Some of this will be basic, but there might be people out there who are not computer savvy, and for whom the idea of publishing to Kindle is very intimidating. So for them, like myself, I want to make sure this has all the steps and terms that books or instruction pages assume are self-explanatory. Often they are NOT.
To get into Kindle, I just clicked on the link at the bottom of the Amazon page. “Self-Publish With Us” in the red-highlighted column “Make Money With Us.” I think it’s on the bottom of every Amazon page, and it should be the second column from the left. They have steps to follow to log in and begin. Use your regular Amazon account email and password. There are a few things I learned along the way.
#1 – you must have ‘linked’ or hot chapters in a Table of Contents in your book, which means you must have Word 2007 or newer. I had Word 2003 and my linked chapters didn’t work, so I had to go to the library and use their computer to link my chapters. A linked chapter simply means that on your Kindle or your Kindle app, when you click in the table of contents on a chapter, say chapter 6, it will jump to chapter 6. (Getting to the table of contents starts in the Menu feature under “Go to.”)
#2 – Amazon has a free book I HIGHLY recommend that takes you step by step through the process of formatting and includes the steps for setting up linked chapters. It’s short but concise and their instructions work! Always a nice thing. They even include pictures of the top of the Word page toolbar so you know what to check on your own WORD program as you set up your chapters. The book is named “Building Your Book For Kindle” and they have one specifically for Mac, too!
#3 – you really need a cover. I have seen one book in all my Kindle browsing that did not have one, but Amazon wants you to have a cover. I made my own covers with the generic FREE ‘photoshop’ for broke people program, GIMP, and I LOVE my GIMP. I actually liked my home-made covers, I worked hard on them, but every article I read said ‘Get A Professional Cover’ so I finally broke down and found a professional to make my covers. I found a GREAT and Inexpensive (relatively) professional through Fostering Success but I also found out you can buy premade covers, They usually run around $40 – $60. You can do a search on your favorite search engine for “pre-made ebook covers” and get a bunch of sites that offer pre-mades.
#4 – Loading your book into Kindle is really quite easy. (If you’ve read my prelude to my blog, you will know that I don’t say that lightly.) They have little icons every step along the way. For me, the most confusing thing was the Bookshelf. Across the top of your Bookshelf are drop-down menus that have all the options you need including ‘Add a new book,’ but when I first started it was hard for me to remember to look at those boxes on top of my Bookshelf list. (The Bookshelf is simply the list of your published books.) At the far right of your bookshelf listing are the choices for Kindle Select, should you decide to sign on, but those are in my other blog postings.