Have you published a book that went nowhere fast? Or maybe your book has been out of print for a while but you want to instill new life into your still vital ideas? Have you considered publishing digitally on Amazon.com’s new e-book reader the Kindle? The Amazon Kindle is currently the biggest rival to the Sony Reader. I had the chance to see a Sony Reader in action and I must say I only wish I made enough money and had enough reason to buy one. I haven’t seen the Amazon Kindle yet, so I don’t know how it compares, but the reviews so far have been almost uniformly on the rave side. Of course, for writers the Amazon Kindle does offer that one unique advantage in making it easy to upload your published books and make money from them.
Uploading your published novel to the Amazon Kindle is relatively easy. First you’ll have to open an author account with Amazon.com if you don’t already have one. This will mean making sure you’ve got a book that is available on Amazon, but with millions upon millions of books available that probably won’t be a problem, especially if you published your book within the past fifteen years or so. Next go to your book’s page through an Amazon search and you should find a little box directly beneath the image of your book’s cover that will say: “Are you an author or publisher? Find out how to publish your own Kindle book.” Just click on that box and it will direct you to the form to set in motion the exciting chain of events that will soon increase your potential readership and income by introducing your book to the digital age through the wonder of the Amazon Kindle reader.
Once you get there you’ll be asked for such information as your book’s ISBN number, a description, publisher and publication date, keywords, and author’s name. You’ll also have to choose one or more categories. This particular feature is a little troubling. While there are plenty of categories to choose from for non-fiction, including cooking and educational study guides, the fiction category is as thin as an Olsen sister. There are actually more choices for juvenile fiction than adult fiction, which contains only fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and mystery genres, and for some reason does not have the option of using something like a “general fiction” classification. If your novels are like mine, you might want to add the “non-classifiable” option. Once you get all that done, it’s time to upload an image of your book’s cover, but don’t choose the image that already exists on Amazon because it will be denied for not meeting the image requirements.
Next it is time to upload your book, so you’ll need an electronic copy of it on your computer. Amazon prefers that you upload your book as a single file HTML text, so you may want to take advantage of the formatting and uploading help information. If you aren’t comfortable working with an HTML file, which can be a pain due to formatting code, click on the little question mark icon to the far right of the form that reads: Upload and Preview Book. The question mark icon is located next to the word “required” which is preceded by an asterisk. Clicking on this will bring up a new window that gives you all the information you will probably need before deciding on how best to upload. After that it is time to decide on a price for you book. It has to be at least 99 cents and no more than 200 dollars. When deciding on a legitimate price, please be aware that we are living in America. Therefore, as the creator of the product being sold you will only receive 35% of the sales price, whereas the owners of the means of production, Amazon.com, will pocket the bulk. Ain’t capitalism grand? Oh well, at least you can make some dough off the deal, and if you’ve got enough books you might even be able to earn some decent spending cash sixty days after every sale. Keep the money in your PayPal money market fund and by the end of the year you just might have enough money to buy yourself an Amazon Kindle for Christmas so you, the author himself, can read your masterpiece anywhere, anyplace, anytime.