This is part two of a three-part-post about publishing blogs to Amazon Kindle. I have been asked to write it by various people on Twitter, so my apologies to those for whom it holds no interest. The remaining post will follow tomorrow, with normal service resuming after that. For those who asked for the tutorial, I hope it’s useful.
Yesterday I explained why I’d published More than Just aMother on Amazon Kindle, and what the benefits were for bloggers considering doing the same. If you’d like to publish your own blog on Kindle, this post will tell you how.
Step one: Sign up for a Kindle publishing account
You’ll be asked for your name and email address, and have the opportunity to select a password as well as three security questions.
Step two: Add your blog
When you log in, you’ll be taken to your ‘dashboard’. In the top right hand corner, click on ‘add blog’. You’ll see a form to fill out with all your blog details, starting with your RSS feed. In fact, you can just enter your blog’s web address here, as the ‘validate feed’ button will automatically find the right feed. Add your blog title and a tag line – something which sums up your blog – then write a short description of your blog. This is your sales pitch, so think of it like the blurb on the back of a book. Put your name in the ‘blog author/publisher’ field.
Next you’ll need some images. The form asks for a screenshot of your blog, which you can take easily by using the ‘print screen’ function on your keyboard and pasting it into whatever graphics package you have. I chose not to use a screen shot, and instead used my blog’s avatar. You also have the option of uploading a banner image, which could be your blog’s header. This will appear as a mast-head at the top of each post when it’s delivered via Kindle. You need to click on ‘choose image’ and then ‘upload file’ for each picture you want to use.
The next step is to select which language your blog uses, and choose up to three categories in which you’d like to list your blog. In tomorrow’s post, where I’ll be discussing how to market your Kindle blog, I’ll explain why these categories are particularly important, so don’t jump the gun just yet. The next field asks for suggested keywords which apply to your blog, and I’ll cover this aspect tomorrow too.
Finally, choose how frequently subscribers will receive posts. You can choose from ‘multiple times a day’, ‘2-5 times a week’ or ‘1-2 times a week’. Be realistic about what your usual posting regime is, and don’t over-promise. Interestingly, when I first published my blog to Kindle I was posting around four times a week, and selected the middle category accordingly. My blog was priced by Amazon at £1.99. Relatively soon afterwards I began posting less frequently, updating my Kindle listing to reflect the new schedule. My blog price was immediately changed to 99p, so clearly the frequency of posts is a factor in Amazon’s pricing strategy, exact details of which I’ve been unable to find out.
Step three: publish your blog
You can click the ‘preview’ button to see how your listing will look, and if you’re happy with it, click on ‘publish your blog’ to submit the listing to Amazon. Amazon say they’ll review your blog within 48-72 hours, and in reality most are live within 24 hours, which is a pretty impressive turnaround.
Step four: give payment details
You’ll be asked to confirm agreement to Amazon’s terms and conditions, and to enter your details for royalty payments. If you’re in the UK select ‘international’ and request payment by cheque (‘check’). One word of caution, do make sure your name is correctly spelt and as per your bank account. I’m currently trying to get a cheque re-issued which has been made out to my pen name. I suspect it would be simpler to change my name by deed poll.
And that’s it. It took me about half an hour and really is the simplest thing to do. Tomorrow’s post will cover how to position your blog effectively on Kindle, how to market it and why so many rubbish blogs appear in the best-selling list. Although not this one, naturally. Cough.