Steps To Publishing with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Sign up with Amazon

If you are an Amazon customer, you already have an account; just go to the page below and sign in.
You can also sign up for a new account there, if you don’t already have an account, or if you don’t want to use your personal account as your  “Publishers Account”. (Amazon does not allow us to have more than one Publishers Account, so choose carefully.)

Read the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Terms of Service

There’s not a lot of song and dancing to go through, but you do need to be aware of what’s there.

Here are a few examples from Amazon KDP Terms of Service:

> You have to be old enough to sign a contract, and you have to understand what Amazon will and will not publish.
> Amazon wants unique content… they will reject or delete anything that is “freely available” in digital form elsewhere.
> Amazon will reject or delete anything they consider “offensive content”. 

Next Step Get Your File Ready

Depending on where you are in the process of preparing your file, go to one of the following links:

MS Word or  HTML… which is best?

Steps to Clean Up MS Word

Create Kindle eBook Sample

Do you have an HTML or MS Word file that you think is ready or almost ready?

As long as you don’t get overly-excited and push the Publish button, there is no reason why you can’t create a Sample File to get an idea of what your book will look like on the Kindle.

You will also be able to see and understand what’s wrong with your book, and what you need to do to make it perfect.



  1. Hey CJ,

    Love the site, has been super helpful. I am currently working on a fantasy series to be published Monday March 25th, but I can't get my cover image to covert correctly. I was hoping maybe you could help me out. When I upload and preview the image, instead of stretching to fit the whole page, it sits smack in the middle of the page. How do I get my image to fit the entire page? I am so lost, and so far have tried several tips from other people, but nothing has worked.

    1. If you are talking about how the cover looks when you view the sample on a Kindle or the Previewer...

      And it looks like it has great big margins... there is probably nothing wrong...

      A correct image will fill the page on the older Kindles, but not newer Kindles.

      You did use a large enough image... as directed at the upload page, right?

  2. My image is 2000 by 3000, so it should be plenty big... I'm publishing my book in one and half hours so keeping my fingers crossed it works!

  3. That may be TOO big and that could be your problem.

    I don't know what Amazon says at upload... and they change often so I don't have it memorized.

    This is not a case of bigger is better... because it you make it too big, the Amazon software will re-size it.

    It doesn't take much time or effort to upload a new cover, so if this one doesn't work, it's fairly easy to fix.

    That's what I'd do... read what it says at upload and resize your image with something like Photoshop Elements.

  4. Hi CJ.

    Just a quick question. I already have an ebook version on Smashwords. Will Amazon allow me to publish on KDP, or will it be rejected?

    Great site by the way, so much better than anything I've seen so far in regards to the subject matter.


    1. SD,

      Your question has two answers... yes and no...

      Amazon doesn't care where else you publish UNLESS you want to publish with the Amazon Select plan.

      They do a lot of special promotion for that plan and want your book to be exclusive with them.

      You can read all the details on the Amazon web site.

      Thanks for the words of appreciation!

  5. Hello CJ, I have been agonizing over creating a kindle format for my 570 page (with 500 photos and many footnotes and some charts) book. I did do it once and saw that it was not kindle ready so I withdrew it. Do I need to remove all footnotes and make them part of body of text?
    I have looked over much of your info and enjoy reading it, and think that, perhaps, I can do this (as opposed to pay $1000 for others to do it.)
    Thank you for your time.

    1. Wendy,

      First, about footnotes... by some tech-miracle, the Kindle will convert MS Word footnotes to end-notes and they will work just fine, so, no, you don't have to remove footnotes.

      The Kindle isn't very good with charts or tables unless they are very small , no matter who does your book.

      They will, most likely, need some special handling... make them very small or convert to images.

      The Kindle handles photos very nicely -- as long as you format and position them correctly (as described on this website).

      But... 500 photos is an awful lot of photos. Unless they are very small, they will make your book very big... resulting in slow download times and high delivery costs.

      Yes, you can do it yourself... but, compared to paying a (competent) service $1,000 to do it for you, and paying yourself instead... you will be making under minimum wage.

      So... if you make more than zero per hour, you may want to re-consider the idea of doing it yourself.

      But... "competent" service is the key. There are plenty of them out there, boldly advertising what they know not... so you will need to be very careful.

  6. CJ, your suggestions and step by step method for cleaning up my indentation dilemma was wonderful !!!

    May your beer be laid under an enchantment of surpassing excellence for seven years!

    (Or whatever Gandalf said to Butterbur.)

    Sandy Sonnen
    The Nathan Press

  7. Hi CJ
    My cover photo came out in 180 dpi. My book cover person wants it in 300 dpi Is there an easy way to do this? I have Windows Vista & took my photo with a Canon digital camera. I've watched some videos on youtube about how to change photo size & none of them make sense to me. THANKS

  8. Dixie,

    No, you can't increase the DPI of a photo, but that doesn't matter in the Kindle world.

    The book cover person should create the cover according to Kindle specs, but that is for him or her to do, not you as the client.

  9. CJ- I have a clean formatted book in Word 2003. However, I have a lot of hyperlinked internal cross references (e.g., "See section 1.2.5.") I'm using heading styles for each section heading,which are auto-numbered within the style, and I'm using the number as the hyperlink. This allows cross references to adjust if section numbers change.

    Is there a conversion method that will preserve these hyperlinks in the Kindle version? I'd like to use them for the TOC and a table or authorities as well, so that a click on the entry will go straight to the section. Thanks!

    1. David,

      Yes, that should work if you create your Word file correctly, and upload it directly to Amazon KDP.

      It will be pretty intricate to get it all correct, but you already know that.

      Be sure to download the MOBI file that Amazon KDP creates for you, and test all your links with Kindle Previewer and Kindle for PC.

      If your file works with them, it will work when published.

  10. CJ- Well, it's taken me this long to get the book in a form to submit to Kindle. And in the MOBI file I got back, NONE of my cross reference hyperlinks survived. My morale is very low at the moment...

    I created the cross references by [Insert>Reference>Cross Reference] with "Reference Type=Heading" and "Insert Reference to=Heading Number." They work in the Word document, but not in the MOBI file.

    I know that hyperlinks can survive, because I had the TOC generate with the sections hyperlinked, and that survived the Kindle translation. Under the hood, is there a difference between the TOC hyperlinks and the ones I created? Is there any way I can do this without having to redo all of those hyperlinks?

    Also, the spacing in my heading styles is a little funky. There's too much space between the heading number and the heading text, and between the heading and the paragraph text. In the style, it's expressed in inches. Is there a more appropriate unit to be using to express an indent or line spacing when dealing with an electronic text?

    I really appreciate your willingness to help!

    1. David,

      I recently had an MS Word Table of Contents that did not work properly in the MOBI file.

      I don’t know why, but it does appear that something about the Kindle conversion process has changed.

      I didn’t spend much time trying to figure it out, I switched to Atlantis Word Processor, and then everything worked properly.

      I don’t know if that would work for you, but it’s worth a try.

      You can download a copy of Atlantis Word Processor (free to try for 30 days, then $25 to buy) here on my website:

      Go to the headline article (just under the banner on the home page) Write Your Own Story, then download Atlantis at Step 3.

      That’s a full version that will work for 30 days… long enough to see if it will solve your problem… then if you decide to buy it come back here to register it, and it will cost only $25 (elsewhere it’s $35).

      Your heading styles problem can probably also be solved by using the CJ’s Easy as Pie Template that’s included with Atlantis Word Processor when you download it here.

      Let me know if it works for you!

  11. Hi CJ,
    I am having a conundrum getting my most recent book revision to upload to KDP. After several attempts to get the revised copy to upload, the initial copy keeps showing up, clearly without the needed edits. I have unpublished it a couple of times and tried to re-upload the corrected version to no avail. Any help, as always would be appreciated.
    Many thanks!

    1. That's normal behavior of the KDP publishing process. One you buy a book, you will always get that same version if you buy it again later.

      The only solution, apparently, is to contact support and ask them to reset your purchase to receive the latest version.

  12. Hi,
    I uploaded my book to KDP then rewrote some of the first chapter. I uploaded the changed version which then showed up just fine. The problem is that the first chapter is the free "sample" and it didn't change to the new upload. Is there anything I can do about that?

  13. Hello CJ,
    I just discovered this site, it's great!
    I published my first book with CreateSpace. My book was written in LibreOffice, is there a way I can convert my file from LibreOffice to a kindle format?
    Thank you