Dawn Brookes Publishing

Publishing Topics by author Dawn Brookes

Month: April 2017

How to Publish on Amazon’s KDP Platform

How to Publish on Amazon’s KDP Platform

Are you publishing your own ebooks on Amazon’s Kindle platform?

how to publish on Amazon's kdp platformIf so, then I am sure you are excited about the simplicity of publishing a book in this way but that is only the beginning. The ebook market is huge and is only getting bigger. In some ways these days, it is a little harder to break through int this rapidly growing market, but at the same time, there are all kinds of tools and resources available to you. The industry has changed but we need to remember that we are now building the world’s online library.
You wouldn’t be alone if you do not fully understand what is going on. It is kind of obvious with digital books being published that we have a digital library building up. How to Publish on Amazon’s KDP platform is a simple yet complex process. To put this in perspective, the process is quite easy but there are quite a few things to be taken into account. In the coming years, there will be fewer printed books and more and more digital books so not publishing on the platform could be writer suicide.

eBook Growth

The above should tell you as an aspiring author that you are taking part in the beginning of something, and so, whilst it comes with some caveats, growth in the eBook market represents a bigger opportunity than most people think. I am not one of those people who thinks that print books are dead because for many of us die hard reading fans, we still like the look, feel and smell of physical books. If you look around though at how the next generation are reading you will se that it is usually via a screen or with earphones (audio-books is a new growth area I believe).

How to Publish on Amazon’s KDP Platform

Account Set up

Like with everything in life it is easy to publish an ebook once you know how. You first need an Amazon Kindle Self Publishing account before you can start uploading your first title. The account can be opened using your current Amazon buyer’s email and password and takes a few minutes to set up. The longest bit of the account set-up is completing the online tax form but the instructions are clear enough, even for someone like me.

Files (formatting & conversion)

Once the account is set up, it is not quite as simple as uploading your book as a file, because you do need to ensure that the ebook is adequately formatted or it can look terrible on the screen. If you look at what most other authors do, you will realise that the formatting is not that difficult once you have learned the skill. I don’t have the time here to go through formatting in detail but may do so in the future as I format my own. If you don’t want to do it yourself then you can outsource the task through an outsourcing platform such as Fiverr.
For Amazon the file (once formatted) needs to be converted Mobi format and for other platforms it needs to be in ePub. There is free software that will do the conversion for you from a word document. Once you have converted the file to Mobi you need to save it to your computer and it can then be uploaded to the KDP platform through your account.

Tables & Photos

Tables do not convert well to eBook and so they have to be saved as JPEG images and then re-inserted into the word document before converting the file.
If you include images in your book, make sure that you reduce the size before publishing or you will lose out on royalties due to the costs of the download. 72 dpi is adequate for eBooks but not for print books which need to be minimum of 300 dpi, so you will need different image files for both if going to print. All of this is best done in photoshop and you can buy photoshop elements for reasonable costs if it is something you will be doing a lot of.
As a general rule of thumb, don’t use the handles in word to resize images.

Don’t skip editing & proofreading

You will also need to ensure that your book is professionally proofread and has a professional cover design. These are all things worth paying for and most of these services can be outsourced. I made a big mistake with my first book and had loads printed, thinking the book was good to go. I immediately noticed grammatical errors and then paid for a proof reader who was worth every penny I spent. I had to discard more books than I care to remember! Don’t make the same mistake.

Book description

The one thing that people read in detail is the book description and I have learned many lessons over the past year about writing a good sales copy. The description needs to be captivating and it needs to stand out. The problem with the KDP platform is that if you just enter the text straight into the description box it looks quite boring and doesn’t stand out. Spaces and headers are not taken into account unless you use HTML which is allowed. I have learned some basic HTML for writing better book descriptions and a sheet is available here.


The most important part of the process when uploading a book is choosing the right keywords. Keywords are everything in terms of getting the book to show up on the right page and to improve your ranking. You will need to research keywords for your book that are high traffic generating but low competition which is not always easy. There is not enough time to go into this here but I will produce an article or video in the near future.


Once you get your book and cover uploaded, it is time to hit publish and start the marketing. Many people say you should get your family and friends to buy as many books as possible so that the market pays attention. However, do not focus on this too much as it can actually skew your books ranking. For instance, if your friends and family do not normally buy in that genre then the books that come up in the ‘also read’ or ‘also bought’ sections of Amazon will list books that are totally different to yours and yours will be listed alongside these which makes it hard for Amazon to categorise it properly. You do need as many reviews as possible though so you will need to weigh up the pros & cons.


What you need to do is market your book in a variety of ways. Promotion on social media is a must. Do you have your accounts grown yet? If not, it’s okay because you can grow them at the same time you are publishing. Make sure that you have an Amazon author page set up and a separate Facebook page for your writing. You need to set up separate author pages on UK and USA Amazon.
You also might want to pay attention to Amazon Marketing Services. They let you run two different types of ads:
  • Sponsored Product
  • Product Display
They are cost per click ads. You set up your own ad and once it is setup it is submitted it for approval. It will then show up on your ad campaign dashboard as part of your KDP account, which is below your sales dashboard. You can see how many impressions your ads get and how many clicks. Currently this is mainly for the US market although there is a UK platform but this is not linked to KDP at present and therefore you can only promote paperbacks limiting the ads to Headline Search and Product Display ads which most people say are not as effective as Sponsored Product ads.
You do only pay for the clicks, and you set beforehand how much you pay per click and how much you wish to spend each day. The dashboard also shows you your sales based on clicks. There are also free book promotions and a ton of advertising sites you can use after launching your book.


Are you ready to start your publishing career? If you are, then you need to start getting that book ready. This article on how to publish on Amazon’s KDP platform should help you get started. As you do, plan out all of your first steps for advertising at the same time so that you are ready to make the right moves.
Dawn Brookes is author of:
Hurry up Nurse
Hurry up Nurse 2
Buy to let: 7 steps to successful investing
Property Investment: how to fund your retirement with a buy to let property pension.

Marketing Books & Good News re. Local Library

Marketing Books

Great News – I will be library stock!

Not me exactly, but my work. I was delighted to hear from my local library this week that they were happy to purchase stock of my memoir Hurry up Nurse. I have to say that since publishing the kindle version last August, followed by the paperback in September I have been on a very steep learning curve. I don’t know quite what I imagined would happen when I published the book – immediate best seller……………? I soon learned I knew nothing about marketing books.

Marketing – a new lesson

Suffice it to say that I hadn’t anticipated the amount of work that goes into marketing a book once it’s published. It is definitely like learning to drive – it all starts after you pass your test! Many reading this I am sure will relate to this, particularly if you have begun a self publishing journey. After the initial flurry of sales from friends and family died down, it was learn, learn, learn. I think my poor Facebook friends must have got sick to death of the sight of my book cover and I hope that they have forgiven me for going into overdrive! I know this article is about being stocked in a library but I just wanted to write down all of the ploys for marketing books I have had to learn along the way.

Social Media – What’s that?

First of all there was social media! What? I need to create a separate Facebook page, twitter account, Pinterest, Google +, YouTube, blog, website! Are you kidding me? The reality is – yes to most of these but it doesn’t have to happen all in one day. I think the first priority for me was to create a separate FB page and then to resist the temptation and stop bombarding my normal account friends with posts about my books! I am almost there, I promise. Twitter I just cannot fall in love with so have not gone there – never say never though! YouTube has been an easier journey for me because I love teaching and training, I did always want to be an actress! Blogging is relatively new but again, because I like sharing knowledge I am starting to enjoy it!. Building a website – not an easy task but I have managed to build one for publishing and one for property investment. Having a website and getting traffic to it are two different things but that is a blog post for another day. As you can see marketing books is not easy.

Anyway, back to the main theme, this has been a good week for me, as I said, Derby Libraries have agreed to stock my book and I did have an order yesterday from Gardners for normal and large print versions so they have been true to their word. They have also kindly arranged a ‘meet the author’ session in one of my local libraries for later this month.

Contacting a Library

I started by going into my local library, I initially gave one of the staff a copy which they said would be sent to acquisitions – I think that is short for charity bag or bin as it disappeared! Next, I went into the library on a quiet day and asked for the name of the librarian who was responsible for purchasing books and she kindly gave me a contact email address. I wasn’t sure I would get very far, as, like many libraries around the country the county libraries are strapped for cash and some have been facing closures. I sent off a nice email introducing myself and my books and asked for a meeting. I explained that although self-published, the books were of a high standard (following a correction to a faux pas made early on) and would be happy to show examples. I heard nothing for a month and so decided to try again and I resent the message but added a little bit of personal understanding about the difficulties libraries were undergoing – I meant every word because I love libraries. I even offered to donate my books for free as stock. I am not sure whether it was this email or the start of the new tax year that brought a response but I am delighted that it did! They have ordered 6 normal print and 3 large print books and I couldn’t be more pleased about the extra exposure this will bring to my work.

A Great Week

I have had a really good week which makes up for all the plodding I have been doing over the past six months. I had a lovely email from an American reviewer today encouraging me in my work and saying that she had no doubt I could be a Best Seller! Wow, what a confidence booster that was. Whilst this article is about marketing books and being stocked in local libraries, I am still not totally comfortable with marketing but this week has been good. I am also learning more about outsourcing but again, that is a subject for another day.

I couldn’t end without a bit of marketing could I so the book can be purchased on my website or on Amazon.

To buy on Amazon click on the images:

Kindle Version

Paperback Version 

Nursing biography