If you’re a self-published writer, then you know what I mean. I LOVE both KDP and CS, but being new in all of this and battling spawns of Satan such as ‘enter tax information even though you’re not a US citizen’, or ‘Dear Amazon, why isn’t my cover visible yet’ left me looking like this very soon:
First, you read, read, READ blogs about self-publishing. Then you read KDP and CS’s instructions that keep saying how you’re five minutes away from getting your book live. The truth remains that it actually is that easy to publish through these services, and I’d like to share the exact places where you would probably be on the verge of jumping from a building. Don’t jump. It’s doable.
Creating an account on KDP.
Well then, I’ll just enter my info here, and my address, and my… There!
‘Now, give us your tax info, mortal.’
And you’re like:
What’s that? Do I have that? Where am I? What year is it?
In other words, you become the most clueless person alive. Suddenly, all that little legal knowledge you have turns to non-existent.
This is the first part where you say ‘I guess I won’t do it, then.’
The solution is very simple. Click the Tax info button. KDP will lead you through the process, generate the necessary information and leave you with an existing and complete account, so you’re free to click away into publishing. That’s all you have to do.
Following instructions is sometimes the actual solution and you should try and save yourself from frantic googling for forums and discussions (presuming that you’ve done this for days. If not, just go and comb through every keyword that’s important to you).
When you’ve published your book, and it goes live after a while, there’s a huge chance your cover won’t be visible immediately. I pestered Amazon with this, for my first title, and it appeared in a matter of hours. For my second title, I decided to wait. It appeared after several hours anyway. So don’t panic on this. If it doesn’t appear at all, than it’s not the usual problem. Ask Amazon, they’re lovely, they try to answer everything.
The tax info thingy will also be required on Createspace.
Right when you’ve clicked ‘Review book’ and uploaded a .pdf file and a cover. Don’t panic on this one either. Where it asks for ITIN, if you don’t have one, type ‘00-0000000′. It will mean that 30% of your royalties will be withheld for tax. but you’ll be free to, again, click away to publishing.
(DO NOT take this for granted. I’m just re-telling here, READ CREATESPACE ToS to complete this information)
You will probably keep uploading new files after you’ve published your manuscript and after it’s live on Amazon. I did this. I found all kinds of little errors while working on the publishing platforms. I don’t know how to save you from this. Probably by advising excessive editing.
My point is, every little hurdle you encounter on the way isn’t a big deal at all. It may seem that way because it’s 4 a.m., and you’ve spent 5 days staring at a computer screen, and you’ve laughed like crazy at every error message that appeared on the screen. You’re not going crazy. You’re just tired. And everything is solvable.
And it’s wonderful and so worthwhile when you see your royalty reports. And if you find yourself on an Amazon list later.
If you have any questions, ask in the comments. I’ll try to answer them.