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How to Self-Publish an eBook on Amazon

Updated on January 1, 2014

One of my favorite authors, Terry Pratchett, once said "too many people want to have written." As a freelance writer, I'm often told that people want to be published authors. The only way, of course, to become an author is to write. It's to write in volumes, and to never stop improving yourself.

Typewriter no more--all an author needs today is Microsoft Word.
Typewriter no more--all an author needs today is Microsoft Word. | Source

Everyone Has a Story

The beauty of self-publishing is that your books can be any length--and any price--that you want them to be.

Publishing is Dead: Long Live Publishing!

Traditional publishing has become increasingly closed off to the average author. The major names in the industry are brand names that are ghost written by a multitude of writers, backed by large publishing houses. It's virtually impossible to get anything published unless you have large tomes of serial work, and this has shut the door for many experimental writers or writers that simply have a good story to tell.

For this reason, self-publishing has become incredibly popular. Self-publishing is not a fad.'s Kindle device has almost single-handedly awakened an incredible love of the written word in the new generation, and's publishing platform is bringing many fantastic new authors to light every day.

Preparing Your Manuscript

All you really need to do today is to write a story. You can start with a story of any size, but it should usually be in .doc (not .docx) format. A simple word document will get you on your way to being a novelist.

There are many ways to structure a novel, but I personally believe in the following format:

Title Page

Copyright Information



About the Author

Remember that self-publishing is not like traditional publishing. You have absolute freedom. Including links to your personal website and blog is not only acceptable, it's encouraged.

Sample Manuscript

The Rise and Fall of Yoga Pants

Megatron Authordude

Follow this author online:


The Rise and Fall of Yoga Pants

Copyright © 2014 Megatron Authordude

Electronically published on December 31, 2013.

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This book is licensed for personal enjoyment only. If you would like to share this book, please purchase a copy on If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, please purchase a copy.


Table of Contents

Chapter One: Aren't They Really Just Spandex?

Chapter Two: But They Are Sooo Cute.


[Body of book]

Have you ever wanted to be both cold, and oddly exposed, while still completely wearing pants?


About the Author

Megatron Authordude is a 53 foot high sentient car. Follow him at:

When asking for a book cover, think about how you want your book to be pictured in the minds of the reader. What would interest you?

Get the Perfect Book Cover

Once you've created your manuscript, it's time to find a book cover. There are many websites that you can purchase a book cover from. I prefer Fiverr, because the covers are $5 and are quite good. You never want to release a book without a professionally done book cover; the covers sell.

Write a Fantastic Description

One thing I've noticed that many self-published novels lack is a compelling description. It's extremely important for you to get a good description of your book--even if you have to purchase it from someone else while your book is being edited. It can be difficult to sell yourself. Most book writers, especially famous ones, don't write their own book descriptions. A media company often does it for them.

Have you ever published a story?

See results

Determine Your Pricing

You'll find a lot of different answers regarding pricing on the web, and different authors find that different pricing works for them. On Amazon, you'll see that pricing something above $2.99 entitles you to get 70 percent of your revenue while pricing something below this gives you only 30 percent. You may be tempted to price higher, but you also need to consider what people will be willing to spend.

Print publishing is going the way of the dinosaur, but that's actually good news for most writers.
Print publishing is going the way of the dinosaur, but that's actually good news for most writers. | Source

Rough Pricing Chart

Book Length
Under 5,000 Words
5,000 - 20,000 Words
20,000 - 50,000 Words
50,000 - 100,000 Words
100,000 Words+
$3.99 - $4.99

Why Price Things Free?

Free stories get you a lot of exposure on the Amazon platform. Many authors swear by publishing short, free stories.

Upload it to

You may be surprised to find that actually publishing the book is the easiest part. All you need to do is sign up for the Kindle Direct Publishing website, upload your manuscript, upload your cover and you're good to go. However, there are a few options that you'll need to consider, the most important of which is the KDP Select program.

KDP Select

If you agree to publish only on for 3 months, you can enroll in KDP Select. KDP Select allows you to run free promotional days for your books, which are incredibly beneficial on the platform. KDP Select works especially well for authors that have multiple books and authors that are trying to expand their exposure. The downside is that you cannot publish on other venues such as Smashwords at this time. However, most writers have found that by far outpaces their sales on all other venues.

Advertise Your Book

Now is the time to aggressively advertise. You want to put your book on all of your blogs and all of your websites. You want to tell everyone you know about your book. Post it on all of your social media accounts. Exposure is the most important thing about this process.

If you've done KDP Select, you should sign up for free book circles on the days that your books will be free. However, it's important that you get a review on your book first. Without at least 4 stars, most books will not qualify for sharing circles. Advertising your book, it cannot be stressed enough, is the most essential part of this process.

Once you've created your manuscript, you can also create a print book at
Once you've created your manuscript, you can also create a print book at | Source

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