Here are 28 plus steps you can check off on your way to getting your first ebook published. They are designed to be done after the 100 plus steps in Step by Step to Self-Publish Your Print Book. Remember to breathe as you go through the process.
This is a supplement to the book How to Self-Publish for the technical steps in chapters 12 and 13 about eBook Publication with KDP. We included the full list in the first two editions but since so many of the steps change between editions, we decided to do the updates here. Latest update 10/20/23.
This list, however, is a great resource by itself. We encourage all authors to buy the book to get the full impact to help you get your book published well with a platform in place. This applies to the ones who are going to try to do it themselves, to those of you who have had us do many of the tasks for you and ever body else along that continuum.
As you are uploading your book in an ebook format to KDP you may see that the order of steps has changed or that there are new/different steps. If you do, please email us at email@example.com and let us know what needs to be updated.
You will also notice that the number of steps changes as well. For your reference, in the book, this is listed as 28 steps.
Steps to eBook Publication
Now that your KDP Publishers book is complete, you are ready to create a Kindle version (eBook) of your book.
- When you hit the publish button, KDP will ask you in a pop up if you want to create an eBook now. You can say yes from there of you can come back later to your bookshelf.
- From the bookshelf, select “+Create Kindle eBook”. Either way, KDP will pre-populate many of the fields for you.
- The entire first tap is filled in to match the print book. The only choice you have to make is at the bottom where it asks if you want to release now or if you are wanting to do pre-orders.
- Hit Save and Continue.
- On the tab, “Kindle eBook Content,” first choose to enable or not enable digital rights management (DRM). We recommend not enabling it.
- Prepare the eBook cover by opening your cover in any editing program. Crop it to just the front cover and save as JPG.
- Come back to KDP, navigate to this middle tab, and upload the JPG you just made as the cover.
- Prepare the interior by opening Word. If you made the print book interior with Word, save the file name as eBook before you make changes. Then remove the page numbers, headers, footers, section breaks and turn off “widow and orphan” controls.
- If you created youyour print book in InDesign, cut and paste all the text from each text box in order into a word document making sure to copy and paste all headers for each section as you go.
- In the Word document you now have from either method, first remove the page numbers from the Contents page. Then create a bookmark at the beginning of each section listed in the contents, andcontents and create hyperlinks from each line of the contents to those bookmarks.
- Make hyperlinks out of all websites, social media, and email addresses.
- Save OFTEN😊
- Navigate back to the middle tab and upload your interior of your eBook. KDP will tell you that you don’t have a Table of Contents. That is OK, because KDP is looking for one that was generated by Kindle Create, but we didn’t use that tool.
- Open the eBook in the previewer.
- KDP will take over and check your file. Look to the left in the “quality check” pane for a list of common errors that KDP found.
- In the previewer, change to various devices by changing the device name at the top.
- Look at every single page, take note of major issues, but be aware that there is not one single layout that will look the same on every single device.
- Save as “draft” and open the Word document for your eBook. Make any changes needed and upload again. Check every page again. This check through will feel like over kill but be patient and do it. It will save you potential headaches later. Repeat this process until you are happy with the way your eBook looks on most devices.
- The last item on this tab is the ISBN. You can’t use the same ISBN number for your print and digital book. You can choose not to have an ISBN or purchase a second number. If you don’t give one, you can only sell your book on Amazon.
- Hit “save and continue.”
- On the third tab, choose KDP select. This has been just a check box, but you may have to go the enrollment page to sign up. If you are not planning to immediately put your eBook on other platforms or sell it from your website, we recommend using KDP Select as another stream of revenue. KDP Select allows you to be in what KDP calls “Free Book Promotion” and Kindle Countdowns,” which can be advantageous for newly published eBooks. If you choose this option, however, then your book is required to give the Kindle store exclusive rights for 90 days. You can choose whether or not KDP will automatically renew or not though. Read the fine print about this option to ensure it is for you.
- Verify your publishing territories.
- Choose to receive the 35% or 70% royalty.
- Use the list price box to play with different price points.
- International prices will adjust automatically based on the US price.
- When you are ready, click “save and publish.”
- KDP will do another review that may take up to 72 hours. When the review is finished, the eBook will just go live. You may get an email to let you know from KDP that your eBook is live.
- Promote, promote, and promote some more!