When I started with my first book in 2017, I didn’t know anything about self-publishing and KDP. But I learned fast. The first lesson I learned was you can’t miss the Blogchatter eBook Carnival in June if you are writing in India.

Self publishing in India is a brave world. I did it because I believed it was a book that needed to be written. Over the years, I have tried to use what I learned in my later books. I am still learning, but with every passing book, it gets better. Not easier but more fun. If you want the glamour of having your name under the banner of big publishers, that’s great. But none of this or that is easy work. Be ready for hard work, and good news follows. Your self-publishing journey is a launchpad for many opportunities. But it’s a long-term plan, and there are no shortcuts.

self publishing in India

Here are the 5 Ways to leverage your Blogchatter eBook for a Successful KDP launch:

I. Find your Beta Readers and reviewers

Blogchatter Ebook Carnival is a happening event across all social media channels. A library of books. That’s where readers come. This puts you in touch with lovely Beta Readers. When I wrote my first book, Mayuri, Deepa, two of my Blogger friends helped me by giving me constructive feedback. While you promote your own book, you find the most crucial thing called input. Everyone may not write a full book review but may send you a message about what they liked about the book or didn’t. That’s crucial.

An essential rule of Blogchatter eBook carnival participation is, to review the works of other authors. You get at least one book review on a real blog and more. You also have a possibility of an Amazon and Goodreads review when the book goes live on KDP. KDP Select lets you set up a timed increase in price or get five free days of promo. This helps get a good number of reviews when people download, read, and give a verified review.

Remember: People must read the book before reviewing; otherwise, Amazon has a way of checking page reads and removing reviews. They may also remove the book.

II.Categories and Keywords for your KDP Book

If you are self-publishing a Kindle eBook, you need to check the category in Kindle eBook store first. Not in the Amazon Book store. Write a keyword describing your book in the Amazon Kindle store search bar. Look at the categories under which the top-selling books are. Copy the exact paths and keep it ready. Those are some of the categories you will want to submit your book for.

self publishing in India

The more competitive a category is, the harder it is to get yourself noticed. Romance contemporary, is the most competitive. You can check out this resource to see whether you are writing in categories that sell. Nonfiction in a popular category and sells well.

Check the ranks for the eBook in the top ten of the categories you are targeting. Lower they are, the more difficult it will be for you to rank. If there are too many free books with bad sales rank, that’s not a category you should list your book in. At first, you will be able to add your eBook in only two categories. Once you find other categories your book is suitable for, you can contact Amazon with the name, ASIN number, and exact category path, and they update.

Amazon allows up to 7 keywords for your book. Keywords help readers find your book. Amazon indexes your eBook, according to the keywords you used. You can also change the keywords. The best practice is to have a few well-targeted keywords and some which are descriptive of the book’s type.

III. Book Pricing and making money

Before you fix a price for your book, ask yourself 5 questions:

  • Who is this book for?
  • Do people buy this kind of eBook on Amazon?
  • How many of this genre in eBook form or paperback have you read?
  • At what price?
  • What’s your unique selling point? Do you have a different take?

You can find the best price point, for books of your genre, if you select Amazon.com as your primary marketplace in KDP select.

Kindle Select has a minimum price below which you get lower royalty. Advantages of Kindle Select include payment from book sales from Kindle Unlimited, and Prime Readership (if selected). There is no method for submitting your books for Prime Readership, and Amazon reaches out to the author with their own offers. Two of my books, Fruits for Life and Starting a Successful Blog-10 Ways to take your Blog from Kickstart to Awesome, are on Prime Reading.

Kindle Select is exclusive for at least three months with an option to renew. You can’t sell your book in a digital format on your website or others during this time.

Amazon has free book promotional, as a marketing strategy which you can make use of. Remember the price is based on value. Not on the number of pages. If you don’t think the book is worth the price, others won’t either. But if you make it too expensive, it will affect sales.

IV. How long should your eBook on KDP be?

Before you decide, keep in mind the length of the average eBook in the genre you plan to write in. My longest nonfiction work is around 10,000 words . But the number of words depend on the type of book you are writing and is flexible.

The purpose of a book is to educate and entertain. Read the top-selling books in that category. This research is necessary to make or break your book sales. Read the description reviews both positive and negative. See what’s working and what’s not. Try to include the missing points in your book. That way, it’s going to be a valuable resource.

The book should be long enough to  deliver the message and short enough to hold a readers attention. This is different for fiction and nonfiction.

V. The Blogchatter Community is Icing on the cake

Facebook, Instagram, Google will charge you when they boost your books. Blogchatter Ebook Carnival is your platform to advertise your book. First, as a freebie, then as an Amazon link and potential sales for the entire year. It is an Author platform.

While it’s only you who can write your story, you need an army to promote your book. Doing it alone is tedious and often filled with self-doubt. For new self-published authors, it’s impossible to keep up the momentum. Behind every successful self publishing in India journey is a writing community. For writers like me, it’s the Blogchatter community.

Remember, you need to write a good book, which will entertain or will help someone. That’s what works.

Dr Amrita Basu (Misra) is an ENT surgeon with over ten years of experience. She shares awareness about preventive healthcare through her books, blogs, podcasts, Youtube channel and social media. You can email her at [email protected]