This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.
On November 19, 2007, the world changed. Or at least the reading and publishing worlds changed. That is when Amazon released the Kindle, the first popular dedicated e-reading device. Since then there have been several more modern versions of the Kindle released as well as a growing number of free Kindle Apps that allow readers who do not have a Kindle to still take advantage of e-books.
Soon after the release of the Kindle, Amazon created Kindle Direct Publishing (originally called Amazon’s Digital Text Platform). This site allows writers and publishers to upload formatted e-books and to offer those e-books for sale through Amazon.
This has created a revolution, and stirred up more than a few concerns, within the book publishing world. It has changed the technology, and arguably the economy, for book publishing.
Most importantly for writers, it has knocked away much of the old stigma of self publishing and given writers the opportunity to make their works directly available to the reader without having to go through a traditional publisher.
There are good and bad issues involving all this, but for many writers this has helped to kick off a career. No longer do writers have to wait months or years to hear back from an editor or publisher or literary agent. Now a writer can write, edit, design a cover, and make their product available to readers for feedback and money.
But the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) site offers more than just the ability to upload e-books. The site also allows the writer/publisher to keep track of sales. Transactions are recorded on a seemingly minute-by-minute basis, so you can follow sales almost as they happen. The KDP site also allows you to check on your sales daily and for the last six weeks. You can also check out your monthly statements for the last 12 months.
Most importantly for beginners, the KDP site has a sizable Community page where you can learn from Amazon experts as wells as from other writers and publishers within that community. At the beginning, you’re obviously going to be a bit lost, perhaps finding the notion of creating an e-book a daunting task; that is where the Community page can come in handy by showing you the ropes. The Community page is also a place to go to for offering suggestions, placing complaints discussing issues, etc. English is the language used within most of the Community site, but there also are also now German forums within the site.
If you are a writer or publisher looking to join the e-book revolution, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is a good place to start. A growing number of writers are making good money publishing their e-books through Amazon, and with work and admittedly some luck, the same possibly could happen for you. And keep in mind that because you self publish your works does not mean you can no longer try the traditional route of becoming published.
Writers, it’s a changing world. Join it.