Publish eBooks for Kindle – Step by Step

Previously, Homepreneurs detailed steps on how to publish eBooks on Smashwords.  Publishing eBooks is a simple way for a writer to make extra money by exposing their work to hundreds of millions of potential readers and/or buyers.  This is a great home business idea, provides a little extra money, and personal satisfaction too.  The process of self-publishing an eBook through Kindle is very simple.


eBooks will probably not be enough to earn a living.  In my last post, I detailed the amount of money earned from SmashWords for 2013.  There are of course, exceptions to the rule.  Some authors do make a living from eBooks; are you the next exception?


This post covers publishing on Kindle, step-by-step.  Between SmashWords and Kindle, a large portion of the digital publishing market is you, the writer.  Both services are free, so why not take a chance?  You can always publish under a pseudonym to avoid potential complications or issues.

Kindle Reader

Publishing with Kindle

– Use a browser and enter Kindle’s URL (

– Log in with existing Amazon account or create a new account

– Fill out requested personal information

– Add a bank account for electronic transfer (earnings over $10) or be paid by check (earnings over $100)

– You will receive a publisher code on the right side of the screen.  Note and record.

– Fill out form for direct deposit into checking account; information will be saved

– Click on the Bookshelf menu option at the top of the screen

– Fill in requested information, including book name, description, contributor (author, editor) and categories (only 2 allowed)

– Add an ISBN if you have one.  If not, SmashWords provides free ISBN numbers.

– Verify publishing rights.  Do you have exclusive rights to sell and market this eBook?

– Add keywords (up to 7)

– Upload a cover image.   You have choices: Kindle will create a template cover page; you can upload you own page; you can upload an image and have Kindle modify it to create a unique look.  You will have about 8 styles to choose from.

– Select “enable digital rights management” (DRM.  This helps prevent others from stealing your work, but is not absolute, of course.  DRM does not prevent lending, however.

– Upload your book.  A safe way is to use Microsoft Word compatibility mode.

– Preview the book and verify the format and layout.  Edit as needed.

– Click save and continue

– Verify worldwide publishing rights

– Choose a “Royalty” option, either 35% – broader geographic distribution or 70% – limited to select countries, including the US, UK, Canada.  The eBook will need to be part of the KDP select program for the 70% royalty in some countries.

– If the 70% Royalty option is chosen the minimum retail price is $2.99 USD.  If the 35% Royalty option is selected, the minimum price is $.99 USD.

– If desired, choose the “allow lending” option.  Buyers can lend a purchased copy to friends for up to 14 days.

– If the eBook is already in print, Kindle will allow buyers to pay $2.99 or less.

– Select Save and Publish

The book is put “In Review” status for up to 12 hours for English and 48 hours for other languages.

You will be notified by email with any errors or questions or when approved and available.

Publishing on Kindle takes only these steps and you – the writer – now has a book for sale.  Congratulations!

By Dion D. Shaw

Note: This version was updated on February 4, 2014