The second tab is Paperback Contents. This is where you will enter detailed information about the book, such as it’s trim size etc, as well as uploading both the book file and the book cover.
The first item you have to enter is the ISBN:
All books need an ISBN of some sort, and KDP offers two options:
- a free one [from KDP], or
- a private one, purchased from the ISBN agency located in your own country.
Note: for a detailed description of the differences between the two types of ISBNs, including their advantages and disadvantages, see Part 1, Front Matter, Back Matter & ISBNs]
The option for the free ISBN is shown as the default.
To use a free ISBN from KDP, click the Assign me a free KDP ISBN button.
KDP will display a reminder that the ISBN can only be used with KDP:
To continue, click the Assign ISBN button.
KDP will generate an ISBN for your book and display it on screen. Type, or copy/paste, this free ISBN into the copyright page of your Word manuscript and convert the file to a new PDF [if applicable].
If you have your own ISBN, click the Use my own ISBN button instead.
The screen will change to display the ‘ISBN’ and ‘Imprint’ text boxes:
Type or copy/paste your ISBN into the ISBN field. Make sure you type it exactly as it appears – i.e. including the hyphens.
Note: Australian authors can find detailed, step-by-step instructions on purchasing an ISBN from the Australian agency, Thorpe-Bowker, in PART 3, Appendix 2, ISBN in Australia.
Next, for the ‘Imprint’, type the name you used when you purchased the ISBN. For example, as a self-publisher, I buy all my ISBNs using my own name, therefore the Imprint of my books will also be my name.
The only exception to this rule is if you have set up your own small publishing company and purchased your ISBN under that company name. If this is the case, use the company name as the Imprint of your book.
The next option you will see is the Publication Date:
Leave this date field blank.
KDP will fill in the date for you once your book goes ‘live’ on Amazon – i.e. becomes available for sale on Amazon.
The only time you will ever have to enter the Publication Date manually is if you have already published your book in a different format – e.g. as an ebook or audio book.
Note: if you are unsure of the date, look up the ebook or audio book on Amazon and scroll down to the section called ‘Product Details’ where you should find the publication date.
To enter the publication date, click the calendar icon as shown:
You should now be looking at the calendar popup:
You will select the date from the calendar popup.
To change the year and month, click the back arrow until the correct year and month are displayed. Next, click the day.
The correct date should now be displayed in the Publication Date field:
If you make a mistake, click the blue Clear Date option and begin the selection process again.
The Print Options include Interior & Paper Type, Trim Size, Bleed Settings and Paperback Cover Finish. The default settings are displayed in the boxes shaded and outlined in orange.
Note: these options may or may not be correct for your book.
The following is a brief description of each Print Option.
KDP refers to the text of your book as the ‘Interior’. The paper type includes
- Black & white with cream paper,
- Black & white with white paper,
- Colour with white paper [cream paper not available].
Note: Colour is defined as any text or graphic that includes a colour.
The default selection is ‘Black & white Interior with cream paper’.
To select a different option, simply click one of the other boxes.
The trim size selected for the Print Options must be the same as the trim size chosen for the Page Setup of your book. To change the default Trim Size to the correct one, click the box labelled Select a different size:
You should now be looking at the Trim Size popup:
The default selection is shaded in yellow.
To select a different trim size – for example the one circled in orange – simply click the box that contains the trim size you need.
As discussed in Part 1, Trim sizes, Bleed and Page Specifications, Bleed is only required if the paperback contains images that extend all the way to the edge of the page.
As most novels do not include photos or graphical images in the interior of the book, leave the bleed setting as ‘No bleed’.
KDP offers two cover finishes – Matte [default] and Glossy.
The Matte finish will feel soft and silky to the touch, but the colours will be muted. For example, black will print as a sort of charcoal.
By contrast, the colours in the Glossy finish will be vibrant and ‘true’ to type, so black prints as black.
Before deciding on a cover finish, it’s always a good idea to check other books in your genre.
Click the finish of your choice to select it.
This is where you will finally upload – i.e. send – the your book file to KDP.
Note: KDP recommends using the PDF format but will also accept .DOC, .DOCX, HTML, or .RTF file formats.
To begin, click the Upload paperback manuscript button as shown below:
After clicking the ‘Upload paperback manuscript’ button, KDP will return you to your own computer so you can locate the book file to be uploaded.
Find the book file you prepared during PART 1 and select it.
The system will take a few moments to upload the file. When the upload is finished, the name of the book file will be shown in green:
For the cover, KDP offers two choices: you can upload your own cover or make one using an online app called Cover Creator. ‘Use Cover Creator’ is shown as the default option:
To upload a cover created by some other application, click the button for Upload a cover you already have [circled in orange above].
The screen will change to display the ‘Upload your cover file’ button:
Important! Before clicking the Upload your cover file button, check whether your cover already includes a barcode. If it does, click the small checkbox [circled in orange above] to stop KDP from automatically adding a second barcode to the back page of your cover.
If you do not have a barcode of your own, leave the checkbox empty. KDP will generate a barcode for you using the ISBN assigned to your book. It will also insert this barcode onto the back cover of your book.
When you are ready, click the Upload your cover file button.
As with the interior, KDP will return you to your computer so you can locate and select the cover file for your book.
Note: the book cover must be in PDF format.
Depending on the size of your cover file, it may take a minute or two to upload the file. When the upload is complete, KDP will display a confirmation that your cover uploaded successfully.
In the next section we will look at using the online Cover Creator app. Please note that this is completely optional.