In four previous posts, we discussed how to format your manuscript to prepare it for print, prepare it for ebook versions, design a cover, published as a print copy through Createspace, and prepared an ePub for Kindle and iBooks.  This post will describe how to set up and upload your ePub to Kindle and to iBooks. Here are the steps of the entire project (we are on #7):

  1. Introduction
  2. Formatting for print
  3. Formatting for eBook
  4. Cover design
  5. Setup, review, and upload for CreateSpace
  6. Preparing an ePub for Kindle and iBooks
  7. Setup and upload to Kindle
  8. Set up and upload to iBooks

If you worked through the process outlined in the last posts, you now have an ePub file and a jpg of the front cover only (not the full front-spine-back cover for a print copy). See the previous post for how to prepare the ePub and the cover (see the post on Cover Design for more on the latter).

Set up an account and create a new title

To publish your book as a Kindle, you must have a Kindle Direct Publishing  (KDP) account. Click here to sign up (use your Amazon account if you have one; it is best to create one if you do not, but you can use KDP without an Amazon account). Fill out all the information in the following screens, including how you wish to be paid for any sales. Once your account is set up, go to your Bookshelf. This screen will list all the Kindle books you have uploaded.

At the top is the option to “create new title.” Read the information to the right, then click on “Create new title.”

There are two screens with options for you to fill in. If you have never uploaded Kindle book before, read the “Introducing KDP Select” at the top. There is a debate about whether enrolling in KDP Select is more helpful to authors or to Amazon. You can read about it on the Kindle Community boards, or search the internet for discussions. We usually recommend our authors try sales both with and within enrolling for some period of time. KDP Select allows opt-in and opt-out at 90 day enrollments, so it makes experimentation easy.

Enter your book information and upload the file and text

Enter information on this page: title, subtitle, edition, etc. Note that not all fields are required. An ISBN is optional for an eBook, and the prevailing wisdom today is that you do not need one for an eBook because it is digital and easier to locate and track than a paper book. But some authors and publishers disagree. Again, search the discussion boards and make your own decision.

If your book’s content is public domain, there are some special requirements you must follow. A link will pop up if you select this option. Note: if your work, or parts of it, are available elsewhere on the internet for free, Amazon may contact you after publication and notify you. They are simply making sure you did not publish a public domain work as your own. If you receive such an email, follow the instructions in the email to ensure your book is properly attributed and follows the rules.

You can choose to make your book available for pre-order (up to 90 days before publishing). You still must upload a version of the interior file, even if it is a draft.

Upload your book image as described. You can also design your own using the KDP Cover Creator (which is the same as what is offered on CreateSpace for print books.) Choose whether you want Digital Rights Management enables on your book. We usually suggest enabling DRM, which prevents readers from sharing you book freely with others. Some authors do not care about royalties with certain works, and wish it to be freely distributable. If so, then click the “do not enable…” button. (Lending through KDP is still possible even with DRM enabled.) This function cannot be changed later.

Finally, upload your ePub file. Usually, you will get a notice that there are typographical errors. Though you should have proofed your book carefully a number of times (or hire us to do so), it is worthwhile to go through these to make sure you have not missed anything. You can also preview your book on screen, or download it to review on a Kindle or Kindle previewer on your computer. We recommend this.

Once your ePub is uploaded and confirmed, click “Save and Continue.

Set the pricing, rights, and publishing information

The second screen is where you set rights and publishing. Choose whether you want your book to be published worldwide, or just within certain territories. If there are no content or legal reasons for limiting your sales, choose world-wide rights. Next, set your price. You can choose either 35% or 70% royalty. One might wonder why would anyone choose to receive less royalty? If you choose the higher rate, be aware you may not always get it. First, your book must be priced between $2.99–9.99. Then:

  • A fee is deducted for delivery (Amazon is the only retailer who does this)
  • Not all territories pay 70% (they pay 35%)
  • You cannot use a public domain text
  • You must join KDP select if you want the 70% royalty and sell your book in Brazil, India, Japan, or Mexico
  • You must agree to allow lending of your book (allows a purchaser to lend the book to another Kindle for 14 days)

These rules may change over time, so always review Amazon’s information before deciding. Click here for more. At Sulis, we make he decision with the author, based on the content, purpose, and sales goals for the book.

Your last option on this screen to is allow your book to be enrolled in the Kindle Matchbook program. This allows buyers who have purchased the print edition to purchase the Kindle edition for free, $.99, $1.99 (you choose). We usually select this option and set the price at the lowest option, unless the print version is more expensive than normal.

Publish your Kindle book

Click the checkbox that confirms you have all proper rights and permissions for the book and that you agree to KDP’s terms, then click “Save and Publish.”

Within a few hours (though Amazon says it could take up to 48), your book will be live on the Kindle store.

Sulis is available to help you with any of these stages—contact us from our home page or email us here.

As always, feel free to enter a comment or a question in the Comment field below this post.

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