How to make an eBook, Part Three

Some time ago, I joined Scribophile. I find it an invaluable resource for refining text content of all sorts; there’s a community of like-minded folks there who help each other to improve their writing.

(Parts One and Two of this series were published earlier.)

Step six: Make the eBook.

Long story short: most of the content I’m looking at publishing in this eBook is in Scribophile, which means that I’ve had to finish up all the edits over there, then copy the final copy into a single Word .doc file. That proved to be the largest part of this entire project. I haven’t been on ‘Scrib’ for about two years, and I had a bunch of critiques that members have left me that I still needed to work through.

Making the Word document was straightforward enough. Kindle Create identifies chapters based on ‘Heading 1’ formatting; it wasn’t an onerous task to put those in. After importing the document into Kindle Create and deciding on the arrangement of the various works, I then had to create ‘front matter’ and ‘back matter’ — additional (entirely optional) pages like title, preface, contents, copyright and so on. All of these were very simple to do. I’m still not clear on whether a cover is strictly necessary for an eBook (all I’ve been able to find so far is the advice ‘We recommend a book cover for a good reader experience’). I just added a page in ‘front matter’ into which I inserted the image I’d created using Canva in ‘Step three’.

Step seven: Publish the eBook.

It was with not a little trepidation that I hit the ‘Publish’ button in Kindle Create, as I didn’t know what to expect. But all that did was to output a .kpf file, and then present me with links to the next steps: Testing and Uploading.

Testing was a little tedious. I didn’t find any problems.

Uploading started off fairly innocuously with a bunch of questions that were easy to answer: book title, author name, edition number, that kind of thing. I got stuck on ‘Description’, however. Below the blinking cursor, a number shouted at me: 4000. That was the number of characters I had available. Somehow I had to come up with about three or four hundred words that would pique the interest of my potential readers and persuade them to part with their hard-earned cash for my work.

I’d come this far. Nothing for it but to push on….

(Some time later) Ouch. I only managed about two hundred words, and, boy, were they tough to find! Have I mentioned before how much I detest advertising? Trying to find the words to hawk my words was harder than writing the original words in the first place!

Once I’d passed that hurdle, I finally got to the point where I could actually upload the content.

Step eight: Pricing.

Ugh. Pricing. How to decide how much to ask for my offering? (If you have any words of wisdom on this, I’m all ears).

Let’s side-step that for a minute. The KDP site is asking me whether I want to enroll in something called ‘KDP Select’. It’s free, so the blurb says, and I would get 70% royalties on sales in certain territories.

With KDP Select, you can reach more readers, earn more money, and maximize your sales potential.

Well, marketing for my eBook is going to be non-existent; I can do with all the help I can get. Can’t see any reason not to go for this.

Ah! I’ve found a button that tells me this:

Based on historic data for KDP books similar to The Eclectic, a list price of $2.99 (USD) in a 70% royalty plan maximizes author earnings.

(Yes, that’s what I’ve decided to call my eBook: ‘The Eclectic’. I guess that should have been ‘Step zero’!)

I’m a tad puzzled; this last step offers me the choice of a 35% or a 70% royalty plan. I can’t see why I shouldn’t go for the higher value, so that’s what I’m going to do.

I have to agree to the KDP Terms and Conditions; reams of legalese in a typical click-thru agreement. Call me naive, but I’m going to treat this in the same way that I treat all other such agreements — by clicking through it, unread.

And, finally, I get to press the button labelled ‘Publish Your Kindle eBook’.

Your Kindle eBook has been submitted. It can take up to 72 hours for your title to be available for purchase on Amazon.

It was Saturday when I pressed the button. On Sunday morning, I got an email confirming that the book was on Amazon!

… and here it is!

(In the end I used the KDP Cover Creator, because the listing was showing up with ‘Image Unavailable’, which didn’t look very good!)

About pendantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
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4 Responses to How to make an eBook, Part Three

  1. When I recently read about an ebook cover being optional, I was stunned. Why would there not be a cover? “This is still a book!” the old-school be thought. “But how much time do you spend on looking at the cover when you’re reading an ebook?” the reasonable me asked. 1. I don’t like ebooks all that much, but I probably don’t spend more than a second on the front cover and completely skip the back cover when I read it. Good to know that it still serves as an advertisement. I can’t imagine buying a book which has an “Image unavailable” for a cover.

    Is Scribo content not visible to outside people? Don’t you worry about fewer sales since many people will choose to read there instead?

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ 😛

      Scribophile is a members-only site that requires a login to access, so content there isn’t really ‘published’ as such. And I very much doubt that anyone would go to the trouble of trying to read my works (or anyone’s, for that matter), on Scribophile. Everything on there is essentially an unfinished draft.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: How to make an eBook, Part Two | Wibble

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