13 Steps to Creating Your First Kindle Ebook

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How do you get started creating a Kindle ebook? It's a question I frequently am asked.

This week I had interviews with two favorite colleagues and both conversations ended up being about how bloggers and business owners can save time by leveraging their exisiting content and get more visibility, in order words, repurposing their content.

There are many, many ways to repurpose your blog content and I've addressed that in previous posts. However, most bloggers and business owners rarely take action and do the steps necessary that will increase their exposure, drive more traffic and generate more leads for their business. After talking with Phil Hollows (CEO of Feedblitz) about how I advise clients to create Kindle ebooks from their blog content, he remarked that it seemed like a lot of work and wondered if most people will make the effort.

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Interesting question. No, most people will not do the work. And, the people who do the work, are the ones who see results and are successful.

The thing is, it's not hard to create, publish and promote a Kindle ebook. It does take a little time and effort though.

The example I use with Phil is how bloggers can use "low hanging fruit" to quickly create an ebook.

13 Steps to Your First Published Kindle Ebook

I'll assume you're already blogging for your business and have a body of work to draw on. Congratulations! The hardest part is already done! Here's how to proceed with my formula:

1. Review your blog categories and select one with 10-20 posts focused on one topic

2. Select 5-10 posts that naturally relate to each other.

3. Compile the posts into a word document and arrange them in a logical order.

4. Add an introduction to the topic.

5. Add a Table of Contents to each section.

6. Add appropriate transition content between each section.

7. Edit and update the content as necessary. Blog posts are often written in a casual style and you may want to clean that up.

8. Add a strong Call to Action at the beginning and/or end of the ebook inviting the reader to get more free information from you. Send them to a landing page to get the info.

9. Add your bio.

10. Create a cover for your ebook. You can use royalty free images to create an attractive, eye-catching cover.

11. Follow the guidelines on the Kindle Direct Publishing site for formating your ebook for their platform (this is the part that gets a little tricky. My team and I can help you with this.)

12. Upload your ebook.

13. Promote your ebook to your email list, on your blog and on social networking sites. Kathleen Gage has an excellent program for helping you create a Kindle bestseller.

See? Not difficult, but does take some time and effort. You could make it more complicated and create a stylish, fancy ebook, but this is my "down and dirty" formula for getting your first Kindle ebook published. After that, you can hone your skills or outsource to design experts. However, I know the first book is where most people get bogged down and I don't want that to happen to you. Get it done and then move on to the next. Your sense of accomplishment will make a big difference in motivating you to build a Kindle ebook empire.

To further help you out, here's a list of some resources I use when I develop digital products like Kindle ebooks.

If you want mentoring and help getting your first Kindle ebook published, check out my Kindle Ebook Jumpstart program.

Creative Commons License photo credit: amsfrank

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Comments

  1. says

    Being a blogger your shared information is very effective and helpful. To be honest before read your post is was completely unaware about the creating process of kindle ebook, now after read your post i learn lot of technical things about its creation.

  2. Roy Vishal says

    Hi Denise, Thanks for the article on how to publish an ebook on Amazon. I’m a translator by profession. If I translate a writer’s book, can I still publish it under a publisher’s name on Amazon. It’s to note that the writer whose work I’m planning to translate is long dead. In this case, can I claim 75% royalty off the sales?

  3. says

    Hi Denise,

    Thank you so much for this wonderful blogpost – love all of your helpful tips. I’ve been blogging for over 7 years. I wonder if my readers would want to buy an e-book with content from my blog? Won’t they think i can read it for free? I’m an artist and blog about my creative life as well as have youtube videos and step by step how to tutorials!

    Thanks!
    Cheers, Violette

    • says

      Violette, I think that is a question that stops most people from creating a Kindle ebook. First, most of your readers have not read every post you’ve written. Second, if they’re a raving fan, they will want the “souvenir” copy just because they love you. And third, By compiling a collection of blog posts and editing and adding new content, you’ve created a new product that is up to date and easier to consume than searching through 7 years of blog posts. That’s my experience, anyway. What do you think about it now? :-)

        • says

          Violette, pricing depends on a lot of things so without knowing your content, your audience, etc., I can’t begin to advise. I would suggest you do a search on Amazon on your keywords and see what others in your niche are offering and their price point. That will give you a ball park idea.

  4. says

     I’ve got a lot of old Youtube videos and didn’t know what to do with them. I think I’ll follow your advice. Thanks!

  5. says

    Very timely post Denise. I just did something very similar with content from my ParentingToolbox.com and ThirstyFish.posterous.com blogs! Thanks for the helpful information…

    • says

      Hi Kristi, I’m not aware of any minimum/maximum for Kindle ebooks.  When you consider there’s everything from novels to reports for sale, length isn’t an issue. I’d say quality overrides that. So, say what you need to say in the most concise way considering the attention span most people have nowdays! I’ve seen books sold chapter by chapter (serialized) which is a great concept, too. For my reports, they tend to be between 20-30 pages in a word doc.

  6. Juracy says

    Wow! With those steps you make it very easy to follow your lead. Thank you!!! Now I don’t have a pretext for not writing my Kindel e-book.
    Thanks Denise! Very useful info!!!
    ~Juracy

  7. says

    Denise, makes perfect sense! Thanks to the two webinars with you and Daniel, my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself is now available on the Kindle – http://amzn.to/sfLHBm.

    A presentation from last year has been written up and is with an editing friend. I hope to launch it within a few weeks. A few other ebooks from existing content are also in the works.

    The piece that is lacking is the marketing strategy.

    • says

      Excellent, Glenda! Congrats on getting your book published. Marketing is always where “the rubber meets the road.” Share, share, share with everyone. Don’t limit yourself to one email or tweet or Facebook update.  Is your ebook enrolled in the KDP Select program? It’s a great way to build a lot of visibility when you do a free promotion for a few days.

      • says

        Thank you, Denise. Yes, my book is enrolled in KDP Select and made a whopping $1.70 last month…it is a start !

        I was all set to try a free day or two this weekend, thinking people would be open to curling up with their Kindle on a cold, wintry day.  But then I froze. I wasn’t sure how using a free day worked as promotion. Does Amazon do something on their end to promote it?

        • says

          Glenda, as far as I know, the only thing Amazon does is indicate on the book’s page that it is free. And, like other books, it will indicate the sales rank for free Kindle books which can increase downloads as well. So you’ll want to promote your free book heavily to your list and social networks to bump up downloads.

  8. says

    Simple, clear, easy to follow steps. I created two e-books and your post is a timely reminder that I have content to create at least 2-5 more! Blog on Denise!

  9. Christine says

    Beautiful Denise, nice and concise.  Makes the process seem “do-able” and much less daunting.

  10. says

    Thanks for these tips. I was actually going to start writing my eBook through my blog posts. I’m going to work on finishing an ebook in February.

  11. says

    Denise – thanks for the tips. I’m looking forward to getting my first kindle book completed. I may try your method for the second one  – that’s a great way to reuse content!

  12. says

    Thanks, Denise. It does seem a bit daunting, but you’ve given a simple approach to get started. I have a lot of posts in several categories. Now I just need to get off my duff and get it done. As Nike says “Do it!”

    • says

      Hi Ally, thanks for stopping by. Pricing depends on any number of factors. Is the ebook a lead generator or is it an in depth exploration of a topic? I tend to price content lower to encourage more sales. I may start it at $.99 and then move the ebook up to $2.99. If it’s content that is not available elsewhere on my sites, like a transcript of an interview that was a paid program, then I’ll price it higher.

    • says

      You know that because of you and Daniel Hall, I published not just 1, but 2 Kindle ebooks. Here they are:

      On the Virtual Stage – http://tinyurl.com/6txkqmd
      Multiple Streams of Virtual Event Income – http://tinyurl.com/7hs8xl3

      Thanks for the awesome tutorials.