Self-Publishing with Amazon

I am super excited that I am now an official independent author. It has been an interesting journey and as much as this book has been on my to-do list for the last two years, my procrastination and fear have held me back from completion.

However, 2020 has kicked me up the arse and reminded me that goals cannot be met when you are no longer on the planet. The biggest pandemic that I have ever experienced and will ever experience has forced me to see the world from a new perspective. I could choose to be afraid or I could choose to use my time indoors to be productive. Training and educating others is my passion, I want everyone to get to a place where they achieve real happiness and so in the middle of lockdown, I jumped on zoom and ran the self-love strategy masterclass. There were a few technology teething issues but I pushed through and continued to deliver. This is when I remembered the goal, I made two years ago - to produce two eBooks. One on the Self Love Strategy and the other on Becoming a Goal getter. Both I taught regularly as workshops but as much as I love to write, I could not bring myself to write them, but timing is everything and nothing comes before it is time. As I said, I am a teacher, I want everyone to win so sharing the process will no doubt help other up and coming independent authors to publish their book with Amazon.

The Amazon platform I used is called KDP - Kindle Publishing Direct, I listed the pros and cons to self-publishing and for what I was looking for, KDP was right for me. Let us get into it. 

1. Your manuscript is the most important part of this process. Plan every chapter thoroughly. What worked for me was to list what I wanted to include in a bullet point format under each chapter heading. Do what works for you but for me, I was able to use each bullet point and expand it fully ensuring that everything was covered. 

I found that giving myself a deadline put a lot of pressure on me and on many occasions, this killed my creative process. This compromised my mindset, and it took many a friend to kick me up the arse for me to push through. Once you have completed, have a celebratory drink. You deserve it. Now hire a proofreader to read and edit anything you missed. I did not do this, and it showed. I was on a deadline and I couldn’t get hold of the editor that I was about to hire, I took matters into my own hands and distributed my manuscript to my most intelligent girlfriends and signed up for Grammarly Pro, however, the positive of KDP is you can edit it at any time after you have submitted your piece. This was a lifesaver for me.

2. Formatting was an absolute nightmare; I am not tech-savvy and all the YouTube videos failed to help me to format my work so that it fits within the dimensions that KDP needed. I really struggled and was about to give up and pay someone to do it for me. However, I made a final attempt at researching, and just like that, Amazon came to the rescue. What you type in the search engine is vital so rather than ‘How to format my book for KDP,’ I typed ‘Formatting templates for KDP’ and just like that a whole page of ready-made templates popped up ready and waiting for me to copy and paste my manuscript. I copied and pasted each chapter separately and bish bash bosh, just like that it was done. Amazing. I loved it, so simple.

3. The third thing is setting your release date to at least two weeks after you submit your manuscript. This means that it uploads, and the public can pre-order it as soon as Amazon approves it. This will give Amazon enough time to print and send you a copy so that you can see it in print before others receive it. The benefit of this is that if you need to make any last-minute changes, you can. I let stress get to me and completely forgot this part, so the public received their copy before me. When you have your book in your hand, you will notice every single error 

4. Number four must be the front cover design. I planned my front cover design and knew exactly how I wanted it to look. I knew it would look beautiful, but I did not have the skills to create it, so I had to hire a designer. The designer I wanted was not available or their turnaround times were too long, so I paid for a graphic designer to do it. I logged onto fiver and contacted a designer I had used before. I was incredibly happy with the result but again my lack of experience showed. As I downloaded, saved, and uploaded the document, I did not realise that the constant manipulation would ruin the quality until I had received it in my hand. At this point, it was already in the hands of buyers. Again, guys. Do not rush your project. It does not matter how amazing your content is, the packaging must be able to draw in your readers so that they are compelled to read it.

5. Lastly, Amazon royalty payments are about 40% which is pretty high however the fact that you do not have to worry about printing or shipping justifies the cost for me. The royalties per month are paid in three months ahead of the date it was purchased. So for example, August payments will hit your account in November. Pricing your product is not an easy one. For me, The Self-Love Strategy is a workshop which is priced at £40 so as the book is a book of reference, I priced it to reflect the content, which is informative, includes activities as well as improves your emotional well-being.

The intention for this book was to release it solely as an ebook to those who are members of the self-lovers lounge via my website however it has been a goal of mine for over two years to publish a book that will give people the tools to really learn how to fall in love with self so I went for it. Here, I have listed all my mistakes and all the things that I did not take into consideration before, they say sharing is caring. If you have any additional questions, do let me know, I am happy to answer any questions you have.

Love From Charm x



© 2018 by Charm Lawrence