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  • P. Barrera

Now What? Series - Amazon

How is your Facebooking going? Are you getting your author page up and running? It takes some time to generate a following, so take it slow and remember to be consistent.

This week we're going to talk about Amazon!

Amazon is a great place for indie authors to start selling their books. Amazon offers a ton of tools for authors to use, including templates for book interiors and covers. They have fantastic customer service and make creating your own books very easy.

In light of Infinity Flower Publishing's newest addition, we are going to talk about Amazon in the context of children's books!

Children's books are very fun and relatively easy to make. They usually are very picture-heavy, and not very text-heavy. This means that not a lot of design work is needed to set the text and such the same way that it is for novels.

That's not to say that a lot of work doesn't go into a children's book, it most definitley does, but it mostly revolves around fitting pictures and short paragraphs. Most of this is done in InDesign here at Infinity Flower, but there are a lot of other programs that will do this for you.

Once you have your basic file formatted, you will want to convert it to a PDF. You can then take that PDF and plug it into a cool program by Amazon called Kindle Kids' Book Creator. The program can be downloaded straight from Amazon's website and runs on both Mac and PC. You'll need a little knowledge about what you're looking at, as it will show the HTML and other ebook formatting guides, but it's not necessary to have much. Amazon has made this program extremely user-friendly. The Kids' Book Creator will take your PDF and turn it into a MOBI file that can be uploaded to your KDP account.

Amazon began with CreateSpace, but has since moved away from it to a new platform called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It is much easier to use and allows you to upload both an ebook and a paperback. Neither KDP or CreateSpace offer hardback books yet. When uploading Zyshawn Camp Adventures, I used both KDP and IngramSpark, which does offer hardback books.

Your KDP account is very easy to set up and is associated with your regular Amazon account. This means you only have to remember one login, which is nice! All you need to do is go to the website, fill in your information, including banking and tax information, and you are ready to upload.

KDP offers a very simple method of drag-and-drop, and offers a previewer so that you can see how your book will look against Amazon's templates. It will tell you where your books needs to be adjusted and you can make changes and upload as many times as you need.

I find this particular feature to be very helpful. Unfortunately with a POD like IngramSpark, you have to be sure your files are 100% correct the first time, as every upload and correction will cost you money. IngramSpark has an amazing distribution network and is definitely worth the cost to use, their interface is just not as user friendly as Amazon's.

Once your books are on KDP, all you have to do is wait a few days and they will appear on Amazon! Super easy! And once your books are available, you can go to your Author Central page and setup your author page and connect your books to it.

Amazon is, by far, one of the easiest platforms to use as your POD. There are zero fees associated with it, except your printing cost, and it is one of the biggest shopping networks in the world, if not the biggest. There are a ton of other exclusive programs Amazon offers, such as KDP Select, but you will have to decide if those are right for you.

Next week we will talk about Nook Press and how it compares to Amazon!

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