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How I Published My First Short Story On Kindle - And You Can Too

Updated on October 17, 2014
Encounters: Marcus
Encounters: Marcus
Marcus, a disillusioned young man, is approached by a stranger with an unusual request...

That's My Book!

Publishing my first ever book seemed daunting, but was easier than I thought.

I have been writing online for a little while now and I wanted to try my hand at writing a novel.

That said, the idea of a full length novel seemed like too much for me, so I thought why not try short stories?

I researched different ways of self-publishing and decided that Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) service would be the easiest place to try things out.

One of the advantages of using Amazon is that you don't have to own a Kindle in order to read their books.

You can use the Kindle reading app on PC, Mac, iPad or Smartphone, and even read books directly in your browser.

This means that they have an incredible reach to a large audience.

They handle all the distribution and sales, leaving you to do the actual writing.

Kindle 4
Kindle 4 | Source

The Rules Have Changed

So with that in mind, I began brainstorming characters and situations.

After some time, I realised that I had the beginnings of a short story collection, but I only had a few stories to put in it.

It would be a while before I had enough stories for me to publish what in my mind was a 'proper' book.

It was then that it hit me:

In the new world of digital self-publishing, the old rules don't apply any more.

Where once it was difficult to get before a publisher and have your work accepted, now it is possible to publish pretty much anything, at any time.

In the eighties and nineties it would never have been viable to print short stories other than in a collection or anthology.

Nowadays, it costs virtually nothing (other than your time) to publish, so things that were previously difficult are now made possible.

With that revelation burning in my mind, I got to work and decided to publish my stories individually as part of a related series.

That way, I could start publishing now (or at least 'soon') with the first one or two and then add the rest as I completed them.

In the new world of digital self-publishing, the old rules don't apply any more.


I finished my first story and got a couple of people to review it, then updated the text with their feedback.

I got a great cover picture from a photographer friend and then went onto the KDP site.

The website has lots of help and instructions on how to set things up, but the basic process is as follows:

  1. Register with Kindle Direct Publishing (even easier if you already have an Amazon account, as you can use the same details).
  2. Upload book file to the website.
  3. Upload the cover photo, adding the book title and author name.
  4. Fill out some payment and tax details (won't need to do this again, unless they change).
  5. Click the Publish button.

It's that easy.

I used a special writers program called Scrivener to compile the book file for Kindle format, but you can use a plain old Word document and upload that (just follow the instructions on the Kindle publishing website).

Have you self-published an e-book?

See results
Encounters: Duncan
Encounters: Duncan
Duncan sets off for an ordinary day at work, but someone has left him a strange message.


So here it is!

Encounters Part 1 - Marcus, by yours truly (it's free until tomorrow October 18th, 2014).

Doesn't it look lovely?

I'm obviously biased (can you tell?), but I have a sense of pride and accomplishment each time I see it on the page.

The only thing I have to figure out now is how to sell it.

- That's the only downside to KDP: publishing is easy, marketing is the hard part.

Other people's opinions count a lot in our purchasing decisions, so if you read it and enjoy it (and even if you don't), please leave a review on Amazon.

I would greatly appreciate it if you did.

In conclusion, I am pleased with my first attempt at self-publishing.

It was enjoyable and a lot easier than I expected it to be.

Now I'm looking forward to publishing the next installments.

I hope you do too.

*Update* New stories in the Encounters series are now available (see below) and more entries are nearing completion.

Latest, Greatest

This month, I published "Robert", the third in the Encounters series.

Just like the first story, you can get your copy on the Amazon Kindle store.

I think I may be getting into my stride now, lol.

Encounters: Robert
Encounters: Robert
Robert boards his usual train, on the way to the most important meeting of his career.

Comments Please

Have you published a book with KDP or another service?

What hurdles did you experience?

What did you think of my short story? (Had to put that one in!)

Leave a comment to let us know or answer the quick quiz below.

© 2014 Tim Bader


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