Preparing for publication: uploading your book on KDP

Woah… It’s been quite the two days. I’ve been tinkering around on Amazon’s KDP platform, getting everything ready for the book launch that is happening pretty soon. I can’t even begin to describe how surreal this whole thing feels. It still hasn’t sunk in yet… seeing as how I spend my days in front of a laptop figuring this whole book business out…

It didn’t end with polishing up the manuscript and working with freelancers to do the book cover. That was just the beginning. There’s a whole backend of work that goes into a book launch, but I’m slowly getting there.

Here’s what the process has been like so far.


The Metadata

The ‘metadata’ or book description that Amazon asks for isn’t the usual book blurb that goes on the back of the book. It’s a little more complicated than that given how much tech companies love their keywords, algorithms and so on and so forth. I worked with two people from completely different backgrounds to get the metadata up to scratch.

It was a bit of a challenge – staying true to your author voice as well as trying to make that elusive algorithm happy. But I (hopefully!) managed to come up with something that works.

I usually stick to doing most of my writing, so it was weird to see a copywriter’s re-writing of my work.

But hey, it’s part of the business. 

The E-Book

Seeing as how I already hired someone to format it for mobi, uploading the ebook wasn’t particularly difficult. It was mostly a lot of checking to see that everything was ok. But there weren’t any mistakes so there you go.

The main thing at this stage is that you fill in the form carefully based on the metadata above. Once you’ve done that, it’s pretty much a done deal. If it’s your first time, give yourself ample time to figure it out. 

The Paperback

So this is where things got a little complicated. You need to choose the trim size of your book and this will affect the paperback copy. So I had to go back to MS word and reformat the entire book (URGH!) to fit the new dimensions. Those who’ve been following this blog will know that I’m not the most techy person, so this was a tedious process.

But if there’s a will, there’s a way. 

So you need to decide on the font, the line spacing, and make sure all your paragraphs match up etc etc. Some of the dialogue lines went wonky. Inserting the page numbers also changes things up. Split paragraphs automatically end up at the next page so there was more white space than I expected. There were even some blank pages in the uploaded manuscript that weren’t there on the word document. 

Once that was done, I uploaded it to Amazon, and of course the page breaks didn’t match so I had to go in and re-do it all over again. The second try was better, but there were still some mistakes… So I had to…

Well, I don’t need to finish that sentence. You get my drift. 

And I haven’t even gotten started on the hooplah with the book cover. 

Actually, I still haven’t managed to fix the book cover issue. My book cover was specially made by an artist I really liked, so the dimensions aren’t quite right for Amazon given that the book cover should be 6*9 inches. Amazon also only accepts PDF files – not PNG, TIFF or JPEG. And we all know that converting from one format to another affects the quality and file size. 

Apparently it’s best to go with their cover creator, but I can’t say that I’m a big fan of their designs. And my book cover was already designed, so there you go. I tried to use their cover creator to edit my book cover to fit their dimensions, but I had no luck… I found the cover creator sticky and not very user-friendly.

The print preview for the paperback also takes ages to load, so be prepared to put aside a bit of time to check and re-check and re-check and… still not have things the way you want them. 

So as of now, the paperback version is still in draft. I’ve asked my typography designer to fix the issue – so fingers crossed. 


Concluding Remarks

It’s my first time. I’m excited. A little nervous. This has been my dream and passion for as long as I can remember.

Can’t believe I’m nearly at the finishing line.

But then again, this is only the beginning. 


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