A reader who is a new Kindle author recently asked for advice. I’m flattered by his request and more than happy to share what I’ve learned since publishing my first Kindle book. Here it goes.

Probably the best advice I can give an author who aspires to publish on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or any other electronic site is to make sure your book is correctly formatted. This is vital because you want it to look good and read smoothly on Kindle, Nook and other devices. You might consider going through smashwords for multiple outlets, except for Amazon. As of now you still need to format and upload directly to Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) or use their affiliate, CreateSpace to do the work for you.

Next, be patient. It takes time to build a readership, especially if you’re an indie author like me. And be prepared to promote your work. Self-promotion is a tiresome, time-consuming necessity for all indie authors. No one is going to do it for you! Here are a few avenues you should explore.

Join Tag My Book On Amazon! http://tagmybookonamazon.wordpress.com/tag-my-book/ On this site you can post a blurb about your book(s) and request other author-members to tag your book on Amazon. In return, you will need to tag their books. This takes time since you’ll have to go back through the archives for a couple years or more, but it’s worth it. Book tags are important. They increase your visibility when customers search book categories on Amazon. Go to the product page for my book Darlin’ Druid and scroll way down, and you’ll see my book tags. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ASNDES

Book reviews are another valuable selling tool. As you collect reviews on your product page, this also will help attract new customers. You might invite a few friends who read your book to write a customer review, but don’t overdo this. Reviews from readers who don’t know you are more valuable because they are unbiased. There are lots of book review site on the internet. Try requesting a review from sites that seem to fit your genre. (You’ll need to do some searching to find them.)

Online interviews are yet another way to promote your book. I just had my first interview a couple weeks ago. Here’s a link to the site: http://lauries-interviews.blogspot.com/  Laurie is a terrific interviewer. Again, there are many other interview sites, and you should look for ones that suit your writing genre.

Some basic things you should do on Amazon: be sure to set up your author page on Amazon Author Central; start a blog and link it to your author page; check out the Amazon forums, but be careful not to promote your book on readers’ forums. I unintentionally got into trouble doing that. Look for forum threads that invite authors to promote their own books. Some of these suggestions apply to Barnes & Noble, but I am less familiar with their site, so you will need to do your own exploring.

Last but far from least, utilize social networking sites such as facebook and twitter to get the word out about your books. However, don’t hit readers over the head with promotional posts. They will like you a whole lot more if you talk about humorous, entertaining or informational subjects most of the time. And they’ll be apt to pay closer attention when you do post about your current book – and maybe buy it.

That’s all I can think of just now. If any authors would like to pass on their advice, I invite you to jump in here. The more the better!

Lyn Horner resides in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and a pair of very spoiled cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor before she took up writing. This hobby grew into a love of research and the crafting of passionate love stories based on that research. This blog is designed to spotlight Lyn's books and share the work of other creative people.

2 comments on “At Reader’s Request: Advice for New Kindle Authors

  1. Thanks for this post. I am preparing to publish on Kindle but am having a tough time getting clarification from Amazon on two points (at least!) 1. Is it nec. to officially copyright before publishing on Kindle and can anyone make heads or tails how this royalty thingie works? Their terms of agreement look like they may require a lawyer! Any advice is appreciated. If you have a moment, contact me at geraced@gmail.com and I did follow your CMT links. I’m sorry you have to deal with that.


    • texasdruids

      I’m glad to help! (As much as I can.) Wading through Amazon’s rules, instructions and legal jargon can be a headache. It took me months to get it all straight in my head and required help from my son with some of the tech stuff.

      To answer your first question, no you do not need to copyright your book before publishing it as a Kindle book. I read that somewhere in their guidelines. As I understand it, our books are automatically copyrighted when we offer them for sale. Now, if you want a true “legal” opinion, you’ll need to ask a lawyer. You also do not need an ISBN number, unless you go through CreateSpace. (They offer several options for obtaining an ISBN, one of which is free.) If you upload directly to the KDP, Amazon will assign an ASIN number — usable only on Amazon.

      Regarding royalties, they offer two options, depending on how you price your book. If you price it between $2.99 and $9.99, you can opt for the 70% option, which is what I chose to do. I priced Darlin’ Druid at $3.99. (It’s currently on special for $.99 to spotlight two author interviews.) if you price your book above or below that range, then you automatically receive 35%. For more of an explanation, check out this discussion link: http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com/kdpforums/thread.jspa?messageID=52285&#52285

      I hope this helps. Happy writing! Lyn


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