Some have asked how I go about creating my book for distribution on Amazon, through KDP. I used to use CreateSpace, but as most know, they no longer exist, having merged into KDP. I’ll walk you through some of the steps, and hopefully help you in deciding if KDP is right for you.
Working with Microsoft Word
I use Microsoft Word to create my docx. KDP accepts this format, as well as PDF, which you can save a docx to. I’ll insert photos (hopefully) so you can see what the heck I’m rambling about! 🙂 One very important thing, and I cannot stress this enough. SAVE YOUR DOCUMENT EVERY COUPLE OF PAGES!!
1. In Word, create a document using the page size you want as your completed book. There are also templates available from KDP, if that’s a bit easier for you.
2. You’ll want to add a header and also page numbers (click the picture to enlarge). To do this, click Insert, Header then type your book title. For the page numbers, click Insert, page numbers. Again, you have a choice of styles.
3. Add a title page, a copyright page, insert an index (although you really don’t need this for Kindle since there are no page numbers, per se, unless you have sections you’d like to mention.) You’ll want to start your actual book (not the above mentioned) on an odd numbered page. This way, when the book is opened, your reader will begin on the right. Most likely, the page before will be blank.
Working with KDP
1. Start a book on KDP. Here, you have choices to make. If you choose a free ISBN, under it, on your title page (or wherever you decide to put it), you need to include the words, Self-Published. You can purchase an ISBN from Bowker. They’re a bit expensive, but that makes you the publisher, and you can use it everywhere.
2. KDP will step you through the process, which is fairly simple. Once your book is uploaded, they will check it for spelling errors and font discrepancies, also layout issues. You’ll then be able to view your book on your computer. I highly recommend you do all of this from your desktop or laptop. Don’t attempt it from a phone!!
3. If you are happy with the way the book looks, you can accept it. If not, go back, make the corrections, and upload again, repeating the process, until you are happy with the result.
4. Now comes the tricky part. Your cover. If you are artistic and want to have a go at it, you can upload your own cover by following the guidelines found within KDP. If you use their template, it will calculate the size of the cover by the number of pages in your book. If you’d rather use a pre-designed cover, KDP offers several options. Although, I have to admit they’re lacking in variety here. CreateSpace had many more choices.
5. Once your cover is completed, upload the pdf. Again, KDP will check it to make sure it all checks out. You should now be able to view your book, including the cover.
6. Decide on pricing, whether you want to do preorders, and whether you’re simply going with Kindle or a paperback, too. I do both, although some of my books only have paperbacks. (I may change that, in this digital world we live in). Also, you have a choice to allow your books to go to expanded outlets, such as B&N, schools, etc. I do not do the expanded market. Although it cuts down on the number of people seeing your book, it also allows for others to undersell you by claiming they have a used copy. You’ll know by your sales that this, in fact, is not true.
7. Pick your release date (you can only do this for Kindle if you’re doing preorder). Once you hit Publish, your book is out there for all to see! It may take up to 72 hours for it to appear on Amazon. I have found it takes more like 24 hours.
Would you look at that! You’re now a published author! Congratulations! Here comes the fun part… (insert sarcasm) letting people know your book is out there. Self-promotion is probably the hardest part of this whole procedure. But you have to do! I wish you the best of luck and may your publishing experience be a joyful one!
I hope this helps you get the general idea of what goes into putting a book together. If you have anything to add, PLEASE leave a comment and I will be glad to edit this document to reflect that. Remember, this is MS Word docs only.