Category Archives: tech tips

Publish a Kindle book for $0 out of pocket

No money for publishing a book? No problem. Read on…

Well, I’ve read all the fine print I can find and, best I can tell, it doesn’t cost anything to publish a Kindle book at Amazon. Nothing. At all.

There are, of course, plenty of things you could pay for:

  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Cover design
  • Document formatting esp. for the Kindle
  • An ISBN (that’s a book’s barcode)

But in a pinch, you can do it all yourself with no ISBN for no money. At all. Which I may have mentioned.

And yes, there can be a lot to each of those things. There’s a science to document formatting for the Kindle and other e-readers, and there’s an art to cover design, but don’t let those things, or anything, stop you (or your clients) from publishing.

Ask a trusted friend (or two) to edit and proofread your book. Design the cover on Canva or something. No design ideas, you say? Love ya, but I’m not hearing that. Echo off one of these 50 stellar book covers or one of these 40+ fab album covers.

Or do what I do: Browse your genre at the bookstore and take snaps of 5-10 covers you like. I suspect you’ll find, as I did, that they’re all different and all the same. Blend your favorite features from a few for a cover that’s unique but fitting. It looks like you can get free cover art via Creative Commons licensing with a refined license search of Flickr or use anything off of Pixabay.

As for the document formatting, upload a Word DOC. Yup, you can do that. There are some formatting limitations, like it won’t align text to the right and chews up bulleted lists something awful, but you can still bold, use italics, and center to highlight text and titles. If you keep things simple it should go pretty well. You’ll have an opportunity to preview your book page by page when you upload it to Amazon.

And your book won’t need an ISBN until you decide to also publish it on iBook, Nook, other digital venues, or in print. Out in the wild a book requires that world-class ID number, but in the isolated world of Amazon it doesn’t.

You can do this yourself, you can do this for your clients, or I can do it for you. Whatever gets your words out into the world, yeh?

If you want to talk deeper about how this applies to you, your work and your words, and also test my knowledge and research skills, I’d love to share and learn with you. Let’s Noodle on it together.