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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.

Processing

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.

 

Published!

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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    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years ago

      Congratulations to you on the publication of your eBook Encounters! And thanks for simplifying the process for the rest of us.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      what a timely article for me! I've finally decided to take all of my card and quote sayings and make a book out of them, and thought it was fairly easy, but didn't really know just how easy! thanks for this page

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I'm so excited for you! The book cover looks great (I'll admit, my book purchases are often swayed by the cover) and I love that you went with the story right away since Amazon is very supportive of the Kindle Singles and Short Reads formats (which I think readers love, too).

      Congratulations, Tim, and hope to see much more from you in the Kindle store in the future!

    • MarathonRunning profile image

      Martina 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Congrats tim-bader-982!

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @Ruthi: Thanks, your welcome!

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @Brite-Ideas: Glad you found it helpful.

      I think you're idea for a book is great - you always seem to have a knack for finding quotes that make me think (even if I don't always agree with what they say!)

      Go for it!

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks Susan!

      I think we're all swayed by what we see, more than we think - I know I am.

      I'm hoping to publish story 2 in the series in the next 3 or 4 weeks.

    • Tim Bader profile image
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      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @MarathonRunning: Thank you.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @Margaret Schindel: Thanks!

      Thank you for reading.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Impressive looking ebook tim-bader-982! Congratulations on this great accomplishment and I wish you abundant sales. I am in the process of doing one myself (half way through) but I need some more stuff. So I am right behind you :) Congratulations once again! Nicely writtten artcicle here, also, about your process to getting it published.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @Heidi Vincent: Thank you very much!

      I wish you success also. :)

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for a interesting article. I want to write and publish my short stories also. I have downloaded scrivener and started writing, not finding enough time to continue. Will follow your instructions to publish. Thanks. Will check out your book.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @Elsie Hagley: Thanks Kiwinana.

      Hope you're enjoying Scrivener! It can seem a little daunting at first, but they have excellent tutorials and an active forum, if you get stuck.

      I know what you mean about finding time. I recently set up a daily goal for myself of writing for 10 minutes every day. That way I can make progress without feeling guilty about it.

      Hope you like my short story too. ;)

    • georgepmoola2 profile image

      georgepmoola2 3 years ago

      Good information here.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @georgepmoola2: Thanks, hope you find it useful.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 3 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Congratulations! I took a look and your ebook looks great! I also recently self published a book on KDP (on being a lab rat for clinical trials). It is an easy process!

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @Scarlettohairy: Thank you.

      Your book sounds interesting!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      I love seeing work get published and information on how they did it. It shows they have a sharing heart. So happy for you.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 2 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @favored: Thank you!

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 2 years ago

      Great lens! Here on Squidoo, I've found out how much I enjoy writing. Now all I have to do is get an idea that goes to book not blog length.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 2 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @Donna Cook: Thank you!

      Yes, me too - I really enjoy writing on Squidoo and have learnt loads from the other writers here.

      I hope your find your "big idea" for your book. ;)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 2 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      This is terrific Tim! Congrats on self publishing! I've wondered how to go about it. I've pinned this for future use. It's on my to do list for next year.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 2 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      Tim, Congrats on taking the plunge and publishing your writing via e-books. Your hubpage here is an inspiration and useful bit of writing for many of us. Your writing and organization on this hubpage is "spot on."

      BTW, Is the first "I" in the following quote a mistake for "It" or did you intend the sentence to read that way? "I would be a while before I had enough stories for me to publish what in my mind was a 'proper' book." Sorry to put this here but I can't figure out any way to send you private message.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 2 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thanks Merrci!

      Glad you found it helpful.

      I found that the first time through the process, it does seem a bit complicated, but a lot of the stuff you put in is one-off.

      Now that I've published 3 e-books, it's getting easier for each one.

      It's the writing and formatting of the books themselves that take the time, which is as it should be.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 2 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thank you for the encouragement, @Georgene.

      And yes, you are right, it was a mistake (every author's worst nightmare, lol) - corrected!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Well done on publishing your stories! I found this interesting. I've written two genealogy ebooks (research guides). I wrote them before e-readers got big. It never dawned on me to sell them as Kindle ebooks. Maybe I should rethink it.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 2 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thank you.

      Perhaps you should -

      It can't hurt to have your books on another platform and it doesn't take a huge amount of effort.

      I wish you success!

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