childrens book publishers

Children’s Book Publishers: 33 Best Publishers for Your Children’s Book

Are you an independent author looking for the best children’s book publishers to submit your work to?

Of all the types of book out there, children’s books are never going away. There will always be a demand for fresh books aimed at youngsters in schools, libraries, and homes.

Related: How to Write a Children’s Book

Finding the right book publisher for your book requires research. Do you like the company’s background and values? Does the publisher have a good reputation for publishing books similar to your own? When you browse their catalog, can you imagine your book alongside the others you see?

To help you find the best children’s book publisher for your work, we’ve gathered together a list of 33 publishers open to submissions from unagented authors. 

Abdo Publishing 

Abdo Publishing started as a small, family-based company based in Minnesota back in 1985. Since then, Abdo has evolved to become one of the biggest providers of educational publishing in America. Abdo Publishing features a wide range of books including picture books, graphic novels, and young adult fiction.

To submit to Abdo, you need to be a fiction author as the publisher isn’t interested in nonfiction at this time. Abdo is looking for proposals related to fiction series consisting of four books. You should send an overview of the series, outlines for the four books, and a few sample chapters from book one.   

Albert Whitman & Company 

Albert Whitman states that its mission is to offer books that are not only worthy of winning an award, but also treat readers with care and respect. The ultimate aim of an Albert Whitman & Company book is to help young readers develop their intellect and emotional maturity. 

You can submit to Albert Whitman if you have a manuscript or proposal for a picture book, middle-grade fiction, or a young adult novel. 

Annick Press 

Annick Press started out back in 1975. They are an indie publisher based in Toronto, Canada. Some of the titles published by Annick include The Paper Bag Princess which has sold over 7 million copies across the globe. If you’re interested in children’s book publishers with a track record of publishing successful books, this is one of them. Books offered by Annick have the ultimate aim of helping a child develop their inner resources and encouraging them to contribute to their community. 

Annick welcomes submissions from authors of picture books, middle-grade fiction, young adult fiction, and non-fiction for young readers of any age. The company is inclusive and particularly welcomes submissions from authors of color, authors with disabilities, and authors who identify as LGBTQ2SIA+.

Arbordale Publishing 

Arbordale Publishing offers young people books that are both educational and fun. Their educational focus is on encouraging a love of STEM topics in their readers. Books published by Arbordale combine a fun but educational story with a practical exercise section at the end to help consolidate learning. 

Arbordale is looking for submissions that are in harmony with its STEM focus. If you’re interested in publishing with Arbordale, read their guidelines carefully, as they break down exactly what they do and don’t want. If you are accepted by Arbordale, you will receive a small advance against your future royalties. 

August House 

August House has a unique angle on children’s book publishing. Their focus is on books based around the folk and oral storytelling traditions of the world. August champions diversity and proudly features writers from every corner of the globe. Over three decades of experience and a large number of prestigious publishing awards are testament to their success. 

You can submit to August House if you have a book for young people that fits with their focus on folklore and oral tradition. Illustrators are also invited to submit to August House.  

Boyds Mills Press

Boyds Mills has over thirty years of experience offering books of various types to young readers. The children’s book publishing company doesn’t have a particular philosophical focus and offers a wide mixture of different titles. However, they state that all their books have the fundamental focus of providing information and entertainment, no matter the age of the reader.

You can see the submissions page for Boyds Mills here. They only open up for submissions periodically, so be sure to check back if they aren’t accepting new books when you check them out.   

Candlewick Press

Candlewick Press started back in the early 90s, originally offering top-quality picture books before expanding to offer many different genres for young readers. It is one of the more commonly known children’s book publishers today. Candlewick are proud of their commitment to truly independent publishing and helping their authors and illustrators to produce books that young readers love.

Candlewick accepts submissions from both authors and illustrators. Sometimes, the company states that they aren’t interested in manuscript or art submissions at a particular time, so be sure to check back if you notice that. 

Cardinal Rule Press

Cardinal Rule Press is a traditional publisher based out of Southeast Michigan. The company has a strong ethical focus, stating that their titles aim to inspire children to be hopeful and courageous as well as promoting the Golden Rule. 

If you want to submit to Cardinal Rule Press, they have a window open until February 1st, 2021. It is unknown when their next submission period will be after the current one ends. 

Charlesbridge

Charlesbridge aims to serve young readers through books that focus on positivity, wonder, and fun. Titles from Charlesbridge aim to engage young readers by encouraging lifelong learning and further activities within the classroom and home. 

If you are interested in publishing with Charlesbridge, you need to submit a digital manuscript as they are not interested in receiving hard copies. 

Chicago Review Press

Chicago Review Press has been active in the independent publishing world for almost 50 years. The company currently has over 1000 titles in print and aims to encourage diversity and inclusivity by championing minority authors of various racial, gender, and disability backgrounds.

If you have a children’s book that is not a picture book, you are eligible to submit to Chicago Review Press. They suggest sending a query rather than a manuscript initially.   

Chronicle Books 

Chronicle is an independent publisher focusing on a wide range of products including books but also journals, desk accessories, and calendars. Chronicle Books offers titles to readers of all ages but also has a dedicated kids and teens imprint. They are a San Francisco publisher that also has a base in London.

To submit to Chronicle, you need to send a physical paper submission. The company isn’t interested in receiving digital submissions, unlike many of the other children’s book publishers. 

David Fickling Books 

David Fickling Books used to be part of Scholastic and later Random House but is now a fully independent book publisher. The company’s values are based around freedom, flexibility, and a commitment to embracing new technology. David Fickling Books offers titles from major authors including Philip Pullman.

Sometimes, David Fickling Books closes their submissions process to authors without agents. Check out their guidelines and reach out to them to make sure. 

Flashlight Press 

Flashlight Press is based around the simple mission of providing books shining a light on family and social situations aimed at young readers. The company has a small core team of six people but offers a wide catalog of books, including many award winners.

Flashlight Press welcomes submissions from both authors and artists. If you have a fictional children’s picture book, reach out to Flashlight and see if it’s a good fit. 

Flying Eye Books 

Flying Eye Books is an imprint of Nobrow aimed at younger readers. The publisher’s main objective is to offer beautifully designed reads based on visual content for children. Flying Eye not only translates their own books into international languages to serve young readers across the globe but also translates the work of international authors to be enjoyed by the Anglosphere. 

If you think your book is a good fit for the Flying Eye and Nobrow approach to publishing, you should check out their submission guidelines. Unlike a lot of other children’s book publishers, Flying Eye promises they will get in touch even if you are rejected.  

Free Spirit Publishing 

Free Spirit Publishing is a children’s book company with a purpose. They aim to do more than entertain young readers with their books – they also want to equip them with the information and skills they need to navigate the difficult moments in life, such as facing bullying and building self-esteem. Former teacher Judy Galbraith founded Free Spirit in 1983 to fill the gap she noticed for books that aimed to nurture young people.

Free Spirit Publishing is open for submissions for both educator resources and children’s and teen books. Check out their guidelines to see if your book is a good fit.  

Hogs Back Books 

Hogs Back Books is based out of Wiltshire, England, and offers a mixture of books for younger readers of various ages. At this time, Hogs Back features picture books for the youngest readers out there, books for readers up to the age of 14, and fiction for teenagers. It is a children’s book publisher that caters to various age levels.

If you have a suitable book aimed at readers of 10 years old or younger, you can check out Hogs Back Books’ submissions guidelines PDF here

Holiday House 

Holiday House has a special place on this list as it is the oldest publisher in America to focus solely on books for younger readers. The company started offering children’s books back in 1935 and hasn’t looked back since. As well as offering books for children and young adults, Holiday House publishes a series of books for people just learning to read titled I Like to Read.

You can check out the full Holiday House submissions guidelines here. They are looking for full manuscripts rather than summaries and are open to physical or digital submissions.   

Immedium

Immedium is a children’s book publisher that aims to inspire young readers to fall in love with reading, writing, and illustration to the extent they go on to produce their own creative work. The company is based in San Francisco and features a lot of titles with an Asian-American focus, such as books exploring the Chinese Zodiac.

If you are an author or an illustrator, you can submit your work to Immedium. You will need to send a physical copy of your manuscript or art as digital submission is not available. 

Kane Miller

Kane Miller offers children’s books that reflect the diversity of the world and aim to explore and celebrate cultural similarities and differences alike. The publisher has a wide selection of titles, featuring everything from books for babies through to a series of official Bear Grylls books for young readers.  

You can submit either artwork or a full manuscript to Kane Miller. Submissions are by email only and Kane Miller aims to respond within 10 to 14 weeks.  

Kids Can Press 

Kids Can Press is based in Canada and has offered socially responsible children’s books since 1973. At this time, Kids Can has a catalog featuring over 600 titles. Some of the themes found in Kids Can books are impressive, tackling issues such as unconscious racial bias in an understandable way that young minds can grasp. 

You can submit your work to Kids Can Press via mail. Kids Can have put out a statement saying their offices are closed until after the pandemic is over, so reach out to them for confirmation of when they will reopen.  

Lee & Low Books 

Lee & Low Books describes itself as the largest publisher of diversity-focused books for children in the United States. Since 1991, Lee & Low has published books with a particular focus on supporting minority-Ethnic artists and unpublished writers. Their stories focus on modern, contemporary topics that are intended for every child to enjoy, no matter their background.

Although Lee & Low does accept unagented submissions from time to time, they currently do not. You can still get in touch via an agent or make contact directly at a writing conference. Lee & Low also encourage writers to start a relationship by entering one of their writing contests. 

Little Tiger Press

Little Tiger Press is a British-based children’s book publisher with over three decades of experience. The company’s mission is to offer young people children’s books of the highest quality to encourage a lifelong love of reading. Little Tiger’s books aim to offer an amusing, meaningful, and imaginative experience for young people. 

You can submit to Little Tiger Press if you’re an author or an illustrator. Take the time to check out their various imprints to find the best fit for your idea. 

Mighty Media Press

Mighty Media Press is an imprint of the wider Might Media company. The company states its mission is to equip young people with everything they need to become exceptional grownups. Mighty Media uses a wide range of formats to reach younger readers, including ebooks, audiobooks, and graphic novels. 

Submitting to Mighty Media is a very selective process. They state that they publish six books out of the thousands of submissions they receive each year. Check out their guidelines carefully to stand the best chance of acceptance. 

Page Street Publishing 

Page Street Publishing is based just outside of Boston and has been in business since 2012. Page Street has an incredibly strong focus on socially-conscious practices, such as using soy-based ink to protect the environment. As well as offering some books for adult readers, Page Street has dedicated picture book and Young Adult divisions. 

Page Street accepts both agented and unagented submissions. Read their guidelines carefully as there is a slightly different process for children’s books, young adult fiction, and nonfiction.  

Pants On Fire Press

Pants On Fire Press is a boutique publisher that offers titles to middle-grade and young adult readers. They publish on a traditional basis, offering royalties and no charges to authors, unlike the vanity press model. Pants On Fire also offers author services in addition to their traditional publishing activities.

If you are looking to submit to Pants On Fire, read their guidelines carefully to make sure you meet their criteria. You will need to send an initial query via email rather than a full manuscript.  

Peachtree Publishing Company

Peachtree Publishing Company is a Georgia-based publisher. They have been offering books since 1977. Peachtree started as a way to feature local Southern writers and originally focused on mature readers before switching emphasis to offer books for young people of all ages. While some children’s book publishers focus on one age group, this is a good option if you’re interested in writing for various ages.

You can submit either manuscripts or artwork to Peachtree. Sometimes, they are only interested in receiving work from authors with agents, so be sure to check.   

Phaidon

Phaidon is a fairly highbrow publisher that mainly features adult books covering topics such as art, architecture, and fashion. However, they also publish children’s books. Their children’s titles cover everything from typical stories through to more unusual offerings like a children’s guide to Jackson Pollock.

Phaidon considers submissions for board books, novelty books, and picture books aimed at the 0-8 age bracket.  

Really Decent Books 

Really Decent Books is a British-based publisher that focuses on titles for younger readers, such as babies, toddlers, and young children. Really Decent titles feature at major book fairs including London, Frankfurt, and Bologna. The company has a strong environmental focus in its supplies and processes.

You can reach out to Really Decent Books if you have an idea for an illustrated book. They aim to reply within 3-4 weeks. 

Sleeping Bear Press

Sleeping Bear Press started just before the new millennium with a single title. The books published by Sleeping Bear aim to educate younger readers while also entertaining them. Sleeping Bear Press offers books suitable for grade levels ranging from Preschool through to Grade 8. 

To submit to Sleeping Bear Press, you are required to send a full manuscript via email as a Word document. Sleeping Bear replies to authors around six months after submission if they are interested in taking things forward.  

Tilbury House Publishers 

Tilbury House Publishers has over 40 years of experience publishing titles for both young and grownup readers. Nowadays, the company’s focus is on offering books for young readers that deal with important social topics such as tolerance, environmental concerns, and global empathy. 

You can submit to Tilbury House if you have a full manuscript or an illustration portfolio. You should send full manuscripts via mail or you can reach out via email with an initial query if you’re interested in this children’s book publisher. 

Tuttle Publishing 

Tuttle Publishing is one of the oldest publishers on this list, celebrating its 70th anniversary back in 2018. The company is based in both Vermont and Tokyo and has a strong focus on Asia accordingly. As well as conventional children’s books, Tuttle has a strong focus on graphic novels, manga, and coloring books. 

Tuttle encourages authors to submit a book proposal via either mail or email, although email is preferred. They will get back to authors within 3 months if interested, a shorter time period than many other publishers. 

Versify 

Versify is an imprint of HMH Books curated by award-winning author Kwame Alexander. Currently, their focus is on publishing picture books, novels, nonfiction, and poetry that celebrate and reflect the lives of all children. Versify states that they are proud to work with established and undiscovered talent alike. 

You can submit to Versify if you have a full children’s book manuscript in line with the company’s values. New unsolicited submissions are currently closed due to Covid but will open up again after the pandemic settles down. 

Workman Publishing 

Workman Publishing offers a wide range of different books including a dedicated children’s book division. The company is headquartered in Greenwich Village, New York, but also has offices across the USA. Workman’s children’s books division publishes titles for kids of all ages, ranging from babies to titles for teens and young adults. 

Workman allows authors to submit their book proposal via email. Although they welcome unsolicited children’s book proposals, they are not interested in receiving picture book submissions. 

Should you use a traditional children’s book publisher or self-publish?

It’s no surprise that we advocate the independent route! But we genuinely feel there are superb reasons to go your way rather than working with a publisher. 

If you choose the self-publishing path, you benefit from:

  • Speed. You will have noticed that most of the publishers on this list take at least six months to respond to submissions! That’s not the time it takes to get your book out there. It’s the time it takes for them to even get back to you! Choosing to self-publish cuts out the waiting time entirely and lets you experience success sooner.
  • Freedom. As a self-published children’s author, you have total creative freedom. You can ensure your book is exactly as you want it to be, and carry out its launch and marketing at a time that suits you.
  • Income. When you self-publish, you receive a bigger slice of the royalties than you would from working with a traditional publisher. 

If you want to learn more about what self-publishing looks like as a children’s book author, reach out to our friends at Self Publishing School! They have a brand new program that provides you with everything you need to experience serious levels of success. 

Related: Self-Publishing Companies

Whether you choose the self-publishing route or end up publishing with one of the options in this guide, we wish you every success with your children’s book!

how long does it take to write a book

How Long Does It Take To Write A Book? For First-Time Authors

How long does it take to write a book, you ask? If you’re a first-time author, you probably think it takes a LONG time.

Thankfully, we have some good news for you…

Writing a book can take far less time than you might imagine!

Do you dream of writing a book, but worry about the time it will take to make your dream come true?

If so, you’re not alone.

Before you commit to making your book idea a reality, you need to know how long it will take.

If you’re looking to write a brilliant book in a short amount of time that fits your lifestyle, we’ve got you covered. 

This guide contains the information, tools, and techniques you need to become a successful author as soon as possible

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Here’s what you should know to determine how long it takes to write a book:

  1. How to schedule a deadline for writing your book
  2. What is the average time to write a book?
  3. How many pages does it take to write a book?
  4. How to write a book in less time
  5. Tools to boost your book writing speed
  6. A step by step book writing schedule

How to schedule a deadline for writing your book

Even though writing the content for your book is only one part of the self-publishing process, it’s the most important part!

You can create the most beautiful book cover in the world and come up with a persuasive marketing plan. However, if the writing itself is anything less than stellar, your readers will feel disappointed. 

Of course, it’s not enough to write well. You also need to write according to a realistic timeframe.

Why, exactly? 

As a self-published author, shouldn’t you have the luxury of taking as long as you please?

While you have the liberty to write according to any schedule you want, you should take the time to establish an optimal one.

Some of the main benefits of setting a book writing deadline include:

  • Momentum. For many authors, enthusiasm for writing their book tapers off over time. If you take too long to get it done, you run the risk of losing your momentum and abandoning the project altogether. Setting an achievable book writing deadline keeps you motivated to see it through.
  • Project planning. If you’re self-publishing properly, you have a long checklist of tasks to carry out aside from writing. To launch and market your book, you need to know when it will be complete.
  • Author wellness. Failing to set a deadline is a fast way to feel overwhelmed and unfocused. A book writing deadline allows you to set manageable targets and to remain in control at all times. 

But what should your writing deadline be?

If you’ve written a book in the past, you’ll have a realistic idea of how long the process takes. Even then, it’s worth keeping in mind that different books take different amounts of time to write. 

How about if you’ve never written a book before?

If you’re working on your first book, you can still set a realistic deadline. Here are some techniques.

  • Establish your speed. Every writer has a different rate of output, and that’s OK. It’s not about comparing yourself to others. Instead, it’s about finding the right pace for you. Try writing 500 words or so in conditions similar to those you will be writing your book in. How long does it take you to get content worthy of a first draft? Do this on a few different occasions to avoid any outlier results. Average out the different times. Once you know how long 500 satisfactory words take you on average, you can multiply that time upwards to set a deadline for your book’s final word count. If you still feel like you’re going too slow, there are a lot of ways to pick up your pace and write faster!
  • Ask around. Even if you haven’t written a book before, you probably know authors that have. Getting a range of different opinions on how long others take to write a book similar to yours will give you a rough estimate to work with. 
  • Check your calendar. It’s natural to get too excited about writing a book and not take into account what your schedule will look like. Do you have vacations on the horizon? Family commitments? Anything else that might eat into your planned writing time? Be sure to keep these in mind when determining your book writing deadline.

When setting your deadline, try and find the golden mean between being overly optimistic and excessively cautious. 

Setting a deadline you can’t keep not only runs the risk of hurting your confidence but also can lead to other parts of the publishing process being delayed or skipped entirely, so choose wisely!

How long does it take to write a book on average?

The average time to write a book for most authors is 180 days, or 6 months, more or less. Usually, it takes authors anywhere from 4-8 months to complete a book. However, you can definitely write a book faster than that!

Now that you have some effective ways to determine what your book’s deadline should be, let’s consider how long books take individual authors on average. 

Please keep in mind this advice is only intended as a guideline. Many variables influence how long a book might take.

The average time to write a book is affected by:

  • The genre of the book being written
  • The author’s typing speed
  • How many writing sessions the author has scheduled
  • How much editing and revision is required

To put it another way, while it may be useful to have an idea of the average time needed, your mileage may well vary!

The next section of this guide looks at page counts for different books in more detail, but for now, we’ll use 50,000 words as a benchmark.

Many writers are capable of producing 500 words of good content per session, while others prefer to hit at least 1000.

So how many writing sessions will you need to produce a full book?

  • If you aim to output 500 words per session, you would need 100 sessions to hit your 50,000-word count target
  • If you aim to output 1000 words per session, you would need 50 writing sessions to hit the word count needed for your book

So how do these writing sessions translate to time on the calendar?

  • 500 words per session writers. If you schedule three writing sessions per week, you would need a little over eight months to hit your book’s word count. If you manage five sessions per week, you would have a complete book in five months
  • 1000 words per session writers. Hitting three sessions per week at this rate of output would result in a full book in four months. Achieving five sessions each week would give you a full book in only two and a half months

These guidelines will help you have a ballpark completion date for your book, allowing you to plan ahead of publication and promotion.

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How many pages does it take to write a book?

Perhaps you prefer to think in terms of page count rather than word count.

While measuring progress by the number of pages written was more common in the days of the typewriter, as it was a lot easier to track pages than words, it’s still a metric that’s easy to visualize. It’s also how we measure our progress as readers.

To plan your book writing time from a page count perspective, you need to work with the understanding that:



500 words typically equals about a page and a half.



This is affected by your typesetting and the visual content of your book, but it’s a good guideline.

Using the 500 words per page and a half metric, different books have the following average page counts.

Example fiction book page counts

  • An 80,000-word mainstream romance novel has around 240 pages
  • A 90,000-word historical fiction book has around 270 pages
  • A 100,000-word sci-fi or fantasy book has around 300 pages

Example non-fiction book page counts

  • A 40,000-word self-help book has around 120 pages
  • A 70,000-word business book has around 210 pages
  • A 150,000-word biography has around 450 pages

Of course, you don’t have to be constrained by these page counts when writing your book, but it’s good to be aware of what readers might expect.

But what about if your book isn’t one of the above genres?

Here’s a method to find the average page count for any type of book:

  1. Go to Amazon‘s online bookstore
  2. Search for the genre of book you are writing
  3. Open up the Kindle Edition book pages of the top 10 current bestsellers within your chosen category
  4. Scroll down until you see the Print Length information for each book
  5. Average out the number of pages
  6. Calculate how many words you will need to reach that page count

By following the above steps you give yourself the peace of mind of knowing how long similar books to yours are, so your readers’ expectations are met. 

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How to speed up the book writing process

Taking longer to write doesn’t necessarily result in a better book. 

In fact, it’s often the opposite. By taking too long, your initial idea loses its luster, your enthusiasm wanes, and your content becomes dull and dated. 

If you want to write a book faster, here are some quick tips to hasten your process:

  1. Schedule out more writing time. How much time do you waste on social media? On Netflix? On anything that isn’t aligned with your goals? Many authors can find extra time to write when they take a look at their schedule.
  2. Improve your planning process. Regardless of whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, you’ll do it a lot faster if you plan properly. Consider whether improving your research or outlining process could help you reach your deadline sooner. 
  3. Leverage the power of community. If you’re the only person who knows about your book writing deadline, it’s easy to let it slip. Partnering with a fellow author to motivate each other, or even letting a loved one know about your goal, can be an invaluable way to stay on track.
  4. Apply external pressure. Sometimes setting consequences can help you write a book in less time. A service like Stickk might be worth checking out, or you could pre-pay for marketing or publication services that require your book to be ready by a certain time. Only use this technique if you have the type of personality that wouldn’t be panicked or overwhelmed by external pressure!
  5. Optimize your writing conditions. Writing a book in the shortest time possible isn’t an act of magic or luck. We can influence various factors to speed up our output. When you find your favorite place to write, tool to write with, and most productive time of day, you are likely to finish your book faster. 

While it’s a great idea to finish your book as soon as you can, you shouldn’t sacrifice its quality. 

Striking a balance between speed and excellence is an important part of your growth as a writer. 

Writing as fast as possible might seem tempting, but be aware that rushing your work will require more time for editing and improvement further down the line, increasing the overall time taken.

Tools to boost your writing speed

As contemporary writers, we’re blessed with a range of tools and technology to help us speed up our book writing process.

If you’re looking for an extra edge to help you finish your book faster, consider using a tool!

Here are some tools to write your book faster:

  1. Specialist writing software. Have you ever considered that your choice of writing software might be slowing you down? Selecting a specialist option suited to books in general, or novels in particular, might give you extra features that boost your output.
  2. A second screen. Do you lose time by switching back and forth between your word processor and your research or notes? If so, consider investing in a second monitor so you can have both on display at all times.
  3. Dictation apps and tools. Some people prefer to speak their book than to type it. You might also get physically tired of typing but be able to carry on through dictation. Experiment with dictation to see if it gives you a productivity boost.
  4. A new keyboard. If you’ve written on several different computers, you’ll know that your choice of keyboard can impact your writing speed. 
  5. White noise or music. What you listen to while writing, if anything at all, is very much personal preference. Try experimenting with different types of white noise and music to see if you notice a difference in your rate of output. 

If you’re struggling to write at the speed you want, give some of the above tools a try.

They might just cut down on the time you need to make your book a reality.

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A step by step book writing schedule 

Now that you’ve taken a thorough look at how long it takes to write a book, let’s summarize the process as a series of simple steps.

  1. Determine the genre or category of your next book
  2. Calculate a target word count
  3. Figure out how many words you can produce in an average writing session
  4. Translate your target word count into a total number of writing sessions
  5. Schedule out your writing sessions on a calendar, allowing for other commitments
  6. Track your progress as you go, making adjustments as needed

Hopefully, you now see that you are more than capable of writing a superb book in less time than you imagined. 

So, what’s stopping you?

Please don’t even think about closing this article without taking action!

Take a few minutes to brainstorm some book ideas.

What will you write? How long will it take you?

There’s someone out there whose life will be changed for the better by reading your next book.

Why not let them enjoy it as soon as possible?

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best books on writing

Best Books On Writing: 18 Writing Books to Help You Improve Your Craft

best books on writing

On the hunt for the best books on writing? Start by adding these books to your “To Be Read” list.

Reading these writing books could very well change how you approach your craft altogether. 

It is Stephen King, the international bestselling champion of 65 (and counting) novels, that said: “Good writers read.”

Related: Writing Quotes

After all, writers are craftsmen who read. And reading still stands as the #1 best way to develop your writing craft.

As a writer, you must invest time into your writing education. This means stocking your personal library with the top books on writing. 

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Here are 18 of the best books on writing: 

  1. Everybody Writes by Anne Handley
  2. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  3. How to Write Best Selling Fiction by Dean Koontz
  4. How to Write Like Tolstoy by Richard Cohen
  5. On Writing by Stephen King
  6. The Elements of Style By William Strunk Jr and E.B. White
  7. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
  8. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
  9. On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  10. The Writing Life by Marie Arana
  11. Published by Chandler Bolt
  12. You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins
  13. The Successful Author Mindset by Joanna Penn
  14. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
  15. Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
  16. The Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod
  17. You Can Write a Novel by James Smith
  18. No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty

Why You Must Read Books on Writing

Nowadays, there are blogs, YouTube videos, courses, and podcasts on publishing and self-publishing

So, why read a book on writing, or how to write better? Doesn’t practicing writing help you far more than reading? The short answer: Not necessarily.

Well, good writers are avid readers, and if you’re going to read anything, it should be a book on how to improve your craft on writing.

Bottom line: Reading makes you a better writer.

The recommended writing books in this post have been selected based on popularity with authors, the value of technique discussed, and overall longevity to continue as popular reads for writers still passionate about learning the craft. Beyond just grammar, syntax or word choice, many of these books dive into the personal lives of the authors.

Here are 4 reasons why you should read the best books on writing:

#1 – Deep insights into the writing life

Who else is better suited to teach you deeper insights into the life of writing than those who have lived the successful writer’s life. Some books here are modern releases for the digital age, but many have been written with the classic author mindset.

You can learn the routine of these authors,  how to prepare for writing a book, dealing with the media, setting up the best writing space, and the deep scoop on what it means to be a published author dealing with publishing companies.

#2 – Learn how to develop your own writing style

The best books on writing are those written by professional writers who are a powerhouse of style development. This is the kind of material you will rarely get listening to a podcast or watching a YouTube channel.

#3 – Raw stories from the masters of the writing craft

Most of the books listed here are available in several formats, and a few are not available in digital but paperback only, and have been out of print for a long time.

After running a survey and doing our own research into the best books on writing to date, here is a list of 23 best books on writing we came up with. I have personally read all of these books and would recommend any of these titles for you to learn the art of writing in all its simplicity and intricacy.

#4 – Think like a writer

Writing a book is a lot of work. The challenge is in dealing with imposter syndrome and our own fears we have around writing. Is my writing any good? Who is going to read it? Do I sound like all the other writers out there?

Through reading books on writing, you begin to realize that every writer struggles with the same imposter mindset.

By reading and understanding how writers think, you can overcome your fears, get more writing done, and think like a writer even when you’re not writing.

The 18 Best Books on Writing

Now, let’s jump into the best books on writing and start your education on thinking, acting and becoming a full-fledged writer!

It doesn’t matter if you are self-publishing or traditional publishing, or what genre you write in… every author will walk away with some insights after reading these writing books.

Related: Best Business Books

These are the best writing books that every writer, or aspiring author, should add to their reading collection.

#1 – Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

In Everybody Writes, top marketing veteran Ann Handley dishes out expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production and book publishing, with actionable how-to advice designed to get real results.

“If you have a website, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry out marketing messages. We are all writers.”

ANNE HANDLEY

Everybody writes is a content creation book with the core message that, “Anybody who has a blog, newsletter, or website is a writer and creating content.” So, if you’re in the business of communication through words using any kind of media, Everybody Writes is for you.

The purpose of this book, and how it differs from many other books on writing is, it teaches how to create high-quality content to build out your online (and offline) business. You will learn the ins-and-outs of building up your clientele list and using email marketing as a means to scale up an email list.

If you want to survive in the digital publishing world, you need to know how to create stellar content that attracts. This is why Everybody Writes is your blueprint and field guide for taking the message to your readers and subscribers.

everybody writes book ann handley

About Ann Handley

Ann Handley is a writer, digital marketing pioneer, and Wall Street Journal best-selling author who inspires and empowers writers and business owners to create marketing content that customers will love, igniting real results for any business. Ann is the author of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business and Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content.

Click here to get Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

#2 – Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird is a must-have for any writer’s kit. In this book, Anne Lamott packs in everything from the trials and tribulations to being a writer while dealing with the many perils of her personal life from addiction to parenting.

Make no mistake, Bird by Bird is the real deal as Ann writes with a mix of memoir spliced together with invaluable lessons she has learned on the writer’s journey. Ann Lamott will help you with your writing as you work through that crappy first draft to getting closer to publication.

Lamott is best known for her witty take on the life of a writer, and this makes the book both entertaining to read as well as a divine learning experience for future authors.

bird by bird anne lamott

About Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is the New York Times bestselling author of Bird By Bird. She is also the author of several novels, including Imperfect Birds and Rosie. Anne is also a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an inductee to the California Hall of Fame.

Click here to get Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

#3 – How to Write Best Selling Fiction by Dean Koontz

How to Write Best Selling Fiction by multiple NY Times Bestselling author Dean Koontz is considered a classic resource for many fiction authors. However, the book was published back in 1981 and has been out of print for over 3 decades, making it a unique collector’s gem for authors.

In fact, to buy this book at the current price through third party retailers will cost you over $500.00. If you are lucky enough to find this in a used bookstore, don’t hesitate…buy it!

Considered to be one of the best books on writing fiction, it tells would-be novelists about the fiction market, offers advice on grammar, writing style, character development, and plot, and explains how to deal with agents and editors.

Keep in mind, because of its age, the book would not be updated for the 21st century, and so while the writing techniques still apply, some advice for the market would be outdated by now.

About Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz has been writing fiction for as long as anyone can remember, and is the author of over 80+ books, often writing under pseudonyms and has been compared to the likes of Stephen King. Dean Koontz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many titles including Watchers, Odd Thomas, and the The Whispering Room.

Note: How to Write Best Selling Fiction is currently unavailable except through 3rd party retailers and libraries in hardcover format. There is currently no digital version available.

#4 – How to Write Like Tolstoy by Richard Cohen

From the writer’s minds of Shakespeare to Stephen King, How to Write Like Tolstoy is a thought-provoking journey inside the minds of the world’s most accomplished storytellers.

For anyone who has ever identified with a hero or heroine, been seduced by a strong opening sentence, or been powerfully moved by a story’s end, this book is for you.

How to Write Like Tolstoy dives into the painstaking elements that great storytellers use to tell heartbreaking, spellbinding, gripping tales. 

Testimonials for How to Write Like Tolstoy:

Richard Cohen, in this fascinating read, reveals the challenges that the masters of the craft had when creating compelling story content. What we get is a well-researched, in-depth guide on the act and art of writing that enhances our experience of reading both the classics and the best modern fiction.

richard cohen how to write like tolstoy

About Richard Cohen

Richard Cohen is the former publishing director of Hutchinson and Hodder & Stoughton and the founder of Richard Cohen Books. Richard has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, the Observer, the Daily Telegraph, and the New York Times Book Review. He is the author of “Chasing the Sun”, “By the Sword” and “How To Write Like Tolstoy”. 

Click here to get How to Write Like Tolstoy.

#5 – On Writing by Stephen King

As a long-time fan of Stephen King back when a horror novel could scorch the top of the New York Times Bestseller list, Stephen King leaves nothing to chance in this part memoir, part “how-to” on writing; this is King like you haven’t seen him before.

The King’s advice is grounded in his early, raw memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the link between writing and living played a powerful role in his recovery.

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If you can say anything about On Writing, this book is a great story that, unlike other books on writing, is actually less about the craft and more to do with King’s philosophies and experience around writing. Brilliant on every page and written by only the Master himself, Stephen King, like his novels from the earlier days, doesn’t disappoint readers.

on writing book by stephen king

About Stephen King

Stephen King is the author of more than seventy books, all of them worldwide bestsellers, and many have been made into TV shows, mini-series, and theatrical movies. Stephen King was the recipient of America’s prestigious 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for distinguished contribution to American Letters. In 2007 he also won the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

Click here to get On Writing by Stephen King

#6 – The Elements of Style by By William Strunk, Jr.

This book is a classic writing book, and one that every writer should have as a reference on their bookshelf.

So yes, this book matters, and is considered by most writers, including Stephen King himself, who has stated that this is the only book he recommends on writing, if you are to read anything at all. The Elements of Style is required reading for most writing courses by the instructors as a resource for brushing up and developing writing skills.

Here is a brief from Amazon’s description of The Elements of Style:

I have personally used this book from the beginning and, although short in length, is packed with value even today. A definite must-have and must-read for every author, new and veteran.

elements of style book

About William Strunk

William Strunk Jr. (1 July 1869 – 26 September 1946), was a professor of English at Cornell University and author of The Elements of Style (1918). A revised edition titled The Elements and Practice of Composition, with Edward A. Tenney as coauthor, was printed in 1935. The only other book Willima Strunk wrote was English Metres, published locally in 1922. Widely  known as a prolific editor, Strunk edited works by important authors, including William Shakespeare, John Dryden, and James Fenimore Cooper.

Click here to get The Elements of Style by William Strunk.

#7 – Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg is a modern classic that dives into the craft of writing, from brainstorming ideas, the vital role of verbs, making statements and answering questions, writing in restaurants, a list of topics for writing practice, and overcoming writer’s doubt.

“It is a good idea to wait awhile before you reread your writing. Time allows for distance and objectivity about your work. After you have filled a whole notebook in writing practice (perhaps it took you a month), sit down and reread the entire notebook as though it weren’t yours.”

NATALIE GOLDBERG

This book is a groundbreaking classic filled with the authors best advice and experience shared in one volume worthy of 35+ years of writing practice. The advice in her book, provided in short, easy-to-read chapters, will inspire anyone who writes—or who longs to. The updated edition includes a foreword by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way.

writing down the bones

About Natalie Goldberg

Natalie Goldberg is the author of fifteen books, including Writing Down the Bones, which has sold over one million copies and has been translated into fourteen languages. For more than forty years Natalie has practiced zen and taught seminars in writing as a practice. People from around the world attend her life-changing workshops.

The Oprah Winfrey Show sent a film crew to spend the day with Natalie for a segment on spirituality that covered her writing, teaching, painting, and walking meditation. She currently lives in Northern New Mexico.

Click here to get Writing Down the Bones.

#8 – Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, compiled this book of essays portraying his passion for the craft. Part memoir, part masterclass, ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING offers a vivid insight into the craft of writing. Ray Bradbury reveals how writers can find their own unique path to developing a writer’s voice and their own writing style.

Written from the experience of a lifetime of writing, Ray shares his excitement, joy, wisdom and experience in this classic book for authors.

zen in the art of writing

About Ray Bradbury

In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and more than fifty books, poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Ray Bradbury was one of the most successful writers of our time. His award-winning works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Something Wicked This Way Comes

Click here to get Zen in the Art of Writing.

#9 – On Writing Well by William Zinsser

If you are a nonfiction writer, you shouldn’t even attempt writing (or self-editing) until you’ve read this book at least twice. William Zinsser was the classic author in his style and approach to the craft. The first section “Principles” is a goldmine of tips, writing tactics and common-sense approach to writing like a pro. Part 3 on “Forms” is niche targeted and includes tips on writing about people, places, technology, business, travel, and humor.

On Writing Well has long been regarded as one of the best books on writing with something for everyone, no matter the genre you specialize in. With more than a million copies sold, this volume remains a valuable resource for writers even today, regardless if you are a writing veteran or just starting out in the craft of writing.

on writing well book by william zinsser

About William Zinsser

William Zinsser (1922-2015), was a writer, editor, and teacher. His 18 books, which range in subject from music to baseball to American travel, include several widely read books about writing that includes the million-copy bestseller On Writing Well, and Writing About Your Life. You can find out more about William Zinsser at http://www.williamzinsserwriter.com/

Click here to get On Writing Well.

#10 – The Writing Life by Marie Arana

The Writing Life is a massive gathering of 55 authors as they discuss their ideas for writing and how they formed these ideas into readable manuscripts, some of them taking decades to write.

The essays contain biographical information about each author, giving readers a deeper insight into their background and how they came to become professional authors.

Although some of the essays feel like long rants combined with the creative freedom each author expresses, you can’t help but be captivated by the stories of writers as they share some of their most secretive moments of inspiration.

The Writing Life highlights the pleasures of the trade, the struggle, the successes and failures of the authors.

If you are looking for something that gets into the mind of an author and what makes them tick, try The Writing Life for true realism of an author’s life.

writing life book by marie arana

About Maria Arana

Marie is the former editor in chief of “Book World” at The Washington Post and a senior consultant to the Librarian of Congress. Her book The Writing Life, is a collection from her well-known column for The Washington Post, which explores the way writers think and work. She is also the author of 10+ books including The Best American Travel Writing. You can find more information about her at www.mariearana.net.

Click here to get The Writing Life.

#11 – Published by Chandler Bolt

Here is one for self-published authors. The CEO and founder of the Self-Publishing School, and 6x self-published author Chandler Bolt delivers a blueprint on how to write and publish a novel.

In Published, Chandler presents a proven solution that will take and novice from blank page to published author in 90 days.

The book offers modern insight and a proven plan to earn income writing, build an author platform, and build your email list by giving away a free gift when readers download your free audiobook.

Take a chance on Published and let the professionals at Self-Publishing School guide you on your journey to self-publication.

chandler bolt book published

About Chandler Bolt

Chandler Bolt is the founder & CEO of Self-Publishing School, the #1 online resource for writing your first book. Self Publishing School made the INC 5000 in 2018 (#2,699) and in 2019 (#1,483) as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the US.

Through his books, training videos, and Self-Publishing School program, he’s helped thousands of writers on their journey to writing their first book.

Check out Self Publishing School here: http://self-publishingschool.com

#12 – You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins

From the founder of Tribe Writers, veteran author and blogger at Goins, Writer brings writers a book that guides the could-be author towards the dream of writing for a living.

Jeff uses many of his own anecdotes and case studies of authors who are doing what many dream of—making a living writing words.

“You are a writer; you just need to write.”

JEFF GOINS

Jeff Goins shares his own story of self-doubt and what it took for him to become a professional writer. He provides simple, practical steps to improve your writing style and technique, get published in magazines and with traditional publishers, and build a platform of fans that fall in love with your work.

You will learn the importance of passion and discipline and how to show up every day to make time for writing.

jeff goins you are a writer
s

About Jeff Goins

Jeff Goins is a writer, keynote speaker, and award-winning blogger with a reputation for challenging the status quo. He is the best-selling author of five books, including The Art of Work, and Wrecked. Jeff has been featured on the best­seller lists of USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, and the Washington Post.

Click here to get You Are a Writer.

#13 – The Successful Author Mindset by Joanna Penn

The Successful Author Mindset dives into the mindset obstacles that writers experience at different stages on the creative journey.

Joanna Penn tackles writing from a career author standpoint, so if you’re looking for best business books to grow your author business, her books are a good resource.

Each chapter tackles a specific issue and offers an antidote to that problem. It includes excerpts from Joanna Penn’s personal journals, as well as quotes from famous writers. The book is heavily geared for writers struggling with the writing process, as well as the business of writing and being heard.

I recommend this book to new authors when starting out because it covers topics such as self-doubt, fear of failure, the need for validation, perfectionism, writer’s block, overwhelm, fear of failure, criticism, ambition, fame and fortune. 

The Successful Author Mindset fills you with confidence and keeps you writing.

joanne penn the successful author mindset

About Joanna Penn

Joanna Penn is a bestselling author, international speaker and award-winning entrepreneur. Her site, www.TheCreativePenn.com helps authors with creativity, writing, publishing, book marketing and creative entrepreneurship. It has been voted one of the top 100 sites for authors by Writers Digest.

Click here to get The Successful Author Mindset.

#14 – The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

A very honest and open account of the writing life and how Annie Dillard has navigated through the trials and tribulations of this difficult craft. Considered by many to be one of the best books on writing, you will not be disappointed by The Writing Life.

This book is compiled with material from a decade of The Washington Post’s “Writing Life” column. In this collection of short essays, Annie Dillard illuminates the dedication and daring that summarizes the life and existence of a writer.

The book is part-memoir and serves as a moving account of Dillard’s own life experiences, The Writing Life offers deep insight into one of the most mysterious and profound professions.

the writing life by annie dillard

About Annie Dillard

Annie Dillard is the author of ten books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winner Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, as well as An American Childhood, The Living, and Mornings Like This.

She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters and has received fellowship grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts

Click here to get The Writing Life.

#15 – Stein On Writing by Sol Stein

Sol Stein is a renowned editor, author, and instructor, and he explains: “This is not a book of theory. It is a book of useable solutions– how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, and how to create interesting writing in the first place.”

In Stein On Writing, nonfiction writers will find a unique approach to the new revolution in journalism and a guide to using the techniques of fiction to enhance nonfiction.

Fresh, useful, informative, and fun to read, Stein on Writing is a book you will return to again and again to soak up the witty, often provoking, talent and voice of a literary master.

This book is a tribute to everything Stein learned from his writing in a career that spanned several decades before he passed away in September, 2019.

On writing by sol stein

About Sol Stein

Sol Stein (October 13, 1926 – September 19, 2019) was the author of 13 books including Stein On Writing, and How to Grow a Novel. He was Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Stein and Day Publishers for 27 years.

Click here to get Stein on Writing.

#16 – The Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod and Steve Scott

In this great little book on how to write a novel in the morning, Hal Elrod teams up with Steve Scott (author of Habit Stacking and Happier Human).

You learn how to take charge of your morning and maximize “the rest of the day” for your writing efforts. The book teaches you techniques and strategies that include:

  • 4 business models perfect for writers, how to get started, and which one we recommend.
  • The 10-step process for publishing a book that readers love
  • How a morning routine can change every area of your life (Including your health, happiness, finances and relationships).
  • The proven strategy for “finding the time” to write–even if you have a full-time job.

This book shows you how to increase your writing speed as well as make money at doing what you love to do the most…write!

Get Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning for Writers here.

miracle morning for writers hal elrod

About Hal Elrod

As the author of one of the highest rated books on Amazon, The Miracle Morning (which has been translated into 37 languages, has over 3,000 five-star reviews and has impacted the lives of over 2,000,000 people in more than 70 countries)… he is doing exactly that. You can learn more about Hal Elrod at https://halelrod.com/

About Steve Scott

Steve Scott is the bestselling author of over 50+ books, many of which are based on habit development and personal development. S.J. provides daily action plans for every area of your life: health, fitness, work and personal relationships. His content focuses on taking action so, instead of reading over-hyped strategies that rarely work, you’ll get information that can be immediately implemented. You can connect with Steve at https://www.developgoodhabits.com/

Click here to get The Miracle Morning for Writers.

#17 – You Can Write a Novel by James Smith

If you are learning to write fiction and need a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to set up your story, create characters and develop a storyline that tells and sells, You Can Write a Novel is the book you need. 

Related: How to Write a Novel

Veteran author James V. Smith, Jr. breaks down the novel writing process into ten logical steps. You’ll start developing the foundation for your book right away by taking your story’s three most important incidents from mind mapping and idea generation, to final draft perfection.

You Can Write a Novel targets the essentials every writer needs, such as plot, character, setting, dialogue, and action. You’ll learn how to generate a salable idea, develop your idea into a framework, and build your framework into a finished manuscript.

When I started writing fiction again, this was definitely the book that helped to structure all the details, plot, character, and everything else in between. It comes with free downloadable material if you access the site through the book. James Smith guides you through the process by building the story around compelling characters.

If you would rather purchase the now out-of-print companion You Can Write a Novel Kit, this is a great tool for writers who appreciate using physical materials to build out their book. With James’ “You Can Write a Novel kit” and instructional book included, you can refine your fiction techniques using Smith’s writing advice and strategies, such as an idea-scoring system and the forty cardinal writing rules.

you can write a novel a book by james smith

About James V. Smith

James Smith is a former combat soldier, helicopter pilot, newspaper writer and editor, national award-winning columnist, and magazine editor. He is author of You Can Write a Novel, and The Fiction Writer’s Brainstormer. He has published more than a dozen military action-adventure novels, including the six-book series Force Recon. He wrote the Delta Force series under the pen name John Harriman.

Click here to get You Can Write a Novel.

#18 – No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

Written by NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty brings you a companion guide to go with your NaNoWriMo writing plan. If writing is a challenge, this book—and taking part in the 30-day writing rush—will break any resistance to writing you’re holding on to.

With over 20 years of writing experience, Chris has revised and updated his writing reference guide with more compelling tips, updated strategies, and a no-fuss approach to novel writing that gets your writing fingers moving.

No Plot? No Problem! Breaks your writing excuses, destroying imposter syndrome for good and sets you on a path to getting your book done and ultimately published.

About Chris Baty

Chris Baty founded National Novel Writing Month in 1999, and is now available in 90 countries. Chris now serves as a Board Member Emeritus for NaNoWriMo, and spends his days teaching classes at Stanford University’s Writer’s Studio. He’s the author of No Plot? No Problem! and the co-author of Ready, Set, Novel.

Click here to get No Plot? No Problem!

Your favorite books on writing

There are so many great books on writing a novel, how to write nonfiction, creating compelling characters, or self-publishing a novel.

Unfortunately we couldn’t fit everything into one post…there are too many to choose from.

If you have a favorite book you’d like to recommend, we’d love to hear from you.

Just drop the title and author of your favorite book on writing in the comments below. It could be included in our next post on the best books on writing!

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What best books on writing would you add to this list?

kindle self publishing

Kindle Self-Publishing: Is Publishing on Kindle Worth It?

It’s impossible to deny that the rise of Kindle self-publishing has changed the world of books forever.

The first Kindle e-reader device launched back in 2007. Amazon fully sold out within 6 hours and took almost half a year to offer it for sale again. Readers instantly fell in love with the ability to carry around a large selection of books wherever they went.

To satisfy this new demand for ebooks, Amazon launched Kindle Direct Publishing alongside the physical Kindle device. It smashed the boundaries that authors used to face when trying to release their book into the world. There had never been an easier way to become an author.

Related: Amazon Self-Publishing

But is Kindle self-publishing still worth it? Or should you look for another place to publish your book?

Here’s everything you need to decide!

This guide to Kindle Self-Publishing covers:

  1. How to publish an ebook on Kindle
  2. How to publish a paperback on Kindle 
  3. How does Amazon Kindle pay authors?
  4. Why should you self-publish on Kindle?
  5. Why should you publish elsewhere?
  6. Bonus Kindle self-publishing resources
  7. Action steps to get started 

Kindle Self Publishing – The Basics

So what are the basics you need to know about self-publishing on Kindle?

The platform offered by Amazon is called KDP, standing for Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s named that way as it allows you to directly release a book onto the Amazon store without the need for gatekeepers or middlemen. 

The process of uploading a book to KDP couldn’t be easier. If you’re reading this now, you’re capable of doing it. This is part of the reason why there are so many unusual and obscure book categories on Amazon. Anyone is allowed to publish almost anything. 

How do you publish an ebook on Kindle?

To publish an ebook on Kindle, simply follow these simple steps.

  1. Have a finalized manuscript and book cover that you are happy to use for the final version of your book.
  2. Carefully check Amazon’s rules on content and quality to make sure your book complies. Don’t skip this step as it will slow things down and cause disruption later.
  3. Sign in to Amazon using your existing account or make a brand new one. Standard Amazon accounts work with KDP, so there’s no need to make a separate account for publishing.
  4. Ensure the browser app you are using is up to date as older browsers tend to crash during the upload and publication process.
  5. Head to the KDP bookshelf section of your Amazon account. Choose ‘create a new title’ and select +Kindle eBook. 
  6. Input your book title, description, keywords, and categories.
  7. Upload your book manuscript and book cover, using Amazon’s preview service to make sure everything looks the way you intended. 
  8. When everything is good to go, hit ‘publish your Kindle eBook’ to start the countdown until your book is live and available for sale. 

The interface for uploading and publishing your eBook is simple and easy to understand, making it a painless process to get your book up for sale. 

How do you publish a paperback on Kindle?

To publish a paperback on Kindle, simply follow the same steps as above for an ebook. The only difference is during step 5, instead of selecting +Kindle eBook, select +Paperback instead. Also, during step 6, you can choose the options you want for your paperback book in terms of paper type etc. and order a proof copy of your Kindle paperback. 

You also have the option of creating a Kindle paperback from a Kindle ebook. When you go to +Paperback, simply use the details of one of your existing ebooks and modify them as needed. 

How long does it take to publish a book on Kindle?

After you’ve finished the publication process, your book will be live on the Kindle store within 72 hours. Linking a paperback to an ebook takes between 48 hours and a week. 

Which countries have a Kindle store?

At this time, 15 Amazon stores are serving the globe. Readers with a Kindle device can change their Kindle store location without the need to create a new Amazon account. This allows them to access books available in other parts of the world. 

Amazon has dedicated stores in:

  1. USA
  2. UK
  3. Australia
  4. Japan 
  5. France
  6. Canada
  7. Germany
  8. Spain
  9. Italy
  10. China
  11. Brazil
  12. Mexico
  13. Singapore
  14. Netherlands
  15. India 

Isn’t it exciting to imagine all the readers you could reach across these markets?

Is it free to publish a book on Kindle?

Yes, it is free to publish on Kindle. Authors do not pay to either set up their account or release a book. The only time that Amazon gets paid is when a book is sold. Then, authors receive a royalty, depending on their book price, and Amazon receives the rest. 

How does Amazon Kindle pay authors?

Royalties you make from selling Kindle ebooks and paperbacks through KDP Print are paid at the end of each month. You get paid roughly 60 days after the end of the month in which your royalties were earned. Say, for example, you generate $2000 of royalties in June. You would receive a payout for this amount at the end of August. 

There are three payment methods you can use to get paid from Amazon publishing, depending on your location:

  1. Direct deposit
  2. Wire transfer
  3. Check 

The minimum threshold you need to earn for a payout is $100 for Amazon.com. The rough equivalent applies to stores using other currencies, for example, £100 is the minimum for the UK store. 

Why should you self-publish on Kindle?

So now that you know you certainly can publish a book on Amazon, it’s time to consider whether you should

In a word, yes! If you’re looking for self-publishing success, there’s absolutely no reason not to make Amazon a part of your plan. 

The real question is how important will Amazon be to your overall publishing plan?  There are various levels of participation with Kindle Direct Publishing and its associated programs, which we’ll explain later. 

For now, check out our five top reasons why your book absolutely deserves to be sold on the Kindle store:

  1. Amazon dominates the world of ebooks. It’s no surprise that Amazon is the largest player in the ebook space. It’s a true example of the Pareto principle in action, with around 80% of all US ebook sales taking place on Amazon and 20% elsewhere.
  1. The Kindle Store is a diverse place. We’re more conscious than ever before of the fact that traditional publishing tends to be dominated by people with privilege and connections. However, the Kindle Store is equally accessible to people of any race, religion, gender, or sexuality. It’s a great place to read diverse writing that you might not otherwise discover.
  1. You can easily sell your work in different formats. Are you interested in offering your book in various formats, like audiobook and paperback options? Amazon has integrated its audiobook service, ACX, and its print on demand option, KDP Print, directly into the Kindle store. It’s a breeze to offer your book in a range of formats to suit every preference, and there’s great content out there to teach you how to get started on audiobooks.
  1. Amazon has powerful free and paid marketing options. Book marketing is a major challenge for many authors. When you opt to publish on Amazon, you can easily take advantage of their free and paid ways of getting your book in front of readers. You can invest in Amazon advertising or use the various promotional programs on offer. 
  1. Author Central boosts your platform. Every author publishing on Amazon has the option to create an Author Central profile. This is a hub where you can let readers know more about you as an author, offer all your books in one place, and also link other elements of your author platform, such as your blog. 

What special programs does Amazon offer self-published authors?

One of the major attractions of Kindle for indie authors is the special programs on offer. 

If you self-publish on Kindle, you can become a participant in:

  1. KDP Select. By offering your eBook exclusively on Amazon for 90 day periods, you can benefit from their special programs such as Kindle Unlimited. 
  2. Kindle Unlimited. If you participate in Kindle Unlimited, readers have the option to check out your book for free and you get paid for every page they read. 
  3. Kindle Countdown Deals. Offer your book at a promotional price for a limited period of time, alongside a countdown clock to drive urgency. You still receive your chosen royalty rate even if the sale price is different from normal. 
  4. Kindle Lending Library. If you choose this option you allow people to lend your book to a limited number of their friends and family. 

Ultimately, there are too many good things about Kindle Self Publishing to ignore it. It’s free and has a huge potential upside.

Why should you publish elsewhere?

Of course, nothing is perfect, and that’s certainly the case with self-publishing on Kindle. There are things about it that authors find frustrating. 

Although we feel the pros of Kindle self-publishing strongly outweigh the cons, you shouldn’t ignore them. 

  1. Ethical objections. Let’s face it. While it may be incredibly convenient to use, there are ethical issues that some people have with Amazon. If you have serious problems with the ways Amazon does business, think carefully about how far you want to support them.
  1. Problems with reviews. The media have paid a lot of attention over the years to issues that crop up with Amazon’s reviews system. There are fake reviews, both positive and negative, that often manage to stay one step ahead of Amazon’s attempts to shut them down. There’s also the opposite issue where the company gets heavy-handed and deletes what authors feel to be valid reviews. 
  1. Exclusivity tradeoff. I f you want to opt into programs like KDP Select, you will not be able to sell your book elsewhere. You need to weigh up the benefits of being exclusive on Amazon VS featuring your book in other stores. 
  1. Diversify your income. If you put all your eggs in the Amazon basket, you run the risk of a big drop in income should things take a downturn. By being featured in multiple stores, you protect against losing almost all your income should something go wrong on Amazon. 

Just to reiterate, we feel that every author should be on Amazon to some extent unless you have very strong ethical objections to the company. The only question is whether you should be exclusive to them or not. That’s a choice only you can make after weighing up the pros and cons. 

Bonus resources for better Kindle Self-Publishing 

You now know all the basic practicalities of self-publishing on Kindle as well as the major pros and cons to help evaluate if it’s the right choice for you.

If you’re ready to go further, we have plenty of more detailed resources to help you succeed.

Check out our free resources for:

  • Kindle Direct Publishing. An in-depth guide to Kindle Direct Publishing. Contains a large section on how to convert your Word manuscript into a Kindle-ready file. 
  • Kindle Unlimited. Our full review of the Kindle Unlimited program to help you decide if it’s the right option for your book. 
  • eBook Publishing. Bestselling author Scott Allan shares a detailed, step by step approach to ebook publication. 
  • Amazon Author Central. A complete guide to setting up and making the most of your Author Central page. 
  • Box Set Creation. How to create a series box set or bundle on Amazon.

With this overview of how to publish on Kindle and those in-depth guides, you have all the information you need to give your book the best possible chance of success. 

Action steps to get started 

If you’re still reading, you’re probably ready to take action! Great. Here are some practical steps you can use to get some initial momentum going.

  1. Decide where you are at. Do you have a book that’s ready to upload to Kindle? Do you need to work further to get your manuscript ready? Figure out a plan for how to get to the point you have both a cover and a manuscript you feel is worthy of publication.
  2. Get familiar with Kindle Direct Publishing. If it’s your first time publishing on Amazon, you’ve probably never seen the KDP backend before. Log in and get familiar with what it looks like and how it works. 
  3. Plan your publishing timeline. When are you looking to publish? How will you plan your launch? You should approach publishing intentionally and strategically. It’s not something you should jump straight into or you won’t get the best results. 
  4. Fill any knowledge gaps. If there’s something you feel you need to learn, read up further, or invest in a full course. But don’t keep studying forever. The best results come from firsthand experience! 

For fiction and nonfiction authors alike, publishing on Kindle is a valuable opportunity that shouldn’t be overlooked. The royalty rates are great, it’s easy to do, and you can go beyond books by offering your work in other formats and linking to your wider author platform. 

If you have any tips for Kindle publishing, let us know in the comments! Do you see more pros or cons? Feel free to share your take. 

how to write a book proposal

Book Proposal: How to Write a Book Proposal in 7 Simple Steps

Learning how to write a book proposal is an exciting step on the journey to getting your book out into the world. 

This is the time to stop thinking about your book as a private project and start seeing it as something the outside world will be interested in. This requires you to take a methodical look at what your book contains and the commercial potential it might have. 

Even if you intend to self-publish your book (and we think you should!) there is still value in taking the time to go through the book proposal process.

If you’re not sure what your book proposal should contain, or even what it is, we’ve got you covered!

This guide to writing a book proposal covers:

  1. What is a book proposal?
  2. Step 1 – Write an overview
  3. Step 2 – Define your target audience
  4. Step 3 – Share your author information
  5. Step 4 – Plan your marketing
  6. Step 5 – Define the competition
  7. Step 6 – Outline your chapters
  8. Step 7 – Include a sample chapter
  9. What should you avoid in a book proposal?
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What is a book proposal?

A book proposal is a document that authors use to pitch their book, usually to a publisher. It run betweens 20 and 50 pages in length and makes the case for why a book is a good idea and how it is likely to succeed.

Good book proposals are detailed, focused, and backed up with as much data as possible to advocate for a book’s commercial potential. 

How do you propose a book to a publisher?

If you are looking to release your book on a traditionally-published, rather than self-published basis, you will need to either pitch it to a publisher directly, or have an agent do that for you.

In either instance, a book proposal will be an effective tool in your arsenal. It’s a lot easier to get an agent or publisher’s attention if you have a well-produced document that clearly states exactly what your book is about, why you are the right person to write it, and how you plan to market it. 

Even if you are leaning towards self-publishing your book, you should still take the time to write a proposal. Why? As you will be the publisher for your own book, you still need a clear idea of all the same information as a traditional publisher. 

Step 1 – Write an overview

The first section your book proposal must include is the overview. Think of the overview section as being like an elevator pitch. It’s a succinct and persuasive summary of why your book matters and is deserving of further attention.

The key is to write your overview section in the most gripping way possible. This isn’t the time to be boring or dry. By the same token, it’s also not the time to be over the top or use too much hype or extravagant claims. 

Instead, take a middleground. Clearly and succinctly state exactly what your book is about and why it matters. Try and touch on the emotional experience that a reader is in for should they choose your book. 

Imagine being at a dinner party and having about half a minute to respond to someone asking ‘so what’s your book about?’. You want them to have a very clear idea of what your book covers but you also want them to feel excited and intrigued to learn more. If you cover both objectives in your overview, you have the start of an excellent book proposal. 


Step 2 – Define your target audience 

It’s now time to clearly make the case for who your book is intended for. 

Every book needs a defined readership. You might already have a clear idea of who your book is intended for, or you might need to explore this a bit further.

If you’re not exactly sure how to define your audience, think about the following points:

  • Is there a particular age group your book is intended for?
  • Does your book speak to a particular gender?
  • What about location? Would readers in a particular country or even city get more from your book, or could readers from around the world enjoy it?
  • What are the pain points your book seeks to solve?
  • Can you explain your target readership in terms of other books? For example, could you say ‘fans of X book would enjoy my book because…’. 

No matter what you do, avoid stating that your book is intended for everyone. When you try to please too many people, you often end up pleasing none!

When you are writing information on your target audience, use numbers wherever possible. For example, don’t write something like ‘young people with anxiety’. Instead, state exactly how many young people have anxiety. Always use numbers, and make sure these numbers are reliably sourced. 

Step 3 – Share your author information

An effective book proposal isn’t just about selling your book and the information it contains. It’s also about selling you as the author.

In this section of your book proposal, you need to be as self-promotional as possible without being over the top or making claims you can’t back up. 

By all means, use this section to cover basic information about who you are as a writer and your background. However, it’s important to keep this tight and relevant. You want to think in terms of only what would make a publisher more interested in investing money into a book from you. 

Some of the best and most useful things to share here include:

  • Details of your author platform. What kind of following do you have? On which platforms? Make sure to include numbers here such as X followers on Y platform.
  • Awards. Have you won any awards or prizes? Have you been recognized in some other way?
  • Body of work. Have you published before? Do you have other relevant experience, such as contributing to publications?
  • Media. Have you appeared in any media publications, either online or in real life? 
  • Speaking. Have you given talks anywhere? Are you a member of any speaking organizations?
  • Author photo. Include a professional picture here that you feel is a good fit for who you are and the type of book you are pitching. 

In a nutshell, the author info section of your proposal should convince a publisher of two things. First, that you are the right person to write this particular book. Second, that you are in a position to make it a success. 

Step 4 – Plan your marketing

Any good book proposal needs to cover a brief marketing plan.

On a side note, isn’t it interesting how even in a traditional publishing context authors are still required to think about and participate in book marketing? A lot of the responsibilities that people imagine self-publishers alone have also fall to traditional authors!

So, what should you include in the marketing section of your book proposal?

Like all the other sections, the key here is to be as specific as possible. 

For example, let’s imagine you hope to get relevant bloggers to feature your book. 

Don’t write something like “I want to get my book featured on relevant blogs.” Instead, be as specific as possible. Say something like “I will reach out to my network of 100s of authority bloggers within my niche with the aim of securing at least 10 features on blogs with X amount of monthly traffic.” 

Aside from being as specific as possible, another key tip here is to focus on what’s within your direct power as an author. Don’t tell the publisher what you want them to do. Instead, be very clear about what you can and will do to help your book succeed. 

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Step 5 – Define the competition

Book publishers are aware that the market is a crowded place. For every person that wants to buy a book, there are probably multiple titles that would be a good fit for that readers’s needs.

As part of your book proposal process, you need to take a look at the other books that are out there and make the case for why yours is different and worthwhile.

It’s not enough that your book is excellent in its own right. It also needs to stand out from the competition in a positive way. Here are some ways you might think about selling a publisher on how your book is different from the other options out there:

  • Contemporary. Sometimes, you will notice that the competing books out there contain old information that isn’t the most useful or interesting for today’s readers. If your book contains fresh info that isn’t found elsewhere, that is a major selling point to emphasize to publishers.
  • Other audience. Perhaps your book is the only one to cover the needs of a specific group of readers. For example, if your book covers dating advice for millennial men, and other books do not cover this demographic, that’s something to point out. 
  • Different take. Your book might be offering a solution to readers that isn’t found in other titles. If you have a unique angle then be sure to make this clear in your competitor analysis section. 

No book exists in isolation, so be sure to show publishers that you haven’t just considered your competition, but also why you are ideally placed to offer something different from them.

Step 6 – Outline your chapters 

Your book proposal should provide a full list of the chapters your book will contain.

For each chapter, include around a paragraph explaining exactly what the chapter covers and why it matters. 

You want to keep your chapter summaries short and interesting. They should be written in a way that is understandable by a publisher who might not be an expert in your topic. You should also focus on exploring why the chapters matter and how they benefit the reader. 

If in doubt, have someone with only a general level of understanding of your book topic take a look at your chapter list. Get their feedback on which chapters sounded interesting, which didn’t, and why. 

Step 7 – Include a sample chapter 

The final essential thing to include as part of a book proposal is a sample chapter, or more than one chapter, that really shows exactly what your book is all about.

If a publisher gets as far as wanting to read your sample chapter, you’ve already got further than a lot of authors. So don’t let this be the part of the process that lets you down!

You should choose the chapters of your book that most showcase the ideas and moods you promised in your book overview. You want to convince anyone reading that your book is as you described it to be. 

Ideally, you should choose a chapter that works fairly well on its own. If it relies too heavily on other parts of the book to make sense, it is unlikely to do a great job at winning a publisher over. 

Think of your sample chapter as a representative of your book. Which chapter shows what your work is all about in the best possible light?

Your choice of sample chapter can make or break your book’s success with a publisher, so be sure to choose wisely!

What should you avoid in a book proposal?

Of course, if you’re writing a book proposal for the first time, you also need to know the mistakes to avoid making!

Some of the key errors authors should avoid at all costs when writing a book proposal include:

  1. Making it all about you. Your book proposal isn’t the time for you to say why you think your book is wonderful and deserves attention. You need to step into the shoes of a prospective publisher and view the entire thing from their perspective. 
  1. Being wordy. Book publishers are inundated with proposals. Make sure yours covers everything it needs to in the most succinct and punchy way possible. Ruthlessly trim your text down until it has only the absolute essentials. 
  1. Using too much jargon. Book publishers are almost certainly less familiar with your book topic than you are. Avoid alienating them by writing too much jargon or using technical language that is off putting. 
  1. Not using data. Whenever you make a claim, support it with evidence and data. Don’t just say a niche is popular, for example, Share the facts and figures that prove it is. 
  1. Not getting feedback. After you’ve written a draft of your book proposal, be sure to get feedback from people whose opinion you trust. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in your own perception of your proposal without thinking about how it comes across to others. 

If you’re ready to write your first book proposal, we wish you every success! It’s a useful thing to do even if you end up self-publishing. 

Have you created a book proposal in the past? What part of the process did you find the most challenging and the most enjoyable? What do you wish you knew before you started?

Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts on the book proposal process!

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how a book can grow your business

How a Book Can Grow Your Business: 9 Ways to Get More Customers With A Book

Writing a book to grow your business is like lighting multiple candles with one flame. 

A published book, when done right, will grow your business in many different ways, that can all improve your bottom line in the long term. 

Some will argue that writing a book is one of the best investments you can make into your business. It can generate increasing results over time, especially if your book marketing strategy is effective.

Whether you provide a service, supply a product, or offer coaching or consulting, I’m convinced that almost any business owner or entrepreneur can publish a book that will grow their business in more ways than one. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through some specific ways on how a book can increase business and generate more customers, with specific examples and tips.

How a Book Can Grow Your Business:

  1. Authority and Credibility
  2. Brand Visibility
  3. Lead Generation
  4. Business Card
  5. Referrals
  6. Conversion
  7. Media & PR
  8. Book Royalties
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#1 – Boost Authority and Credibility

Add “Bestselling Author” to your title, and it’s an instant authority boost.

When you have the experience of writing and publishing a book, especially on a topic related to your industry, you’re instantly considered a Subject Matter Expert.

That means, people are looking to you for knowledge and problem-solving ideas, because you are a credible authority.

What better way to boost your business by increasing your thought leadership and credibility as a published author?

#2 – Brand Visibility

Brand visibility equals trust. It’s one of the most important things that tell a prospect that your business is the real deal, and can bring in the right results.

Getting prospect and potential clients to trust you can be easy with a high-quality, professional published book.

Using a book to grow your business from a brand visibility standpoint is one of the best ways to help prospects become aware of your company, and ultimately trust you to fulfill the customer’s need.

#3 – Lead Generation

Leads are potential people that are interested in what you have to offer, and a book funnel is single-handedly one of the most successful ways to bring in leads on a consistent basis through your book.

Using a book as a lead magnet helps you grow your email list, build your prospect base, and provide value that helps more people learn about what you offer.

The best part about using a book to grow your business leads? It’s usually running on autopilot (meaning there’s minimal manual work involved). You don’t have to rely on cold calling and direct response methods.

Instead, customers can use your book to gain awareness, engage with your content, and take action to enter your sales pipeline – without you having to do all the manual work (especially if you’re using automated systems).

The second best part? The leads your book will bring in will be higher quality leads – people that actually want to learn more about your topic and how you can help (which means it’s generally easier to turn them into customers).

#4 – Better Than a Business Card

Some people say a published book is like a business card. I say it’s BETTER than a business card.

With a book, you’re not only able to tell customers a lot more about your business and how you can help them solve a problem…

You’re also able to help educate your customers, which means you can set clear expectations and help them make informed decisions that will increase their lifetime value with your business.

You’re also providing a ton of information by helping them learn more about your topic with a business-building book. This means they’ll likely rave about you to all their network, which brings us to the next benefit…

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#5 – Referrals, Referrals, and More Referrals

A book can grow your business through leveraged referrals.

When is the last time you recommended a book to a friend or colleague that had a specific problem or needed to learn more about a topic? If you’re like most people that read books, you probably do it more often than you think!

The same is true for your average Jane. So, imagine Jane reads your book and because she learned so much from your content, she starts to recommend it to everyone she knows who could benefit from the content.

The right books often get referred to the right people, which means more readers and prospects for your business.

#6 – Conversion

When an interested prospect become a buying customer, a conversion occurs.

To get more prospects converted into paying customers, a number of things have to happen. The prospect must trust and believe in your product, and see the value in it.

Although a number of factors affect conversion, a book can help grow your business by increasing conversion by educating prospects.

When prospects learn something valuable from you, they will trust you and believe that your business knows what it’s doing and can help them.

And a book is the best way to educate your prospects, which means that the more they are educated, the higher the chance is that they will convert and pay for additional products and services from you.

#7 – Media & PR

A book opens the doors to more opportunities – specifically when it comes to media and public relations.

This isn’t to say that once you publish a book journalists and reporters are instantly going to knock down your door for interviews. I mean, they might, but that’s an exception, not the rule.

But with the right pitching method and networking strategy, landing media opportunities like speaking gigs, podcast interviews, guest author blogs, and even TV appearances will be easier for you.

Adding “Author” to your byline is an instant media perk, and journalists are always looking for attention-grabbing stories from credible sources.

And more media and PR exposure means you will have more eyes on your business.

#8 – Book Royalties

If you’re wondering why book royalties is not higher up on this list, it’s because book royalties will probably not drive as much revenue as you think. There are exceptions, of course.

For instance, if you’re book is on the New York Times Bestseller’s list continuously for months on end, then yes, that will be a pretty chunk of change for you in book royalities.

Related: Book Royalties Calculator

However, more than likely, you will not get rich off of publishing one book. In fact, career authors that make a full-time income from writing books will be the first to tell you that book royalties usually account for less of their overall income.

It’s important to write and publish a book that grows your business with the expectation that your book itself will not make you a ton of money in royalties, but the customers and opportunities it brings in is where the real revenue is.

A Book Can Grow Your Business

Yes, a book really can grow your business in both the short and long-term.

No, it’s not going to be a “get rich quick” strategy, so if you’re looking for that type of project, writing a book is probably not for you.

But if you’re looking for a sustainable growth strategy, writing and publishing a book is a powerful way to increase your bottom line over time.

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Amazon Author Central: Optimize Your Amazon Author Page

Amazon Author Central is a powerful platform for authors, especially if you are self-publishing

Want to gain more visibility and increase your readership? Optimizing your Amazon Author page can help with this immensely.

But before you rush ahead to get your book launched and marketed, it’s important that you take time to set up your Amazon Author Central account, and your Amazon Author page for your book.

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, better known as KDP, is a widely used self-publishing platform that every independent author should have a presence on.

In this post, I will walk you through how to set up and leverage the powerful tools included with Amazon Author Central.

amazon author central

Here’s what we’ll cover on Amazon Author Central:

  1. What is Amazon Author Central? 
  2. Reasons to use Author Central
  3. How to Join Amazon Author Central
  4. Author Branding with an Author Central Page
  5. Optimize your Amazon Author Central Page
  6. How to Create an Amazon Author Page
  7. Create a book series page in Amazon Author Central
  8. International Amazon Author Page
  9. Tips to Manage Author Central
  10. Checklist: Amazon Author Central
  11. Frequently Asked Questions: Amazon Author Central

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What is Amazon Author Central? 

Amazon Author Central is the author account hub on the Amazon platform and Kindle Direct Publishing. It is the central place where Amazon authors can set up an account, create a profile page, and include book titles, biography, credentials, and more.

Authors are able to set up an account, and a profile page, so that readers can learn more about you as an author, such as all of your book titles, your biography, credentials, and more.

What is the Amazon Author Central Page?

Your Amazon Author Page is basically a homepage dedicated to you as an author, and the books you have published. When your book is displayed on Amazon, the author’s name can be hyperlinked, and when the customer or reader clicks on the author’s name, the customer is taken directly to the author’s page.

You can use your Amazon Author Page to personalize a page specifically featuring information about you as an author, and the books you have written. While it’s a super-powerful platform for indie and self-published authors, it’s also powerful for traditionally published authors. Any author that has written a book that’s sold online or in-store should have an Amazon Author Page.

amazon author page description

Related: Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Here’s why your Amazon Author Central is important as a self-published author: 

#1 – Your Amazon Author Page provides a handy place for readers to learn about you. Helping customers get to know you is an effective way to introduce them to—or better educate them about—your books. 

#2 – It is used to personalize the contents of the Author Page dedicated to your books. It is here—in Author Central—that you can manage all your book details when it comes to listings on the Amazon page.

#3 – It’s a free page dedicated to you specifically on a powerful, global platform (Amazon.com). The main purpose of author central is for you—the author—to build out and customize your author page. This means that you get a personalized space on one of the largest ecommerce platforms and self-publishing company to showcase yourself and your books.  By setting up your author platform through Author Central, you are giving yourself a huge advantage by staying current with your book success and delivering to readers the best experience possible when they land on your book page. The main purpose of author central is for you—the author—to build out and customize your author page.

why is amazon author central important

Reasons to use Author Central

Setting up and optimizing an Amazon Author Page using Amazon Author Central is a very smart idea for several good reasons. First of all, potential readers can take an immediate interest in your work. 

So, who can create an Amazon Author Page? An author with a published book on Amazon!

Yes, as soon as you launch your first book you can get to work on setting up and maintaining your most prolific profile, next to your own website. You don’t have a website yet? Then you definitely need to maximize on your Amazon page.

Related: How to Become an Author

In fact, if you’re not maximizing and optimizing your author page, you are missing out and leaving money on the table.

Your Amazon Central Account acts as your personal website on Amazon even if you don’t have a website yet. 

Top reasons to create an Author Central account: 

  1. Author Page. You can set up and optimize your Amazon Author Page, which acts as your own personal webpage on the Amazon platform.
  2. Book Interest. It can generate interest in your books
  3. More Readers. Potential readers can easily find information about you and your work
  4. Visibility. Increases your readership on Amazon’s KDP
  5. Author Brand. Helps you build an author brand and presence
  6. Free. It’s a powerful tool that’s completely free. Read more on self publishing costs here.

How to Join Amazon Author Central

First, assuming you have just published your book, the next step is to go to Amazon Author Central and click “Join Now.”

If you haven’t published a book on Amazon yet, you’ll want to follow the steps on how to publish an eBook. There are many technical steps to consider, especially when it comes to your formatting and files (such as EPUB vs MOBI).

Sign in with your regular Amazon username and password. If you don’t have an account, select “I am a new customer.” You’ll need to give a little more information.

Read the Terms and Conditions then click “Accept.”

Enter the author name your books are published under. A list of possible books appears. Select your book to set up the account.

If your book is not in the list, you can search for it by title or ISBN.

Note: Your book must be available for purchase on Amazon in order to set up an Author Central Amazon Account.

Amazon will send you a confirmation email to finish creating the account.

Amazon Author Central homepage

Here are the steps to join Amazon Author Central:

  1. Go to Amazon Author Central.
  2. Click “Join Now.”
  3. Sign in with your regular Amazon.com username and password, then skip to Step 7. 
  4. If you don’t have an existing Amazon account, click “I am a new customer.”
  5. Read the Terms and Conditions. 
  6. Click “Accept.”
  7. Enter your author name. 
  8. Select your books. If your book is not in the list, search for it by Title or ISBN.
  9. Amazon will send you a confirmation email to finish creating the account.

Improve author branding with your Amazon Central Author Page

If you’re an author (and that is why you’re reading this post we can assume) you have published, or are planning to publish a book. This means readers scoping through the Kindle Store are going to find your books and, when they do, will land on your Amazon author page, which is set up in Amazon Author Central. 

The first impression potential readers will get is what they see when they get there, which means it’s crucial that you make a superb first impression. 

This is very important because most authors just starting out don’t have a website yet. If this is you, the best thing you can do for your career as an author is focus on what you have, and what you have is, a free tool available right now that showcases your book.

Now, while there are limitations to what you can do in terms of customization on your Author Page, this shouldn’t be an obstacle by any means. Take advantage of what is freely given, and leverage it so your books can thrive.

By now you are probably wondering, “Okay, so what does a great author page look like?”

Let’s check out thriller fiction author, David Archer. His author branding for his thriller action books is jumping right off the page.

david archer author page

This author homepage is your opportunity to fully brand yourself. Let’s take a look at James Patterson’s Author page. 

Now, you may not have as many books as he has, or be at the asme level in your writing career, but this doesn’t matter.

What is important is that you build out your page from your first book and you continue to consistently improve it.

james patterson amazon page

These are just two of several author pages we will look at. But the obvious component all successful authors have is, they are able to customize the reader experience through branding their author page in Amazon Author Central. 

Keep the importance of author branding in mind as you move on to the next step, which is creating and optimizing your Amazon Author Page.

Optimize Your Author Central Page

Setting up your Amazon Central account is very straightforward. But your Amazon author page will take work, especially when you focus on the core essentials and work to optimize your page to its fullest. And, it is something that is an ongoing project as an author. 

You’re never really finished with your author page because you have to update it regularly. When you launch a new book, a new blog post, updating your author bio, or managing editorial reviews, you will be customizing everything within the Amazon Central hub.

Let’s break down what goes into a professional author page.

There are 8 core features you can optimize for your Amazon Author Central Page:

  1. Professional Author Photo
  2. Well-Crafted Bio
  3. A Row of Your Books Running From Left to Right
  4. Book Reviews
  5. Editorial Reviews
  6. Book Trailers of Your Books
  7. Direct Feed to Your Most Recent Blog Articles
  8. + Follow Button

Here’s a helpful video from YouTuber Self-Publishing with Dale on how to optimize your Amazon Author Page…

YouTube video

How to Create an Amazon Author Page

Now that you understand the importance of setting up an author page in Author Central, as well as the critical components to optimize, you can start to create your own page. 

In this section, we’ll go through the steps on how to create an Amazon Author Page in more detail, with thorough examples and tips for success. 

amazon central optimization

Here are the steps to create an optimized Amazon Author Page: 

  1. Create a compelling biography
  2. Connect your blog feed
  3. Customize your Amazon URL page
  4. Add professional author photos
  5. Add promotional videos
  6. Claim your books
  7. Insert editorial reviews

#1 – Step 1: Create a compelling biography

Taking the time to write a killer author bio is a way to connect directly with your Amazon browsers and can creatively draw interest from new readers for your work. 

New call-to-action

As an author, you need a biography that intrigues readers, and gets them excited to learn what your books are about. 

Your biography should be composed of at least 100 characters and include relevant information about your mission, who your audience is, a tagline that describes the type of writer you are, and credentials or achievements that make you an authority in your field.

Here’s what to include in your bio for your Amazon Author Page:

  1. Your opening hook
  2. Credentials, awards, or degrees earned
  3. Field of study [teacher, doctor, or meditation artist]
  4. Fun facts [Hobbies you enjoy, personal interests]
  5. How to find you [www.mywebsite.com]
  6. Social media links
  7. Other literary achievements

Here are some examples of compelling author biographies from different genres:

#1 – Lee Child, Jack Reacher Series:

“Lee Child is one of the world’s leading thriller writers. He was born in Coventry, raised in Birmingham, and now lives in New York. It is said that one of his novels featuring his hero Jack Reacher is sold somewhere in the world every nine seconds.

His books consistently achieve the number-one slot on bestseller lists around the world and have sold over one hundred million copies. Two blockbusting Jack Reacher movies have been made so far. He is the recipient of many awards, most recently Author of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards. He was appointed CBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours.”

From Lee Child’s Amazon Author Page Bio
lee child is one of the world's leading thriller writers quote graphic

#2 – Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now:

“Eckhart Tolle is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Power of Now (translated into 33 languages) and A New Earth, which are widely regarded as two of the most influential spiritual books of our time. In 2008, A New Earth became the first spiritual book to be selected for Oprah’s Book Club as well as the subject of a ten-week online workshop co-taught by Eckhart and Oprah.

Eckhart’s profound yet simple teachings have helped countless people throughout the world find inner peace and greater fulfillment in their lives. At the core of the teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution. An essential aspect of this awakening consists in transcending our ego-based state of consciousness.”

From Eckhart Tolle’s Amazon Author Page Bio
eckhart tolle is the author of the new york times bestsellers the power of now

#3 – S.J. Scott, Habit Productivity Books

“Getting more from life doesn’t mean following the latest diet craze or motivation program. True success happens when you take action on a daily basis. In other words, it’s your habits that help you achieve goals and live the life you’ve always wanted. 

In his books, S.J. provides daily action plans for every area of your life: health, fitness, work and personal relationships. Unlike other personal development guides, his content focuses on taking action. So instead of reading over-hyped strategies that rarely work in the real-world, you’ll get information that can be immediately implemented.

When not writing, S.J. likes to read, exercise and explore the different parts of the world.”

From S.J. Scott’s Amazon Author Page Bio
a quote image showing a sample of a compelling author biographies

Based on those examples, you can clearly see why author branding is important – no matter if you are writing a novel or writing a nonfiction book!

Here’s how to create a compelling author bio for your Author Page:

  1. Sign in to your Author Central account. 
  2. Click the “Author Page” tab.
  3. Select “Biography.” 
  4. Write up a bio consisting of at least 100 characters. No HTML included.
  5. When you’re finished, click “Add biography” to save.
  6. To edit and/or update, simply click on the “Edit Biography”, add your updated content, and click “Save.”

#2 – Step 2: Connect your blog feed

How about this: If blogging is one strategy you use to connect with your readers, imagine your blog post being funneled onto your Author Page when you publish a new post. That is what happens when you connect your blog feed to Amazon Central.

connect blog to author central page screenshot

Here is how to connect your blog feed to your Amazon Author Page: 

  1. Sign in to  your Amazon Author Page. 
  2. Select “Blogs.” 
  3. On the Author Page tab, click “Add blog.” 
  4. Enter the RSS address for your blog, then select “Add.”

The great thing about this feature is, when you publish a blog either through WordPress or another site, it will be automatically funneled into your blog feed on Amazon. 

This shows your audience that you keep your platform active and current.

#3 – Step 3: Customize your Amazon URL

You definitely want to customize your Amazon URL so it looks professional, instead of a long, garbled link where it’s not clear what people are clicking on. 

You can create a customized URL link, so when people see your link, they have a pretty good idea what it’s related to. 

Your Amazon URL directs people to your Author Central Page, where they can check out your books and platform, and learn more about you as an author.

Once you customize your Amazon Author Page URL,  you will share this link everywhere you can: on your blog posts, email signatures, social media platforms, and more.

Related: How to Build an Email List

Try to use your author name in the URL, but if it’s taken, you can add a number, or word related to your books. The key is for it to represent you and your authorship, so try not to get too creative with it, which can confuse people. 

author page url

Here are the steps to create your custom Amazon Author Page URL:

  1. On the Author Central Profile tab, click add link next to “Author Page URL.”
  2. A URL will be suggested; however you may enter text that meets the following guidelines:
  3. Must be at least 1 character and no more than 30 characters
  4. May use letters, numbers, dashes, periods and underscores
  5. No spaces
  6. No special characters other than dashes, periods and underscores
  7. No profanity
  8. If the URL you input is available, click Save.
  9. Your Author Page URL will go live in approximately 30 minutes.

For more information or help, you can visit this support page on Amazon: Creating Your Author Page URL

You can only have one Author Page URL. If the URL you want is unavailable, try alternate URLs until you find a unique URL that is easy for your readers and followers to remember.

#4 – Step 4: Add author photos

You can add photos to your feed, which is a great way to engage potential readers with a visual element that represents you.

Your author photo is the most important picture you will upload. It should be a professional profile shot, high quality, with your face clearly visible in good lighting.

amazon author headshots

In addition to your profile pics, you should also upload photos of yourself delivering a speech, conducting a workshop, or the cover photos of your other books. You can add up to 8 photos here.

How to add photos to your Amazon Author Page:

  1. Sign in to your Amazon Author Central account. 
  2. Select “Photos” on the Author Page tab.
  3. Click “Browse” and select the picture you want to use.
  4. Confirm you own the rights to the picture. 
  5. Select “Upload photo.” You can upload this from your desktop or Dropbox.
  6. If you are adding multiple pictures, select “Manage” and drag the photos into your preferred order. 
  7. Make sure your author headshot photo is the first photo in the order, so that it appears in the author photo slot on your main page.

#5 – Step 5: Add promotional videos

Do you have a video trailer for your books? An introductory video welcoming readers to your platform? If so, this is where you can showcase your videos by uploading to Author Central.

Here is where S.J. Scott does a good job of this by showing his video for habits, a topic he has written many books on.

For video, ensure that the video meets Amazon requirements:

  1. Either mov, mpg, avi, flv, or wmv format,
  2. Smaller than 500MB, and;
  3. Less than ten minutes long.

Here is how to add video to your Amazon Author Central Page:

  1. Sign in to your Amazon Author Central account.
  2. On the Author Central Profile tab, click “Add video.”
  3. Click “Browse.“
  4. Select your video file. 
  5. Click the box to confirm you own or have cleared the rights to the video you are adding.
  6. Click “Upload video.” (This can take up to 24 hours to completely process, and Amazon should send an email when the video is ready to go.)
  7. When it’s ready, review and approve your video. Check the box that you’ve reviewed the video, then click “Approve video.”

You can have up to 8 videos in your feed. To see more about the guidelines for uploading video content, check out this help page on Amazon for uploading video content.

#6 – Step 6: Claim your books

When you publish a new book, the first thing you want to do is go into Author Central and claim that book as yours. This ensures your title shows up on your Amazon Author page and leads to discoverability by potential readers.

Here’s how to claim  your books in Amazon Author Central:

  1. Click the “Books” tab.
  2. Select the “Add more books” option.
  3. Search using either your author name, the book title, or the ISBN.
  4. Click the “This is my book” button.
  5. Your book will then appear in your lineup within 24 hours.

As soon as the book is listed on your page, you can review the sales ranking, and how many rankings the book went up or down within the day/hour, and Amazon customer reviews.

Related: How to Write a Book Description

#7 – Step 7: Insert editorial reviews

Reviews are extremely important for selling books. For this reason, you want to be sure you are taking full advantage of the reviews readers are leaving for your book.

Another great feature is being able to post snippets from your best reviews in the editorial section. To include review snippets on your book page, Amazon has an editorial reviews section that allows authors to post up to 5 testimonials, reviews or comments about you or your books. 

You can showcase reviews from other well-known authors, influencers, and Amazon Top Reviewers.

If you don’t have any reviews from any of the above mentioned, fans of your books who have left glowing reviews supporting you and your work is a great place to start. You can post the best 5 reviews on your page.

Here is how you add reviews to your Amazon Author Page:

  1. Select the “Books” tab.
  2. Choose the book you want to add reviews to.
  3. Select “Add” under Editorial Reviews and follow the provided instructions.
  4. Preview the review and when you’re ready, hit “Save.”

Here is an example of the editorial review page for Brené Brown’s bestselling book Dare to Lead:

amazon author central editorial reviews

Create a Series Page for a Book Series

One of the unique features of your Amazon Author page is, Amazon has a system in place for authors who have created a series of books.

Related: How To Create a Book Series Box Set

This is a great way to show readers you have multiple books built around your central character if you are a fiction author.

Here are two examples below that show you exactly how to maximize this.

Lee Child and the Jack Reacher Series:

author central series

Mark Dawson and the John Milton Series:

mark dawson series

Remember, Amazon wants authors to sell more books, and by creating a book series page, readers can easily buy your books in bundle sets.

In fact, Amazon will tell you how many books out of the series a reader has purchased and, how they can grab the rest of those books just by clicking through and adding up the ones they haven’t bought yet.

Related: Author Salary Report

But be careful…you could end up buying a lot of books!

If you do have a series of books and want to create a series page, here are the steps and Amazon requirements for this to happen.

Create an International Amazon Author Page

One of the great features of Amazon and self-publishing is that, as an author, your book can be available worldwide on many other international sites in the UK, Canada, China, France, India, Germany, Japan, and more. And best of all, the number of sites available is continuously expanding.

So, now that you are set up on the US store [assuming that is where you started] you can now focus attention towards doing the same for your international markets.

To create your author page and sign into author central on international sites, here are four international author central sites for you to start with:

  1. UK – https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk/
  2. Japan – https://authorcentral.amazon.co.jp/
  3. France – https://authorcentral.amazon.fr/
  4. German – https://authorcentral.amazon.de/

Tips to Manage Amazon Author Central

A critical mistake many authors make is by not updating their Amazon Author Page as often as they should. 

Fortunately Amazon makes it easy for authors to do this by giving authors access to the back end of Author Central. At anytime, you can upload new photos, videos, blog posts, and integrate new keywords to optimize your book sales.

Here are four tips to make sure you are updating your author page regularly so it looks like you are current with new trends and active in building your brand.

#1 – Editorial reviews

If you publish multiple books, make sure to include editorial reviews for the book page. Do this as soon as you have five good reviews to post.

#2 – Update your author bio

It is recommended you update your author bio at least once every two years. If you have a new win, launch a new lead magnet and need to update the landing page URL, or make an improvement on your author pic, update it as soon as you can. 

#3 – Update international sites and the Amazon Author Beta Program

You should be updating your international sites at the same time. Although currently, Amazon is beta testing with this so that any changes and/or updates to Amazon.com will be automatically updated to the international sites as well. This is called the Amazon Author Beta program and is being streamlined so authors can manage everything from one account.

#4 – Start a blog

There is a rumour that blogging is dead. But the fact is, blogging is still a great way for you to provide free content to your readers. This feeds right into Amazon Central if you have connected your blog feed here. Need to learn how to blog like a pro? Check out Ruth Soukup’s Elite Blog Academy

YouTube video


Checklist: Set up your Amazon Author Page

Here is a simple 12-point checklist so you can easily create, manage and update your Amazon author central account.

  1. Visit the Author Central help section here: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help
  2. Set up your account here: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/home
  3. Create your author bio
  4. Customize an author page URL
  5. Upload photos of books, author pic
  6. Upload videos of events, book trailers
  7. Connect your blog RSS feed.
  8. Add Review snippets [editorial reviews] to your book pages
  9. Claim all of your books
  10. Check your + Follow Button
  11. Create International Pages: Upload pictures, video and author bio to international sites
  12. Continue to update and improve your page

Frequently Asked Questions: Amazon Author Central

In this section, we’ll tackle the most frequently asked questions that weren’t directly mentioned in the above steps. We’ll be continously updating this section with new information as it comes.

If you have a specific question that isn’t mentioned in this post, let us know in the comments and we’ll be happy to take a look and help find an answer.

How do I find my Amazon Author Page?

Finding your Amazon Author Page will depend on whether or not you have an account. There are a couple different ways to access an existing Author Page. 

To create an Amazon Author Page, you will need to have already uploaded your book to KDP. Then, you can follow the steps here to create your Amazon Author Page. 

To login to your existing Amazon Author Central account and access your page, follow these steps: 

  1. Go to Author Central
  2. Click “Sign in.” 
  3. Enter your existing credentials. 
  4. Click “Sign in.”
  5. Click the “Author Page” tab. 

To find your existing Amazon Author Page, you can access it these ways:

  • Using your Amazon Author URL
  • Click on the “Author Page” tab when signed in to your Author Central account
  • Access your book’s page from the Kindle Store, and click on the author name in blue 

How do I remove a book from my Amazon Author Page?

It’s important to note that a physical book can’t be completely deleted on Amazon, which is why we always recommend that authors are completely ready to hit publish on KDP.  If you’ve only published eBooks, then this is a feasible option.

If you’re listed as the author of a book you did not write, follow the steps listed here to remove the book from your bibliography.

If you’re physical book is out-of-print, Amazon will not remove it because of that reason, since used copies of the book from third-party sellers may still be sold. 

If you need to unpublish a book from your Amazon Author Page, you can do so. To unpublish a book on Amazon, follow these steps.

This will prevent eBooks from being sold to customers, as they won’t be able to find it when they are shopping in the Kindle store.

Related: How to Publish an eBook

Authors often unpublish and republish their eBooks, especially when changes are made to the book’s contents or design. For example, many authors republish an eBook with a revised cover design or under a new title. 

Is Amazon Author Central free?

Yes, it is free and costs nothing to create your Amazon Author Central account and set up your Amazon Author Page.

However, you will have to meet the criteria and requirements to do so, such as by having a book published on KDP.

If you haven’t published your book on Amazon KDP yet, you will have to do so before you can create your Amazon Author Central account.

How many Author Central accounts can I have?

You can have up to three Author Central profiles on your Amazon Author Central account. This allows you to create different Author Pages for different pen names or pseudonyms that you publish under.

To add another Author Central page to your Author Central account, you’ll just have to follow the steps to Add More Steps and select the published book with your pen name. If you haven’t yet published the book with a pen name, you’ll have to do that first.

Creating more than one Amazon Author page is important because it helps you keep your branding separate, depending on the genre of books you publish. For example, maybe you become an author by starting with learning how to write children’s books, then later move on to adult nonfiction…having separate accounts is easier to manage your brand for each!


Now that you have a complete blueprint for setting up your Author Central Account and building out an optimized author page, it is time to get started. 

After setting up your author page, drop the link in the comments below. We’d love to see your finished page. 

What questions do you still have about Amazon Author Central?

Amazon Self Publishing

How to Succeed at Amazon Self-Publishing (8 Simple Steps)

Amazon self-publishing sounds tricky, but it’s actually one of the easiest ways to publish a book.

Learning how to publish on Amazon is simple if you have a step-by-step guide, but since Amazon’s publishing platform may not be the most friendly user experience to some, it can get a little confusing if you’re trying to figure it all out yourself.

While publishing on Amazon is easy, any mistakes you might make along the process can be costly, so it’s important that you do it right.

As a self-published author, you need to avoid rookie mistakes at all costs if you don’t want to hurt your book’s credibility and your author authority.

While it can be an intimidating process for first-time authors, rest assured that the benefits of Amazon self-publishing will outweigh the overwhelm you feel!

Amazon self-publishing is one of the best publishing options for the modern author – giving you higher royalties, lower printing costs, and total creative control.

In this article, I’m going to give you a high-level overview of what it looks like to publish your eBook with Amazon’s self-publishing services, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

This guide to Amazon self-publishing covers:

  1. Step 1 – Create an Amazon Self-Publishing Account
  2. Step 2 – Create a Kindle Direct Publishing Account
  3. Step 3 – Add a Title on Amazon
  4. Step 4 – Write and Format Your Amazon Book Description
  5. Step 5 – Select Book Categories
  6. Step 6 – Set an Amazon Publishing Launch Date
  7. Step 7 – Upload Your Manuscript to KDP
  8. Step 8 – Amazon Publishing Pricing
  9. Amazon Self-Publishing – Frequently Asked Questions

Is Amazon Self-Publishing For You?

If you need any convincing to choose self-publishing VS traditional publishing, read this section.

Traditional publishing uses a model that works for a small percentage of aspiring authors.

In the past, traditional publishers served as the gatekeepers – if an author wanted to share their book with the masses, they had to seek out a traditional publishing deal which was no easy feat.

With the rise of technology and the modern author, self-publishing is taking the literary world by storm, and for good reason.

YouTube video

Why you should choose Amazon Self-Publishing:

  • Powerful global marketplace.
  • Over 70% of books are sold on Amazon.
  • Millions of book buyers readily available.
  • Higher royalties than traditional publishing.
  • Quick, easy process for authors.
  • Full creative control for authors.
  • Easy book maintenance platform.

Create an Amazon Self-Publishing Account

The Amazon self-publishing platform is called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

If you’re familiar with KDP, feel free to skip the next section, but otherwise, stick around for a few key points.

What is KDP?

The Wall Street Journal published a jaw-dropping article showing how Amazon “owns” the online book industry. It’s the first choice for many self-published authors.

There are many services you can use to get your book onto Amazon, but KDP is the most direct (pun not intended). KDP was designed to help authors with the self-publishing process. You can use KDP to publish your eBooks in the Kindle marketplace, or you can use KDP as a full paperback print-on-demand service (that means Amazon will print, sell, and ship your books for you without an upfront cost). 

KDP has two major services: regular KDP and KDP Select. There are a ton of resources online that list the pros and cons of each, so I won’t go too deep into the differences. All that you need to know is that authors have become very successful using both services. KDP Select offers some nice bonuses, and in exchange, Amazon gets exclusive rights to publish your eBook for at least 90 days (until you remove your book from KDP Select). In my opinion, if you are not planning on selling your eBook anywhere else during those 90 days (including giving away free PDFs on your website), use KDP Select.

What do I need for Amazon Self-Publishing?

Using Amazon to publish is easy and pretty intuitive. If you’re familiar with any online account creation process, then you will have no trouble.

The challenge with Amazon self-publishing is the preparation. If you are not prepared, you’re gonna have a bad time!

I’m only going to go through the process of publishing an eBook, but it’s a similar process for publishing a paperback as well.

Here is what you should have before starting this process:

  1. A professionally created book cover (in .JPG format)
  2. Your near-final draft manuscript (best if it’s in .doc or .docx format)
  3. A gripping book description
  4. Your book’s metadata (title, subtitle, page length, other specs.)
  5. A list of 7 keywords (or phrases)
  6. A list of 10 Amazon categories
  7. Your bank account information
  8. Your personal info (legal name, tax address, and social security number)

If you have everything on the list, you are ready to go! Otherwise, you will not be able to finish the process. KDP is very flexible, so nothing is final. You can always edit your book’s information after it’s published.

Are you excited to learn about the initial stage of publishing on Amazon? 

It all begins with a KDP account. 

How to Create a Kindle Direct Publishing Account

Login to KDP.Amazon.com.  You can use your regular Amazon account to login, or you can sign up with a new email address if you prefer. 

Once you’re in, it will ask you to finish setting up your account. You don’t have to do this right away, but you won’t be able to publish any books until you do.

Once you’re at your “My Account”, it should be straightforward. You should see a page that looks like this:

amazon publishing info

Complete each section and hit the Save button at the bottom.

Remember, you can always change this information later on if need be. And don’t get scared about the Tax Information. It will only ask for your name, address, and social security number.

Add a Title on Amazon

This is the easiest step. In KDP, every book you publish has its own “profile”.

Each profile is stored on your KDP Bookshelf. Once you log in, you should see a place to create a new title:

Since we’re creating an eBook, just click the Kindle eBook button and then the real fun begins.

Choosing an Effective Book Title and Subtitle

On KDP, the first step to publishing your work is finalizing your eBook details. This page is about sales. Everything you do here should be with your ideal reader in mind.

Most of the page is for your book’s metadata (title, subtitle, series, edition, author, etc.) The most important is your title and subtitle. Hopefully, you’ve already put a lot of thought into this. KDP says that the subtitle is optional, but I highly recommend it. It could end up boosting your sales in a major way.

Whether you’ve already decided on a title, or are still finalizing this aspect of your book, here are some details to keep in mind:

Tips to craft your book title on Amazon Publishing:

  • You are allowed a maximum of 200 characters for your book title and subtitle, so use a character count tool to make sure yours are within the limit.
  • Your book title doesn’t exist in isolation. Think about its visual impact on your book cover.
  • You need to respect the Amazon rules on metadata. You can’t make claims such as ‘bestselling’ in your title, and you can’t violate copyright or trademark rules. 
  • If you need title suggestions, try this nonfiction book title generator for ideas.

Make sure to choose a title that clearly conveys why someone should stop and take a closer look at your book rather than another author’s.

Write and Format Your Amazon Book Description

Your book description is your sales script.

If a shopper has made it this far, then they’re a prime target, but you need to close the sale. If you already have an awesome description, then you’ve already done most of the work.

Describing your book effectively and concisely can be more challenging than you might imagine.

Here are some tips for your book description:

  • A good fiction book description conveys the spirit of your story to the reader, in genre-appropriate language, without spoiling its plot.
  • An effective nonfiction book description convinces a reader they will benefit from your book, often by addressing pain points.
  • Check out the descriptions of bestselling books similar to your own. Could you use a similar tone?
  • Make sure to avoid anything prohibited by Amazon in your book description, such as time-sensitive information or keyword stuffing.

There is a real art to designing the format of descriptions. Spend some time on Amazon looking at similar authors to see how they’ve formatted their descriptions and try to use some of their techniques.

KDP formats descriptions in HTML. Once you’ve finalized your format in a word processor, copy and paste your description into a description generator. That generator will give you the HTML code that you can paste into KDP.

Select Book Keywords For Amazon


When you’re navigating how to publish on Amazon, you’ll soon discover the importance of keyword and categories. These help your target reader find your book.

Amazon Self-Publishing gives you the option to select up to 7 keywords.

Keywords tell Amazon’s search algorithm what your book is about. Good keywords will help customers find your book.

Keep in mind, your keywords are phrases that your ideal reader might type into Amazon’s search bar.

Choosing the right keywords is both art and science. You need to focus on the mindset and needs of your intended reader while also finding a sweet spot between being too broad and too niche.

Tips for choosing Amazon keywords:

  • You can use a tool like Publisher Rocket to help you find the best keywords.
  • If you have a keyword in mind, search for it on Amazon while in incognito/private browsing. mode. This will help you see which books already rank for that keyword and how successful they are.
  • Your keywords have to be honest. Amazon explicitly states that any misleading keywords will not be tolerated as they result in a poor experience for customers.
  • A keyword doesn’t have to be a single word. Amazon suggests 2-3 word phrases are often the best option. A single keyword can be up to 50 characters, including spaces.

As time goes on, plan on changing your keywords regularly. Keyword trends change with the seasons.

Select Book Categories For Amazon Publishing

This step is crucial! When you’re first creating your title, you can only choose 2 categories.

Amazon uses categories to classify your book, and they’re used to determine bestseller rankings. If you haven’t taken the time to choose your categories, stop here, and start researching. It’s well worth it.

But what should you know about KDP categories?

  • There are over 16,000 Amazon categories in total. 
  • Consider a mix of obscure and popular categories. Popular categories will potentially lead to more exposure for your book, while obscure categories are a lot easier to become a bestseller in.
  • If you’re unsure of the right categories to consider, search Amazon for similar books to your own. Scroll down on any individual book page to see which categories it falls under.
  • Look at the number of new releases in a category to assess how trendy it is, and look at the performance of the books within it to gauge its potential profitability. 

There’s a trade secret—Amazon will let you choose up to 10 categories for each title! After you finish creating your title, all you need to do is visit the Author Central Page and select all of the options shown below.

amazon author central contact page

In the questions box, include your book title, your ASIN number (you can see it on your KDP front page after you finish publishing), and the full category string (e.g. Nonfiction > Self-Help > Personal Growth > General).

Set An Amazon Publishing Date For Your Book

Your last step is to choose a release date. If you don’t already have a release date in mind, make sure to choose one in the distant future. You won’t be able to go to the next page without one.

If your release date is within 90 days, people can start pre-ordering your book.

If you’re not sure how to properly schedule your book’s release date, make sure to keep in mind:

  • Outstanding tasks. Is there anything that needs to happen before your book is ready to launch? Factor in these tasks before setting a date and make sure you don’t overlook any. It’s easy to do with so many moving pieces!
  • Buffer time. Launching a book is as stressful as it is exciting. Give yourself some buffer time as things often take longer than anticipated.
  • Seasonality. Does it make sense to launch your book at a certain time of year? Are there any events or dates you want to tie it in with?
  • Marketing. If you’re coordinating a marketing campaign for the time of your book launch, make sure any and all promotional services are confirmed before setting a launch date. Getting this wrong can seriously harm your book’s initial momentum. 

After you’ve launched your first book, you’ll have a better idea of logistics and timing. For your first launch, play it safe. Give yourself some breathing room.

Upload Your Manuscript and Book Cover

For this step, have your .JPEG cover and .DOCX manuscript ready.

To upload your book content, KDP will process your file to make sure that it meets the formatting requirements and doesn’t have any spelling errors. Just upload your file by clicking “Upload eBook Manuscript” and give it 5-10 minutes to run through its analysis.

Uploading the cover is the same process. You can use KDP’s Cover Creator if you’d like, but I would advise against it. Your cover is the first thing that anyone is going to see about your book, you want to make sure it stands out!

Key points to consider for uploading your manuscript and cover:

  • It’s important to choose a cover design that looks good as a small thumbnail as well as a full-size image.
  • Your cover needs to convey the genre or tone of your book immediately.
  • While it’s possible to learn to make a passable DIY book cover, it’s almost always worth investing in a professional cover if you can. 

There are also a few technical rules to keep in mind about your Amazon book cover:

  1. While Amazon prefers the jpeg format, you can also use TIFF.
  2. The ideal ratio for your book cover is 1.6:1
  3. 2560 x 1600 pixels is the book cover dimension Amazon suggests
  4. Avoid compression, and aim for a minimum resolution of 300 PPI

Last, preview your book. There are three ways to do this: in your browser, on the Kindle desktop app, or on your Kindle device. MAKE SURE TO DO ALL THREE! Funny things can happen to your book when it converts to the Kindle file. 

Before you submit, look through your book on as many devices as you can.

Ask your friends to look through it. Check to make sure the images are clear. Make sure your links work. Play with the text size, change the background color. Take your time with this step.

Amazon Publishing Pricing 

On the last page of the new title set-up, you’ll choose your pricing options and opt-in or opt-out of certain Amazon services (KDP Select, Matchbook, and Book Lending).

Right now, we’re only going to focus on the pricing options.

Amazon has two royalty plans, 35% and 70%.

If you’re planning on selling your book between $2.99 – $9.99, you’re eligible for the 70% plan. Otherwise, you can only go with 35%.

Use this Book Royalties Calculator to forecast your potential earnings.

Once you click on one, you can specify your price in the box below. KDP will automatically show your royalty for each sale and you can view royalties for other currencies/marketplaces.

There are a few other caveats to note for the 70% plan:

  1. Some territories/countries are excluded. However, sales in most of the English-speaking countries pay the higher royalty rate. You’ll find a list of those here.
  2. Public domain eBooks are excluded.
  3. eBook sales in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and India pay 35% royalty unless your book joins KDP Select (KDP Select requires a 90-day exclusive).
  4. You must agree to make your eBook lendable for 14 days. This allows your reader to lend your book once. More about eBook lending here.

Don’t forget, you can always change your price. It’s not set in stone. Many recommend starting your price off low, and gradually increasing it over time to see what works best for you.

If you’re a bit perplexed about book pricing, these tips might help you find a good starting point…

Tips for pricing your self-published book:

  • Be strategic about pricing. What are your competitors charging? Do you want to charge less to build some momentum for your book? Or do you have a superior book that you can denote as such by charging a higher price point?
  • How established are you? New authors should charge less to give readers an incentive to become fans. Established authors can justify higher prices.
  • Is your book the first in a series? Many authors have had success by giving readers an affordable first installment and charging more for later volumes. 

Pricing your book might seem daunting at first, but by sticking to these proven approaches, you ensure your reader gets a fair deal while you enjoy the revenue you deserve.

YouTube video

Amazon Self-Publishing: FAQs

If you still have some questions about what exactly publishing on Amazon entails, don’t worry! We’ve got some quick and straightforward answers for you.

Does self-publishing on Amazon limit me to the eBook format?

No. Amazon makes it easy to offer print copies of your book through KDP Print, and audiobooks through its ACX service. 

If I self-publish on Amazon, am I able to offer my book on other platforms?

It depends. If you’re enrolled in a program like KDP Select, Amazon demands exclusivity. Otherwise, you’re free to offer your book wherever you want. 

Do I have to pay Amazon upfront to publish my book?

No. Amazon self-publishing doesn’t have an upfront cost. Instead, Amazon makes money when your book does, through the royalty rates described above. 

I’m an experienced author but I’m new to the world of marketing. How can Amazon help?

When you self-publish with Amazon, you gain access to a retailing and marketing powerhouse. You can promote your book using Amazon advertising, limited-time pricing, and other promotional tools. 

Publishing your own book can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be a big stressor. There are a thousand factors that go into making your book successful. KDP offers a lot of additional services and resources, but you should keep it simple for your first time around.

If your book launch doesn’t go as planned, you can always adjust your title. There is no limit to how many times you can modify your book. When all else fails, try and try again.

Before you know it, you’ll experience the self-publishing success you deserve!

how to copyright a book

How to Copyright a Book Quickly [FREE Copyright Template]

Researching how to copyright a book is a smart move as a modern author, and one that you shouldn’t shy away from even though it sounds legally complex.

The issue of book copyright is a concern you should not only be thinking about as a self-published author, but also be taking action to prevent.

No one wants to imagine that their intellectual property will be stolen, but in today’s age of digital piracy, the concern is very real. 

how to copyright a book

In this complete guide on how to copyright a book, we’ll cover all of the details you need to know on how to create a copyright page, and more.

While we aren’t lawyers, this information is sourced through in-depth research, and from multi-published authors with direct experience on copyrighting their own books. 

Here’s what you need to know on how to copyright your book:

  1. What is copyright law? 
  2. Should I copyright my book? 
  3. How to copyright a book
  4. How to create a copyright page
  5. Book copyright page disclaimers
  6. Common book copyright questions
  7. Copyrighting a book internationally
  8. Understanding copyright permissions
  9. Know copyright law terms
  10. Resources for book copyright law

Imagine you are stumbling upon a book with a similar title as yours as you browse online. Curious as to what it’s about, you download the Kindle version and begin scrolling through the pages, and the content is very similar…no wait! It is almost identical to the book you launched just three months ago.

Now, if this were you, what would you do? Call the police? Report it to the bookstore? Call your mother?

This kind of situation is not as uncommon as you think, and it could very well happen to you. But there are simple steps you can take to protect your work by creating a copyright page, and educating yourself on copyright law.

Learning how to write a book is just one side of the equation to become an author. You also have to navigate some tricky technical aspects, such as copyright.

As a creative, you are always a potential target for content thieves. You have to protect your material and the best way to do this is to learn how to copyright your self-published book. 

What is copyright law?

Copyright law refers to when you ‘legally register your work with a government body in order to create a public record that proves you are the legal owner of this work.’ 

Copyrighting is an important step that you should take seriously, especially when it comes to your intellectual property being protected from people who wouldn’t think twice about “borrowing” your content. It does happen, and many times it happens without harmful intent.

Copyright law is set up to protect your rights, and also to ensure that you are aware of the rights of others’ work.

Should I copyright my book?

Yes, you should copyright your book to protect your intellectual property.  

Here’s why: There are people out there who will woefully take your work, slap a different title on it, change some names around, and release it as their own. Yes, it does happen, and in the digital age, it is happening more often with some authors having an entire series of books stolen and sold in other countries.

The truth is, there are publishing scams and people who can and will rip off your work and try to sell it as their own. 

Related: Best Self Publishing Companies

So, you heard it from us: You want to legally copyright your books. While it is a fact that your writing is technically copyrighted the minute you put words to paper, in order to take action against someone in a court of law, you must register it with the copyright agency. No exceptions.

How to copyright a book

Copyrighting your book to make it legal isn’t that complicated. You can do this in 15-20 minutes simply by visiting: https://www.copyright.gov/registration/

There are two ways you can apply for your copyright.

  1. Filling out the forms in hand and delivering directly to the Copyright Office via snail mail, or
  2. Setting up an account online with the US Copyright Offices’ eCo (Electronic Copyright Office) and doing everything online. The cost is slightly cheaper if you take this route.

Registering for an online account takes a minute, and then you start filling out the information. 

Here are steps to copyright your book online:  

Step #1—Go to the Copyright.gov portal

Step #2—Click on “Literary Works” (it is the first image box). 

how to copyright a book 1

Step #3—Click on the “Register a Literary Work” link, located on the right side bar. 

copyrighting a literary work

Step #5—Log in to your existing account or register as a new user. 

Step #6—Once you’re signed in, click “Start Registration”. Check the “Exceptions” section below to be sure you are registering the right kind of work.

book copyright register a work

Step #7 – Click “Start Registration. 

copyright law

Step #8—Select the “Type of Work”, which is literary if registering your book.

Note: This cannot be changed after you confirm this is what you are registering. Check the box to acknowledge this, then click “Continue.

type of work

Step #9—Click “New*.”

Step #10 – Select your Title Type, then enter your Book Title exactly as it appears on your book cover/title page.

Step #11 – Click “Save” to save your title. Then, on the next page, click “Continue” to move onto the next step.

Step #12 – Select “Yes” or “No” if this work has already been published (or not).

Step #13— Enter the required information in the “Publication/Completion” form, then click “Continue.”

register copyright

Step #14—Name the author(s) of the work being registered.

After you enter the author information, click “Save”. Fill out the rest of the information that includes “date of birth”, “citizenship”, and “Domicile.” 

copyright author

Repeat this step for each additional author. Click “Save” to move into the next step.

Step #12—Under “Author’s Contribution,” for a book just select “text” and “Save.”

Step #13—Identify the Copyright Claimant(s) in this work.

If this is you, the author, you are the original claimant of your work. You, as the author, own all of the claimants as covered by the registration. Click “add me” as the claimant. Then, on the next page, click “Continue.”

Step #14—Limitation of Claim: If your work does not contain any preexisting material, click “Continue” to proceed to the Rights and Permissions Screen.

book copyright claim

Step #15—Rights and Permissions Information (Optional): If someone is managing your rights permissions, fill in their information here. If not, just “Continue.”

Step #16—Correspondent: This is the person the Copyright Office will contact if it has questions about this application. If you the “author” are the only contact, you can click on “Add Me” and your contact information will be filled in.

Step #17—Mail Certificate: This is the name and address to which the registration certificate should be mailed. After you complete the registration, you will receive by post a letter of confirmation stating that your book has been officially registered. Keep this certificate with your important documents in case needed. You can click “Add Me” and your information is automatically updated in the boxes. Click “Continue” to move to…

Step #18—Special Handling: This is for shipping purposes. It is expensive so if that is a concern, skip this part by clicking on “Continue”. 

Step #19—Certification: The Application must be certified by the author, copyright claimant, or owner of exclusive right(s), or by the authorized agent of any of the preceding. In this section you are stating that you are in fact, the owner of the material as it is being registered.

book copyright application

Click “Continue” to move to the last section.

Step #20—Review Submission: Review everything and double-check your details. Note: Once you submit your application, you cannot make changes to it. So be sure it is all correct!

When the entire submission is correct, click the “Add to Cart” button at the top of the screen.

Step #21—Checkout: You’re almost there, click the “Checkout” button. On the next page, you are prompted to hit the “OK” button if you agree to these terms: Payments are non-refundable.

Step #22—Copyright Fee Services: You can either with credit/debit card or through a bank transfer. The fee is $55.00 for a single registration when you use the eCo system.

cost to copyright a book

Step #23—Submit Your Work: You have 2 options here—You can upload the digital version of your book, or, send in the paperback. For a faster process, upload your digital eBook version. You can only choose one of these options.

You’re done! If your payment has been accepted, your book is now registered with the U.S. Copyright agency. The Office will issue a certificate to your home address after the application has been processed. This can take as long as one year, but, with most of my books I received the certificate within 3 months. But it could take longer.

upload files to copyright a book

Step #24—(if applicable) Submission by Post: To send in your book by mail, follow the instructions on the submission page, as shown below:

The application process can take months, but your work is accepted and legally copyrighted the instant you send in your application.

Now your book is legally copyrighted. Done!

It is worth noting that you do have the option to register your book before it gets published, but it isn’t a necessary step. 

Some authors are worried that the editor they just hired online is going to make away with their work. That rarely happens. It could, but chances are, if you have done your research and hired your editor through a reputable agency, you have nothing to worry about.

Besides, remember what I said at the beginning of this post: Your work is copyrighted the moment you write it. Would this stop someone from stealing it? No, but you always have digital proof that it is your intellectual property.

How to create a book copyright page

Every book needs to have a copyright page. Depending on the type of book you are writing, your copyright page will vary in format and style.

A copyright page appears in your book right after the Book Title page and before the Table of Contents.

You might be thinking, “What do I place on the copyright page?” I know, it looks like a combination of legal jargon with numbers and can be confusing for a first time author that has never created one before.

But the good news is, you don’t have to create anything. Most copyright pages are standard in the language they use, and there are plenty of copyright page templates to use depending on the type of copyright page you need.

In order for your book to be “copyrighted,” your copyright page should include several essential components. 

Here are the copyright elements to include in your copyright page: 

  1. Copyright Notice
  2. Year of Publication
  3. Author’s Name
  4. Edition Information
  5. Publication Information
  6. Printing History
  7. Cataloging Data
  8. Legal Notices
  9. Credits to the Book
  10. ISBN
  11. Website Address
  12. Disclaimer (if applicable)

Now that we’ve identified which elements to include in your copyright page, let’s break down the process of creating a copyright page specifically if you are self-publishing a book. 

book copyright page

The process of creating a copyright page…

Here are the steps to copyright a book for a self-published book:

  1. Add the copyright notice.
  2. Include the edition information.
  3. Reserve your book rights.
  4. Add the book ISBN.
  5. Include a website address.
  6. Give credit to any contributors.

Step #1: Add the copyright notice. 

This is the most important element on the page. It consists of three parts:

1. the © symbol, or the word “Copyright” 

2. the year of first publication of the work

3. identification of the owner of the copyright—by name, pseudonym, abbreviation, or some other way that it’s generally known 

Example: © 2020 by Scott Allan

Step #2: Include the edition information. 

If this is a 2nd or 3rd edition, you want to include this here. Many books include this on the cover or title page, too. Even if it is stated elsewhere, it needs to be on the copyright page.

Step #3: Reserve your book rights. 

This may also be referred to as the disclaimer portion of the copyright page. You can copy this portion and use for your own book: 

“All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

While all attempts have been made to verify the information provided in this publication, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretations of the subject matter herein.

Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, including international, federal, state, and local governing professional licensing, business practices, advertising, and all other aspects of doing business in the US, Canada, or any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the purchaser or reader.

Any perceived slight of any individual or organization is purely unintentional.”

Step #4: Add the ISBN Number

If you publish a paperback book, you need an ISBN number. You can purchase your ISBN at: https://www.myidentifiers.com/

Your digital book (eBook) does not require an ISBN, but many publishers include an ISBN anyway, in order to be able to publish with self-publishing companies outside of Amazon. This prevents multiple ISBNs being issued to one book.

Example: This is the ISBN from Michael Hyatt’s book Free To Focus

Step #5: Include a Website address (optional)

While this is an optional step, it may be important to include if you are looking to grow your email list or capture leads from your book. 

Make it easy for your readers to find you. Include your link showcasing your website.

Step #6: Give credit to contributors (optional)

In this section you can name the people who helped you on the project. Your cover designer, editor, illustrator, author photo, or interior formatter.

Your copyright page can be simple, too. Many books have one page with all of the information listed above. You don’t need a long copyright page. All you need is the copyright notice and a statement giving notice that the rights to reproduce the work are reserved to the copyright holder. That’s it!

Example: A Short Copyright Page Sample

Here’s a short copyright page from Motivation Without the Hype by Gez Perez. It includes all the necessary elements to satisfy the copyright.

book copyright page with isbn

Book copyright page disclaimers

A disclaimer is an essential piece of your copyright protection. A disclaimer protects you from the actions people take based on your advice, either written, or in video content.

A disclaimer sounds boring and most readers are tempted to skip it. But, it serves as an anchor for your protection and informing people, “Try this at home at your own risk.” Basically, you are telling readers that they are reading your book and applying this advice at their own risk.

The type of copyright disclaimer you publish will vary depending on your book’s content. A disclaimer for fiction would be different from a disclaimer for health and fitness. It is meant to tell your readers, “Hey, I care about you, but you also have to exercise your own caution when taking these suggestions.”

Your readers will trust most of what you say and your strategies, advice or suggestions have influence. But we must exercise caution as well. What works for the author or most people could fail for others. To avoid liability, a disclaimer is needed. This is true for fiction as much as it is for nonfiction.

Here are two samples of disclaimers. One is for a work of fiction, and the other is for nonfiction.

Fiction Disclaimer Examples

Here is a sample of fiction disclaimer from Ramy Vance’s Mortality Bites Series. 

Nonfiction Disclaimer Examples

This is a standard nonfiction disclaimer found in most books. If you are a professional counselor, doctor, therapist, personal development coach, or in a position when providing advice or consulting, you need an extended disclaimer.

This goes beyond the general “content protection” verbiage and targets you on a more personal level.

Here is a short sample:

Sample #1:

The advice and strategies found within may not be suitable for every situation. This work is sold with the understanding that neither the author nor the publisher are held responsible for the results accrued from the advice in this book. You should consult with a (lawyer, health professional, financial advisor) for further details and future actions.

Sample #2:

book disclaimer

Commonly Asked Questions About Book Copyright

In this section, we’ll cover the most frequently asked questions about book copyright.

We also encourage you to check out our Resources section if you want to dive in deeper to any specific topic related to your copyright questions.

How to copyright a book title

Your book title is copyrighted the moment you write it, but for extra piece of mind, you can officially copyright your book title when you register your completed book with the U.S. Copyright Office. 

While there isn’t necessarily a way to copyright only your book title without having to upload your completed book, your book title will be copyrighted once you complete the book copyright process that we walked you through in the steps above. 

How to copyright a book idea

If you have not published your book yet, you can still register your copyright. You will be able to register your copyright before publishing your book. 

Some authors choose to do this for extra protection, especially those that work with editors and other book service providers, to prevent anyone from stealing their book’s contents or ideas. 

If you’re concerned about protecting your book idea and want to copyright it before you publish, go for it. 

How long does it take to copyright a book?

Once you have registered your book for copyright, the processing times will vary depending on the type of work you submitted and the way in which you submitted it. 

On average, if you register your copyright online, it typically takes about three months, but can take up to six months.

If you register your book’s copyright via standard mail, it takes an average of six months but can take up to 16 months. 

For current processing times, click here

How much does it cost to copyright a book?

It costs $55 to register a single book copyright with the eCo system using the steps we indicated above. You can pay online with a credit/debit card or through a bank transfer. 

For online processing, the fee can be $35 or $55.00 for a single basic online registration. For standard mail processing, the fee is $85.00. 

Related: Cost to Publish a Book

How to copyright a book for free

Your book is technically copyrighted for free the moment you create it, just as if it were any other work of art. However, many authors seek more copyright protection and choose to pay the fee to officially register a book copyright. 

If you do not want to pay the fee to register a book copyright, and do not need the legal peace of mind that comes with officially registering a copyright, then you can copyright your book for free by simply writing it yourself. 

Copyrighting a book internationally

In the United States, as we have just looked at, you go through the U.S. Copyright Office for all matters related to book copyrighting (and other copyrighting related formats). Your book must be registered first with this office before any legal action can be pursued.

But, how are you protected if you are an author or publisher living in Germany, Canada, Japan, or the U.K.?

If you visit the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), you can find everything you need to know through the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

What is the Berne Convention?

With most countries in the world, your work is protected from the moment you create it in a format that is “perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, according to the United States Copyright Office under “Copyright In General.” But you do have to register first in order to bring a lawsuit to court.

berne convention

As most countries are protected under the Berne Convention, it should be an easy process to register your works online in most countries. This may vary depending on local regulations and procedures. 

In the UK, consult with the Intellectual Property Office in the United Kingdom. There is no official registration system in place for copyrighting works, and is considered an “automatic right.”

In Canada, visit the Canadian Intellectual Property Office to register your copyright.

When in doubt, you can visit the WIPO site and under Country Profiles, find the directory for the copyright office to apply to.

berne convention definition

What Do I Need Copyright Permission For?

One of the more common questions that comes up with copyrighting is, “Do I need permission to borrow this published content?”

This is sometimes not as obvious as copying something right out of a  book or published manuscript. If you are in doubt, you need to check all the facts. It is better to know now than get caught later. In many cases, the excuse of, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize that” just won’t be enough to get you out of trouble.

To help you answer this question, “Do I need copyright permission?” we suggest you visit Wiley.com. This site—for authors and publishers—provides you with everything you need in regards to what does and doesn’t require permission on your part.

Wiley has an extensive and reliable list to guide you through the content and material you must seek permission for. But they also include a sample permission request form in order to apply for permission.

material that requires permission for book copyrighting

When in doubt, consult with a copyright lawyer and take the time to research the material you are either protecting or, planning to borrow from another source. The time invested could save you an expensive situation later on.

As an author in the publishing business, you have to protect your business, assets and customers. Be smart and don’t cut any corners. You wouldn’t want to sabotage your work, name and business you’ve worked so hard for.

Copyright Law Terminology

Let’s break down some of the legal jargon that surrounds copyright law.

In order to understand the process on how to copyright a book, you need to know the basics: the commonly used words, and what they mean. 

There are the most commonly used legal terms for book copyright.

  1. Copyright Term: The current length of copyright for an individual is the life of the author, plus 70 years. For corporate works, the term is 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation, whichever happens first.
  2. Plagiarism: The “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work. This is true if you plagiarize from a book, a college paper, or “borrow” from an article and call it your own. It is an act of intellectual dishonesty.
  3. Copyright Infringement: The use of works protected by copyright law without permission, infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works. The copyright holder is typically the work’s creator, or a publisher or other business to whom copyright has been assigned. Copyright holders routinely invoke legal and technological measures to prevent and penalize copyright infringement.
  4. Public Domain: The public domain includes creative works that are not subject to copyright because their copyright has expired, as well as aspects of copyrighted works–such as their underlying ideas–that are not subject to copyright. The public domain is a critical source of creativity, inspiration and innovation for creators. Works and ideas in the public domain belong to the public and their use does not violate copyright. 
  5. Fair Use: Fair use is a critical right that permits the public to use portions of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright owner, under certain circumstances, to engage in a wide variety of vital activities. It enables new technologies, and is a cornerstone of free speech, creativity and the economy.
laptop logged in a green website with a "publish" button being clicked
  1. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): A 1998 United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM). It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. 
  2. The Library of Congress Classification (LCC): A classification system that was first developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to organize and arrange the book collections of the Library of Congress. Over the course of the twentieth century, the system was adopted for use by other libraries as well, especially large academic libraries in the United States. It is currently one of the most widely used library classification systems in the world.
  3. Copyright Office: Housed within the Library of Congress, it is the official United States government body that maintains records of copyright registrations, and provides legal advice to Congress, the Judiciary, and federal agencies. 
  4. Statutory Definition (from the official website Copyright.gov portal): The Copyright Act defines “literary works” as “works, other than audiovisual works, expressed in words, numbers, or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as books, periodicals, manuscripts, phonorecords, film, tapes, disks, or cards, in which they are embodied.”
  5. Intellectual property (or “IP”): A category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect, and primarily encompasses copyrights, patents, and trademarks. It also includes other types of rights, such as trade secrets, publicity rights, moral rights, and rights against unfair competition. Artistic works like music and literature, as well as some discoveries, inventions, words, phrases, symbols, and designs can all be protected as intellectual property.
  6. Copyright Lawyer: A lawyer that specializes in copyright law that will represent you when someone else is using your idea or content without your permission, especially for financial gain. They can also defend you if you’re accused of infringement.

Book Copyright Resources

We want you to be able to find everything in one place. Here we have compiled a list of resources so you can quickly find the information you are looking for.

Learn more about book copyright from these resources:

Take Action: Copyright Your Book

Now that you know how to copyright your book, jump over to Copyright.gov portal and complete the process in less than twenty minutes.

When in doubt, consult with legal counsel or take the time to research the material you are either protecting or planning to borrow from another source. The time invested could save you an embarrassing or costly situation down the road.

If you want to follow a proven framework for how to successfully write and publish your book without having to stumble through the process, consider investing in a self-publishing course for support.

When you become an author, you want your book launch to go off without any surprises, so education is your key to success.

What questions do you have about how to copyright a book?

pinterest for authors tips

Pinterest for Authors: 8 Tips On How to Use Pinterest as an Author

Discovering how to use Pinterest for authors is a crucial step in upping your book marketing game. 

There’s a huge opportunity on the platform, and learning how to use Pinterest as an author is just the first step in taking advantage of it. 

Whether you’re learning how to become an author, or are already writing children’s books or non-fiction books, it doesn’t matter – Pinterest can be used by writers of all types and genres! 

pinterest for authors tips

And you don’t have to be a social media marketer to start using it!

Here are 8 tips for learning how to use Pinterest as an author: 

  1. Start with a Pinterest business account
  2. Optimize your profile for your author brand
  3. Include your profile essentials when using Pinterest for authors
  4. Understand boards vs. pins
  5. Don’t get overwhelmed
  6. Create your key author boards
  7. Tap into the power of pins
  8. Use essential Pinterest tools 

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What is Pinterest? 

Pinterest is a hybrid between a social media network and visual search engine that allows users to share and discover content through images and video. 

It’s a platform that curates images and video, linked to website content like blog articles, product pages, and galleries. 

As an author, there is a way to pack a punch with Pinterest without getting frantic about boards, pins and images, and we’ll show you how. 

Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest is not only for recipes and gorgeous interior design. In fact, it can be used for a variety of topics, subjects, or interests – books included. 

Let’s get started with the tips that will help you learn how to use Pinterest for authors in your book marketing plan

#1 – Start with a business account

You’re an author and you want to sell your books, so technically you’re a business! 

Good thing Pinterest now offers business accounts, so you’ll want to make sure you create a business account – and not a personal one! 

If you don’t have a Pinterest account already, create a Pinterest Business Account here

When you get to the page, you’ll simply enter your email and password and click “Create Account” to get started. 

If you already have a Pinterest account for your personal use and want to convert it to a business account, you’ll want to follow these instructions

#2 – Optimize your profile to build your author brand 

The second strategy to implement using Pinterest for authors, is to optimize your profile to reflect your author brand. 

It’s a great opportunity to dramatically expand your reach and find readers who are waiting to share your world, get to know you and eventually, buy your book. 

By using your profile to tell potential readers about yourself, you’re allowing people to find you, and your book. 

Once your business account is set up, optimize your profile to reflect your author brand. This is what your potential readers and audience will see, so it’s very important that you fill this information out! 

Include these details for your author profile on Pinterest: 

  1. Profile Photo: This should be a professional headshot or image that reflects who you are as an author. You can even make it more personable and fun, but just make sure is a relevant, high quality image. If you don’t want to show your face, you can use a logo or your book. Please, no kittens or dragons even if you write pet books or fantasy (unless you are a dragon, in which case go ahead).
  2. Display Name: This is the name your audience will see. Make it your author name, or pen name. Keep it consistent to make it easier for readers to find you. 
  3. Username: Be sure it includes your author name or pen name. It’s okay to have a slight variation in it, such as numbers at the end, if your author name is already taken by another user. 
  4. Author Bio: This is where you can truly optimize your Pinterest profile for your author brand. Add a little about who you are and what you write, but keep it under 160 characters! You can even include some relevant keywords so that your account shows up when Pinterest users are searching for certain topics or subjects.
  5. Location: Don’t feel pressured to share your exact location if you don’t want to. If you live in a small town, you can use a nearby larger city as your location. 
optimize pinterest for authors bio

Make sure you spend some time filling out your Pinterest profile details. You want to make sure it reflects your author brand! 

Here’s an example of my Pinterest author profile: 

pinterest author profile


#3 – Pinterest for Authors Profile Essentials

You have the basics filled out in your profile settings, but your Pinterest page comes with a ton of opportunity to show potential readers more about you and the stories you write. 

There are three important essentials to include in your Pinterest Author Profile: 

#1 – Personality. This is about you, not just your books! People want to connect with you as a person, and Pinterest is a great medium to allow them to do that in a professional way. 

#2 – Website. Make sure you add your author website, and that it is verified by Pinterest. It sounds technical, but it’s super easy to do, especially on WordPress sites. 

#3 – Featured Board. Pick the board that you want to appear first. Typically, this would be your latest book. We’ll cover more about boards in the next section. 

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#4 – Understand Boards vs. Pins

It’s all about the boards you have… and the pins. If you’re a complete Pinterest newbie, you might be confused. Boards and pins? What are those? 

Think of boards like a collection, or a category. Within that collection, there are pins, which are related to the category. 

Still confused? Let’s use a literary device to help you visualize. 

A Pinterest board is like an organized closet; within that closet, are related items (pins) that are stored there for easy retrieval. 

pinterest for authors board

For example, if you create a board for the setting of a story, you can add pins that have to do with your story’s setting, like location, time period, climate, and culture. 

#5 – Don’t get overwhelmed

Don’t go crazy with the boards and pins. You want your Pinterest to look clean, with the main boards displayed, and relevant pins in each. 

Since it’s a visual platform, you do want to be sure your Pinterest page looks clean and aesthetically appealing. Too much clutter, and it could give off a chaotic vibe!

But this is about Pinterest for authors, not designers – so don’t feel too pressured to compete with all the gorgeous images you find. 

Recognise the need for white space, and use it! 

The simple rule for images is to think vertically. The optimal image size for Pinterest is 600 x 900 pixels is the optimal size for Pinterest.

#6 – Create your key author boards

When learning how to use Pinterest as an author, there are some key boards that you’ll want to focus on. 

pinterest for authors

These are the boards you need to have when using Pinterest for authors:

Board #1 –  All your books and content

This is a board that contains all your own content, each of your books in its own section, and any blogs you write.

Create a pin with your book cover, link it direct to your Amazon sales page. Link your blog posts back to your blog post.

Ideas for quick images: For pins, take a good screenshot of your website, your Amazon page, or even your blog. You can use these to start with. Make a collage of your blog post pictures, your reviews, or testimonials. 

Board #2 – Your latest book 

This board is for your latest book, launched or not launched. You’ll want to use it as a spotlight for the book. 

It should have the following sections:

  1. Images and Quotes from your book. Use your own high quality images, or from royalty free stock photo sites, such as this one.
  2. Reviews from your book. Include a screenshot, an image and a few sentences.
    Link back to your sales page on Amazon, or to your Author Central page. You can also link back to your Goodreads page if you have one.
  3. Similar books that you have reviewed on your blog. This is an excellent opportunity to review other books like yours and build your author network.
  4. Theme board around your keyword. For example, my theme board is about hiking and the Himalayas. Pin yours and other people’s pins here.

Board #3Inspiration around your keyword or theme

This is where you pin mostly other people’s pins as well as some good ones of your own, about your keyword or inspiration. Check mine out on Hiking in the Himalayas.

You can even use it for inspiration that will help you stick to your writing goals. There are a lot of productivity pins that are helpful for writers to pin!

Tips for using your inspiration board:

  1. This is where you will use your keywords to the maximum, as this is how you will find new audiences who may be interested in your book.
  2. Research other authors in your field, and see what they’re doing, and also pin their pins to your board.
  3. Find new audiences. For example, I found that cooking is one of the top keywords in Pinterest, so I linked to and created pins on Himalayan dishes.
  4. Don’t forget to #hashtag

Board #4 – Secret Boards (optional)

Keep your boards about your own non writing passions secret, so that you don’t dilute your brand. If you are a romance author, you don’t want to be advertising your love for mud-wrestling by tattooed hunks.

If you’re learning how to write a book, having a secret board comes in handy! You can use it to organize all your research for your books, or themes around your books. 

For example, my next book is historical fiction, so I have all my research in a secret board, and I don’t want to confuse the readers of my non fiction adventure books.

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#7-  Tap into the power of pins

Pins are usually what users will see in their own feed or search results on Pinterest, so it’s important that your pins are optimized for full potential. 

For example, if we type “writing tips” into the Pinterest search bar, these are the pins that appear: 

You can save other people’s pins by hovering your mouse over the pin, and clicking “Save.” You will also have the option to select which of your boards you are saving it to. 

You’ll want to do a healthy mix of saving other pins, and creating your own pins. The more active you are with pinning, the more your own pins will appear in the search results when people search for keywords related to yours.

Add your own pins that others will love to share; this will broaden your reach, and get people saving and clicking your own content. 

#8 – Use essential Pinterest tools

Yes, I know, I can read your mind – you want to get back to writing your next bestseller and all this Pinterest for authors talk is tiring you out. But wait, there’s more! 

There are a lot of helpful tools you can use to make your pinning life easier.

The tools range from creating stunning graphics, to scheduling so that your pins appear consistently.

These are our favorite Pinterest for authors tools and resources:

  1. Canva: It’s free to start with, and includes pretty templates for Pinterest. Pick one style of template and run with that for some time. It’s important that your pins are consistently glorious. If you decide to upgrade, you can save time by resizing your other social media images to Pinterest size, and tweaking the image to fit. 
  2. Tailwind. The free version allows you schedule your posts, import images and even link to Instagram. Spend half a day working on your pins and post them all in a single afternoon and Tailwind will spit them out on the required day. Note: Pinterest also allows you to schedule posts when you are posting your pins directly.
  3. Piktochart. It allows you to easily create great infographics. 
  4. Pinterest’s own widgets. Be sure to install these on your website so that you can integrate your website with Pinterest. To start with I recommend the Pin it Button.
  5. Fiverr has lots of gigs for this, and as this is fairly low skilled you can try one of them.

So there you have it! Those are just eight important tips when using Pinterest for authors. 

While this all might sound like a ton of work and effort, it will be worth it in the long run.

If you commit to using Pinterest effectively and consistently, you’ll start to notice your profile and pins gaining traction in a few months. 

Pinterest is a truly powerful platform, and when used right, it can be beneficial for strengthening your author brand, building a larger audience, and learning from others. 

What are your thoughts on using Pinterest for authors?