ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How I Published My First Business Book on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Updated on December 23, 2017
Carolyn M Fields profile image

Lifelong learner, musician, author, world traveler, truth enthusiast, and all around bon vivant.

My First EBook
My First EBook | Source

One of my inspirations as a writer comes from attending California Writers Club meetings. I attended one such meeting on August 8, 2015 (trust me, the exact date is relevant) at the Orange County Branch. The presenter was Dr. Flora Brown, and her topic was “How to Successfully Publish a book in the Amazon Kindle Program.” Taking the information she presented, and a series of articles I had already written for HubPages, I did just that.

Thanks to her tips (which I am about to share with you), my EBook went “live” on Sunday, August 9, 2015. Yes, you read that correctly. I published my book the very next day after her presentation. And no, I had not started to put together an EBook before I heard her presentation. I did it all in just over 24 hours.

Of course, I did already have all the original content that I needed, which I had authored in other formats. And I can’t guarantee that you, too, will be able to produce your book that quickly. However, publishing an EBook doesn’t need to take years, or even months. It doesn’t even need to takes weeks.

First Things First

First of all, you do need original content. And there needs to be some unifying thread to it all. As for me, I write for HubPages, and had already produced several “hubs” on Instructional Design and closely related topics. A hub would be roughly equivalent to a blog post. Hubs can be as short at 600 words (not recommended), to well over 2,000 words, but are supposed to run around 1,150 words. As with most things in writing, quality and covering your topic thoroughly yet concisely are more important than a precise word count.

The only reason I bring up word count at all, is that one of Dr. Brown’s eye-opening suggestions was to aim for a book of 10,000 words or less. If you have been told, as I have, that a book needs to be 50,000 words or more to be considered a “real” book, this statistic will take you by surprise. Dare I say, it may even shock you. Welcome to the world of EBook publishing.

I Have Content, Now What?

I did some really fast math, and discovered that I had published 12 hubs on the topics of Instructional Design, training delivery, learning evaluation, e-learning, and learning styles. These closely inter-related subjects fit nicely together. And, putting them all together, I had just over 10,000 words already ripe for picking. All I had to do was convert each “hub” into a chapter for my book (i.e., use appropriate titles and subtitles). After I had the chapters sequenced and the table of contents compiled, my next step was to write an introduction for the book. I also made sure I had a page of “additional resources” and an author biography.

The final touch was a book cover, but Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) made this easy with their online tool. If I had wanted to spend a few bucks, I could have had the cover designed for me, but I was determined not to spend any money on something I wasn’t sure would sell more than one copy (I could count on Mom to buy one copy, but after that, it was anybody’s guess).

Publish

The publication process is made very easy for you on KDP. If you are an Amazon customer, you already have the necessary log-on credentials. If you’re not an Amazon customer, it’s very easy to create an account. And no, you do not need a Kindle reader in order to publish (or read) a Kindle EBook. Yes, there is an app for that.

According to their website, it only takes about 5 minutes to publish. I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration for a first-time user. It probably took me 15 to 20 minutes. But it is, as they say, easy, clear, and free.

All you have to do (once your content is assembled), is write a description, pick a category or two, and name your price. Don’t worry too much about this process, as there are tips and tools to help you along. Just follow the prompts.

You can get up to 70% royalties, and your book will appear in about a day after you hit “publish.” And better yet, if you really must create a “paper” version of your book, that is available too using something called CreateSpace.

Lessons Learned

Publishing my first book the way I did was very much an impulse decision, which is not at all my “usual” style. But it was fun, and I didn’t spend a dime on publishing. My only investment was my time and talent.

One of the first things I did after publication was to promote my book with an author page on Amazon. Not immediately, but down the line, I also created a Page on Facebook, and asked all friends to “like” it. I also ran a “free” promotion on Kindle, which basically means giving your book away for free, in the hopes of creating some buzz. This minimalist approach to promotion has resulted in minimalist sales. If I had it to do over, I would have had a much more “robust” promotion plan.

It takes a few months for the royalties to start rolling in. Unless you do a better job than I did on promotion, don’t count on there being very much money involved. My Mother did, indeed, buy the very first copy of my book. Also a couple close friends bought copies, and actually read them (you get a report not only on sales but pages read as well). Also, to my amazement, complete strangers in foreign lands have bought copies. Which makes me feel like an “internationally published author.” Because I am.

Had I waited until I had more information, particularly on promotion and sales, it might still be sitting in my Documents Library, waiting for me to get comfortable. So all in all, I say “go for it.” You can always revise an EBook after it has been published. And you can use the experience on your second book (which, by the way, I am happily working on at the moment).

How likely are you to attempt publication on KDP, after having read my hub?

See results

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Carolyn M Fields profile imageAUTHOR

    Carolyn Fields 

    2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

    Originally I took down the corresponding hubs, but then put them back up. The hubs are a one at a time experience. The book is a collection that stands on it's own. It's done all the time when an author takes a series of newspaper editorials or articles, or even blog posts, and publishes them as a compilation.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 

    2 years ago from Yorktown NY

    Thanks for the info. Also, I was wondering when you wrote the book, and you consolidated 12 of your hubs, to create the eBook, did you have to take down the hubs to avoid duplicate content?

  • Carolyn M Fields profile imageAUTHOR

    Carolyn Fields 

    2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

    Jack, I have to admit that sales have not been terribly impressive. Unfortunately, I have no idea how my book stacks up against the competition. What I do know is that I have done next to NO marketing, and yet the book keeps getting sales here and there. When I get around to actually marketing it, I will write another hub about that experience. Stay tuned.

  • jackclee lm profile image

    Jack Lee 

    2 years ago from Yorktown NY

    Just curious, how well are you doing with the sale of this ebook and how does it compare to other ebooks of the same genre?

  • Carolyn M Fields profile imageAUTHOR

    Carolyn Fields 

    2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

    Thank you, Larry.

  • Larry Rankin profile image

    Larry Rankin 

    2 years ago from Oklahoma

    Great process analysis!

  • Carolyn M Fields profile imageAUTHOR

    Carolyn Fields 

    2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

    John, Ron, and MsDora - thank you for your kind words of encouragement and support!

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    2 years ago from The Caribbean

    Carolyn, this is very useful. I intend to follow your lead and try with some of my HP content. Thank you so much.

  • RonElFran profile image

    Ronald E Franklin 

    2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

    I've just started the process of generating a book based on some of my hubs, and this is an encouragement to me to get on with it!

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    2 years ago from Queensland Australia

    You make the process of publishing the eBook very easy and straight forward. I have published a book of poetry on Lulu.com, but wasn't entirely happy with the process. For my next I think i will try Amazon Kindle. Thanks for sharing.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)