Publishing Your Book: What you need to know about traditional and self-publishing + a KDP tutorial


You’ve got a book idea, a completed manuscript and now you would like to publish your book. You might be unsure of what to do next well you have three options:

  1. Publish through a traditional publisher
  2. Self-publish
  3. Put your story in a box and never look at it again

There are a multitude of sites that are either pro or against traditional or self-publishing and the amount of information can send you into a tailspin so I will try my best to simplify this for you.

Traditional Publisher:

By submitting your manuscript to a publisher you would have little involvement in the printing and marketing of your book. The publishers would edit and proofread your book then send it to print. They will also do all the marketing and selling of your book as well.

You will be paid in royalties, which is about 10% (more or less) of the money earned for each copy of the book that’s sold.

Some publishers offer writers and advance after their manuscript has been accepted to be published. Your royalty income is set against your advance, which means that you will only make additional money after the advance is ‘paid back’ in book sales. If you make less sales than your advance you shouldn’t be required to pay it back to the publisher. Your royalties would be paid once or twice a year, along with a sales report of how many copies were sold.

Your publisher would absorb all the costs associated with publishing and marketing your book.


Self-publishing means that you are the publisher.

Finding a distributor:

You may want to begin researching printers and distributors use a service like Create Space, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, Nook Press, iTunes, Draft 2 Digital, Fast Pencil. Each of these have their own terms, formatting requirements and royalty structures so do your research before deciding.

Formatting your book:

I usually format my book on Microsoft Word or submit a PDF to Kindle Direct Publishing. Smashwords has a style guide that you can use to format your book to their specifications, because they publish to multiple formats.


An ISBN is short for International Standard Book Number, which keeps data regarding author, publisher, size, format, topic and pricing of a book for retailers, libraries and distributors. You can buy an ISBN for your book, but if you are printing with Create Space they’ll assign one for free.

The marketing of your book is solely your responsibility.

The advantages of self-publishing include:

  • You have complete control over every aspect of your book from beginning to end.
  • You may take more time and care to edit, proofread, design and market your book than a traditional publisher would.
  • You will earn most or all of the profits if you self-publish, because you’ll cut out the middle man.

Either way, it’s still your choice and if you do your research you’ll know which path to take. If you are unsure, see what your results are in this flowchart I found on Pinterest by thewritelife.com:


Kindle Direct Publishing has been an invaluable tool on my journey as a writer. I had all these stories written down and no idea how to publish them. Now with KDP I’m able to write my own stories and children all over the world are able to read them. It made my dream into reality so I’ve compiled this tutorial to help you publish your book on KDP:

What is Kindle Direct Publishing?

Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon.com‘s e-book publishing unit launched in 2007. It was released concurrently with the first Amazon Kindle device. Amazon launched Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to be used by authors and publishers to independently publish their books directly to Kindle and Kindle Apps worldwide. In open beta testing in late 2007, the platform was promoted to established authors by an e-mail[1] and by advertisements at Amazon.com. Authors can upload documents in several formats for delivery via Whispernet and charge between $0.99 and $200.00 for their works.[1] These documents may be written in 34 languages.[2]

*Learn more about KDP on Wikipedia

How do you publish on Kindle Direct Publishing?

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A simple Google Search for Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP will lead you straight to their site.

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A simple click on their website will lead you to this. There’s an introductory video on the left, but I apparently have an outdated version of Flash (I updated it last week) and can’t view it at this time.

I already have a KDP account so I can just sign in, but you’ll have to fill in a few items to start up your account. This is an easy process and soon you’ll have your own account to sign into.

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As soon as you sign in you’ll see create new title on the top left. Click that to create a new e-book. Your previous books will be listed underneath.

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Enter your book’s name and a subtitle if you want.

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I am the publisher so I leave that section blank. I add a description of the book, which is the information customers will see on Amazon when they want to purchase my book.

Add the contributors – author’s name, photographer, illustrator, editor, etc.

Enter which language the book is written in.

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My book has not been assigned an ISBN as it is self-published.

I also choose to hold the necessary rights to my book.

You have to choose up to two categories that your book may be classified in. There are many categories so take your time to view and select the ones that suit your book.

Jungle Myths and Tales Animal Stories 1 is targeted to 5 – 10 year olds, but feel free to leave this section out.

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If your book is targeted towards children you may want to select a grade range that will enjoy your book.

It is imperative to add search keywords to help users find your books.

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I want to release this book as soon as possible so I’ve selected ‘I am ready to release my book now’, but you can choose to make yours available for pre-order.

I make my own book covers and they are saved as jpg files on my desktop. I just select Browse for image, click desktop, scroll till I find the image, select the image and upload.

Cover Creator has a few pre-made covers that you can use to enter your book information.

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Next you have to upload your book file. I simply upload a Word document, some people use a PDF, but I find a Word document easier to adjust when their are mistakes in the preview stage.

The document is saved on my desktop and I can find it easily by clicking browse.

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Once your book content is uploaded successfully it is converted into Kindle format.

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The next and most exciting step is previewing your book. I use the online previewer, because it’s quicker and easier to access and view my content.

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Save your changes and continue before you can preview your book.

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The previewer will open on your second page, not your cover, but don’t panic. Things may be feeling very real at this moment.

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Hover your cursor on the left side of the tablet and a set of arrows will appear. Your cover will be to the left and the rest of your book will be on the right.

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I clicked left and here’s the cover.

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On the right is the interior or story.

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You can change the orientation of your book to see how your customers will read it in either portrait or landscape.

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The default device your book will be previewed on is the Kindle Fire HDX, but you can change devices to see how it will look across multiple devices.

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If you are satisfied with your book or if you would like to make a few alterations simply exit the previewer.

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If you are unhappy with formatting or spelling, make the changes on your Word document and save it. Go back to Upload Interior Files and select the new saved document with the changes. Preview the book again and continue in this fashion until you are satisfied.

Click Save and Continue at the bottom right of the page to move on to the pricing stage.

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You choose to sell your book in certain areas of the World or Worldwide. I’ve selected Worldwide rights.

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The next thing you have to select is your royalty option. 35% Royalty is available to books priced between $0.99 and $2.99. If your book is priced more than that 70% Royalty applies.

I’ve listed my price at S0.99.

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You can choose to enroll your book into MatchBook and Kindle Book Lending, but I haven’t for this tutorial.

Don’t forget to tick the box at the bottom so that you can publish your book, then Save and Publish.

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It will take between 12 and 48 hours for an English book to be approved and published. You’ll get an email as soon as your book is available on Amazon.

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Your book will be listed on your bookshelf.

Congratulations! You’ve just published your first e-book and hopefully the first of many.

It took me a good few hours to publish my first e-book, but now it takes me less than 30 minutes. Just keep practicing, take your time and be gentle with yourself. You’ll get the hang of it.

What are your flowchart results? How have you published your book? Which distributor do you use? Have you used KDP before? Do you have any questions or do you need help? How do you market your book? Let me know by commenting below and I’ll help as best I can.

Love and Blessings,

Lindsay Sign Off New

Connect with me on social media:




Or visit my Amazon Author Page and support me by buying a book. Feel free to drop me an email at lindsaylovinlife@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you!


15 thoughts on “Publishing Your Book: What you need to know about traditional and self-publishing + a KDP tutorial

  1. I’ve only sent one manuscript off to a traditional publisher – they liked it. I flew to England to meet with them. The guy I met was 3 hours late to our meeting and I didn’t really strike up a good relationship with him. My book remains unpublished.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really interesting and helpful, I didn’t realise that you get very little if you get a publisher, that seems a bit unfair but I don’t know anything about this anyway! I will be bookmarking this for my first book, thanks so much for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

    P.s. I’m really impressed that you have published 29 books, go girl!

    Liked by 1 person

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