Getting your work published onto Amazon’s Kindle eReader is really very easy.
Perhaps you’re a writer interested in self-publishing some of your work. Or you might simply want to learn more about the ePublishing revolution and how to get involved. In either case, doing so is actually very straightforward. Since January this year, Amazon’s Digital Text Platform (DTP) has been available in all countries, allowing you to upload your work and publish it in Amazon’s Kindle store. And since there are estimated to be 1.5 million Kindles in use, this represents a large potential market.
To get started you just need a standard customer Amazon account. You sign in with this at the DTP site and from there start uploading. You provide your manuscript in Microsoft Word or HTML format and Amazon will automatically convert it into the format used by the Kindle. You also need to provide some extra information about your work : title, description, language, keywords, categories, price, publishing date and so forth. You also have the option of providing some cover artwork, which is recommended as it will make your published work much more eye-catching.
The whole process of providing these details is slick and friendly. There is also a lot of help available if you get stuck, in the form of FAQs and forums. You don’t have to get everything right first time. You can preview what you’ve uploaded, tweak things and then, when you’re happy with everything, click Publish. Doing so costs you nothing – although Amazon will take a cut of any sales you make.
It can take a day or two for your work to finally appear in the Amazon store, but once it’s there customers can start buying it for their Kindles. Each work gets its own page on the Amazon site, complete with all the usual options such as reader reviews and ratings.
In fact, publishing your work onto the Kindle is the easy part. The hard part is attracting potential readers to your work. Amazon’s system helps in that the description and categories you provide make it easier for potential readers to find you. However, to attract many readers, you will have to put effort into publicizing your work yourself.
Whether or not “self-publishing” (or, as some prefer to call it, “indie publishing”) like this is a sensible move for you as a writer is something only you can decide. You should be aware that a conventional publisher probably wouldn’t be interested in handling a book that has already been self-published in this way as first publication rights wouldn’t be available. But you might think it’s worthwhile to self-publish some pieces of work in the hope of building up a readership interested in finding out more about you and your other work.
This article only covers the Amazon Kindle and there are, of course, other eReaders out there (the iPhone, for instance). There are other services on the web, similar to Amazon’s, that allow you to self-publish your work for these other devices. But Amazon’s DTP provides a good place to start if you’re interested in exploring the world of ePublishing.