Microsoft Azure IaaS Defense in Depth” is the very first book I wrote myself became commercial on Amazon Store. This book is published through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. I got a few requests from fellow MVPs in the community regarding my experience with Amazon KDP and why I didn’t go with a good publisher. In this article, I’d like to share a little experience during my time working on my book authoring.

Why I chose Amazon KDP?

There are some popular names among book publishing companies such as Packt, Apress, Wrox, O’reilly that you may know if reading IT books. When I had an idea of writing my book, I thought about Packt because most of books published by Packt gives more practical and hands-on structure than the others. Apress can be a good one but Wrox is more academic which drills down deeply the content.

Popular publishing companies like these not only help in publishing and marketing your book but also give a systematical structure for your content. They have a good plan to brainstorm what should be written and how to organize the content so readers can read to the bottom to fully achieve the knowledge. That said, the plan often takes time for email, communication, chatting and online call. At the time I decided to write my book, I had intended to publish it on June 15, 2017 which is my 27th birthday. Hence, I thought I would not have enough time to work with a publisher. If you are asked to write for them, it takes around 1 month to prepare table of content and some sample paragraphs for evaluation before officially writing.

When there was not a choice for a popular publisher, I had to look for a self-service publisher. LeanPub and Amazon KDP were in my shortlisted options. Finally I chose Amazon KDP because it is free. LeanPub is good but it charges me $99 for the first time. Another reason is the book format. While Amazon KDP does not care about the book format because the book is rendered on Kindle devices, LeanPub gives a PDF format which is easily shared to others. I don’t mean the income I would have after publishing the book, but with PDF format there is no guarantee of leakage.

What to do with Amazon KDP?

You need to register an account here before you can work out your book’s information, cover, description and price in the Bookshelf. Amazon KDP also provides some free tools such as Kindle Textbook Creator, Kindle Previewer to help you create and preview your book on a simulated Kindle devices.

There are many similar questions regarding the format the author should use for Kindle book. I would say per my experience that the font size is 11 and the font is Garamond. Though Kindle automatically converts your manuscript into HTML format and render upon its standard on Kindle devices. The width: height should be 6:9 in case you need to not only publish Kindle book but also paperback. I used the template suggested by CreateSpace to prepare my manuscript.

After completing your manuscript, you need to set the price. It is recommended to follow the maturity of people who set the 70:30 as a royalty. For more information on this stuff, read here.