Getting Your Book Published

My self published book is on sale on Amazon

Have you written a book but cannot figure out how to get it out into the world and into the hands of readers? Well, there is a way to do it that doesn’t involve agents or big-name New York City publishing houses. You can self-publish your book using Kindle Create, a free program offered by Amazon. I tried to go with the traditional route, submitting my book to a variety of agents and publishers over the course of one year, but no one was interested. They only wanted to see the first 10 or 20 pages of my novel and that was it. Based on reading just that, six publishers or agents said “No thanks.” The only publisher that said yes was Austin McCauley in New York. That is, yes, we will publish your book if you first pay us $3,000. I said “No thanks” to them.

What kept me going to figure out a way to get my book, Torn Between Worlds: An illegal immigrant’s journey to find herself, published was the writers group I am a member of here in Spain. These accomplished writers, mostly retired adults from England, Ireland and Canada, were very encouraging of my book and kept making suggestions to make it better during our weekly meetings. So despite all the rejection emails, I kept working on my book by incorporating their suggestions until it was as good as I could possibly make it. That’s when I heard about Kindle Create. It’s a free program you can download. Here is the link:

After you have finished writing your book and decide to self-publish it, then you import your document into Kindle Create. The great thing about this program is it includes all the other pages you might need to publish a book. It has pages for a copyright notice, dedication, forward, preface, table of contents, acknowledgements, praise for the author and about the author page. The table of contents is even automated so you don’t have to create it yourself. The program does it for you. Plus a big bonus is the program has lots of free images to chose from to create your book cover. You just pick the one you that most reflects your book’s content and then it will give you six or eight choices of cover designs using the photo you picked out with the title and author arranged on the page in a variety of ways. I loved that feature! A free, professionally-looking, book cover. What could be better?

Once you are all done importing your book and formatting it correctly into Kindle Create, then you are ready to upload it to You do this by first signing up for a Kindle Direct Publishing Account. See Once you get into this program, it asks you lots of questions like how much do you want to charge for your book and what kind of publishing arrangement do you want with Amazon in terms of the division of royalties. Amazon wouldn’t created this program and give it away for free unless they can get something from it too, right? It also asks you to include a blurb of your book, a cover design, and the categories and key words you want to use to sell your book. I chose Coming-of-Age and Hispanic American literature as my categories. So these are the categories that my book gets ranked into in terms of sales.

Once you answer all their questions and provide the information they seek, then you are ready to upload your book. The system they have in place is good too because if there are typos in your book, they will send you an email to let you know about them before they publish your book. Once I had done everything required, I first published my novel as an ebook for people who have Kindles. This process was really straightforward. I was even able to market the book on Amazon before it was publicly released on February 1st.

After I had received a few really good reviews of my ebook this week, I added the praise for the author page to my book and included two five-star reviews. Then I decided it was time to publish my book in paperback format. Amazon does a quality-control review of what you upload and points out any problems. For example, I first made the cover too small on the paperback copy of the book so they flagged that. Once I fixed that problem, they they let me know that the ISBN they had assigned me needed to match the number on the copyright page. Remember I said Kindle Create includes a copyright page? It already includes the language you need for a copyright notice. You just have to add your name, the book’s title, the copyright date and then put in your assigned ISBN. Don’t leave in the sample number they included because then your book will get flagged too. So Amazon has a system in place to make sure shlock isn’t uploaded to the book section of their website.

After you have uploaded your file to the Kindle Direct Publishing Site, they have messages that explain what they are doing while you wait. For example, they say they are checking for correct formatting, image quality, whether there are any blank pages, etc. Once they do that, you get another chance to look at the whole manuscript again. You can quickly do this by reviewing thumbnails of the entire book. If you approve of it at this point, then it is done and between 24 to 72 hours later, your book is out in the world.

One of the bonuses of publishing this way is Amazon keeps track of sales for you on your Kindle Direct Publishing bookshelf. So that’s really great. You can see at a glance whether sales are taking off or you need to get to work marketing your book so you can boost your sales.

If you use Amazon to help sell your book, you can also sign up for KDP Select. This increases the number of people who will be able to read your book. Books signed up for this option are available for free to people with Kindle Unlimited. But you supposedly make money when people read your books this way as well. Since I only published my book February 1st, I haven’t made any money yet this way. I have sold 12 copies of my ebook already, though, and received two great reviews of my book on and Goodreads.

Anyway, if you believe in your book and you have gotten to a point where it is ready for the world to read, you might consider self-publishing it like I did. Why let the publishing-house gatekeepers to the literary world keep you downhearted? These people don’t always recognize a good book when they read one. Remember that J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 publishers before it was finally picked up and became an international phenomenon. Just go around these gatekeepers and do it yourself!

If you are interested in my book, please click on this link to read the blurb and see how it is being marketed by Amazon. It is now available in both paperback and electronic format.


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