How To: ePublish through Kindle Direct

The Amazon Kindle

Getting your book onto Amazon’s Kindle is ridiculously easy.

All it requires is signing up for the service and uploading your files (ensure they are properly formatted!). If you have your information in place, the entire process will take approximately 15 minutes — no, I’m not kidding.

You will need:

1) An Amazon Account

2) Your tax information (SSN unless you wish to use a dedicated Tax ID Number)

3) Your bank information (name, routing number, account number) if you want the option to have your payments electronically transferred to your bank account.

4) Your book’s cover art (500×1280 pixels at 72dpi density in .jpg or .tiff format)

5) Your book (advise submitting as a pre-formatted .mobi or .epub file, though there are methods to format through KDE)

Got all of those items and information together? Great! Let’s get started!

Register for an Account

If you haven’t already done so, you need to register with Kindle Direct, so let’s get that taken care of.

1. Go to

2. Enter your Amazon Account ID. If you don’t have one, you need to sign up for one here:

3. Fill out your publisher account information, including:

a. Name (can be your company name, if you have set up a publishing company)

b. Address (Street, City, State, Zip)

c. Phone Number

4. Enter your Tax Information.

a. Tax Reporting Name (either your full name or the name of your registered company)

b. Business Type (Individual, Partnership, Corporation)

c. Taxpayer Number (SSN, TIN, or EIN)

5. Set the terms of Royalty Payments for each branch of Amazon: US, UK, and DE. This means you have to tell Amazon if you want to be paid via check or direct deposit, and in what currency you want to be paid. If you chose an electronic transfer, you need to enter your bank account information at this time.

And that’s it! You are now registered to sell through Kindle. Time to publish your book!

Upload Your Book

Just as with registration, this process can be very easy. Where you would get into trouble is if you don’t have your books pre-formatted and you try to format through Kindle Direct itself. The formatting process is far from impossible, but it will take several days of tweaking for the uninitiated. We recommend having your book professionally formatted ahead of time, then you can just upload it in a few seconds.

Here are the steps to get your eBook into the Kindle Store:

1. Go to My Bookshelf.

2. Enter your book’s Title.

3. If your book is part of a series, enter the series information (series title and what volume this book is in the series).

4. Enter the Edition Number (If this is the first time your book has been published, it’s a 1st Edition).

5. Enter Your Book Description. Take This Step Seriously! The book description is what buyers will see when they click on your book. You have 4,000 characters to make this sale, use them wisely. We recommend you go through several drafts and a lot of test readers before you enter this information. You can always come back and change it, but you want it to be pretty darn good from the get go.

6. Add the Misc Information (Your Name as the author, any other contributors, publication date, publisher, and, if you prefer, an ISBN).

7. Verify that you own the rights to the work.

8. Target Your Customers. Here you enter the search categories you book will appear in (sci-fi, romance, fiction, non-fiction, etc). You can select two categories. You also enter in your Keywords at this time. You can select seven keywords. Give these some thought, as you want readers to find your book through sensible search.

9. Upload your Book Cover.

10. Upload your Book File.

11. Verify your publishing territories (worldwide or specific areas).

12. Set your Royalty Rate. This is either 35% (priced below $2.99) or 70% (priced between $2.99 and $9.99).

13. Enter your exact sales price.

14. Enter if you want to allow book lending.

15. Acknowledge terms and Click “Save and Publish”.

Congratulations! You are now a published author!

As you can see, self publishing through Kindle is about as easy as signing up and using Gmail. If you’re thinking of writing a book, or you have one already written, and the idea of “self publishing” sounds overly difficult, I hope this “How-To” convinces you otherwise.

You can do this.  Good Luck!

About Rob McClellan

Rob is the founder of ThirdScribe, a unique author services platform and social network. As a naval officer and diver, he spent a majority of his career doing a lot more than you would think with a lot less than you can imagine -- a skill that has proven extremely valuable in the start-up world. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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