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Publishing on Kindle: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using the KDP Interface, part 1
December 1, 2014
In this blog post, you'll learn about:
Resources for laying out your book in Word
How to create an Amazon identity if you don't already have one
Where to sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
What your Kindle Bookshelf looks like and how to sign into it to create a new book interface
How to fill out the title portion of KDP
Publishing on Kindle
When I set out to publish my book The Girl Who Fell Into the Sky, I was a bit intimidated at the idea of publishing on Kindle. Although graphic design and layout played a big role in my early days as a newspaper editor, I had no experience with layout for a digital book nor any with the Kindle Direct Publishing interface. In other words, I had no idea how to upload my book files onto the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) website.
All of that changed, of course, when my book was finished with editing. I had learned from friend and book coach, Jane Freund that I needed to lay my book out so that it would fit in a 9-inch by 6-inch frame essentially. Fortunately, between her tutoring and the free eBook provided by Amazon Building Your Book for Kindle, I got that part figured out. (That book is free on Amazon. Here's the link.)
Before you can upload your book on Amazon, you will need to lay it out in a program like Word. The above information teaches you how to do that. You may also be concerned as well about what to do about a cover, because these two steps go hand-in-hand. If you have a program like Adobe Photoshop, you can create a JPG of your cover design. That's what I did. However, if you don't, I will cover Amazon's Cover Creator Tool in a later blog post, so don't fret.
After you lay out your document, the next thing you'll want to do is to go on Amazon and create a user identity. If you already shop on Amazon or promote Amazon's affiliate products, you should already have an identity.
If you don't, follow the steps in the pictures below to create your identity.
Click "Hello, Sign in - Your Account." You'll be taken to this screen.
Click the "Sign in using our secure server" after you type in the email address that you want to use in the top box.
Create a user identity by filling in the blanks.
These steps will get you through the basic sign in. Once you're in, follow any other instructions that Amazon prompts you to, including confirming via email that you have signed up (if Amazon asks this of you).
If you do already have a sign in identity, it's time to sign into the KDP interface. Below, you'll find the initial webpage with the web address and sign in button.
Click on the "sign in" button to be taken to your KDP bookshelf. (Notice the URL address at the top. It's https://kdp.amazon.com/.)
Here's what the KDP bookshelf looks like. Notice the "new title" button. Click on that.
This will take you to the KDP upload interface, which looks like this:
Scroll down until you get to the part that asks you about your book's title. While Amazon encourages you to make good, descriptive titles, the website also asks that people stay away from what I call "mile-long" title jam-packed with keywords.
Here's what the interface looks like. You'll find further instructions to help you on the graphic:
Once you have that done, go to the bottom of the page and hit "save draft." You have some things to do before you can proceed to the next step. The next blog post will cover that.