After two years of procrastination, I finally published my first Kindle e-book on Amazon KDP as my entry for Nick Daw’s KindleFever contest.
The main reason for my success is a tool that every writer must use:
a simple checklist.
Here’s the checklist that I created:
- Topic: I decided to create a book containing a list of quotations – a foolproof way to ensure I completed and published an e-book on Amazon KDP within the one-month deadline. I already had a huge collection of quotations so this was a no-brainer. (time taken: 10 minutes)
- Sub-topic: I decided to compile humorous quotations for my book because I felt that would be more appealing. Also, my brother Devdas who died a few months earlier loved to share jokes and funny one-liners. I decided to dedicate this e-book to him. That gave me additional motivation to publish my book. (time taken: 20 minutes)
- Research: I did two kinds of research:
a. Comparative research: I searched for other Kindle e-books on the Amazon website and read the book descriptions. I also downloaded some of the free e-books and studied their formats and content.
b. Content research: In addition to the humorous quotations in my own collection, I collected and compiled funny quotations from different websites. I also tried to find and confirm the sources of different quotations. (time taken: 20 hours, maybe more. This took much longer than I had planned. Often, I got carried away. On the brighter side, I now have enough quotations for a few more e-books!)
- Title: I decided to keep it simple – the original title was “101 Humorous Quotations.” Since I had collected so many quotations, I decided to double the number of quotations. However, I did add more quotations and the book actually contains 245 quotations. (time taken: 15 minutes)
- Publication page: I based the publication page in my book on other Kindle e-books. Fairly simple to do. (time taken: 30 minutes)
- Main content: The main content of the book is the collection of quotations arranged in categories. This took more time than I expected. Also, I added more quotations in the categories having only one or two quotations. (time taken: 6 hours, perhaps more)
- Introduction: I kept the introduction extremely short – less than 150 words. I knew I would never publish my e-book if I let my inner critic have his way. So I kept it short and sweet, like the rest of the book. (time taken: two hours, including multiple revisions)
- Conclusion: By this time, my minimalist mindset was set in stone. So I did away with the conclusion. Instead, I ended with this quotation by Stevie Smith, “I was drowning, not waving.” (time taken: 10 minutes)
- Format: I chose Garamond font for the main text. Thankfully, publication on KDP doesn’t require any fancy formatting. However, I reviewed all the text repeatedly and tried to make it consistent and zero-error. (time taken: five hours)
- Table of Contents: I converted each category into a separate chapter and then used the feature in Windows Word to create a hyperlinked table of contents. (time taken: 60 minutes)
- Back cover: I decided a back cover was unnecessary, though I may create it later.
- “About the author” page: Again, I kept it short and sweet and added my blog and social media links. (time taken: 60 minutes)
- Publication on the Amazon KDP site: The entire process of uploading my e-book on the Amazon website took less than 40 minutes, including creation of the book cover. Super easy.
- Cover: I used the Amazon KDP Cover Creator to create the cover of my book. Again, I didn’t agonize over it too much. Here it is.
A few hours later, I received this email message from Kindle Direct Publishing: “Congratulations, your book “200 Humorous Tweetable Quotations” is live in the Kindle Store and has been enrolled in KDP Select…”
That was sweet. Very sweet, indeed.
P.S. My e-book “200 Humorous Tweetable Quotations “ is available for free download from Amazon KDP on 24th and 25th July here: http://www.amazon.com/200-Humorous-Tweetable-Quotations-ebook/dp/B00DG6DU34/
Do you have any questions about publishing your first e-book?
Leave them in the comments below.