Tuesday is all about helping other writers problem solve when it comes to publishing their books on one of the largest platforms, Amazon. Who knew this little website would go from selling used books into a commerce beast for creatives and independent businesses. Inside of the warehouses are the hopes and dreams of millions of small business owners. Writers fit in along side of large publishing names, and the doors have opened for more talented story tellers. Amazon gives indie writers all over the world a voice without having to wait in a slush pile, but what about the technical part?
I’ve seen many success stories of authors who found success through bypassing the traditional route but here’s the part that can get lost in those headlines – the technical how to. Doing the publishing yourself can range from excitement that your book is complete to frustration because you have to learn the components yourself. In my resources page and in a previous post, I shared the site I use to get unique book covers but there’s one part that may leave you perplexed and frustrated.
When you log into Amazon KDP at https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/, you will need to create an account and enter your payment information. You may need to wait to get approved. Once you’re approved you can begin to create your book in the bookshelf by clicking add. Have your book title, contributor list, and detail summary ready (this is the one buyers will see on Amazon when they’re shopping). Get an ISBN or let Amazon create one but remember if you use an Amazon ISBN it is exclusive to their platform. Select your interior, bleed (drawings that go past the end of the page) or no bleed, and decide if you want a glossy or matte cover.
The next step is important. You will need to upload your book cover or use their cover creator. You may have purchased a book cover from another site but remember when you create the book cover in kindle you upload the full sheet of paper. This means the size of the cover, spine, and back are pulled together into one sheet of paper to be bound around your book. You can find a calculator at https://www.bookmobile.com/book-spine-width-calculator/.
Still having trouble figuring out how to design the book cover at full size? Front Cover + Spine + Back cover with your book summary = the full size of your book. For example the full dimensions will be 8×10 by .25 by 8×10.
Okay, your cover is uploaded. I usually do this step first before I upload my finished manuscript because it can take longer. The main reason I wrote this post is because the problem that can happen when you try to upload. You can get an error message and that’s all they say, even if you call they may not be able to tell you why you have an error. Many times, there may be bleed issues with the design or the image sizes may be too large. In your settings before you convert to a PDF, you may need to flatten your images. PNG images will be large and some jpg settings may be too small.
You will need to get the manuscript to load before you can launch the previewed. Always preview because conversions will change some placement. If you’re like me, you will go through all the steps and still have an error. This is when I turn to YouTube and other indie publishers – I didn’t find that much help in the topics of the Amazon help center or when I typed in the subject of “error in uploading”.
I will let you know that due to the size of some of my images, I’ve had to scale down the design or change the interior to be able to get the PDF to upload. Don’t give up. Being able to set get past the previewer and setting your price means that your book will finally be published.
I hope this helps all of in your writing journey!
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