5 Things You Need to Publish on Kindle

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Kindle self publishing should take only 5 minutes (that is, according to Amazon). Here are the elements you absolutely have ready to speed through the process and publish on Kindle.

1. Formatted MOBI File

In order to publish your ebook on Amazon, you’ll need to format your ebook as a MOBI file. This is the ebook format for Kindle. You can hire an ebook developer to do this manually, or, use to convert your book file for $19.99.

To learn more about how to make a book, download our free ebook, The Pressbooks Guide to Self-Publishing

2. Decide Whether to Enroll in KDP Select

KDP Select gives you the ability to run promotions and special offers on your book. It also makes your book available in the Kindle Owners Lending Library and to Kindle Unlimited subscribers, which can help with word of mouth. The catch is you’re giving Amazon the exclusive right to publish your ebook for a time. And, Kindle will soon begin compensating you for your book’s appearance in KOLL and Unlimited by the number of pages that readers consume, rather than the percentage of the book that’s read. Some experts say this is a good thing, but if that sounds like a risk, know that you’re not locked in forever–enrollment periods renew every 90 days.

3. Book Metadata

This refers to your book’s title, description, keywords etc. If you used Pressbooks, you may have entered your metadata in the Book Info screen. You’ll eventually cut and paste this metadata into various fields of the KDP interface. Sculpt your words carefully to optimize your book’s discoverability when potential readers are searching Amazon. Here are some great book metadata guidelines, straight from Kindle Direct Publishing.

4. Book Cover

Although your book cover will show up in the actual ebook format for kindle, you’ll also be prompted to upload it separately in the publishing interface. The cover should be in a 1.6 height/width ratio, no less than 1000 x 625 pixels. (And 2500 pixels is the recommended dimension on the longest side.) The file should take up less than 50 MB and be produced in RGB (web colors). Your book will be judged by your cover, so we do recommend investing a few bucks to have a pro design it for you. Here are some of our tips on how to get a book cover made.

5. Tax and Banking Information

You can’t set up an account and upload your book without giving Amazon the numbers it needs to credit your royalty payments and report them to the tax authorities. If you’ve formed your own imprint as a publisher, you can use your business i.d. and bank account. If you’re an individual author, generally you’ll need your social security or comparable tax i.d. number, plus your personal bank account information.