How to Self Publish a Book in Kenya

Friday, January 16, 2015

How to Self Publish a Book in Kenya

If you are sitting on a manuscript and wondering how to go about publishing your first book in Kenya, you might be surprised to learn that it is actually easier than you ever imagined. Things have changed in the recent past. While before you'd have to go from publisher to publisher  and have to deal with negative feedback time and again, it is now possible to self publish your own book, control the advertising yourself and keep all the profits to yourself. This is a great residue income for you receive Royalties month after month for as long as you live or your book remains relevant and popular.

There are platforms that allow you to publish Ebooks and have them available to millions of customers in less than two days. If you'd like to have your books in print, you do not have to print hundreds or thousands of books and have them in a store somewhere gathering dust, all you need to do is join a platform that prints your book only if and when it is ordered. This lets you sell your books without having to deal with inventory.

How to publish a book in Kenya
Amazon.com is the biggest marketplace around, this makes it's Kindle Platform the ideal place for writers to self publish their work. You just need to have your book in MS. Word, well formatted and ready to be published. Once you are happy with your product, head over to Kindle and  sign up to start publishing your first book.

Before you start though, you'll need a US Bank account where you'll be receiving your monthly book Royalties. I like to use Payoneer.com. This is a Global Payments Services company that gives you virtual US and UK Bank accounts making it easy for you to receive payments from different companies in these countries. You can sign up for a payoneer account at Payoneer.com here.

Once you've connected your payment service to your Kindle account, it is now time to publish your first book. Just go to your dashboard, click on 'Bookshelf' and select 'Add New Title'. Here are the steps to follow:
  1. Fill in your Book Details: The Title, sub-title, author, publisher and the description of your book go in this section.
  2. Verify your Publishing rights: Indicate whether the book is yours or whether it is a Public Domains Work. For public domains work,  you need to differentiate the book so as to make it unique. We'll look at how you go about selling Public Domain Books in another post.
  3. Target of your book: This is where you give information that gives a clear indication of who your book targets, age-wise or otherwise. Categories and keywords are also selected in this section.
  4. Select the book release options: If you do not wish to release your book as yet, you can have it available for pre-preorder.
  5. Upload your book cover: If you already have a book cover, this is where you upload it. Kindle also allows you to create a book cover so there's no need to worry if you do not have one.
  6. Upload your book: This is the point where you upload your book. Though it is possible to convert PDF to Kindle, a Word document converts better.
  7. Click 'Save and Continue' to proceed to the pricing section.
  8. Select where/the countries you wish to sell your book in
  9. Indicate the Royalty. It can either be 30% or 70% depending on the pricing of your book
  10. Enter the Price of your book
  11. When you've entered all the details, select publish.
It takes about 48 hours to have your book reviewed and live on the Kindle store.

Congratulations,  you just learnt how to publish a book in Kenya.