Self-Publishing

Last week, I discussed and shared links related to descriptions, frontmatter/backmatter, copyright, ISBNs, and licenses. While I’m certain those will need some adjustments before publication, I’m relatively comfortable with that line of activities. Now I’m working on Amazon-related information like search keywords and categories. This part is going to be more learning-as-I-go. I will share steps I’m taking, process points where I’m more or less confused, and the resources on which I’m relying. Take all of this with a grain of “I’m new” salt. There will probably be many lessons learned to be shared later. 

Categories, Keywords, & Accounts

I started looking into categories and keywords before I set up my KDP account with Amazon. Categories and keywords are critical for helping readers find my book amid all the other books out there. I want my work to stand out while providing the reader with a good idea of where my work fits into genres they like. I’m using a couple of resources for advice on these two things: Publisher Rocket and Kindlepreneur

Kindlepreneur has advice on many self-publishing steps, and I like how the information is presented in easily digestible and easy-to-follow pieces. Publisher Rocket is a purchasable downloadable program that can help you look for keyword and category options. When I created my KDP account and started setting up my book, I found the keyword research and information translated well. The categories…there is some confusion on this piece. 

In KDP, you can initially select two categories for a new book. It opens a menu where you expand sections to drill down to find the categories you want. Straightforward enough. However, the category advice mentions countless more specific and nuanced categories than are available in the menu. I did all the research and picked the two I thought best to start with, and neither is in there! This part requires more research. I need to figure out if there are additional steps or later steps that bridge this gap. I have enough time for this research, and for now, I have two adjacent categories selected in my draft book in KDP. 

It is exciting to see something in my KDP “Bookshelf.” I’m on track with my administrative tasks, and the beta reads should all come back early next week. The upcoming stages should move quickly, and I think Hidden Memory will be available for pre-order late in September! Now I need to figure out a mailing list and newsletter process. I’m thinking quarterly with special newsletters for new releases that don’t fall in that schedule. With a blog and newsletter to produce, I don’t want to take too much writing time away from future books with an overly aggressive schedule. 

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend!