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Publishing on KDP (and getting your first book)

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Once you’re at the point where you are happy with your script, and you have downloaded the correct template for your length and size of your book (and done the same for your cover) you should be able to publish. I can almost guarantee if you have had it proofread five times, once you get a paperback copy in your hands, it will look very different. Almost certainly you will find some more errors, and this is completely normal.

We always advise that you publish your paperback first, and if you revert to our 46-step planner (which looks like a board game), you will see that there are some notes advising how you can find out how to do this.

Once you have filled in all the details, including what you wish to charge for your paperback, Amazon will give you the option to buy an author copy. The author copy will be a little cheaper, and it does not differ from your finished book except it will have a band around it saying, “not for resale.”

There is nothing quite like unwrapping a book that you have created. After all the hard work, this is a very special day. Depending on how well people support you, your family, and your friends, it will impress some. Some will be jealous, and some will either not be interested or pretend they are not interested.

But this is for you. This is your moment. Opening that masterpiece you have created over many months, or sometimes over a year, is special and it is part of your reward. No one can guarantee sales of over £1 million or an award-winning book, so you must value every success as it comes. Particularly in the traditional industry, there is this notion that everyone is writing books now. Of course, they are not. It is comparable to running a marathon. The research alone for some works can be exhausting and many will fall by the way as they go through the process. This first step is a significant achievement, and it is likely that you will have people who love your book and people who won’t, but it’s very important that it is what you wanted it to be. You painted the Mona Lisa and if someone thinks she’s ugly, that’s up to them. They are probably just mean.

I would advise you first read it as a customer. Decide if it is what you wanted, what you wanted to say, and whether it is cohesive as a story. Then go through it for errors once more. I usually just make pencil notation where it requires changes and then make a note of the page number in the back of the book. I then revisit my original script and make those changes.

Then you will have to go through the process again, i.e. you will need to upload your new script. Buy a full version of your paperback book, and it is up to you whether you want to check it once more, but once you are happy with the script, format your e-book. Uploading your e-book is similar, if not easier to what you have done already and should take only a few minutes.

Amazon usually automatically pairs the two together, so that when people find your paperback book, your e-book appears alongside it.

Your new job is to get people to that page. If you revisit the ‘board game’ planner again, there is advice on how to do that.

Remember to take a few moments to enjoy your success and ignore anyone who wishes to spoil it. Try not to do everything on your own either, ASPA is here to help as are its members.

Rob :)

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