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  • Writer's pictureVivi Anne Hunt

How to Self-Publish Your Ebook on Amazon in 2022 (Step-by-Step Tutorial for Aspiring Indie Authors)

Have you written a book? Great! Now you can publish it.

Obviously, before the publishing part comes the editing, formatting, and book cover parts, but those are saved for another blog post and/or video. You can follow my Youtube account for self-publishing updates and tutorials. I love talking about it! (I have published shorter works under a different pen name, in case you're wondering.)

Anyway, now that you've decided to publish your book, and you are probably looking to self-publish it, since you have clicked on this article, then I have the solution for you! It's called Kindle Direct Publishing and it publishes your book on Amazon, where most of the readers already are looking for new books in your genre.

Now let's start simple, with an ebook, later we'll do a paperback, etc.

Publish Your Ebook Tutorial:

The first thing to do is to sign up on, where you will need your bank details and tax information, and make sure you sign up with your main amazon account. Never sign up for more than one kdp account because Amazon will penalize you. You can use all kinds of pen names under that same account, don't worry.

How to self-publish your book on Amazon free easy fast

The next step, once you are signed in, is to look at the dashboard and click on Create. This used to be different, but now you simply have to click on one yellow button. Under that section you will be able to see your published or drafted books later.

How to self-publish your book on Amazon free easy fast

The next step is to pick whether you want to publish an ebook, paperback, or hardback (which is now in beta), and/or a series of books. I suggest just publishing your ebook first and deciding what to do later, unless you want to release the paperback simultaneously, which is also okay. Whatever you want to do, do it. It's your book. :)

How to self-publish your book on Amazon free easy fast

The next step is to start filling in the details for your book and do not worry, you can change any of those at any time and you can save this as draft right now, so it doesn't really matter when you start this process. If you ask me, the sooner, the better.

First you have to fill in the title and subtitle, if you have one, but I often add my subtitle to the title, so they are found by the Amazon search algorithm (and I am probably going to change it later because I don't like how it looks, just ignore it).

Also, you add the language of the book, which, let's be honest, is probably English.

Next, you can add the book to a series, but wait until you are 100% clear on the series, don't do this step too fast. The Edition Number is just if you have published your book before, and this is another edition of your book, so we'll ignore that option right now.

Put your name / pen name next as well as any contributors like co-authors or illustrator, narrator, whatever human you want to add, but this is optional since you can mention these people inside the book, in the front or back matter. If you don't have a pen name yet, I give tips on how to choose a unique pen name in this video.

Next we are adding in the book description, and I do recommend that you format it, as well as any any additional info you have, like disclaimers, triggers, ARC reviews, etc.

After your book cover, which attracts the reader's eye, the description is really what seals the deal, so make sure that it's engaging and that you're leaving a question for the reader, which they want answered, so now they have to buy your book to find out.

Under that, you have the usual 'I own the copyright' message, which should always be selected, unless you are indeed using public domain work.

The next part is very important, and that is the keywords part. You really need to do your keywords research for your genre, so that when readers are searching for new books to read on Amazon, they find your book. There's a tool that helps immensely with that, I use it, and this is not an affiliate link, I'm just happy with it - PublisherRocket. Otherwise you can type 'how to find keywords for amazon' on Youtube, to find out how people do it.

Make sure that you use all the seven boxes and add a ton of keywords in there, really specific ones, I have only scratched the surface with what I added below.

When you add categories, make sure to add very specific ones that match your book perfectly. Those are the genres of your book, but you don't want to select 'fantasy' as it's too general and nobody will find your book there. Better, select urban fantasy or whatever kind of fantasy it is, and bear in mind, you can add more categories to your book later (by emailing the KDP team and asking them to manually do it for you).

The age and grade range is for children's books.

Next, simply select whether you're ready to publish now (or wherever you're publishing, it doesn't matter, because you can leave your book as a draft for a while), or you can select to pre-order your book, but bear in mind that this option is done if you already have an audience or you're planning to grow it by the time you're launching the pre-order because Amazon will not push it for you, you're the one promoting your book to the world.

Then click 'save and continue' to move on to the next part, which is the content of your book. First you'll have to decide whether you want to enable DRM on your book. That's a kind of system Amazon has for protecting the copyright and preventing unlawful distribution of your book. It limits the way people use your book, so I generally select NO. Please do your research, there's people in both camps, and ultimately, this is your decision.

Then finally it's time to upload your manuscript - your formatted manuscript (with front matter and back matter and correct formatting). If you don't know how to format your book, there's tons of tutorials online, there are some free templates, too, and there are tools that you can use, like Reedsy (free), Vellum (for Mac), or Atticus (for Windows), and make sure you format your book for ebook AND print (if you're going to do that later).

Your manuscript will be uploading for a few minutes, so keep scrolling down in the meantime.

The next step is to upload your book cover, which has specific dimensions: 2560x1600, 300 dpi. My first mistake as a self-published author was to create a cover in 92 dpi, don't make that mistake and always get your images from legitimate stock sites like depositphotos. Please don't grab images from the internet randomly because they are copyrighted.

At this point, you can hire a professional book cover designer ( are pretty cheap if you're strapped) or you can try Canva (free) and make it yourself, but please watch this tutorial by Derek Murphy first, to make sure you're not making the worst mistakes when it comes to book cover design (namely making a cover that doesn't match your genre).

Now let your book and cover keep uploading while you keep going...

The next step is to preview your book on Kindle, yayyy, so exciting!!!

Once your files have been uploaded, you'll be able to preview your ebook and please check if everything is all right - go through the whole thing, page by page. My tip for you here is that Draft2Digital has amazing formatting options you can add to your ebook for free and you don't even have to use it to distribute your ebook if you don't want. You can just start a new project on the site, add the formatting, and then download your ebook. It's great!

(I also do recommend using draft2digital for later distributing your ebook if you want to do that, but only if you choose not to be part of the KDP Select program - topic coming up).

Next we have one of the most important parts and that is the ISBN. You know what it is, it's the thing that identifies your book, so it's really important. Some authors use the free ISBNs that Amazon provides, which is okay, but I personally prefer to batch-buy mine because otherwise I might end up with with different ISBNs for the same book, if I have gotten one from Amazon, then another one from a distributor/aggregator like Ingramspark, for example.

You can go to the International ISBN Agency and see where you can buy ISBNs for your book, depending on your geographic location. If you're in the US, then Bowker is your best bet.

(And yes, every format has a different ISBN - ebook, paperback, hardback, etc.)

Before clicking on 'save and continue', though, make sure that your book and book cover have been uploaded and that you have previewed your book AND scroll up and check what the spell-checker has to say. I did have typos in my manuscript, but they were intentional typos, so there were no worries there. It's important to make sure.

Okay, now you can scroll down and click on 'save and continue' to the next part, the final tab, where the pricing and some other things go. This is a really important tab.

First you need to choose whether you want to enroll your book into the KDP Select program, which will allow Kindle Unlimited readers to read your book for free, and Amazon will pay you for pages read, so if someone reads 100 pages, you'll be paid for 100 pages.

A lot of indie authors, myself included, have noticed that most of your book's earnings will come from KDP Select because people love free stuff. Really, I get so little sales, but I regularly get new people finding my stories through Kindle Unlimited.

Plus, if you select that option, you'll be getting cool promotional features, like 5 Free Days, where you can set your book for free for 5 days and get a ton of downloads, which bumps your book up the Sales Ranking system and the free book lists in your genre. I have gotten my stories up to #1 in the free lists from just 500+ downloads. Downloads are basically like sales, so Amazon sees there's 'sales' and promotes your books for you. Otherwise Amazon will not know your book exists, if there are no downloads or sales.

WARNING: If you enroll your ebook in KDP Select, your ebook will be exclusive to Amazon, meaning you can't publish it on any other ebook retailers for 90 days. You can unenroll, of course, or just wait for the 90 days to end or whatever, but I have found that this program is just perfect for new undiscovered authors, like myself, and if you do want to distribute something, it can be the paperback, which is separate from your ebook.

So I always select enroll my book in KDP Select, but that's totally your decision.

Next, just leave it at 'all territories (worldwide rights)'.

When it comes to pricing, this is a huge and hot topic you have to consider carefully.

I have seen this mistake made time and time again by indie authors, so please don't be mad at me for pointing it out, but the mistake is - you have priced your book too high. Yep, there are standard prices for ebooks and there are standard prices for books of your genre and of your novel length, and it's good to check those before you make this mistake. Thing is, when I see an overpriced ebook, I just don't buy it, it's that simple. You may value your work highly, but people generally pay as much as they are used to paying for ebooks.

Which is why you should select the 70% royalties option, which will show you the price range, which Amazon wants you to choose for your ebook. Amazon knows what prices sell books, so it gives you more royalties if you comply with the industry standard and that way Amazon makes more money too because people like these prices and buy the book.

So if you want your book to be competitive and sell, you need to set your price reasonably and then you'll reap the benefits when people buy your book and you get 70% royalties instead of just 35%, which is nothing really, especially if people aren't buying. If you want to do a $0.99 promotion at some point, your royalties will be lower, but that's okay because the promotion will get more people to buy your book, as people like promotions.

And yeah, you'll see the calculator do its thing, showing you prices worldwide and showing you what royalties you get, depending on the price you've set.

Next, you just click on 'save as draft' and work on this later or you click on 'publish your kindle ebook' and wait for it to publish to the site, which takes up to 72 hours.

Omggggggggggg, you just published an ebook!!! Congrats!

Or well, at least you started the process, in which case I am extremely proud of you, and please let me know if you have any questions. I have not yet published under this pen name (which is happening soon!) but I have published under other pen names, so I do know what I'm talking about. I'd love to hear about your story and answer any questions.

Thanks for reading!!! Share this with your indie author friends. :)

Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

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