The most time consuming element in the process – besides the writing and editing – was design and layout.
Indesign, an Adobe software program used to have a Kindle plugin to convert the text straight into the Amazon format to upload. However, the process now involves exporting as an ePub and then this is converted via the Amazon upload.
To help with the correct formatting and upload, Amazon provides a guide that is quite straightforward.
You also need to include your cover art. You can either have a professional designer create the cover or do it yourself in Photoshop or Illustrator. However, you want to ensure that your cover looks professional as first impressions encourage or detract people from buying a book.
Also, badly formatted books will quickly earn bad reviews so always hire a professional to proof read and edit.
Also, don’t upload the first or second draft. Instead, put the book aside for a couple of weeks and return with a fresh eye. Time and reflection provide insight into your work that allows you to restructure obsolete words and paragraphs. Professional writers write several drafts before they submit their manuscript for editing and further polish so it makes sense to take your time before hitting that upload button.
Most of all, have fun. Watch your sales figures and don’t expect to make much money. Amazon takes a 65% cut on any ebook selling for less than $4.00. Most unknown authors will only charge $1 to $2.00 which means unless you sell a few million copies you won’t be giving up your day job. A well known author is able to charge more and receives a 75% cut with Amazon picking up the rest.
Overall, self publishing can be a rewarding experience as long as you enjoy the process of writing and the creative journey.