Updated: Nov 5
Today I'm going to show you how to upload your book to Amazon KDP. You are going to create an account at kdp.amazon.com, and once you create that account, then you'll sign in. When you sign in, you'll see the big yellow button at the top that says "Create".
Once you click on Create, it'll give you a couple options:
Select the type of book that you want to create. Is it a Kindle eBook? A paperback? A hard cover? You decide.
Then the uploading process begins! Insert your title and subtitle if you have one. Then type in your author information and other contributors' information as well. Some contributors you might want to add are illustrator, translators, co-authors, etc. Know that you don’t have to include these, it’s totally optional.
Now you will enter the DESCRIPTION. It is important that you write an excellent detailed description with your metadata inside of it, as the description is also used by the algorithm to pull up your books during a search. After the description is the KEYWORDS section. There are 7 spaces to put keywords in, and you should use all 7. These same keywords should be used throughout your description as well. Make sure that they are phases and not just one word. Consider what people would type into Amazon if they were looking for a book like yours. That’s what you want to enter in these spaces. Next is CATEGORIES. This is where you will select where your book falls in regard to topics. When authors become #1 New Releases and Bestsellers it is because of the categories they strategically chose to place their books in.
If you would like us to do Metadata Research for your book and provide you with the best categories, keywords, and book description to optimize your online sales and by getting your book more exposure on Amazon with these key components, click here to book a call so that we can discuss your book’s message and complete your Metadata (categories, description, and keywords) for you!
Next select whether your book is low content (journals and coloring books) and/or large print books (children’s books) and whether your book consists of content that is for adults or not, then click SAVE AND CONTINUE.
The next page is where you will add your content. Remember, when you purchase your ISBN from Bowker? Now it's time to put that ISBN in the space. You can publish without an ISBN as well. This is where Amazon KDP offers you an ISBN.
The only thing with this FREE option is you will only be able to sell on Amazon and your website. You cannot sell in bookstores, have your books in libraries, or any kind of expanded distribution all over the world because it's only limited to Amazon sales. It will say independently published on your Amazon page and if you want to show up as a professionally published brand and book and be taken seriously In the publishing industry, you do not want that (unless it's low content, like e-books, journals, and coloring books).
After you input the ISBN from Bowker you will be asked for your Imprint.. An imprint is basically the publishing company name that you chose when you purchase your ISBNs. Mines is Water Rocks Publishing, and this ISBN only belongs to this publishing agency. This is the name that will show up on Amazon next to Publisher.
Skip the publication date and head to Print Options. For novels, black and white with cream or white paper (the paper color is preferred). TRIM SIZE What size were your book and/or illustrations formatted in? This is what you will select. It is nice to actually view the options before you start writing, illustrating, and formatting your book because you want to know what sizes Amazon or any printing company you print with has. BLEED SETTINGS are for line art and illustrations that go to the end of the pages. BLEED (PDF) is what you will select for children’s books. If you have a journal that has designs on the border, you will select this as well. Your novels usually are the NO-BLEED option. Then there is your COVER FINISH. This is strictly preference. Do you want your cover to be GLOSSY with a shine or MATTE?
Now to the fun part! Uploading your manuscript and cover! For your manuscript upload it in PDF Format. For your COVER you have the option to create a cover using KDP’s cover generator or uploading your own. I HIGHLY DISCOURAGE you from using KDP’s cover generator.
It sounds all great and jazzy, but you have to realize that they offer this to everyone, so millions and millions of people. This means there's a great chance that your book cover will look like someone else's book cover Invest in a custom-designed cover that fits your book by hiring a cover designer. We are happy to help you with that service as well. Click here to book a call so that we can discuss your book’s message, and themes and complete your custom cover design for you! After all, people DO judge books by their covers!
Select UPLOAD A COVER YOU ALREADY HAVE (PRINT-READY PDF ONLY) and upload your cover! KDP will ask you next if your cover includes a barcode. You will not check this box, because your cover designer doesn’t need to add a barcode nor do you need to purchase one from BOWKER, because KDP, just like Ingram Spark, will provide a barcode for you.
Once you have everything uploaded, it is time to preview your book. This is a step that you cannot skip. KDP wants us to see how it looks before moving forward to make sure there are no errors, which must be corrected before publishing. The launch preview can take 60 seconds up to a few minutes so be patient. Their system checks EVERYTHING! your cover, interior, image quality, fonts, margins, EVERYTHING! They make sure that the whole document is correct and ready to publish. If it is not, you will get red flags (errors on the left) with instructions on how to fix them before moving forward. I will say that it can be a little daunting and annoying, but it helps you to make sure that you're producing a professionally published book. Once it is done you will be on the PREVIEW page and here is where you will flip through all the pages and ensure there are no design and formatting errors. If it looks good and there are no errors (listed on the left under quality check), then go ahead, and click APPROVE at the bottom right!
Once you click approve, it will generate your book summary that includes your printing costs and book specs. Click SAVE AND CONTINUE. The price costs will be how much it costs you to buy your book from Amazon to tell on your website, at vending events, and more for the price you choose.
Now to Paperback Rights & Pricing! You want your book in all territories so selects the first option. Your Primary Marketplace will be the amazon website you use (Unites States - Amazon.com) Then there is Pricing, Royalty, and Distribution. By entering the desired price for your book (do your research to avoid outpricing out of your category) you will see how much of a royalty you will get when factoring in the printing costs and royalty rate of 60%.
WARNING! WARNING! DO NOT SELECT EXPANDED DISTRIBUTION!!
Amazon uses Ingram Spark for expanded distribution so they play the middle man and get their cut when you select them to do expanded distribution. Skip all of that and just upload your book on Ingram Spark! Once you complete the pricing portion head down to Terms & Conditions, which you can read and it tells you it takes up to 72 hours for your book to be approved and up on Amazon.
BEFORE YOU HIT PUBLISH YOUR PAPERBACK BOOK, REQUEST PRINTED PROOFS OF THIS BOOK.
You can order up to 5 copies and you will be required to pay taxes and shipping and handling (NO AMAZON PRIME for author copies). Seeing the final cost will help you also determine how much you will charge for books you sell on your website and in person. After you order and receive your proof, thoroughly review it, and are ready to publish it, come back to KDP and hit PUBLISH YOUR PAPERBACK BOOK! Congratulations!!
There you have, brilliant author! This is how you upload your best-selling books to Amazon KDP!