While I have done some coverage about publishing on the Amazon Kindle before, I had very little personal experience with it as I neither own a Kindle nor had I published anything on their platform.
Well I had to take the plunge recently with my newest book and I am pleased to say that publishing on the platform turned out to be easier and faster than I ever could have imagined.
Once logged into the Amazon Digital Text Platform, I simply input the information for the book such as title and description (ISBN is optional so you can easily publish eBooks or articles even if there is not corresponding printed book or number), uploaded the file, set the price and proceeded from there.
The most time consuming part of the process was formatting the book. Amazon prefers the book in HTML so it took a little fiddling to convert my Word document to HTML, particularly as my book has several unique formatting elements. Even with a slightly more complicated format, I was able to get it up and looking good with only a few guess and check tries. If your formatting is simple, you should be able to convert your book in only one try but the more complicated your formatting, the longer you should expect to have to edit it. Luckily, no matter which format you originally upload the book in, Amazon converts it to HTML and let’s you download that HTML file to do additional edits so at least that part of the work is done for you.
The only other problem I ran into during the publishing process was this strange occurrence where, despite the fact that my cover file itself was just fine, the thumbnail of it would appear as inverse colors on Amazon. After trying with several different file sizes and browsers, I finally switched to a JPG file from the TIFF format I had been trying to use and it corrected itself.
The part of this process that pleased me the most, however, was how very quickly the book went up for sale. The site “warns” that books will take up to 2 hours to show on the site which is mildly hilarious to anyone who has published a print book on Amazon before as usually it takes up to 2 months for them to update their catalog so it really shows what a priority Kindle is to them. As promised, my book was up within an hour of my hitting the publish button and, when I had to edit the book to deal with the inverse cover issue, they processed my edits in minutes instead of hours.
I was so impressed with the speed and ease of the process that I immediately starting rooting around my computer for something else that I could publish which I realized was potentially dangerous activity so I stopped myself. But if you have been stalling using this platform for fear that it would be difficult or slow, let me take this opportunity to assure you that it was a pleasure.