‘How to Publish a Book on Amazon: Real Advice from Someone Who’s Doing it Well’

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Cover of 'How To Publish a Book on Amazon: Real Advice from Someone Who's Doing it Well' by Sam Kerns.

By Sam Kerns

Amazon Kindle edition, 2020

Gawd, that’s a long title! But there’s a reason. The author is illustrating the long-tail theory of Amazon’s keyword search engine. The title literally says it all.

Disappointed by our experience with another how-to-publish-on-Amazon book, we bought this one in Kindle and Audible audiobook formats, and were glad we did.

We started our five-hour drive by listening to the book, but I soon found myself opening the Kindle version and following along so I could bookmark resources linked in the text.

Along the way, I discovered that the Kindle version had been updated to drop some material, and that one chapter had been rewritten. The Kindle version adjusts for the combination of the Create Space and KDP platforms, while the audiobook hasn’t caught up to that yet.

This book is well-researched, with data and statistics to back up the author’s arguments. It is also chock-full of resources, formatting tips, big-budget and no-budget solutions to editing and production, and tips for marketing, production, timing your releases, and cross-promotion. (The author makes good use of the space to promote his work-from-home series of books — purely to show us how it is done, of course!) He also is honest in explaining why some books just don’t sell, and giving one of his own as an example.

In his chapter on producing audiobooks, the author is generous in his praise of the narrator, who also records his other books. She deserves it, although the listener can’t help but smile at her singing her own praises in somebody else’s words.

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