View Full Version : How Easy is Publishing on Amazon?

06-19-2012, 05:01 PM
I am considering doing e-pub for my first novel and was wondering how easy or difficult it is to do it with Amazon. I am presently getting a cover done. I will also get an editor and someone to do the format conversion for me. After that, is it difficult? If i do it with Amazon is that the only place it will be available? I assume it is. Is it better to publish it in multiple places like using Smashwords or others? Any information to point me in the right direction is greatly appreciated.



Katie Elle
06-19-2012, 05:23 PM
If someone else is convert it to mobi, then it's ludicrously easy. Just go to kdp.amazon.com. Honestly, it's not hard to create the ebook file yourself converting using something like Calibre.

The best option is to publish on Amazon/KDP, Barnes & Noble/Pubit, and Smashwords which will send it to Apple. If you are a non-US based author, B&N won't accept you, so use Smashwords to get your stuff on there.

Amazon has a "Select" program where you give them exclusive rights for 90 days and your book is available for borrows. It doesn't seem to really be worth much unless you have a large catalog and want to use it to do freebies.

06-19-2012, 05:58 PM
Is it expensive to self-pub on those sites? And Calibre can help me convert. Is it easy to use? Are there others that may be easier? It seems like the process is failry easy.

Katie Elle
06-19-2012, 06:10 PM
Publishing is free. You just upload the ebook and a cover and fill in a form with author and other information. Click and it goes up about 12 hours later for sale.

Calibre is the easiest program for me. The usual is to write in Word, export the file when you're done to "filtered html" then add that to calibre and convert to mobi for amazon and epub for Barnes and Noble. What are you writing in?

06-19-2012, 08:01 PM
I am writing the manuscript in Microsoft Word. I am using the normally accepted guidelines -Courier or Times New Roman, 12 pt font, indent first line of each paragraph and such.

06-19-2012, 08:29 PM
Not sure what you mean about getting someone to 'do the format conversion for me'. You just have to upload a Word doc. Amazon and Smashwords do the conversion for you. I've self-published two books, on both Amazon and Smashwords, and I did it myself. It's not all that complicated. Certainly not worth paying someone else to do, IMO.

Katie Elle
06-19-2012, 09:47 PM
I'd suggest looking at the Smashwords Style Guide (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52). It has a lot of help with how to get things uploaded to their system, but the same is also applicable to KDP and B&N.

06-19-2012, 10:26 PM
I'd suggest looking at the Smashwords Style Guide (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52). It has a lot of help with how to get things uploaded to their system, but the same is also applicable to KDP and B&N.

What she said! The Smashwords Style Guide is your friend.

If you go through your Word document and make sure it complies with the Style Guide, you shouldn't have any trouble uploading that document to either Smashwords or Amazon.

A comment though, just to head off a possible glitch. Upload the correctly formatted WORD document to the other sites. At Smashwords, the document goes through something called the Meatgrinder, which converts the document into all the various formats, epub and mobi and so on. But don't take the mobi file that the Meatgrinder produced and upload that to Amazon - that violates the Smashwords terms of service. But you don't need to - the correctly formatted Word doc ought to upload no problem, and then Amazon creates its own mobi file.

06-20-2012, 01:23 AM
I've never had any problems uploading my work to Amazon or PubIt!. I've occasionally had problems with Smashwords, but it's mainly formatting of hyperlink issues.

Honestly, Amazon's so easy it's almost too simple.

06-20-2012, 05:46 PM
I recommend this site for KDP format tutorials: http://www.cjs-easy-as-pie.com/, plus specific-question help on the KDP forums: http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com/kdpforums/forum.jspa?forumID=13

If you take care to format your Word document correctly from the start, it will save you a lot of problems later.

I use the Mobipocket Creator for book conversion (although it's old software).

06-20-2012, 09:29 PM
Keep in mind that Smashwords and Amazon/Kindle are exclusive. You need to publish in both spots since Smashwords doesn't put you in Amazon/Kindle.

Both are extremely easy.


06-20-2012, 11:15 PM
So, when i put my manuscript into MS Word, what should the format look like? I was always told to use either Times New Roman or Courier, with a 12 pt font, 1 inch margins all around, indent first line of paragraph, and scene breaks and page breaks. When doing a page break i always hit enter until i hit a new page. Is that correct? Is there a format guide i can look at? I am familiar with MS Word, but not with every nuance necessary to properly format my manuscript.

Wesley Kang
06-20-2012, 11:23 PM

It appears you are talking about formatting your MS for manuscript submissions to editors and agents, NOT ebook publishing. As others have said, consult the smashwords style guide. If your manuscript is in Word, you would need to convert the file to "htm unfiltered." (Save as... HTML (unfiltered)) Once it's in htm unfiltered, convert the file using calibre or a similar program. It is very easy to use.

Don't focus on how it looks like in MS Word too much. Some attributes like font and indents will be retained for better and worse. Other things like your page margins will be ERASED.

Seriously though download the Smashwords Style Guide. DO IT.

06-21-2012, 05:18 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the great advice. I went and downloaded the Smashwords guide last night and started reading through it. It seems to be a pretty easy process to get the for matting done. It is pretty easy to follow. One last question, though i suspect i know the answer -when it comes time for future works, i assume that i can now format my word document before i actually type anything into it.

06-21-2012, 07:00 PM
As I recall, some of the SW formatting rules apply only to SW, so I would check out the links I provided above.

Yes, once you know the basic formatting rules, you can easily set up your Word document to encompass most of them as you work.

06-21-2012, 08:02 PM
thanks again. All of your input was very helpful. I am fooling around with the formatting now to see how it works and all.