How to launch an e-book on Amazon

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counseling private practice consultant

You may have recently noticed more e-book action from Practice of the Practice. If you have not, you may want to check out my two newest books:

Practice of the Practice | A Start-up Guide to Launching a Counseling Private Practice

Mental Wellness Parenting | A remarkably simple approach to making counseling easier

In this article I want to discuss my motivations and processes for writing these two books.

Why I wrote these books

For Practice of the Practice | A Start-up Guide to Launching a Counseling Private Practice, there were a few reasons that I launched this book:

  1. I kept getting asked the same questions over and over. When I first started out, I wished that I had a basic book that gave me skills regarding marketing, branding, and creating a counseling private practice. I didn’t want to hire a consultant for advice, but I did need some help in launching a counseling private practice. So I read a lot.
  2. Whenever you launch a book, even if it is only in an e-format, you grow as a subject-matter expert. People make loads of assumptions. If I take the time to follow-through on this type of project, others make assumptions about my consulting abilities and are more likely to trust my advice.
  3. For Mental Wellness Parenting | A remarkably simple approach to making counseling easier, I wanted something that I could direct parents to. In sessions, I often covered the same topics over and over. I believe that this could save my clients some time and help them grow as parents. Further, when counseling time if more efficient, they will feel like their money is being well spent. Also, I believe in the advice and tips that I give. I want my counseling private practice and this consulting blog to all be very useful and reflect who I am. These books are a part of that.
  4. Counselors often have a clear upper limit for their income. It may be determined by salary or hours worked. I currently work full time at a local community college and also do private practice 5-7 hours per week. For me, I don’t want to work more hours. Instead, I want to explore ways to bring in additional income that is not directly based on my time. Thus, I am bringing on more counselors, launching products I believe in, and becoming an affiliate for products I use and that are helpful to my audience.
  5. It was a ton of fun!

How I wrote these books

Both of these books I wrote in Word and then formatted them later for Amazon and the Kindle. Amazon has a great book for free about the exact formatting requirements named Building Your Book for Kindle.  In writing an e-book, it is good to keep paragraphs shorter than normal, 2-4 sentences. This is because if someone is reading on an iPhone, Droid, or other mobile device, it can look like one big paragraph if they have a tiny screen.

Also, it keeps things moving.

I found that it felt more conversational by having shorter paragraphs. This is my style, you can do as you like, but I think it works. Also, I tried to keep sentences to the point. They were quick and direct, yet, how I’d talk to a friend.

After I had my content, I had to format. Here are the quick basics, but I would highly recommend the free e-book created by Amazon: Building Your Book for Kindle. It is great. You may even want to read it before writing content. It could save you time.

  1. End each chapter with a page break.
  2. Use headings and subheadings within word to make the Table of Contents format correctly. You can change styles depending on your version of Word.
  3. Don’t have page numbers, since each device formats differently.
  4. Bookmark sections, typical sections to bookmark are: TOC is Table of Contents, Introduction, Resources, etc.
  5. Have it in portrait mode
  6. Make the cover on a separate sheet so that it can be uploaded as a pdf or jpg.
  7. Upload the book on Kindle Direct Publishing Once you upload it, you can view it in numerous formats and go back and make edits. Remember, on Amazon the Kindle is the most used device for e-reading. Thus if it looks funny formatted on the iPad but looks great on the Kindle, stick with the one that looks great on the Kindle.
Here are some screen shots to help you.
First go to, scroll to the bottom and click on “Independently Publish with Us”, click on “Kindle Books” on the left.  Log into Amazon.

When you log into Kindle Direct Publishing click “add new title”.

Counseling private practice consultant

Enter all your book details including title, description, and author/contributors.

counseling private practice consultant

Verify your publishing rights, target your audience and upload your book cover and Word file.

counseling private practice consultant

Review what the book looks like in different formats.

counseling private practice consultant

Marketing the books

Honestly, this is an area where I am still learning. I sold 6 books in December and early January. That will end up being around $50 that I’ll get (60 days after the sale). With that said, I did a FREE download day on January 15, 2013. It was amazing, 179 people downloaded the book! This tells me a number of things:

  1. I probably should have charged at least a dollar or something. But then again, maybe people would not have bought the book.
  2. People actually read my posts on LinkedIn, my e-newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter, and they take action when it helps them.
  3. I need to figure out better ways to help readers to purchase the book if that is a goal.Counseling private practice consultantCounseling private practice consultant

I do believe that there will be many unintended benefits of giving away the e-book. Here are just a few that I see:

  1. I will probably get more reviews. If you downloaded it and liked it, I would love to have you write a short review CLICK HERE for the review page.
  2. Those that downloaded the book will be likely to recommend it to friends/co-workers, which may actually help me sell more books and get great information out there.
  3. It makes it easier for me to grow Practice of the Practice if people already are used to my voice. As I look to launch my podcast in 2013, I want to build my audience.
  4. It helps you to grow your practice, which I love!
  5. Do you want to grow quicker? Join my Member’s Newsletter and get a weekly step to launch and grow your private practice!
  6. You’re also more likely to purchase/borrow/recommend my newest e-book Mental Wellness Parenting | A remarkably simple approach to making parenting easier
  7. You would be more likely to go through my affiliate links within the book.

So even though the e-book is a work in progress, I am learning a lot about launching products, marketing, and building a counseling private practice. This advice comes from me trying things and seeing what works. Sometimes things are massive successes, other times they surprise you. Honestly, I was surprised by how many took action to download the book. I’ll keep you posted on the return on investment for giving it away for free.


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Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is the owner of Mental Wellness Counseling in Traverse City, MI. He is a speaker, author, and consultant that works with counselors to make their private practices more awesome. If you have not checked out his 52-week E-newsletter, it is an amazing guide to helping you grow or launch a private practice. To link to Joe’s Google+ .