Amazon has developed quite a few pieces of software to help authors and self-publishers. I talk a lot of smack about them sometimes, but Amazon has done a lot of positive things for independent authors. You may not be aware of some of this Amazon software or these resources.
There are no affiliate links in this post. These are all direct Amazon links to the information they provide on their own software and resources. I’ve added additional information links from myself and other creators to help you further.
I’ll cover the software first. There are also several resources available from Amazon to help with self-publishing. I’ll get to those a bit later.
You can really tell that Amazon is all in on eBooks for Kindle as these Amazon software offerings reflect that wholeheartedly. You’ll most likely need to hire a professional to create the print versions of the books you create with this Amazon software.
Kindle Create is a piece of software available to download for Windows and Mac. You can create 3 types of eBooks from your completed manuscript with Kindle Create:
- Reflowable – this would apply to eBooks created for Kindle. The text can move on the page and isn’t fixed as it would be for print. This allows for reading on many devices of different sizes.
- Interactive print replica – eBooks that include interactive materials such as videos, audio, images, and hyperlinks.
- Comics – uses Guided View to help format comic eBooks.
The Kindle Create user interface is available in 7 languages and supports even more for your books.
If you’d like to check out Kindle Create, you can download it and learn more here – https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GUGQ4WDZ92F733GC#download
Would you like to see how your eBook will look on various devices before you publish it? Kindle Previewer will show you that.
As with all the Amazon software we will cover, Kindle Previewer is available for Windows and Mac. It’s a standalone piece of software that serves the same function as the Previewer available during the KDP publishing process. The online version has most of the same functions, but has fewer filters and options than its standalone counterpart.
You can download Kindle Previewer and find out what it’s all about here – https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202131170
Kindle Comic Creator
Amazon has shown particular interest in comic books. They acquired ComiXology in 2014, which is a cloud-based distribution platform for comics. They have further supported that interest by providing software and resources to independent comic creators.
The Kindle Comic Creator allows you to import your artwork and turn comics, graphic novels, and manga into Kindle eBooks. You can create the reader experience you like best and see how everything will look on Kindle.
If you’d like to explore the Kindle Comic Creator further, you can download it and find out more here – https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201217140
Kindle Kids’ Book Creator
The Kindle Kids’ Book Creator makes creating Kindle eBooks for kids a simple process. It’s available in 9 languages for Windows and Mac.
The software has a unique feature where you can create text pop-ups inside your children’s books, making them interactive and fun.
If you’re ready to get cracking on your kids’ book, have a look at the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator here – https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201562880
Kindle Reading Apps
One thing I’ve always loved about Amazon is that they don’t require you to invest in a Kindle device to enjoy their Kindle eBook library. They met you right where you are, and from the beginning, they developed free reading apps for iOS, Android, PC, and Mac.
These apps are robust and feature-packed. You can tell they weren’t just an afterthought.
After purchasing and reviewing pretty much every eReader available on the market, I’ve since ditched them all for the Kindle app on my phone. It’s my favorite read-anywhere experience by far and I don’t have to lug an extra device. In fact, I cover it in detail here.
So…if you’ve arrived here looking for one of my eReader reviews, I want to let you know that the free app on my phone is my favorite way to consume Kindle content.
Download an app for your favorite device here – https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=16571048011
Amazon has sprinkled little online tools here and there that we, as authors, will find very useful.
Amazon Author Central
I have covered Amazon Author Central extensively. Amazon Author Central is where you can create an author page that is viewable from all of your book pages on Amazon, making your books accessible in one place to millions of readers.
Basically, Amazon gives independent authors a space on their website to share information about their books, their bio, add photos and video, and so much more.
It’s an amazing free opportunity and whether or not you have a website, you should definitely have your author page on Amazon Author Central set up.
Find out more about Amazon Author Central here – https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200644310
When Amazon made A+ Content available for authors, it was Earth-shattering. It was previously a feature that was only available via Amazon Seller accounts. We didn’t realize how much we needed it in KDP until it was there. It’s a game-changer.
A+ Content allows you to add extra content to your Amazon sales page to engage shoppers and further entice them to buy your books. This content can include images, text, and/or comparison tables.
When done right, A+ Content is a stellar opportunity for you as an author to connect directly with your readers and potential readers.
Friend of SPwD, April Cox, has a huge playlist on this topic. Check it out – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbLxkMDAIDo&list=PLPA6kOJTafWv3f83VsVs0sh0ttByOHObl
Find out all about A+ Content here – https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GHL7P99B7AA543CN
Nominate Your eBook for a Promotion
This is currently in Beta meaning they are still working out the kinks, but it’s something you can add to your book marketing arsenal. You can nominate your eBook to be included in Kindle Deals and Prime Reading promotions done by Amazon themselves. I’m fairly sure these are both centered on email campaigns.
Here are the requirements to be eligible:
- Your book must be an eBook
- Your book cannot contain any adult content
- It must be available for purchase on Amazon and the language of the marketplace must match the language of the book
- To be eligible for Kindle Deals: This is US only, and you must be at 70% royalty. This means your eBook must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99
- To be eligible for Prime Reading: Your eBook must be enrolled in KDP Select. This means your eBook is exclusive only to Amazon for at least 90 days or until you unenroll from KDP Select
Ready? Here’s all of the information you need – https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GHNKT7V426GVDM3G
Paperback and Hardcover Manuscript Templates
eBook formatting is super simple. You don’t really need any special software. You can use Microsoft Word or even Google Docs and create a professional-looking eBook.
However, print books are a lot more complicated to format. Essentially, I recommend that people hire someone to do this with InDesign or Affinity Publisher who knows what they are doing. I was a once a cash-strapped author though, and I’ll never forget what that was like. You’ll see that reflected throughout all the content I create. I am heavily focused on providing low-cost and DIY options to help you tell your story.
That being said, Amazon offers a Word template for every trim size that you can download completely free. You can either write directly in the template or copy and paste your manuscript into it. You’re going to have know what you’re doing either way. When you copy and paste, make sure you select the option to keep the format of the template or you’ll just end up with a copy of your original manuscript.
Honestly, if you decide to go this route, you’re going to end up doing A LOT of tweaking trying to get everything to look right and behave when you upload it to KDP. If your Microsoft Word skills are strong, this could work for you.
Grab those templates – https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834230
Print Cover Templates
If you’re creating a paperback or hardcover book, you’ll want to grab one of these templates based on your book details. Even if you’re not creating your cover yourself, this would be something great to provide to your designer to ensure your cover is the right dimensions.
Just visit this link below and fill out the form to download a template tailored to fit your book – https://kdp.amazon.com/cover-calculator
Print Cost and Royalty Calculator
Do you ever wonder how much you’re going to make from your print books? What about printing costs? Amazon has a calculator for that!
KDP Help Center
It’s always best to get information from the horse’s mouth. Amazon really does a great job providing formation on self-publishing and their own Amazon software.
If you have a burning question, you may find the answer here – https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200634280
More Software and Resources
For all that Amazon offers, there are much more from third parties. If you’ve been around here any length of time, you can probably name some of the ones I endorse. In keeping with the no affiliate links in this post, you can see an updated list of products and services that I recommend on my Resources page.
Did I miss anything from Amazon that I should include in this article? Let me know in the comments and I will update it!