Publishing with Amazon
My Amazon Experience
When it comes to publishing books, there are few ways to get your writing into the hands of readers that are faster than with Amazon eBooks. There is no material or paper involved, no need to wait or pay for delivery, and the transfer of the eBook file is instantaneous. The difficult step, beyond writing the book itself, is to understand the technical requirements for adapting your original manuscript for digital publication—and there are a few subtle differences that have to be taken care of.
Once you understand what needs to be done to convert the file (editing or removing headers/footers, setting it in html format, ensuring that images and titles are in the right place…), you can pretty much begin your eBook publishing journey and keep tweaking until you’re happy with the outcome. Alternatively, if you prefer to save yourself some time and not set up your Amazon eBook yourself, you can pay someone to do it for you—and some do it quite cheaply. I was happy to do it myself; if you don’t learn something, what’s the point?
Have you published before with Amazon?
Taking the Right Steps
It’s amazing how through a few tiered, explanatory steps, I was able to bypass years of agent-hunting and letter-sending and rejections. It really magnifies the meaning of ‘I published a book.’ I didn’t have someone else publish it for me. I did it—literally, and step by step. It’s not only the ability to publish your eBook on Amazon yourself that makes the process special, it’s also that it gives you distribution. The very place you have built your product for is now also distributing it for you.
And the best part is that a Kindle is not even necessary to read Kindle books. Amazon has released an e-reader that can open up Amazon books on PCs, Macs and smartphones. People can now read my book on Amazon platforms, on iTunes and across other digital platforms. Amazon’s publishing process gave me full creative control, letting me choose when to publish, how to publish, and what to publish. And, quite frankly, it made me feel like an author.
Indeed, Amazon was the leaping point from having written a story to getting that story into peoples' hands across the world. It made the difference between never expecting to find a publisher and never being able to distribute my work, to being my own publisher, being independent, and taking full control of the future of my book. And Amazon is just the first step in another long process of raising the awareness of your book and increasing its distribution.
A Benchmark for Success
With an intense focus on what needed to be done, and doing everything I could to do it well, Amazon let me release my eBook version of Deferred: My Extraordinary Journey to New York University Abu Dhabi exactly as I wanted to. It helped me fulfil an objective I had unrealistically set more than two years before. Even its support team was quick to respond and offered great assistance.
From the daunting and unoptimistic outlook that I started with, I now knew how to format the book, how to publish, and how to distribute it. And this is why I loved working with Amazon. Even if you prefer to have the book in your hands, Amazon also distributes the paperback version. So, if you want to share my thoughts about education and scholarship and what it means to chase both in today’s world, . you can read about my journey