Checklists – My Ebook Checklist

I found it was easier to organize and visualize what I needed to do to publish an ebook if I made a checklist. It’s a good way of checking on my progress, and of ensuring that I don’t forget something.

One good thing about this checklist is that some of the steps don’t need to be done in order. I can work on them simultaneously with other steps, or I can jump around and tackle whichever one I’m in the mood for that day.

If you adopt this checklist for yourself, I encourage you to adapt it. Tweak it so it suits you.

Come up with a good title

My book What Should I Write About? can help you with that.

Choose a pen name (optional)

Amazon lets you use multiple pen names under one account.

Commission a cover

Or create a cover if you’re good at that.

Write the book

Yes, just that simple! ‘Write the book’ :)

Format the book

If you’re submitting to Smashwords and Kindle, you’ll have to do this twice.

Pick categories

Drill down as far as you can go. Choose relevant categories.

Pick keywords

Amazon doesn’t use tags anymore, but the keywords factor into the search engine algorithm. Somehow.

Write summary blurb

You’ll probably want a short blurb and a long blurb.

Decide on price

My current strategy is to start at $0.99 and raise it bit by bit.

Upload to Amazon KDP Publishing

It’s a real book now!

Enroll in KDP Select (optional)

For more information, see “Is Amazon’s KDP Select Worth It?”

Create a spreadsheet to keep track of costs and sales

How else to tell if you’re making money?

Create a good author page

Let readers know you’re a real person with something worth listening to.

Create a website (optional)

If this idea freaks you out, start with a Facebook page. Or skip it.


That gets its own checklist.

Start work on print version (optional)

That also gets its own checklist.

You may have noticed some of these steps sound more fun than others. And which ones you think seem fun could be entirely different from the ones I find fun. Tackle the fun ones first — save the fun ones as a reward — whatever works for you.

One thing to keep in mind is that any of the items on the checklist can be outsourced. Hire someone to do the things you really don’t want to do, or don’t feel very qualified to do well. If you don’t have a background in graphic design, then I highly encourage you to hire someone to design the cover for you. You can get a good one for $20-$30. It’s also probably a good idea to get someone to copyedit your book. Take a look at Fiverr to get an idea of which parts of the process people are willing to do for you. Or if you know people with a particular skill, maybe you can barter for it, or buy them pizza. If you can find a partner to do half the work, and you have complementary skill sets, even better!

Cross things off as you go, and you’ll see you’re really making progress, even if you don’t have anything to “show” for it yet.

You May Also Want to Read…

“Is Amazon’s KDP Select Worth It?”

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