Your Amazon author’s career will run a lot more smoothly if you take advantage of specific resources discovered and embraced by your predecessors.
See which ones will enhance your marketing and promotion, formatting and function – or just plain enjoyment of your Amazon options.
If you don’t have your own Kindle device, install the free Kindle Cloud Reader.
And download it even if you do have a Kindle device. (You want to see what those who also use the Kindle Cloud Reader see, when they download your eBook.)
Says Amazon: “If you have a print version of your title and enroll the Kindle version in Kindle MatchBook you can earn a royalty from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) based on the Promotional List Price (choose from $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free) for any Kindle MatchBook sale.”
Translated, that means anyone buying your book in hard copy is eligible to purchase the Kindle version at a reduced price. This gives you two sales for one.
(Be sure to let your audience know about Matchbook, which is set to launch in October 2013.)
This is just one of the directories you should consider submitting your book to, when you publish it on Amazon – but it’s one of the most important. A quick run through Alexa.com shows this directory/social book site with a Global Rank of just 281 and its popularity has done nothing but soar over the last two years.
Check it out on Alexa yourself for some eye-opening data… such as the fact that its audience is predominantly female with some college education, no university; and that a majority of its upstream contacts come from Facebook and Amazon itself.
This freelance directory used to be more “miss” than “hit” – but freelance contractors have discovered it’s an easy way to introduce a taste of their services to marketers looking for outsourcing help.
On any given day on Fiverr you can usually find someone to help you by:
- Formatting your manuscript to Kindle
- Creating an eCover for your book
- Write a detailed, verified book review
And even animate your .PDF, (useful if you want to create a promotional video).
If you already have a blog containing relevant content, sell it on Amazon.
Not many people have discovered this yet – but there are actually people who will pay to have your blog delivered to their Kindle reader. You can sign up for this through Blogs on Kindle and submit your blog.
If you don’t already have a blog, create one and start writing posts relevant to your book.
For example, if you’ve written a romance novel, run a blog about writing romances, with tips, advice and resources. Once you’ve built up momentum and at least ten juicy posts, think about selling it on Amazon – but once you do that, you’re committed to maintaining it!
Want to do your own cover graphics? You’ll need more than a great, original photo.
You also have to:
- Insert your Title
- Add your Sub-title
- Include your by-line
Gimp offers free graphics editing, and if you’ve ever used Adobe Photoshop, you’ll be comfortable with it in no time.
It also provides excellent contextual help from right within the program, once you’ve installed it.
(If Gimp is not for you, you can also use Kindle’s own, free Cover Creator. Just make sure the finished result is top notch.)
Want a Kindle Previewer? No problem.
Want a different type of formatter? No problem.
Just bookmark Kindle’s own resource list – and see which resources fit with your learning style and author needs.
Join Amazon Author Central not only to create your Author page, but to help yourself to up-to-date sales data, contact support staff, get your questions answered and track your sales.
Offers Amazon: “Add your biography, photos, blog, video, and tour events to the Author Page, your homepage on Amazon.com.”
A great community where you can create presence within specific niches and narrow areas of interest.
Get in the habit of following it daily. Not only should you ask questions – answer them.
Follow at least 3-5 threads and specialize in these. Pick ones that your ideal reader would be interested in; not just ones you think may be useful.
(Another great forum to check out as more of a resource for authors is Goodreads’ dedicated “How to Promote Your Book on Amazon”.
This site is where you can buy your ISBN numbers, if you decide to be your own publisher.
There are ways to get ISBNs for free, but avoid them: With free offers, the company that issued the ISBN is often listed as the publisher – not you. This is guaranteed to cause trouble if you try to move your book to another publishing company, or a print publisher wants to pick up your eBook rights.
- 11.Kindle Gen
Your resource directory wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t introduce you to Kindle Gen. This command-line tool is for the tech-savvy who are comfortable in HTML, XHTML or ePUB. If you want to include advanced formatting, this is definitely preferable to Kindle’s basic book-building options.
And you’ll also find a handy list of links versions for formatting tools for specific purposes, such as creating comics or graphic novels.
(Use Kindle Format 8 or Comic Creator, if your eBook is heavy on graphics.)
Got a MAC? Then you’ll want this version of their online Cloud reader.
Kindle Publishing Programs is where you need to go to find an online previewer . Scroll down to the middle of the page until you find the heading “Download Kindle Previewer 2.9.1”.
Then press the download button.
Finally, ever have trouble finding the right category for your eBook? Amazon has them hidden away in its Help section.
If you find the perfect category in these lists, and can’t find it when you go to upload your Kindle, pick the nearest available category and upload it anyway. Then contact the Support Team and ask them to manually put your book into your category of choice. (They will.)
Unfortunately it’s only available for fiction at this time, but if you are a fiction writer, you’ll be glad to meet these categories and keywords.
Amazon says: “In order to list your title in certain sub-categories, you’ll need to add Search Keywords in addition to the categories you choose for your title. Click a category in the list below to see the keyword requirements.”
Here we go…
- Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Teen & Young Adult
- Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense
- Comics & Graphic Novels
So you’re ready to get started in your Amazon career as an author.
You can add more resources to this list as technology changes or you discover new gems.
Here’s hoping this Resource Directory makes your Amazon publishing life much easier – and gets you closer to Best Seller status.