After much planning (and not a little prevarication), this week saw my first eBook upload via Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). For my first foray into the world of e-publishing, I decided to start small. The Camel in the Garden is a collection of three short stories which have all previously appeared in Woman’s Weekly Fiction Specials, and which are all centred around women facing challenging family situations. So here are five things I’ve discovered during the publishing process:
- Get a professional to design the cover. Unless you’re extremely artistic or an ace at electronic image manipulation (I’m neither), you really need to get someone to help you with the cover design. I found my designer through the popular website Fiverr and was able to get a cover designed to my specifications at a very reasonable price. Shar incorporated all my initial ideas, and then suggested some improvements to create a cover I love, which specifically reflects the colour palate of this blog. The only thing I would change for the future is to make the font of the title and author name one solid colour so that it stands out more strongly as a thumb-nail picture.
- The upload process itself is reasonably straightforward, but you need to do your homework first when it comes to the formatting. I found Sally Jenkins’ eBook Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners invaluable. I had the book open on my Kindle the whole time I was working through the typesetting and uploading, and Sally answered a lot of niggling questions I would have been puzzling over for ages on my own.
- I can’t make my eBook permanently free to everyone at the moment. I had intended this little collection to be free but the lowest price you can choose through KDP is 99p. If your book appears free on Smashwords or another platform, apparently Amazon will eventually match it, but going down the KDP Select route as I’ve done means you can’t offer your book digital format on another platform. Enrolling on KDP Select does mean your book is free for Amazon Prime members – and it does allow you to run Free Book Promotions. The Camel in the Garden will therefore be available FREE over this bank holiday weekend Saturday 30th April to Monday 2nd May. If you’re looking for something to read while the British weather is doing its worst, I’d be delighted if you’d download my stories and leave a brief Amazon review to let me (and other potential readers) know what you thought.
- Writing the stories and uploading to KDP is only the start. I’ve built an Amazon Author Page, and a Facebook Author Page, and I now need to learn all about marketing!
- Seeing your book on a virtual shelf does feel great. But now it’s time to crack on with the next collection….