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Publishing Your eBook To Kindle (Part 1)

Creative Commons License photo credit: kodomut

The eBook industry is a growing field. Right now, Amazon.com accounts for two-thirds of the eBook sales in United States, and they now sell more eBooks than hard- and soft-cover books. As of this writing, the eBook industry is a $3 billion a year business and it’s expected to grow to $10 billion a year by 2016. If I were a betting man, I’d say those are some good odds.

For the purpose of this series of articles, I will assume that you already have an eBook written, and you want to know how to properly format it for publishing to Amazon’s Kindle. So, first thing’s first, you need to set up an account with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) by going here. It’s a simple affair and should only take you a couple of minutes.

Next, after reading over Amazon’s Terms and Conditions, you’ll want to explore your personal KDP Account.  Right away, you’ll see a few links at the top entitled Bookshelf, Reports, Community, and KDP Select.

Your Bookshelf is simply a place for you to see a list of your published works with their titles, price, date submitted, and status.  As of right now, if you haven’t published anything, this area should be blank (other than the headings).

If you click on Reports, you will see a numbered list with something along the lines of: 1. Month-to-Date Unit Sales, 2. Prior Six Weeks’ Royalties, and 3. Prior Month’s Royalties.  These are simple enough to understand once you’ve published your eBook, and we’ll delve into this area more later on.

The KDP Community is simply a discussion forum between accomplished authors and those new to the arena.

Lastly, the link at the top that is labeled KDP Select takes you to area explaining what it is.  Basically, KDP Select is an opt-in feature that you can use for any of your eBooks that will enable you to earn a new source of royalty income.  When you enroll your eBook in KDP Select, you agree to publish you eBook exclusively to Amazon for a minimum of 90 days.  This can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it.

The pros of using KDP Select include: promotions to give your eBook away for free (this helps you get your name out to intended audiences) and you can earn royalties from Amazon Prime members who borrow your book from the Kindle Library (which I’ll explain in a moment).

The cons: there aren’t many, I’ve already gone over the fact that Amazon accounts for two-thirds of the eBook sales in the United States, so that should motivate you.  However, when you make your eBook exclusive to Amazon, you cannot distribute any digital forms of it anywhere else (i. e. you can’t upload to Barnes & Noble or even your own website for that 90 day period).

As for the royalties that you earn when enrolling your eBook in KDP Select, they’re pretty good.  When your eBook is enrolled in KDP Select, Amazon Prime members can borrow from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library (KOLL) for free.  The KOLL has a fund associated with it that calculates how much income you earn when customers borrow your book.

Directly from KDP Select: “Your share of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Fund is calculated based on a share of the total number of qualified borrows of all participating KDP titles. For example, if the monthly fund amount is $500,000, the total qualified borrows of all participating KDP titles is 100,000, and your book was borrowed 1,500 times, you will earn 1.5% (1,500/100,000 = 1.5%), or $7,500 for that month.” (Amazon.com Inc., 2012).

So, as you can see, exclusivity to one website isn’t always too bad.

For now, though, you should read up on Amazon’s guidelines for publishing your eBook to Kindle and check back soon for Publishing Your eBook To Kindle (Part 2).



Kindle Direct Publishing (2012) KDP Select retrieved on February 6, 2012 from:

Jonathan Cockrum

Jonathan Cockrum is author of the books Behind Blue Eyes: A Twenty-One Day Journey Into Self-Discovery and also Reflection: A Novella. He has many other works published and he is the webmaster of the website JonathanCockrum.com. He can be reached at his personal email account: JonathanCockrum@live.com

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