I did a status discussion in December 2014 on publishing and getting books on Amazon and other online platforms such as Azaliabooks.
A friend advised that I converted the discussion into a note so we don’t lose the details. So this is for that purpose.
First of all, let me list my general approach to getting my books out:
1. Get the manuscript done in Word doc format. I usually share it with friends for general inputs and corrections. Note that not all the recipients will feedback. Once complete, I also send to a few people whose comments I wish to include in the book. I am careful to let them know that it is largely draft at this stage.
2. The complete manuscript is sent to the editor. I always use a professional editor and pay for it.
3. The editor brings back the edited script with suggested corrections and areas for re-writing. I address all the corrections.
4. Stages 2 & 3 are repeated until editing is complete on the manuscript.
5. The manuscript is sent to the book designer. Usually, I would have sent the manuscript to the book designer at Stage 1 so he has a general idea of the book and so he can start work on the book cover design.
6. The first stage of the book proof (typeset) is done and sent to me by the book designer. Usually together with the draft of the book cover (front).
7. The first draft of the typeset book is read thoroughly for corrections. Sometimes, copying the text from Word doc to the design software will result in sections being omitted etc. If I can, I send the first proof also to the editor for inputs.
8. The needed corrections are sent to the book designer. Usually I do a detailed document with specific corrections on each page so he can get all the information required.
9. The second proof is sent with the book cover layout (back and front covers and spine of book, which include a selection of comments/reviews by the advanced readers).
10. Stages 8 and 9 are repeated until all edits are done.
11. The final proof is sent to me. If possible, this is in hardcopy so I can actually feel and appreciate how the book will be. This includes the cover.
12. Once approved, we move on to the printing or listing on Amazon.
For ebooks on Amazon, you have to use https://kdp.amazon.com/. All you need are the Word doc version of the interior of the book and the jpeg copy of the book cover. You upload and the files are reviewed. Once approved, you are on. It takes about a day or two for the listing to be done on all Amazon platforms. You have to indicate the price and how you will be paid. For us in Ghana, you can’t be paid by direct bank transfer, so you get payments via cheque.
For those who wish to list their books in hard copy on Amazon, please use www.createspace.com. You need pdf of the interior of the book and the cover (back, front and spine as one layout). You upload and it is reviewed. Once it is passed, it is entered into their database and listed on Amazon.
I also use www.smashwords.com for ebooks. I like this platform because it distributes to other outlets such as iBooks and Sony. For Smashwords, you need the same items as for Amazon Kindle: Word doc of book interior and jpeg of book cover.
There is the final platform I endorse greatly, especially for writers who wish to reach Ghanaian audiences. It is a platform built in Ghana for our own use. It is www.azaliabooks.com. The requirements are pdf/Word format of interior and jpeg of the book cover. Buyers can use mobile money or purchase vouchers to buy – very convenient.