If you’re curious about publishing poetry on Amazon, the easiest way to do it is to publish an e-book that can be read on devices such as Kindles. Amazon makes it easy to sell these e-books to the public. You can self-publish books, of course, but that is much more expensive and a little more cumbersome for the author so publishing an e-book is usually the easiest and fastest way to get your poems ready to sell to Amazon’s customers.
Writing an E-Book Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
Writing an e-book is a bit simpler than you think, so if you have a group of poems that you’ve been anxious to share with the world, these books might be the best way to get your writing career started. In fact, you can easily publish an e-book with just a few simple suggestions and tips, which include the following:
- Read as many e-books as you can. After all, you can’t publish one of your own if you’re unsure about their structure and purpose. Get online as soon as possible and read all of the e-books that you can get your hands on (so to speak). This is the best way to familiarize yourself with the process of writing e-books and therefore increasing your own chances of being successful.
- Get busy writing your book. You can make the book as short or as long as you want it to be. Don’t forget to use Microsoft Word so that you can use an e-book conversion tool after the book is complete. These conversion tools include Mobipocket Creator, which is used for Kindle, and Sigil, which is used for iPad, Nook, and any other e-book format.
- Create the cover for your book. You can do this yourself or have a professional design it for you. In either of these cases, you should make sure that you design a jpg in 300 dpi and a size that is 600 x 800 pixels so that it comes out clear and distinct. This will be the first exposure customers have to your e-book so make sure that it stands out among the rest.
- Choose how much you’d like to sell your book for. Ideally, the price should be between $2.99 and $9.99. If you want a 70% royalty, you’ll have to sell the book for this amount but you’ll also pay an additional 15 cents per MB yourself for delivery costs. If you don’t want to pay this fee, you can price the book higher or lower than this range even though the royalty rate goes down to 35% at that point.
- Make a decision on digital rights management, or DRM. You can choose to go DRM or DRM-free. DRM is essentially there to help with copyright protection but if you choose to go DRM-free, it is a little easier for e-book readers to read your book on their various devices. DRM-free may make piracy more likely but as a new author, you probably don’t have to worry about that much anyway.
- Write the description for your book. Remember to use search keywords that people will use when searching for your type of book. You can use Smashwords, work with a professional formatter, or even do it yourself. Things to include are the description itself, the keywords you wish to use, and the categories that your book will fall into. You’ll need all of these before uploading your book onto the various retailer websites.
- Work on the formatting of the book. When you read your e-books, you hopefully noticed the formatting of the books, which is different than regular books. When formatting your own e-book, it is good to use one of two techniques. The first is using an aggregator such as Smashwords, which can also distribute your e-books for you. The second is to manage your own e-book at all of the retail sites including BN.com, Amazon.com, and all the others.
If you choose to format the e-book yourself, again, you have two choices. You can either use a professional formatter, or you can do it yourself. If you’re new to publishing poetry on Amazon, you’ll want to go with the professionals because this is the best way to make sure that the job is done right.
Amazon Can Make it Easier on You
As you can tell, publishing poetry and selling it online at stores such as Amazon is a lot easier when you self-publish in e-book format first. In case you’re wondering why you should use Amazon, the answer is quite simple. Here are just a few of the advantages of working with Amazon to promote your poetry e-book in Kindle form:
- You can earn up to 70% royalties in addition to making your book available to people in nearly every country across the globe.
- In most cases, the process is quick. You can even have one of your e-books published and ready to sell in a matter of days, not weeks.
- You can distribute your book globally. Just publish the book once and it will be available to anyone living in nearly any country. It can even be translated into many different languages.
- You can publish your book and make it available on the entire Kindle ecosystem, which means that you can make it available for all Kindle devices and even the free Kindle reading apps.
There are also two other ways to publish your book before you submit it to Amazon and they are publishing in print and publishing audio books.
Publishing Books in Print the Easy Way
You can use easy programs such as CreateSpace to publish your book in print form. With CreateSpace, you can create, publish, and distribute your book and have it distributed all over the world. The advantages of using CreateSpace to publish your book include:
- You can earn some awesome royalties, depending on the price you set for the book. This includes royalties up to 80%, which isn’t too shabby.
- You can publish the book quickly using one of two methods: either use their free tools to build and publish your book or use their professional publishing services at a very reasonable cost.
- You can distribute your book globally through Amazon or one of Amazon’s many European websites.
Many authors love the feel of a real book with that “new book” smell and soft pages so it is good to know that you have options when you’d like to publish your book the old-fashioned way.
Try Audio Books for a Different Experience
Of course, many people choose audio books instead of e-books or regular books nowadays and with good reason. It’s a hectic world for most people so listening to books as they travel to work or while on vacation is something that many people love. If you’re interested in publishing poetry on Amazon in audio form, you can use a program called Audiobook Creation Exchange, or ACX. Here are some of the many advantages to choosing an audio book of poetry:
- You can earn high royalties for both exclusive or non-exclusive distribution.
- You can sell the book through many of the top online retailers, including not only Amazon but also iTunes and Audible.com.
- You can get the professional assistance you need when you post your book to ACX because you automatically get access to studio professionals and narrators.
As long as people are busy, audio books are going to be popular so if you want some of your poetry published, choosing this method of publishing is always a smart thing to do.
Other Things to Keep in Mind When Working with Amazon
In addition to excellent writing, the formatting for your book has to be perfect and so does the editing. If you know someone who is a professional editor, have that person review it for consistency and errors. Keep in mind that Amazon is very strict about the quality of the content it receives so the editing and formatting have to be just right or Amazon will reject your book.
Before you publish your e-book, you have to create an account with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). They will ask for some basic tax and other information that is needed for you to receive your royalties. If you already have an Amazon account, all you have to do is create a separate profile for your KDP account.
After you choose your preferred publication format, which directly affects the percentage that you’ll receive in royalties, and have your book properly formatted, you can then create a listing for the book. You do this through the Bookshelf portion of your KDP account and it is here that you can upload your work, edit your listings and even check on your stats when you’re so inclined.
Most of the steps in the KDP website are self-explanatory and even though the entire process is sometimes time-consuming, you’ll know immediately if you did everything right, thanks to the step-by-step instructions given on the site. Publishing an e-book is easier than it’s ever been but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to certain rules. These rules include:
- Always make sure that your writing is top-notch. There should be no grammatical or consistency errors and no misspelled words or tense mistakes.
- Make sure that your title is catchy and memorable. After all, the title of your book is often the first thing that readers notice about the book so you want it to be good.
- Spend time when deciding on keywords and the categories for your listing because these are the aspects that make a difference in the success of your book.
- Consider signing up for KDP Select. Your book will reach more eyes and Amazon will even promote and market the book a lot more heavily.
- Remember that when publishing poetry on Amazon, books on unique niche topics often do the best when it comes to the world of e-publishing. Make your poetry a little different and it will have no problem standing out in the crowd.
You should also remember that when your book is self-published online, it will not be available in stores. You can and should market and advertise the book yourself to help out Amazon and whatever other retailers you’re using because there is no such thing as too much promotional activity when it comes to publishing a book.
Self-Publishing an E-Book: Tips to Help You Become More Successful
There is no such thing as too much preparation when you are interested in publishing poetry on Amazon and have decided to go the e-book route. There are a lot of things to learn in order to be successful in the end and below are some of the most important tips to remember:
- Always act in a professional manner. After all, you’re a professional writer now so it’s best to act like one. This means that, above all else, the book has to be polished and error-free before you go any further.
- Choose the right program to convert your document into a good e-format. The one that most people who have already published e-books recommend is Smashwords and you should upload your book there before doing anything else.
- Make sure that all of the fancy coding in your book is eliminated. You can do this by copying the entire book into Notepad and then into a brand-new Word document. Also, never use Word shortcuts but instead format your book manually.
- Know what to get rid of in your formatting. Turn on the “reveal formatting” button so that you catch everything. Get rid of returns that go on for more than four lines, multiple space bars, large fonts, symbols, and tabs.
- Minimize the pictures within your text. Always make sure that the pictures are “in line with text” or your picture may float around on the page and end up somewhere you don’t want it to be.
- For each item you wish to format, use “change styles” and customize the “normal” style so that everything is consistent. Never forget that using Word shortcuts is a no-no. Formatting step by step in this way may be time-consuming but it guarantees that the job will be done right every time.
- If you make a PDF of the cover of your book, make sure that it is in the same document as your manuscript. The PDF picture should be on page one in the document or it can “float” around and end up in the wrong place.
Once you get to this point, you are ready to upload everything to Amazon. Smashwords isn’t necessarily complicated but it does require doing things a certain way. The good news, however, is that once you’ve mastered this program, uploading everything to Amazon is usually very simple.
A Few More Helpful Tips
As you can see, there are many things involved in getting your poetry published on Amazon, although most of them are not difficult to do. It is good to know that there are a lot of step-by-step guides that can walk you through the process. In the meantime, here are a few important things to remember:
- Deciding beforehand whether you want your poems to be by themselves or you want drawings or pictures to be included in the book will help with your formatting later on.
- Pay attention to the white space on the page and remember to include only one poem per page unless you have two poems that somehow connect to one another.
- Always order a proof of your book and edit it before you submit the final document to Amazon.
Publishing an e-book of poetry on Amazon goes better if you first determine a topic for your poetry. True, there are poetry books with many types of poetry inside but if you choose a recurring theme for all of the poems within your book, it creates a cohesiveness and a book that is much more interesting.
You should also have a blog that contains nothing but your poetry. After all, your blog followers will likely be your first customers once you get your poetry book published and it is also a great vehicle for promoting and marketing your e-book. Post on your blog regularly and you’ll be surprised what a great start you’ll get after your e-book is successfully uploaded to Amazon.
It is also smart to keep in mind some things that many people do not realize about publishing poetry on Amazon but they are things that are important to remember.
- Your books will not appear in bookstores once they are on Amazon.
- Your books will never appear on any best-seller list.
- Amazon is a smart choice because it is now one of the six biggest book publishers.
- Amazon’s royalty statements are user-friendly and therefore easy to decipher.
- You can receive daily stats and information on Amazon.
- Amazon does an amazing job at promoting the books on its websites.
- Amazon is especially beneficial for writers who have more than one book on the market.
Working with Amazon for your poetry book is an amazing experience and the more you learn about the process, the happier you will be with your decision to work with them.