How to Publish a Book on Amazon in 12 Steps, With Photos

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How to Publish a Book on Amazon in 12 Steps, With Photos

Key Points

  • Amazon self-publishing is a service that allows writers to release their eBooks to a broad audience, removing the need for traditional publishing companies.
  • Writers can dictate the monetary profit they receive from each sale of their book when using Amazon self-publishing.
  • The process of publishing a book on Amazon involves creating an account, adding book details, verifying publishing rights, choosing categories and release options, uploading the eBook, previewing it, selecting a publisher, choosing territories and pricing, and adding the book to Matchbook and Book Lending.
  • Self-publishing a physical version of an eBook can also be done through Amazon.com.

So, you have written a book but are unsure how to get it to your target audience? One of the best avenues to a broad, pre-formed customer base is to use Amazon. Amazon self-publishing is a service that is for writers who have an eBook and want to release it to the world. This service removes rejection from publishing companies and over-editing by editors who do not share your vision. It allows independent writers to publish a book on amazon that mainstream publishers would not be interested in and release it to their specified audience. 

This service also allows all writers to dictate the monetary profit they will receive from each sale of their book, promoting independence and creativity. 

When going to publish a book on amazon, if done in a rush or incorrectly, your book may not be uploaded to Amazon in the way you visualized. Uploading your eBook to Amazon can be stressful to partake on your own. But don’t worry, we have got you covered.

This article will direct you through each stage of how to publish a book on amazon so that when your manuscript is complete, you will be able to showcase a finished product that is professional, engaging, and inspiring.

Step 1: Create an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Account

Create an Amazon Kindle account by logging in to your existing Amazon account.

The first step in publishing your book on Amazon is to create an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing account. To do this, visit “Kindle Direct Publishing” and click “Sign Up,” or if you already have an account set up, you can click “Sign In.” 

If it is your first time signing in, you must add your basic information, create a username and password, add a payment method, and accept Amazon’s terms of use before proceeding. 

Once you have created or signed in to your existing account, you will be directed to the Amazon Author dashboard to start your journey to becoming a published writer.

Step 2: Add a New Kindle eBook

1.     To start a new book, click “Kindle eBook.” 

Add your eBook by clicking the “Kindle eBook” button.

As this book will be your first title, no other book titles will be on the dashboard. 

2.     Select Your Book’s Language from the drop-down list under “Language.”

At the start of this process, you must choose your eBooks language, which should match the language it was in. Kindle supports over 40 languages worldwide, so there is a wide range of options. 

Start by selecting your language, in this case, we selected “English.”

3.     Enter your eBook title and subtitle in the prompt box under “Book Title.”

Once the language is selected, you can enter your eBook title and subtitle. Your book’s title should be well-thought-out and engaging, as many people will judge whether to read it on its title and cover. 

Be sure to come up with a catchy title and subtitle that will attract readers!

4.     Enter the Primary author and contributor names in the prompt boxes under “Author” and “Contributor.”

Do not forget to add the author’s name under which you want your book to be published, whether that is your birth name, a pseudonym, or another person’s name.


5.     Enter your book description in the prompt box under “Description.” 

The description of your book is a crucial marketing strategy for your work. It will seal your reader’s interest and prompt them to purchase your writing to read the whole story. Amazon will give you up to 4,000 characters in the description section, which gives you ample space to sell your book.

This description will be located within your book on the book’s detail page. 

Once you start entering information about your book, if you stop during this process, you can click “Save as Draft” to save all your progress, and you can resume where you left off later.

Step 3: Verify Your Publishing Rights for Your eBook

This is a really important step as it designates who owns the work!

Click the option that pertains to your publishing rights.

If you are the eBook’s author, you can choose the option allowing you to own the copyright and the publishing rights. Under American law, you own anything that you write from the moment you start creating it. 

If you are not interested in owning your work, you can click the option to make it part of the public domain, where anyone can cite it or use it without your permission.

Step 4: Choose Your eBook’s Category

The category that you choose for your eBook will make it easier to find by readers.

1.     Enter the applicable keywords to your eBook.

Choosing the specific keywords that will direct Amazon customers to your new book is incredibly important. Potential customers will use these words in an Amazon search, so any terminology directly related to your eBook should be added to these prompt boxes. 

2.     Click the “Set Categories” button to choose two applicable categories for your book.

By adding your book to the categories that are most applicable to its story, a higher number of relevant customers will be able to find your writing. 

3.     Choose a suitable age range for your eBook.

Unless your eBook is specifically for teens or younger readers, these boxes should be left to their default settings. If it is, then select a minimum and maximum age so that it can be categorized correctly. 

Step 5: Choose a Book Release Option for Your eBook

Choosing a release option determines whether you want your book to be available now or not.

1.     Under the title “Pre-order” section, select the option that applies to your eBook.

If you choose to publish immediately, ensure that you have a marketing plan in place to ensure that customers know your book is now available for purchase. 

When deciding to release your book later, you can set the KDP pre-order up to a year in advance. Unsure of the release date? You can add a preliminary date and change it once you know a definite date. 

2.     Select Your Digital Rights Management 

Enabling digital rights management on your eBook will prevent people from copying and using your book for free. It is useful to know that people will still be able to lend the book for a short period but not use it without authorization. 

Step 6: Uploading Your eBook

The exciting part! Upload your manuscript to Amazon to begin editing.

Select “Upload eBook Manuscript”

Once you are happy with the features you have selected, it is time to upload your eBook manuscript. There are several recommended formats for your book, including .doc, .docx, HTML, Plain Text, and MOBI to name a few. 

Using the current Kindle format is recommended so your book will be readable and professional on every e-reader. Once you upload the file, you can see how it looks like an actual book. 

Under the title “Kindle eBook Cover,” select the book cover option that applies to you. 

Unfortunately, the saying is untrue; people absolutely judge books by their covers. If you want a book cover that resonates with your readers, either create one in Cover Creator or pay an illustrator to produce a custom one that you can upload using the option “Upload a cover you already have.” 

Step 7: Preview Your eBook

Here you can see what your creation is going to look like!

Once your eBook has been uploaded, you can preview it using the Kindle Previewer. To use the Kindle Previewer, click the “Preview on your computer” button and install the current version of the app for Mac or Windows, depending on your computer. 

When previewing your manuscript, ensure you check the following:

  • Check the cover image.
  • Read through and check every single page to ensure readability and no grammatical errors.
  • Try out the navigation to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Step 8: Select Publisher              

If needed, you can enter your ISBN number here!

1.     Under the “Kindle eBook ISBN” section, enter the international standard book number, if applicable, and the publisher.

If you intend only to publish this eBook on Amazon, then you do not need either piece of information and can leave the prompt boxes blank. 

2.     Under the “KDP Select Enrollment section,” select the KDP option that applies to your eBook.

Also, in this section, you can add your eBook to KDP Select, which allows your eBook to be a part of Kindle Unlimited, and you will receive a broader range of marketing options. To avail of this, your eBook has to be exclusive to Amazon. 

If you are unsure about this option, you can always add it later. 

Step 9: Choose the Territories and Pricing for Your eBook

Choose where you want your book to be sold!

1.     Under the “Territories” section, select the territorial option that applies to your eBook.

It is standard practice to select the default setting “All territories (worldwide rights)” unless there is a specific reason not to. This will make your eBook available to every customer base that has access to Amazon.

2.     Select the Royalty Plan Applicable to your eBook.

You can choose between 35% and 70% royalty for your book. Selecting 70% will result in more profit for you, but it will add pricing limitations to your book, and you will have to enroll in Book Lending. 

3.     Select your eBook’s primary marketplace and add the listing price in the prompt box.

Select Amazon.com as your eBook’s primary marketplace, and then add your listing price to the prompt box. If your book is selected to be available worldwide, the listing pricing may change subject to exchange rates in different countries. 

Step 10: Add Your eBook to Matchbook and Book Lending

Book lending
If you want to be able to loan out your book, here is where you can enroll.

If you want to enroll your book into the Book Lending and Matchbook feature, you can select to add yourself or opt out, depending on your preferences. 

Step 11: Save Your Draft eBook 

Save your draft for later, or publish it immediately here!

 Click “Save as Draft” until you are ready to publish.

Once you have added all the relevant information about your eBook into the specified areas, you are given two options: “Save as draft” until you are ready to publish it or “Publish your Kindle eBook” if your eBook is completed. 

Once your book goes live, it is best practice to set up your Amazon Author page with a recent photo and biography, giving potential customers insight into the book’s background. Also, any blubs from the book should be added to your eBook’s details page. 

Step 12: Self-Publishing Your eBook

If you are interested in publishing your eBook as a printed book or if your eBook has become so successful that there is a space in the market for a printed, physical version, self-printing can be completed through Amazon.com. Self-publishing your eBooks was historically completed by CreateSpace through Amazon but now can be produced through the Kindle section within Amazon.com. 

Your eBook will need a spine and back cover and must be re-formatted as physical books look different from eBooks. But it is another service that Amazon offers its budding writers. 

To publish a book on amazon is a skill, and it is a challenging feat. It is very tempting to rush your manuscript to the market when you have spent so much time, creative juices, and effort producing something that people will like with no monetary supplement. However, releasing something that is not entirely finished is unprofessional and will ruin your chances of success.

Amazon and Kindle have ensured that writers can easily present their hard work to an enormous market of potential customers. It gives writers the option to bring their body of work to the market under their terms and when they feel like it is ready to be presented, which ensures that there are more quality eBooks on the market. 

This article provides writers with a guide to ensure that they can navigate the publishing software and successfully publish a book on amazon that people are excited to read on any tablet or e-reader.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to copyright my eBook before publishing it on Amazon?

Amazon does not require you to copyright any book that you publish on their website, but if you would like to copyright it, it needs to be added to your manuscript before it is uploaded.

Does Amazon charge you to publish a book?

No, Amazon does not charge you to publish your book on their website.

What percentage of a book does Amazon take?

Writers can choose between 35% and 70% royalties; the latter will result in a bigger payment.

What do I need to know about publishing on Amazon?

Amazon allows you to publish a range of content on its website, including ebooks, paper-backed books, and hard-backed books.

What qualifies as a best selling book on Amazon?

The best selling Amazon book is precisely that, the book that sells the most within its category for a period of time.

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