Advice from someone who just published on Amazon.com

Instinct woke me up at 5:30 that morning.  And for good reason.  My ebook was uploaded to Amazon.com just an hour before, and there were – as I predicted – mistakes I wish I’d caught before I announced to the world it was coming.

What can I say?  It was my first time.  I was like a teenage boy feeling the first blush of intercourse; my body was racing with excitement – and I wasn’t really thinking.

So, fellow KDP virgins, please feel free to peruse the following pointers, so that you might learn from my rookie mistakes:

1)      Read the KDP formatting guide before you start to write. OR, stop now and format accordingly.  Trust me on this.  Two of the big time suckers are:

  • Insert  a page break at the end of each chapter (depending on how many chapters you have, this could take a while).
  • DO NOT USE THE TAB KEY.  Wha?  No tabs?  That’s right sister!  How many tabs are in your 271-page document?  Oh, like 5 gabillion?  Well then.  If you are a tab-happy freak like me, then you’ll appreciate these tutorials:

How to set the first line to indent on Microsoft Word

How to get rid of all your tabs at once  (It’s down in the thread somewhere, so I’ll give you the one line you really need to see:  In the dialog window, enter “^t” (without quotes) in the “Find what:” field. Leave the “Replace with:” field empty. Press “Replace All.” This action will delete all Tabs from your manuscript.)

2)      Read up on the pros and cons of DRM.

3)      Download Kindle Previewer.  I made the mistake of uploading and then immediately announcing the book was out – or would be out in 12 hours.  And then I bought a copy of my own book (like an idiot), only to see my front matter was askew.  I have no excuse.  Had I been thinking, I would have realized there had to be a way to view the book before it goes live.  Seems I missed Step 6 in the upload process: Preview Your Book.  Cause I was a teenage boy having sex for the first time.  And, apparently, I lost my mind.  To preview before you get to this final stage (which, clearly, is intimidating), try this valuable tool.

4)      Be careful with changes.  It can take up to 12 hours for any edits you make to show up.  So before you hit the publish button (again), hesitate just a little longer and make sure everything is the way you want it to be.

5)      Relax.  And don’t check your stats every five minutes.  Make the decision to release your baby into the world and then move on.  WRITE YOUR NEXT BOOK.  And next time, do it better.

 

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9 Comments

  1. Thanks for this advice. Much appreciated 🙂

    I’m planning on publishing a series of short stories in the new year. My rough plan is to publish them exclusively through Amazon, at first, as I try to find my bearings within the self-epublishing industry.

    Reply
    • Kim

       /  October 19, 2012

      I think that is a great idea. I too am wading through the waters of Amazon before I dive into anything else. Seems to be working so far. Good luck to you and stop by and let us know when your short stories are available for download!

      Reply
  2. Though all the points you made are very important, once done, point #5 is the most important of them all. A piece of advice that kind of compliments #5 is “don’t read or respond to any reviews.”

    Reply
  3. You are so right though I didn’t publish straight away but man, it was a lot of editing and anyway, am a perfectionist so I wanted my book topnotch! Love your post, is good for us!! Thanks…

    Reply
    • Kim

       /  October 19, 2012

      I too labored over the perfection – but as a reader, I appreciate that. It really disturbs the flow of the book when you come across a typo. Thanks Seyi!

      Reply
  4. how nerve-wracking! that was very brave to admit such a big mistake, but evener nicer to share how to fix it with everyone. great job!

    Reply
    • Kim

       /  October 23, 2012

      I must admit, I did hesitate before sharing my gaffe with the interwebs. But the original intent of this blog was to wade my way through and share the journey. And laugh at myself along the way. Thanks for the words Valerie!

      Reply
  1. The Sophomore Slump and NaNoWriMo « I am a writer … dangit.

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