correction. There are also guidelines on supporting characters, cover image quality, and formatting which must be followed.

#3. You can format your book in 4 different ways.

KDP recommends using Microsoft Word for your manuscript. You are also permitted to use a TXT file, PDF file, or HTML formatting. You must use the standard MS Word heading styles and Table of Contents for best results during the publishing process.

#4. Before publishing, you will also need to enter rights and pricing data.

Once you’ve completed your book and have uploaded the file, you will need to set the actual listing data for the book. This means choosing your royalty, setting your price, and verifying your right to publishing the book. Some territories receive a 70% royalty on all sales, but the default royalty is 35%. To receive 70% royalties, you must also meet certain list price guidelines. Even so, KDP reserves the right to change the retail price at their discretion.

#5. Get your cover right.

Writing the manuscript was an important part of the book creation process. Adding a cover to your work that represents the story is equally important. KDP offers a cover creator that will let you add an image or create your own. You can customize your layout as well and edit virtually any image to create an attractive image for readers to enjoy.

#6. Understand the payment process.

KDP pays royalties for every marketplace about 60 days following the end of the calendar month when the minimum threshold was achieved. Royalties will continue to accrue in your account until the minimum payment amount is received. For this reason, many authors choose to receive EFT payments because they are paid in full no matter how much their book has earned. Check and Wire payments have a minimum of $100 or the same amount in local currency.

#7. Consider taking advantage of KDP’s professional services.

Some writers love taking on the challenges of editing their book, designing their cover, and being in full control of every publishing step. If that is not you, then consider taking advantage of the professional services that are offered by KDP. They can professionally edit your book, design a cover for it, and even lend a hand with the formatting process. The costs can be quite high, especially for lengthy books, but it will free up your time as a writer to do what you do best.

#8. Remember to create your author bio page.

KDP allows you to create an author bio page that will be featured in your book listing. This is an easy way to let readers get to know a little more about you so they may want to see what your book has to offer.

Knowing how to write a book for Kindle means knowing how to format it correctly. It means creating an attractive listing which people will want to click on to find out more about your book. Follow the pricing and royalty guidelines, market your book once the listing goes live, and you’ll have the opportunity to cash in on what KDP has to offer.

Want more? Check out this post on how to make a storyboard for your book. 

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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