When self-publishing a paperback at Kindle Direct Publishing, the first screen where you’ll fill out information is the Paperback Details Page. To access it, go to your Bookshelf screen. Presuming you have not already uploaded an ebook version of the book, look on the top right for a big yellow box that says “Create.” Click it. This takes you to a new screen that asks you what kind of book you’d like to publish. Click “Create Paperback.” This takes you to the Paperback Details screen.
This is where we enter the basic information that forms the content on the Amazon.com page where your book will be sold. As Amazon wants all of its website pages to look the same (this increases sales because users can easily find the information and buy now button on every page), there is a limited amount of what you can do with it.
The first question asks what language your book is written in. For most authors, that will be English.
Next, you need to write your book title. Be very careful here. The title you type must be exactly as it appears on the cover of your book. If it isn’t, Kindle DP won’t accept your cover later in the process because it doesn’t match what you typed here. You’ll then have to start the whole process all over again by creating a new paperback on your Bookshelf. So spend an extra 10 seconds making sure it all matches – it’ll save you a lot of time later on.
Don’t type the subtitle on the book title line. There’s a new line for that in the Book Title section. As with your title, make sure what you type as the subtitle matches exactly what is on your cover, or KindleDP will reject it.
The next section is the Series. For example, if you wrote an epic fantasy trilogy, you’d have three books in your series. You’d want all three books to be advertised together on a spot on each of their Amazon pages. If this is your first book you’ve ever uploaded to KindleDP, you probably don’t have a Series. So we’ll leave this blank for now. In the future, when you publish your second book in the series, you can enter the information then. The Amazon page for the current book you’re uploading will update at that time to reflect that it’s part of the series.
Next up is the Edition Number section. If you’ve previously published a book and then significantly updated it – maybe rewrote a section or added or deleted a chapter – you would put “2” here. If it’s the second major change you’ve made, it would be the third edition, so you’d type 3 here. Presuming this is the first time you’ve uploaded a book, it can be left blank.
Below that is the Author field. You’ll enter your name here. It should appear exactly as it does on the book cover or the cover will be rejected when you upload it. You can use a pen name instead of your real name. You only have to fill out the boxes that you want – there’s no need to include a courtesy title, if you’re a Jr. or a Sr. or your middle name. If there are two or more authors for the book, you’ll have to decide who is the primary author. Unfortunately, for indexing purposes, there can only be one primary author even though a book may have been equally co-authored. The co-author’s name will go in the next section, which is the Contributors box.
Before moving on to the Contributors section, make sure you look over everything you’ve entered to this point. Once the book is published, none of what you’ve entered so far (other than the Series information) can be changed.
In the Contributors section, you can include the names of as few or as many of those who helped you with the book as you like. If uploading a children’s book, you’ll want to include the illustrator’s name here. If uploading a book in which someone else did the photography, include their name. You also might include the name of your cover designer and editor if you hired them, though you don’t have to. Whichever names you enter, make sure the names are spelled correctly and match what’s in your book; you probably mentioned their names and roles in putting out the book on your title/copyright page or in the acknowledgments.
The next section is about the book description, which we’ll look at in a future entry.
My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.