Self-publishing on Kindle

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Last weekend I did something I have been meaning to do for a long time: I sat down and wrote a short book, edited and formatted it, and published it on Kindle through Amazon.

It really was that easy.

The process is extremely clear and Amazon has several tutorials to walk you through how to sign up, format your work, and upload it to the site. Once you have finished they check it (takes 12-48 hours) and then it goes live and people rush to buy it… or not, in my case 🙂

The book(let) is called Air Miles and Hotel Points in Japan, and it’s available free in any Amazon Kindle store worldwide for the next 24 hours or so. Please check it out if you are interested, and if you are feeling particularly generous you could leave an honest review.

The thing is, if you have been sitting on an idea for a novel or a non-fiction book, why not go ahead and put it out there? I’ll be happy to help if you have any questions.

14 Dec 2013, 3:20pm
by Greg Rouault


Hi Ben,

I had seen these under your name from one of the links we have/share and I wondered about them.

Do you think this would be a neat “venue” for me to format the “teaching points” I have made up on TOEFL iBT working with my English for Academic purposes students and some part of what I will present at CamTESOL?

Very curious… I dont have a word count, but 4,000 seems reasonable… depending how much I include for the different sections… reading being my most ready to go, then maybe writing. Although they would be “how to…” books/guides and not fiction, but maybe a little bit like the “hints and tips” you have in one of your titles.

Please do advise.

Hi Greg

It depends on your goals. Kindle works best with text and makes books available worldwide. Non-fiction is definitely acceptable. The question is, would your target audience be buying ebooks on Kindle?

The good news is that formatting, etc. is pretty easy. I can help if you have problems 🙂

Another option would be iBooks. They would probably work better with questions and more visual material. If you have a Mac you can use the free iBooks author to compose them (haven’t used it yet myself, but I know quite a few JALT people that do -Malcolm Swanson being one of them.

If you approach it as a learning experience and don’t expect too much, I definitely recommend it. However, if you have the chance to publish through a more traditional route, it will probably be more beneficial. Good luck either way!

Ben, if I self publish something in these venues then am I limiting myself for publishing the same/similar content “of my own” in a more traditional way?

To be honest, I’m not sure. I’ve heard quite a few stories about people who were successful with self-publishing or blogging then going on to get traditional publishing deals because they had shown that their material would be commercially successful. After all, you own the rights to it.

Can’t really see a downside.


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