So you’ve done your research and gotten your book together – now you’re ready to upload it to the system and start selling, but where do you start? It’s not too difficult but the process is not without it’s kinks and it can be easy to get lost the first time around. Here are some basic steps for launching your book and giving it a bit of a boost when it goes live.
Step 1: Prepare For Your Launch
Your Kindle promotions will be a lot more effective if your promote your book before it even goes live. If you’ve already got a website with an audience, you should already be talking about your book with them. I like to let them know well in advance, give them an update as the day approaches, and then post a link when the book is published – as well as again when any manuscript updates, promotions, or other milestones occurr.
Also, get in touch with experts in your niche to tell them about your book and ask if they’d like to have a look. Remember, they gain in this situation too because if your book is any good they have something of value to talk about with their audience. These promotions are more effective if you do them when your book is up so you can take advantage of the initial buzz, but it’s still a good idea to forge these relationships early on.
Mention your coming launch on social media if you have an audience there as well. You can even start building a new platform if your book is focused on a particular niche or relevant to a certain demographic. Put a creative Facebook page together and start building interest, and then when your book is live you’ve got people to tell about it.
Step 2: Upload Your Book
Uploading your book is easy if you’ve got a basic Word or OpenOffice document. First, go to this URL, http://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/sign-in, where you’ll be asked to either sign in or open a new account if you don’t have one already.
Select “add new title” to create a listing for your book. Most of the options will be quite self-explanatory – you can find further guidance in the free Kindle publishing guide (which you can find here) or by clicking the “what is this” links on the site. Decide if you want to enroll in KDP (see below) and write a nice description.
Keep in mind that your description is one of the most important sales promotion pieces for your book, so put some real effort into it. You can also test out new versions and easily update later.
Upload your book using the upload feature and then add your cover image.
What about keywords? I find it’s helpful to look at what Amazon uses for auto-complete. Think of a couple basic words that describe your book and type them into the book search and see what Amazon types out for you. You can find some great keyword strings people might use to find your book this way. Here’s an example:
On the next page, you’ll get the opportunity to choose your pricing and can even make it available to other countries in their own currency, which I always do.
Once you save and publish your book, it will take 24 – 48 hours to go live.
Step 3: Create Your Author Page
In order to claim your book, you’ll need to create an Amazon Author page, and this can also be a good platform for promoting your book further. Go here to create your account.
Don’t skimp on setting up your profile! Add a professional picture and an 100%-typo-free author bio, connect your blog and your Twitter account. Take some time getting to know the functionality of this site as it can really come in handy.
After you’re all set up and your book manuscript has been approved, it’s time to claim your book. Click on “Books” and select “Add More Books,” which will give you an option to search for and claim your titles so they’re connected with your author page.
You also get a handy URL you can use to link people to all your published works, and if you want, you can manage multiple pen names through Author Central without anyone realizing they are in any way linked.
Step 4: Leverage KDP Select
KDP Select is an opportunity for you get further promotion capabilities for your book if you agree to only sell your book on Amazon. You can opt in to this program at any time.
There you have it – you’re now a published author and have your own product to promote on your site. Not that hard, is it? I’ll introduce some more marketing ideas in the future, but this is enough to get you up and running. Be sure to check back in and let us know when your book goes live.