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  • Chris M Wilson

Writing an eBook for Amazon Kindle - KDP, Audible, iTunes, ACX


Welcome to another weekly blog from YOL. Today I go into the basics of writing your first eBook for Amazon KDP. Learn about publishing your book onto Audible through ACX and as a paperback as well. I have experience writing 2 different eBooks which I published last year (2020), you can check them out here – Optimal Wealth, Optimal Health.


I will also go into the basics of turning your eBook into a paperback book as well as an Audiobook through Amazon’s ACX program. Writing an eBook will take time and dedication. No longer do you need to get a book deal to publish something online. Amazon has made it easier than ever to publish a book for the world to view for free!


If you want a guide on how to write an eBook in 24-hours, I suggest you look elsewhere. I don’t believe in quick hacks or false truths to getting something done properly. The first eBook I wrote was Optimal Health, it is under 9 000 words and took me approximately 4-months all in. My second book Optimal Wealth is a much more in-depth book around 23 000 words which took nearly 7 months to complete.


Timeframe


I have no doubt that you would be able to finish your eBook project in a shorter time than these but for some it will take even longer. If you’re looking for a great resource to get your writing under way be sure to check out Scribe. It is a fantastic website which offers great tips and tools to writing an eBook. All the info on their blog is free, although they do offer full publishing deals that come at a high cost.


Find the reason why you want to write your first eBook. For me it was to share my years of experience and knowledge of exercise, nutrition, and money to make it available for those to learn and grow from. For others it may be starting a passive income stream or a side business.


What’s it About?


Figure out what niche you want to write about. Something you are a expert on, or have a lot of experience on will help make it easy to write about. Putting your knowledge into a guide or book can be great for others achieve success from your past experiences. If you’re a personal trainer maybe you could write about how to grow your arms in 30 days for young males. If you’re an accountant maybe you could write about the 10 tips to save more money on your taxes each year. Either way, you will want to know exactly what you want to write about and help people with before you start writing.


Chapters


Once you have the main focus of your book, you will want to create your chapter titles or main sections. These are the main points you want to outline in your book, to guide your reader along the path. The actual chapter titles aren’t so important here, rather you want to know what you will be writing about for each section. If you are writing your first eBook, I would suggest keeping it short and sweet. Something under 10 000 words would be a good attainable goal to begin with. If you struggle to write at all and now want to write a 35 000 manuscript you will be in for a tough road ahead.


Length


Now that you have an approximate desired length of about 10 000 words you can chunk your book into 10 sections (or chapters). This would mean you will need to write about 1000 words for each chapter. This may seem like a stretch for some people but once you get going it shouldn’t be too hard to write the core information you need in 1000 words or less.


Remember to keep it simple and easy to understand. People like reading things that make sense and get to the point. If you go on for most of your chapters with useless information and then finally cut to the chase near the end you will lose readers. Give them what they want right away and keep it simple.


Writing Schedule


Don’t just wing it and hope your book magically writes itself in 30 days… Create a plan where you sit down and write. I suggest a minimum of 3 times a week to aim for at least 250 words per sitting, minimum. You could even decide to sit down and write 7 times a week for 250 words per sitting, it depends on your schedule and how fast you want to complete it. When I began writing my first eBook I sat down and could usually get down about 1000 words easily per session. While this may not be the case for everyone, the writing portion may flow smoothly for you.


Once you have a plan you will know when to sit down and put your head down for an hour or two at a time. This is critical to making sure you get your first draft done in a timely manner. Don’t worry about how the words come out, grammar, spelling, punctuation, anything, just get the words out and down on your paper. All the fine tuning comes after, what you need to focus on is getting what you want to say down.



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Where to Write


I’m assuming most people these days will be writing on a computer program like Microsoft Office or Google Docs. As we are on the topic of eBooks this will most definitely be your go to choose for editing and formatting down the road. I don't think there is a better choice over another, just make sure you have access to whatever program you want to use on a daily basis.


Kindle Create


Amazon has some great tools to help you publish your eBook with ease. Kindle Create is their latest formatting tool to help format your manuscript. You can upload your document into Kindle Create which will help produce a professional looking final copy. It has some awesome tools in it like title page elements, chapter headings, quotes, different fonts and more. This program is nice because you will be able to see the final form of how your eBook will look. Kindle Create is free to download on Amazon keeping this entire process free!


Cover Design


While you can opt to have a professionally designed cover from a freelancer on Fiverr, you can also create something completely free by yourself on Canva. I used Canva for both of my covers and they turned out great. All the dimensions are listed on Amazon’s site for their eBooks, so punch in the correct dimensions in Canva and you are set. They offer eBook cover designs you can click and customize from there. Easy and simple to get something professional and clean.


If you want to streamline this process and aren’t on the creative side, then I suggest hiring someone from Fiverr. This is a site where you can hire freelancers from all over the globe to help you with basically any project. The prices range from cheap to expensive, so you have a lot of options with what you can pay.


Now that you have a fairly good idea of the steps to get your eBook written and designed you will need to upload it onto Amazon’s Kindle platform. This is a straightforward process and you can find much more info on their site to follow for that.


Paperback


If you’ve finished your eBook but want to offer your book on even more platforms, then you may want to consider publishing it as a paperback and an audiobook! While at first my only intention was to write an eBook I eventually published both of my books on all platforms offered on Amazon.


Creating a paperback is quite simple if you already have the eBook copy published. You may need to go back into Kindle Create to set your paperback template. This would be how you want your page numbers and book title or author name to appear at the top and bottom of each page. Other than this, you are basically ready to upload your paperback file onto Amazon.


I really liked the ability to have a paperback for my books as well because it makes it seem more like an actual book. I can have copies at my house to give to people who it can impact around me.


Audiobook on ACX


If you want your book to be accessed on iTunes and Audible you can create an Audiobook as well! I think this is a great addition to both the eBook and paperback version of your book. Amazon now own Audible (one of the largest audiobook retailers), so they make it straightforward to get your book into an audio format.


ACX is the program which Amazon owns to launch your audiobook. It is easy to use and simple from my experience. Create an account and follow all the steps to create your audiobook. While you can record your book yourself, it may be more difficult then just hitting record on your computer and reading the manuscript. Amazon wants all the content to be professional and of quality on their platform, so they do require the audio to meet several requirements before they will accept it.


For this reason, I decided to hire a professional narrator on ACX through the platform. They make it super easy to get auditions for your script and search narrators all over. They typically are priced per finished hour (PFH) of work. This means if they charge $50 PFH, that one hour of their time will cost you $50. An eBook under 10 000 words will be about one hour and something around 20 000 words will cost about 2 hours.


While this may sound somewhat expensive to some people, I think it is well worth the cost. You don’t need to spend any of your time buying, renting, or figuring out how to use any audio equipment on your own. Also, most of these narrators are professional voice over actors – meaning their speech and pronunciation is on point, and likely much clearer and engaging than you may be.


Once you find someone who is a good fit for your book, you will hire them through ACX with a full contract and finish date. After that they record everything for you before the finish date and release all the files once you have paid them. I have had a great experience through ACX and think highly of it.


Just Do it!


So now you know what you need to get your eBook from your head onto your computer, and then onto Amazon Kindle, Audible, and iTunes! Not only can you create a digital copy but a paperback and audiobook with minimal effort. Tell me what you want to write your book about in the comments below! Start today by following these simple steps to get your book dreams going. Check back next Monday for another post how you can live Your Optimal Lifestyle.



Chris M Wilson

Entrepreneur & Coach

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