Preparing and Uploading a Word Document for Publishing on Kindle

There are many ways to create an e-book file for Kindle Direct Publishing. This might be the easiest. How to prepare a Microsoft Word document for uploading to Kindle.

Choosing Your Book’s Categories

In this message, we’ll show you a step-by-step method to choose the categories for your book that will allow it to be noticed by potential buyers. (Although this example uses Amazon, the same category choices you make for Amazon can be used for publishers like Smashwords.)

Category selection is one of the least understood parts of publishing. When you select the categories for your book you’re not just identifying what type of book you’re publishing. You’re also choosing a field of books against which yours will compete for sales. One mistake authors can make is selecting a category that has too much competition, virtually guaranteeing their book will not be seen by potential buyers. Another mistake is selecting a category so small that your book cannot get adequate exposure to potential buyers. All categories are not created equal. They come in all shapes and sizes and they’re unique. The best strategy for selecting the perfect category for your book is to find one that is:

  1. Appropriate for the subject of your book
  2. Large enough to provide adequate exposure to buyers
  3. Small enough to give your book a chance to compete for top billing

Using our book Divine Healing Made Simple as our example, we began our testing of category options by going to the Kindle eBooks page as shown below.

 

Kindle page

 

The first step is to choose the most appropriate broad category for the book. Review the categories and choose one that best suits your book. “Religion & Spirituality” was the most appropriate for our book so we selected it.

Beside each category is a number that indicates how many books are in that category. The category “Religion & Spirituality” has over 264,000 books in it. This is too large a category for our book to compete in, so we must find a smaller category.

 

Main_Category

The next step is to click on the category “Religion & Spirituality,” which opens a new page with a list of sub-categories. Review the sub-categories here and select the one that is best for your book. “Christianity” was the most appropriate sub-category for our book so we selected it.

 

Sub_category

 

Once again, click on the category you selected and review the sub-categories available. Select the one that seems best for your book. For our example, the category “Christianity” has over 136,000 books, which is still too many for a first-time author to compete against, so we must select a smaller sub-category. Of the sub-categories listed,  “Protestantism” was the most appropriate so we selected it.

Smaller_Sub-Category

The category “Protestantism” has only a fraction of the number of books that “Christianity” has. But at just over 5,000 books it’s still too large for our book to have a chance to compete, so we must find an even smaller category.

The category “Protestantism” is sub-divided into sub-categories based on denominations. Although there are several categories with only a hundred or so books to compete against in some of the categories, we wanted to give the book adequate exposure to searches. Selecting the final category is the most critical part of the process. You want to find a category that is neither too large, not too small. A category that is too small can limit the number of people who will see it, so went went with the largest subcategory in Protestantism, which is “Pentecostal.”

Amazon’s default search setting displays books according to their ranking by popularity, with between 20-30 books on each page. With only 1,400 books in the category, we felt our book had a chance to compete for a spot on the first page of rankings, which would give it decent exposure to potential buyers, so we selected this as the final category.

After you’ve made your selection, note the category path displayed at the top of the page. This is the category path to use when setting up your book in your KDP dashboard.

 

Final-category

 

This author has a blog that receives about 13,000 visits a month, and he links his articles to the book’s Amazon page. His book has consistently ranked well in this category, spending a fair amount of time in the top twenty. During promotions, it also reaches the top of the larger categories “Protestantism” and “Christianity.”

If you want to know how many books you need to sell to rank in a certain level on Amazon, the list below provides a breakdown of sales compared to ranking. (The list was last updated in December, 2013)

Amazon Best Seller Rank of 1 to 5 – selling 4,000+ books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank of 5 to 20 – selling 3,000 – 4,000 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 20 to 35 – selling 2,000 – 3,000 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 35 to 200 – selling 500 – 2,000 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 200 to 350 – selling 250 – 500 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 350 to 500 – selling 175 – 250 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 500 to 750 – selling 120 – 175 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 750 to 1,500 – selling 100 – 120 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 1,500 to 3,000 – selling 70 – 100 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 3,000 to 5,500 – selling 25 – 70 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 5,500 to 10,000 – selling 15 – 25 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 10,000 to 50,000 – selling 5 – 15 books a day.
Amazon Best Seller Rank 50,000 to 100,000 – selling close to 1 book a day.

Writing a Description for Your Book

In this message, we’ll show you a step-by-step method to write a description that will get your Kindle book in the hands of readers. (We strongly recommend that you read our article on selecting keywords first as this subject will be discussed in this message.)

Your book’s description is not merely an introduction of your book to potential readers – it is also a field of data used by search engines to recommend books to buyers. Much of the marketing of your book is carried out by Amazon’s powerful search engines that work off whatever information you give them. Thus the description of your book needs to be optimized for both human readers and computers. A good description provides readers with a comprehensive, well-written overview, while creating a string of key words that will grab the attention of search engines.

Kindle allows up to 4,000 words for your book’s description. We suggest using as many as possible and we advise spending a little time thinking about the best possible description for your book. One of the biggest mistakes authors make is not taking advantage of the marketing potential offered by a well-written description.

When a buyer searches for a book on Amazon, the website’s search engine will suggest a variety of books based on the words used in their search. The books suggested by the search engine are based on relevance to the search terms (unless the buyer selects a different setting, such as highest average rating).

Once a buyer begins typing in the search box, Amazon suggests words that are commonly used together as search terms. (These groups of words appear below the search window in a drop-down menu.) In our article on keywords we explain that these combinations of words are the best ones to use as keywords for your book. They are also the ones you want to use in your book’s description because search engines look for these words in the title, subtitle, description and in the keywords selected for your book. The more often these word combinations are found – the more likely Amazon is to recommend your book when a buyer enters those words in their search.

To begin, log in to the Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard for your book and find the description text box as shown below.

Description_box

We suggest writing your description in a word processing program and when you are finished, copy and paste it into the text window. Using our book Divine Healing Made Simple as our example, the image below shows how we created a compelling headline for the description.  Amazon has a new feature for authors who have an author page with them.  (Click this link to find out more about author pages.) The author page allows you to create a description in an editing window that provides tools for formatting of text including bold, underline, bullet lists and more. If you have an author page, creating a professional looking description is a snap. If you don’t have an author page, take heart – Kindle allows the limited use of HTML tags for the description in the standard description page editor.

HTML Tags
It’s completely optional, but if you want to create various effects for the text in your description, you can do so by placing HTML tags at the beginning and end of sections of text to create headlines, bold, italics, bullets and more. To create the headline effect as shown in the example below, use the opening heading tag (<H1>) immediately before your ext and the closing tag (</H1>) immediately after the text. Note: using the H1 tag may cause your heading to appear in the Amazon gold color they use for their own headlines, which may cause readers to think your description was created by Amazon. 🙂 Use at your own discretion.

To create the headline effect for your description, replace the text between the tags below with your own text:

<H1>Your Heading Here</H1>

If you want to put the title of your book in bold as we did below, use the HTML tags (<b> </b>) to do it. Replace the text between the tags below with the title of your book:

<b>Your Title Here</b>

To create blank lines between paragraphs and headings, use the paragraph tags (<p> </p>) at the beginning and end of a section of of text. Below we show how to use paragraph and bold tags together. The formatting for the first paragraph in our description looks like this:

<p>
<b>Divine Healing Made Simple</b> is a training manual for the supernatural life, providing street-proven instruction for healing the sick in any type of setting. In addition to healing, the book teaches about prophetic ministry, street evangelism and making disciples.</p>

 

Description_Tags

 

While many authors might use as little as 200 words in their entire book description, we used that many just for the opening. We wrote four paragraphs for the opening of our description, each with different purpose. One paragraph is a general introduction, one tells readers what they can expect from the book, another helps to distinguish our book from others in its genre, and the last is an inspirational paragraph to motivate buyers to read further.

 

Description_Paragraphs

The description itself should be an easy to read overview of your book, with a generous sprinkling of key search words strategically placed within the text so that they don’t interfere with the natural reading of the passage. Repetition of key words is acceptable as long as it doesn’t become glaringly obvious that you’re trying to pack as many search terms as possible into the description. Be careful not to overdo it. Below we’ve circled all the commonly used search terms we used in our description.

Description_Keywords

Bullet List
To give readers a closer look at the contents of our book, and to provide search engines with more keywords, we included the chapter headings of the book in a bullet list. To create a bullet list, replace the text between the tags below with the words from your book:

<li>Chapter 1</li>
<li>Chapter 2</li>
<li>Chapter 3</li>
<li>Chapter 4</li>

Bullet tag

 

Key Words
The key words we want search engines to find in our bullet list are circled below:

Word_combinations

Reviews
Once your book has received some positive reviews you may want to consider adding a few of them to the description. We chose short excerpts from the best reviews and created a list of them with each review separated by a line of blank space.

Headline
To create the headline effect as show below, replace the text between the tags below with your own heading or use ours:

<H1>What Readers Are Saying:</H1>

Italics
It’s completely optional, but to place text in italics as shown below, use the italics tags (<i> </i>) at the beginning and end of the text you want to italicize:

<i>“A book that will bring you to a simpler place and understanding of the truths behind healing the sick.”</i>~ Cameron

Paragraph Tags
To create a line of space between reviews use the paragraph tags (<p> </p>)  and the beginning and end of each line of text. Below is an example of how paragraph and italic tags can be used together:

<p>
<i>“A book that will bring you to a simpler place and understanding of the truths behind healing the sick.”</i>~ Cameron</p>

<p>
<
i>“The authenticity and pure heart of the author comes shining through in a way I truly appreciate.” </i>~ Kody</p>

Paragraph_tag

 

Save and Continue
When your description is complete, save it by clicking on either the “save and continue” or the  “save as draft” button at the bottom of the page.

Save_and_continue

Selecting Your Book’s Keywords

In this message, we’ll show you a simple method to determine the keywords that are most likely to get your Kindle book in the hands of readers.

Kindle allows up to seven keywords for your book. We suggest using all of them and we advise spending a little time determining which keywords are best for your book. When a buyer searches for a book on Amazon, the website’s search engine will suggest a variety of books based on the words used in the search.  The books suggested are based on relevance to the search terms unless the buyer selects a different setting, such as highest average rating.

Once a buyer begins typing in the search box, Amazon will suggest words that are commonly used together as search terms. These groups of words appear below the search window in a drop-down menu. If the buyer chooses one of the suggested combinations of words — the search engine displays books that are relevant to that group of words. If they do not, the search engine suggests a group of books relevant to the words the buyer entered.

The words that appear in groups when a user begins typing are the most commonly searched for combinations. If you want to know what the majority of people are searching for – just look at the combinations of words that are displayed in the drop-down menu as you type. This is where smart authors get their keywords from.

The keywords an author chooses for their book are used by Amazon’s search engines to match up searches by buyers to the books they’re looking for. If you can determine which search words a buyer might use when they’re looking for a book like yours, you’ll know what words to use as your keywords. If you have those same words as your book’s keywords, you have a much better chance of having Amazon suggest your book to a potential buyer.

Keywords can be single words or they may contain strings of words such as “prophetic ministry”, “prayer and fasting” or  “signs and wonders.” In the three examples shown below, when we searched for possible keywords for the book Divine Healing Made Simple, we found that these were groups of words that were relevant to the book and commonly searched for together, so we used them as Keywords. By using this process, we came up with seven different combinations of keywords for the book. Note: in the last example, “prophetic dreams” also came up as a commonly search for combination. We could have used this combination as another keyword.

To choose the keywords for your book, think about the word combinations that are relevant to your genre or the topics discussed in your book and try typing different combinations into the search box, looking for combinations that work. When you have seven sets of words that you think will work well, enter them in the keyword box for your book on the KDP dashboard and save your selections.

Signs_wonders

 

 

Prayer_and_fasting

Prophetic_ministry

Writing a Book – Where to Begin

Our advice to anyone who wants to get started with writing a book is to begin by starting a blog. If you’re new to writing, the early stages of getting your material written can be a frustrating process. Much of the frustration is over the struggle with developing a habit of writing regularly. Blogging is one way you can make the process a lot less painful. If you can get yourself in the habit of posting regular messages on a blog for a year or two, you accomplish several important things:

First — Blogging will get you in the habit of writing regularly, which in itself is a major victory. Most people who want to write books never write them because they never develop a regular habit of writing. Blogging can give you the motivation you need to write regularly.

Second — Blogging puts your writing in front of an audience that can give you feedback. All writers need to hone their writing skills. A great way to work your way through the process of becoming a better writer is to let readers tell you what they like and don’t like about your material. If you respond to criticism by changing (and improving) your writing style, you will become a better writer.

Third — when you post messages on a blog you’re creating an audience of readers who will likely buy your book once it is written. You do the writing and let search engines bring interested people to your blog. After you’ve written a certain number of messages, you may find that they can easily be converted to the chapters of your first book.

For those of you who need help starting a blog, we’ve written a comprehensive article explaining step-by-step how to get started. Click this link for that message: