How to Upload (Publish) Your Book to Amazon KDP
Updated: Mar 5
Publish your book on Amazon KDP by using these steps. By the time you finish this blog and follow these steps, you'll officially be a published author!
Items you'll need ahead of time:
💟Interior File (aka Manuscript)
💟Exterior File (aka Cover File in PDF)
💟Amazon KDP Account with tax information added (If you already have an Amazon account you can use the same log in.)
Sign in to kdp.amazon.com
You should already have uploaded all of your tax information and your bank account, because that's the way you were going to get paid. You won’t be able to upload your book without having this in place. Included in that section, you’ll need tax information.
Click the +Create button at the top.
Next, you’ll want to choose the format for your book. Options include: paperback, eBook, and Hardcover. Hardcover is in Beta, so it might not be on your account. Additionally, Kindle Vella is for short stories. In this blog, we’ll discuss the paperback version.
Before starting this process, you should already have the important details of your book such as the title and if it’s part of a series and your keywords. However, you can always go back to it when you make mistakes since you do have the option to save this as draft. You’ll also be able to adjust these items before you finish if you change your mind.
Language & Edition
Select the language that your book is written in. Then, add the title and subtitle. If you are uploading a new edition of a book or a new version, you might need to reach out to KDP to make sure that you qualify for the Edition Number option. If this is a brand new book, you won't have to worry about that.
You won’t be able to change your name after your book is published so you want to make sure that your name is the way that you would like for it to appear. If you have a middle initial and you want to use it, you can do that as well. So if you want to use a doctor in front, make sure you put that in here.
If others contributed to your book, consider putting their name. Although not a requirement, you have the option to do so.
Basically, this is what tells the reader that your book is a good option for them. If you're working with Shep Publishing House, we have likely done your description for you, but you would place that there and you can format this differently as well. You can always change the description whenever you feel the need to. Check out this free description generator to make the most out of yours.
As the owner of the book, you should select yourself as the owner of the copyright.
People find your book through keywords. Think of it as the thing you type into Google or Amazon to find what you’re looking for. Add in words that would make sense for your book. You can either do words or phrases. I highly suggest doing keyword research since it’s one of the best ways for strangers to find your book without even meeting you. Once again, your service with Shep Publishing House may already include Keyword research, but if not, please feel free to contact us about doing a deep dive of yours. Keywords can also be changed later as well.
Categories are another important feature that shows how Amazon places your book in a folder or filing system. Categories are based upon what your book is about and books that are already published. You want to be strategic about which categories you select, because it's going to put you in those along with other folks who are in that same category to compete on sales. You want it to be something that is close to what you're looking for, but also want to have a category that gives you a chance to rank as a best seller.
Just like keywords, categories would be something that you need to research ahead of time. When you're uploading it here, it only allows you to do two categories. However, you can message Amazon and they'll add you into up to 10 categories.
Does your book contain items that are for adults? Select yes or no here.
An ISBN is the number that's on the back of the book which is right above the barcode. It's basically how bookstores categorize your book. If you use the free ISBN that is provided by Amazon, you can not sell it anywhere else besides Amazon or your own website. You can sell it to bookstores through Amazon, but instead of taking 40%, Amazon would take 70%, so that’s not ideal. Find out more about this in the Expanded Distribution section. Back to the ISBN: Essentially, I do not suggest that you use the free one because you're tied to just publishing on Amazon and that limits you to not being able to publish in stores at a rate that works for you. if you're purchasing your own ISBN, you will do that through Bowker.
Adding the date that your book will be live on Amazon is optional. You don't have to put this if you don’t want to. But if you want to do it in the future, then you'd pick a future date for now,
This is what the interior of your book will look like.
Black and white with cream paper
Black and white with white paper
Standard color interior with white paper
Premium color interior with white paper
Something to consider: The pricing for each option varies by what you select.
Black and white on cream and black and white on white has the same price.
Standard color printing is more expensive
Premium of course is going to be the most expensive option.
You may use my cost calculator guide to help on what color options do you want to print yours on.
The size your book is going to be. They have it in inches and centimeters but you can also select a different size. The standard sizes are the most popular ones. You generally want to stick to any of the two top standard sections because it makes it easier for them to print it and it also is going to keep your cost.
The edge of your pages are not going to have white borders around them. Artwork that extends beyond bleed is trimmed off. Finished artwork stops at this cut edge and your pages are not going to have a border around them.
Matte or Glossy
Matt is not shiny and kind of flat. But it depends on what you're printing and what your cover looks like. They are both for the exterior cover of your book.
These are the parts where you're going to upload your documents. The following are the file formats that are accepted for the interior:
Manuscripts are going to test and make sure that your interior is done in a way that Amazon can accept it. This is where people get nervous of. “Will my file work?” “Is it done the right way?” Once it says accepted, you're good to go. You would want to get that professionally formatted, but if you are publishing with us, then that will already be done for you.
This is the exterior cover of your book. It has to be formatted in a certain way so that Amazon can read it and that the printers can print. They do have a cover creator that is within Amazon. However, I suggest that you have a professional format on your book cover for a few reasons:
You know the book cover is done the right way.
You are not wasting time trying to figure it out.
Once done, click upload cover file.
For the cover, it does have to be a PDF and for the interior, you have a few more options like a word file, HTML or RTF.
Amazon gives you free barcodes so do not purchase them.
Clicking the Launch Previewer lets you see what you book looks like. I definitely recommend doing this step because this is how you will know whether or not your book looks good. Just a heads up, this is going to take a little bit of time. The Launch Previewer will give you a preview of what your interior and exterior looks like and it'll show you errors that you might find. They are shown on the left side and it would show on which page that you could make edits too. You can click through the book and check. Keep your words inside the dotted line so they’re not cut off. It's okay that the graphics are outside since it will still print it. You can also download a PDF proof of this and it'll show you in another version. Once you’re happy with the preview, click approve and it’ll take you back to the main page. If in case you never clicked approve, then you can just scroll down.
This is how much it costs Amazon to print and how much it will cost you to purchase your book. This does not include shipping. It also gives you the pricing in the other marketplaces that they have in different countries which of course is translated into their currencies. Double check the fees are all what you would like. If that's accurate then click save and continue.
Once again, if you go back and watch that calculator video, then that will help you know your pricing. Leave the worldwide rights under Territories. Scroll down to Pricing, Distribution under market plan Amazon.com and select your pricing. This is going to automatically adjust the rest of the country's and territories to a comparable price. So for example, United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Spain, Italy, it will show you that there. The printing cost is how much it costs Amazon to print the book and how much you would pay as an author to purchase copies of your book.
The minimum amount that you could charge for your book and the maximum is shown under your list preview. Obviously you wouldn't charge that, but it's just showing you the different options. The Rate is what you are getting 60% of the amount of the books cost. So they take 40% that goes to uploading your book that goes to printing shipping customer service, customer, follow up. All that stuff is what that 40% goes to. Royalty is how much you would give for every book that's sold.
Do not click the Expanded Distribution. If clicked, you are allowing Amazon to distribute your books to other places outside of Amazon like bookstores - Walmart, Barns and Nobles, libraries, universities, et cetera. The rate ends up being terrible for you. Books that are sold elsewhere is going to give you less than $2. If you want to sell books outside Amazon, there are other ways to get them into these stores without making pennies for your books. Unfortunately, if you accidentally do click it and your book publishes, there is a way to get it removed, but it's just a headache.
Adjusting th price conversions is allowed - click on it and just change the pricing. However, check if the amount that they're giving here converts to the amount that's in your country. For example, you have it in pounds, you would want to make sure that £3.12 is about $3.92. That way you're getting about the same amount for your book. Go through and adjust the currencies to match your country’s price. Or you can just use a conversion calculator on Google.
Very important - request printed proofs of your book. A proof is a version that you can order before your book goes live. So when you click request printed proofs, you can purchase versions of your book. You can purchase your book and it'll say proof on it. If you click publish directly, that means your book is available to anyone on Amazon. Once it goes live and everything checks out, they approve your interior, they approve your exterior, and you'll be able to order those author copies at that discounted rate. But that also means anybody can purchase your book as if it's just something on Amazon. If you are risky, you would want to wait on the proof first. Or, if you're in a time crunch, you can definitely still click publish, save pricing and also request proof copies.
You can order up to five proofs but really you just want to get one because it's going to cost us. It doesn't really make sense having a ton of those, unless just for some sentimental reason you would. You would then submit your request. Within four hours, they are going to send a proof copy to your shopping cart. They'll send you an email, the same email that you have on your Amazon account with a link to complete your proof order. And they want you to purchase it within 24 hours of getting the email. Then you'll be able to actually buy the copy of the proof once you click confirm. It signals that your proof is underway and emails you within the next four hours.
Once you submit, your book will now show up on this first page and it'll let you know what stage it's in like in draft which means everything's not ready just yet. You would still be able to order proof copies that way. Let's say you set it up and you wanted to come back later. You can always come back and do that. You can still edit your contents before it goes live. Once it goes live, you've gotten your proof in the mail and you like everything on it and you want to go ahead and press the live button, you can still edit most of the things except the title of the book, the subtitle. You wouldn't be able to also edit your author's name and a few other important points. But your keywords, your description, you can edit all of those. In some cases, if you can catch it soon enough, they will let you edit those “uneditable things” but you have to contact Amazon at the top area where it says Help and click on whatever category that you need.
For example, if you had a question about proof copies and you still needed to contact them go to Contact Us. They're great about getting back to you on editing things or basically anything that you need help with. They'll usually contact you back via email, but they do also offer phone calls as well, depending upon how busy they are.
Drop a comment below if this video was helpful!