Adding a New Kindle eBook

How to add a new Kindle eBook to Amazon.

To add a new eBook, visit your KDP Bookshelf by clicking on the Bookshelf link at the top of the KDP page. From there, click the "Kindle eBook" button in the Create a New Title section. You'll be presented with the first of three webpages you'll need to fill out to publish your book. The first page is titled "Kindle eBook Details".

The following instructions explain how to fill in every field presented by the KDP eBook publication process.

Kindle eBook Details

The first page displayed by the Kindle eBook publication process gathers the information required to create your Amazon book product page. Consider the following advice while filling out this form in order to optimize your Amazon product page and sales revenue.

Language

Your first step is to select the language in which your book is written. Amazon supports books written in 33 different languages. Note that English is the number one language for book sales on Amazon.

Book Title, Subtitle, Series and Number

Amazon constructs the name of your book based on the contents of four KDP input fields. Your book name is constructed as follows:

[TITLE]: [SUBTITLE] ([SERIES] Book [NUMBER] of {TOTAL})

[TITLE] is the contents of the KDP Title field. It's followed by a colon if you supply a subtitle.

[SUBTITLE] is the contents of the KDP Subtitle field.

If you provide a [SERIES] name, KDP will enclose the series name in parenthesis, including the volume [NUMBER] of the book as specified via KDP and the {TOTAL} number of books currently in the series.

Note: Make the [SERIES] name the same for every book in a series to ensure all the books are grouped and that the entire series is displayed on each book's Amazon production description page.

Note: KDP recently changed the way you specify a series name for a book. Now, you create a page with a description for the series and assign books to that series. Books can either be ordered (e.g. numbered) or unordered. Here's how to create a new series and reuse an existing one:

  1. Click on the Add series detail button.
  2. To use an existing series, select the Select series button on the pop-up dialog. Select the series from those displayed, then click the Main topic button on the next dialog screen. Click confirm and continue and done.
  3. To create a new series, you follow the same steps as above, except you'll be asked to enter the series details first on a new screen.

For example, given these KDP field values:

[TITLE] = "The Fallen King"

[SUBTITLE] = "Epic Fantasy Adventure"

[SERIES] = "Deceiver Series"

[NUMBER] = "1"

Amazon would construct the following book title:

"The Fallen King: Epic Fantasy Adventure (Deceiver Series Book 1 of 1)"

Odds are you already have a title and even a series name in mind for your book (remember: always write in a series).

But what about the subtitle? Refer to my book, Amazon Kindle eBook Marketing and Promotion for Self-publishing Beginners, for information on how to optimize sales by creating a keyword-rich book title.

Edition Number

I use the Edition Number to track my modifications to a book. I begin with one and increment that number every time I upload a modified manuscript to KDP. I believe that the Edition Number field provides no significant opportunities for marketing your book.

Author and Contributors

Enter your name, or the name of the writer of your book, into the fields supplied for the author name.

Do not supply additional contributors. It's fine to mention contributors in an Acknowledgements section in your book but keep them out of your Amazon book description. The last thing you want to do is make it appear that your book was written by committee. If you are the writer of your book, then stand up and be counted by listing yourself alone as the author.

Description

Write a description of your book. Come as close to using the 4000 characters allowed to convince book browsers to become book readers.

See the book in this series, Amazon Kindle eBook Marketing and Promotion for Self-publishing Beginners, for a detailed description of how to copy write your book description

Publishing Rights

Click the button that accurately describes your work. If you wrote the book and own it outright, then the title is not in the public domain. If it was written by someone else and is over 70 years old, your work may be in the public domain (meaning you have the right to publish it).

Always check to ensure that you have the right to publish your work.

Keywords

Amazon allows readers to search for books using two mechanisms:

  1. Browse the book category hierarchical menus
  2. Enter keyword search strings in the Search field

This section is about how to optimize your books to respond to the latter search option above or how to perform book keyword SEO search optimization.

Amazon searches for books based on the contents of several KDP fields as specified by the author during self-publication:

  1. Book Title
    1. Title
    2. Subtitle
    3. Series Name
    4. Number
  2. Keywords (7)
  3. The first paragraph or two of your book description

An Amazon book title can be up to 256 characters long. Assume that you use even 80 characters for your title and series name, that leaves a lot of characters for keyword stuffing in your subtitle.

Warning: Don't go over ~160 characters for your total book title, or it will start to look sloppy and unprofessional.

But where do you get your keywords?

Follow this process:

Write down a list of one-word base keywords that describe your book. For example: cooking, fantasy, paranormal, romance, thriller, Canadian, book store.

Open an Amazon tab, search the Kindle Store and enter each of your keywords.

Note the search string completions provided by Amazon. These will drop down from the Search box as you type. These are longer tail keywords based on the keyword you entered that readers have been searching for but are easier to rank for than your original short keyword.

Make note, the search completion strings that match your book and keep your eye out for additional search strings that uniquely describe your book.

Gather about 20 long-tail keywords.

Press enter on each keyword to see how tough the competition is in the search results. Eliminate overly-popular (usually shorter) keywords that you have no hope of showing up for on the first page of search results (e.g. paranormal romance).

When you get down to about seven keywords, use them to populate your book title, keywords and description.

For example, suppose I have a book for which I come up with the following base keywords:

Mystery romance cozy canadian

I type "mystery" into an Amazon Search field and get the following search string completion suggestions:

mystery and suspense bestsellers mystery books mystery books for kids 9-12 mystery romance mystery fiction

The "mystery romance" response appeals to me, so I type it and get further keyword expansions of:

mystery romance adult mystery romance funny mystery romance comedy mystery romance books mystery romance series

I move on and do the same thing with "romance", "cozy" and "Canadian". My gathered keywords might look something like this:

mystery romance adult mystery romance comedy mystery romance books mystery romance series cozy mystery romance canadian mystery books women detective mysteries

These are the seven long-tail keywords that I can best compete for. Now, place them in your seven keywords slots, use them to construct a short subtitle and use all the phrases you can in the opening paragraph of your book description.

A sample subtitle might be (though I feel this example is too long):

A Comedy Cozy Canadian Women Sleuth Mystery Romance

As in:

Due North: A Comedy Cozy Canadian Women Sleuth Mystery Romance (Butterscotch Jones Mysteries Book 1 of 1)

As you can see, the subtitle is a little long/obnoxious. I'd have to choose which keywords to go after based on search results.

P.S. Don't include your lengthy subtitle on your cover or even in your book. The subtitle is strictly being specified to improve Amazon search results for important keywords.

That's it. After adding your keywords (give it a couple of days for the databases to synchronize), you should be able to enter your keyword strings and see your book in the page one search results. If not, replace the keyword with one for which you do show up on page one.

You'll find an even more detailed description of this process in the bookAmazon Self-publishing 5: Book Marketing.

Categories

During the KDP self-publishing process, you get to assign your book to up to two categories. These categories are hierarchical and match the categories displayed on Amazon allowing readers to click through the hierarchy of categories to find a book of interest. Get in the correct categories, and more readers will find your book.

But there's more to categories than just another way to display lists of books. Categories are used to determine if your book is a best seller. Amazon displays the ranking of an Amazon book for its categories and closely related categories. Having lots of nice category ratings on your product page makes your book look good.

Things to notice:

  1. Do well in a less popular category, and you'll show up on the first page of the category display.
  2. Do well in a category to display good rating numbers on your book product page.
  3. Become an Amazon Kindle bestseller by entering the top 100 Kindle books sold and become a category bestseller by entering the top 10.

So, you need to find categories that are popular enough for people to care about and possibly display but unpopular enough that you become a category bestseller displaying on page 1 of the category page. Determine the competition for a category by displaying it and viewing existing book ratings. The categories with the least competition are usually the furthest leaves out on the category tree.

Now for a big trick. There are some leaf categories that don't show up in the list of categories available on KDP. These are new categories that haven't made it into the master catalog yet. The only way to get listed in such categories, which are typically free of competition, is to send an email to support@amazon.com asking for an ASIN to be placed in the category.

Find these categories by displaying the leaf categories available in KDP and looking for books that are listed in categories even deeper in the hierarchy. For example, consider this category hierarchy:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Animal Care & Pets > Dogs

In this case, "Dogs" might be one of those special leaf categories (it's not -- I'm having a hard time finding an example).

So, go for the longest categories you can find and keep your eye out for those special categories that can only be entered by special request for great results. Get in the Kindle top 100 or category top 10 to become a Kindle or category bestseller.

Age and Grade Range

These fields pertain to children's books. If you're publishing a children's book, you should fill in these fields to target your book to your reading age range. When publishing children's books, specifying a narrow age range is critical. When publishing adult books, I skip these fields.

Pre-order

I've read other publishing books where writers describe making a lot of money by making books available for pre-order before they're even written. Personally, I've never gotten involved in this form of publishing. I'll leave it for others to advise, but I never offer my books for pre-order.

Save and Continue

That's the end of the first KDP page of fields. You've just successfully described your book to your potential readers.

Congratulations! You're 1/3 of the way toward publishing your book.

Notice that there is a "Save As Draft" button at the bottom of the screen. Use this button to save your progress and remain on the Kindle eBook Details page. You can click on the "Kindle eBook Details" tab at the top left of any page to return to this page.

Now, click the "Save and Continue" button at the bottom of the screen to save your progress and continue to the next screen.

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