Selling Your Books On Amazon Kindle
Selling Your Books On Amazon
When it comes to making the most
money possible with Amazon Kindle, your books listing, description and tags play an important part in
maximizing sales and exposure.
You’ll want to take advantage of the different optimization tools available within your book listing, and this
module will take you through the entire process, one step at a time.
The first step is to create your Kindle publisher account, and you do this at http://kdp.amazon.com
When you create your account, you’ll be asked to provide payment information and depending on
your location, you’ll be given different options.
For example, if you are within the United States, you can opt to receive EFT payments directly
into your bank account, however if you are from within Canada, Australia or other countries where EFT is not
currently offered via Amazon Kindle, your only option is to receive payment via
You can change your payment preferences at any time, just keep in mind that should you change your details in the
middle of a regular payment, it could delay your payments from being disbursed. Double check your bank account information to ensure that it’s accurate before
proceeding to the next step.
This module focuses on creating your book listing for publication with Kindle, so if you are new to the Kindle
publishing center, please refer to our module “Kindle Publishing Account Tour” for a complete overview of the
different areas and features of your Kindle Publishing account.
Publishing Your Book
The first step is to click on “Bookshelf” from the top navigation menu, so that you can begin
the listing process. You will notice a tab at the top of the
page titled “Add New Title”. Click this to continue.
You should now see your book listing page, that looks like this:
Begin by entering in your book title. This is a
very important part of the process because this area allows the use of keywords, which will make it easier
for potential buyers to find your books.
Enter in your book title and separate it with a hypen, followed by keywords.
Example: A Night To Remember – Romance
The book title above reflects the name of my book, followed by the genre (Romance) and book type
(Novel). Using this format, you’ll be able to boost your ranking
within Amazon’s built-in search function, while drawing in attention from your specific audience of
You could also integrate additional keyword/tags as well, such as:
A Night To Remember – Romance Story, Lovers Series Book #1
The key is to provide a clear title, followed by relevant keywords that will help your book
appear within on-site searches, as well as searches conducted via the major search engines. Do not include your author name, as your title length is limited and your
author name will already be attached to your listing.
Next, you will need to choose whether your book is part of a series or not. If it is, other books appearing in the
same series can be linked together, encouraging sales from those who have read the first
Next, include an Edition Number (optional). An
edition number is rarely used unless you are re-publishing a previous release, or updating your book.
Otherwise, leave this field blank.
The next step is a very important part of your book listing – providing a detailed, keyword-driven
description. You are limited to 4000 characters, so use this space
wisely, providing a summary of your storyline, injecting tags that are likely to be used by people searching within
You can update the description later on should you wish to do so, however it can take up to 48 hours for your new
changes to appear.
Next, choose your contributors. Contributors are the authors of your
book, but could include other people that you wish to credit (editors, publishers, agents, illustrators, etc). You
can choose any name you wish, a real name, pen name, alias – it’s your choice.
One of the great things about Amazon is that you can publish under as many different author names as you wish,
while managing all of your books and sales from one control panel. No one will ever see the different names that
you use, and there will be no link between author names unless you add multiple names to one
Your next step is to choose the language in which your book was written. You can also assign a publication date, or
if you leave it blank Amazon will assign the current date in which it is published. Further, you can now enter in a Publisher name, and this can be used even if you
have no publisher!
For example, if you wish to tie all of your books under one main “network name”, you could set your publisher name
to something that represents your books, your website, or yourself.
Next, you can enter in an ISBN. This is necessary only if you have a unique ISBN for your book, otherwise Amazon
will assign one for you for free.
The next step is to verify your publishing rights. Amazon does not want anyone to publish books to which you have
no legal licensing. You can however, publish public domain work and in many cases, private label content if you
edit it and have proper licensing (the ability to either publish the content, or recompile it, or sell it as a
physical product in the event you wish to also publish on Amazon’s partnering company,
The next step is a very important one – choosing your
categories. You are allowed to choose only two
categories, so make sure you choose the very best ones for your genre. If you have difficulty understanding what categories are best for your
work, spend some time evaluating what other authors in your genre are using and follow suit!
Next, you can enter in keywords. You are allowed 7
tags, and they can consist of multiple words (long-tail keywords) such as “romance book” or “improving yourself”.
Keywords will help people find your book so it’s important to use the most relevant, targeted keywords
possible. Do NOT include your author name, because your name will already be associated to your listing, so
use this space carefully to ensure that you are targeting the right audience with your keywords.
Now it’s time to upload a cover for your book. If you have not yet created a cover for your publication, we have
included a module that will show you how to do it, along with pre-made templates. Amazon accepts book covers in many different formats, however we recommend
uploading your image in .JPG format.
Finally, your next step is to upload the document for your book. This can be a bit tricky for beginners, so here’s a quick breakdown of what
you need to do:
Step 1: Open your document in your word editing
program (Word, NeoOffice, OpenOffice, etc). You need to make sure that
your original file is in DOC format. Not RTF, or DOCX as they will not translate well to Kindle.
Step 2: Save your document in HTML format.
Step 3: When you’ve saved it in HTML format, it will create 2 files on your computer. One is the
HTML page that contains your story, and the second is a folder that contains all images used within your book. You
need to zip BOTH of these files together and upload to Amazon.
Note: Your document should always be in .zip format when uploading to Amazon and include the 2
files (HTML and the folder with supporting images). Amazon will not
accept any other format.
Once you have a zip file containing your files, upload it to Kindle!
It will take a few minutes for Kindle to translate your book into mobile format, and when it’s ready, you will see
the success note at the bottom of the page. Click “Save and Continue”
to proceed to the next step.
In the next step of the process, you will be asked to verify your publishing rights. By default, it’s set to
“Worldwide Rights”, so unless you do not have the right to publish worldwide, leave this set to default.
Finally, you’ll need to chosoe your royalty options from either 35% or 70% .
If your book is priced above $2.99, you are eligible to receive 70% commissions and should always choose this
option. However, if your book is priced below $2.99, you are only eligible to receive 35% royalty rates.
Next, set your price, and tick the box next to every other country, including Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr,
Amazon.es, Amazon.it and any other countries currently available. You want to set pricing automatically based on
your overall price as shown below:
You can now choose whether you want to allow lending for your
book. When you select lending, you are enabling your readers to
share your story with their friends for up to 14 days. We recommended not allowing lending of your
publications to avoid lost sales.
Next, click “Save and Publish”, and you’re done!
Book Status – Review, Publishing & Live
Your book will take up to 48 hours to appear on the Kindle marketplace, and during that time
you are unable to make any changes to your submission.
One thing that you will notice however, is that your book will be available for purchase before the status is
updated from within your KDP Publishing account, so you’ll likely see the status as “Publishing”, when it’s
actually live on the market. You can run a quick search for your book
title, or your author name on Amazon.com to see when your book is available.
When your books’ status changes from within your KDP account, you can then make changes, including price changes,
description changes and even category changes but keep in mind that each time you make any changes your book it
goes back into “review” mode and can take another 24-48 hours to update.
There are 3 main stages of updates: Review, Publishing and Live.
Review means that your book is being reviewed by Amazon staff in order to ensure that it follows their publishing
Publishing means that your book has been approved and is now being published in the Amazon marketplace.
Live means your book is now available for purchase.
However there is a fourth status message that no author ever wants to see – the dreaded BLOCKED!
When your book is blocked, you are no longer able to make any changes nor are you able to remove it from your KDP
account. It’s just dead in the water. This doesn’t mean that you can’t
make necessary changes and then resubmit it, you can (and should), but it just means that when you do resubmit, you
will do so as an entirely new publication, meaning that you will have to go through the listing phase all over
Many of us experience the ocassional block and in certain instances, it’s simply a matter of who reviewed your
Many times if you resubmit the same book again, it will be accepted and published, so don’t get
discouraged if this happens to you. Just write Kindle support requesting an explanation as to the block, and
then make any necessary changes before resubmitting.
Once your book is live on Amazon, it’s time to take advantage of an incredibly valuable tool
that will help you monitor your progress, ranking and maximize sales – your Author Central
The Power Of Author Central
Author Central is a separate account that enables you to monitor your book ranking, and to take
advantage of author-based services and special features only available within Author Central.
You will need to create a new account for every pen name that
you use, and you can do so only after you have at least one book published (and available for sale) within Amazon’s
OR – you can “link” up to 3 pen names inside of one Author
Central account in order to manage your books easier. I’ll show you
how to do this in just a moment. For now, visit http://www.AuthorCentral.com to create your free author
The first step after creating your account, is to claim your books.
When you create a new Author Central account for every pen name and author that you publish under, you’re able to
create an author profile page that showcases all of the books under that name, giving people one simple location in
which they can purchase all of your publications.
If you create your Author Central account and attempt to claim a book that is not yet live in the marketplace, it
will not appear, and you should return the next day when your book is live.
To claim your books, click on “Books” from the top navigation bar. You
can now enter in your book title, ISBN, or your author name to search the Amazon marketplace, and when your books
appear in the search.
When you see your book, click on “This is my book” to add it to your Author central
Remember, that all of the books you claim under each author name are public and visible to anyone who lands on your
Linking Multiple Pen Names
Before you begin, understand that linking multiple pen names within one author central account
does NOT show this connection to your customers, so your pen names are safe. It’s just an easier way
to effectively manage your books, check rankings and add in important meta tags and data without having to
log into separate Author Central accounts.
The easiest way to add multiple pen names into your Author Central account is to attempt to add one of your
existing books (that is published under a different pen name than the one already added to Author Central).
When you do this, Author Central will notify you that your main
author name is not listed on the book, but that you can “add this author to your account” as a secondary (and
third) pen name.
Just click “Accept” and all of the books for your secondary pen name will be available within your Author Central
account. You can then switch between one pen name and another by clicking on the drop down menu in the top right
Securing Your Author URL
When you’ve added at least one book to your profile page, it’s time to set up a full author
page on Author Central. To do this, click on the “Profile” tab
in the top navigation menu as shown below:
Here is where the magic happens. You are able to create a high ranking author page directly
To start, you will want to add a short bio that introduces your author to its market. Consider adding in a blog or website where people can explore your books and find
out more about you.
You can also add your blog RSS feed and Author Central will pull your most recent blog posts and updates, and
publish them on your author page. You can also add a photo that
represents you or your genre. If you aren’t comfortable using a photo
of yourself, consider using stock photos from sources such as http://www.DepositPhotos.com or http://www.BigStockPhotos.com
Another useful feature is your ability to create a customized URL for your author page. This
should be your author or pen name, so that your URL becomes Amazon.com/author/your-name
If you use Twitter, you can also add your Twitter username and Author Central will publish your
most recent tweets. Just the same, you can link to video based content, such as trailors or introduction
videos that promote your book!
Your Author Central account is an important part in marketing yourself, and your books. If you
would like to learn more about how to promote your books for maximum profits (absolutely free), check out our
special module on Marketing.
Once you have established a profile (author page) on Author Central, and have integrated your
website, blog and Twitter feed, it’s time to move onto optimizing your books and you can do this directly
from within Author Central.
Let me show you how!
Optimizing Your Books
Author Central makes it incredibly easy to optimize your books and maximize sales. One of the
easiest ways to do this is by providing more information for each of your book listing.
To start, click on “Books” from the top navigation menu within your Author Central account.
You will now see a listing of all your published books. Click on the
title of any of your books to begin.
You’ll quickly notice a few important features on your individual book page, including its overall ranking (current
sales rank), average review, ASIN number followed by three tabs:
Editorial Reviews – Book Details – Book Extras
Let’s begin with “Editorial Reviews”.
On this page, you can add a review for your product, which should come from a third party, not your author
name! If you’ve managed to secure a review from a reader, ask
permission to publish it on your Author Central account.
The next step is to add a product description to your book. You should do this for each and every book that you
publish, because descriptions will help potential buyers make the decision to purchase from you.
Your book description should also include keywords, again, helping you rank within Amazon’s search engine and the
major search engines. Start off with a basic description that
summarizes your plot, storyline or introduces characters.
Keep it brief, remembering that the objective is to wet their appetite without delivering the full course
meal! Give them just enough to capture their interest and motivate
them to purchase your book.
You should also include relevant information about the type of book that you’re selling. For example, if it’s part
of a series this is a great place to mention that it’s Book #1, or Book #2 – and introduce the series to your
audience. If it’s a novella, short story or full length novel, you can
also include this information within the product description section.
The next section gives you the opportunity to add a note from the author, and most people use this to introduce a
new pen name and establish their presence, especially if you are a new writer. You can include the author’s bio, or
a personal note from the author regarding the reasons behind the story. Whatever you feel will help you connect
with your audience!
The next segment gives you space in which you can include something from the Inside Flap and Back
Cover. You should add a few opening paragraphs from your book,
such as the first page of a chapter, or the first page of the actual book.
Providing an excerpt will help maximize sales, so use this space wisely.
Finally, you can add details from a “back cover”, and since this is an ebook, the best way to use this space is to
provide a basic synopsis or summary of your book, keeping it to just 3-5 lines in length.
Repeat this for every book that you publish with Kindle, as it will help your overall ranking
and visibility. Plus, all of these pages become part of your public profile so that when a potential reader
explores each book, they are given additional information to help them make the decision to
Sales Information & Ranking
Like every proud author, you’ll want to monitor your Amazon ranking, and you can do this by
clicking “Sales Info” from the top navigation menu.
Amazon updates your books rankings every hour, so the data will change frequently, however it’s still important to
keep a close eye on your rankings so that you can determine how your audience is responding to your new
publications. While your sales numbers will ultimately reflect your
books success, your ranking indicates your overall exposure.
Here is a snapshot of how your books ranking might look:
If you wish to further explore your overall ranking, click on “See more info about this book’s
rank”. You’ll be given a snapshot in graph format showing
you how your ranking has changed over a certain period of time (ranging from monthly to all time). You won’t
have a lot of data available for new books until you’ve obtained rank history (4-6
Reviews & Feedback
Customer reviews are important in boosting your rankings and helping you sell more books. You
can keep on top of current reviews left by readers and buyers by clicking on the “Customer Reviews” tab from
the top nav bar. You can also add comments in response to any
reviews left for you!