How to Publish a Book Series on Amazon KDP

Why Serial Authors are Making a Killing on Amazon, Series Gotchas and Steps to Publish a Book Series!

Authors vs Serial Authors

Whether fiction or non-fiction, any book idea can be turned into a series if there is enough content to warrant multiple books. Moreover, even if you are thinking about writing a single book, it doesn’t hurt to leave the idea of a sequel on the table and consider it later.

But why would you want to do a series?

There are two answers. Higher visibility, and funnels.

By having multiple book titles in one series, you get more covers, more categories, more opportunities to show up in search results, more titles, more KDP free promotion days, and more days of free fresh-release pushing by Amazon.

Each book in your series will link to the entire series, so when a customer opens one of your books they will see all of them.

Your series will also have its own dedicated page on Amazon where all your series books will be listed. Series pages are free of distractions like ads and also-boughts. That makes a series page a great page to link to from your website or social media. Less visibility to other books means more visibility for your books – nice!

A series page is still hosted at Amazon so you can link to it from your Bookbub ads. Linking to your series page will result in higher conversion rates than linking to your book product page.

The second reason is funnels. Having multiple books allows you to discount one deeply or even offer it for free (making it a loss leader) to get more eyeballs on your other titles. Many authors use this strategy so you won’t be innovating here.

By lowering your price and focusing your marketing on one series book you also take advantage of sales momentum, driving up your category rankings and showing up in more places on Amazon. If you were to spend the same marketing budget across all series titles, you’d probably spread your budget too thin.

You would typically discount the first book in a fiction series. If you have a nonfiction series, set your best book at a discount and make sure it has in-content references to your other books.

Series Gotchas!

Not All Books are Series Material

According to Amazon, “Prequels, short stories, and novellas can't be added to Series Bundles”.

Also, books that could be considered a collection (a common theme, subject, or target market) do not necessarily qualify as a series. Books in a series must have an obvious order from first to last. This may come naturally in fiction, but it is not always the case in nonfiction.

If you are at the beginning of writing your nonfiction series, consider how you can structure it so that a natural order arises between the books.

Consistency is King

Series books will appear on the product page of each book in a series. If your cover art is not consistent among the books, you will be (subconsciously or consciously) negatively affecting the trust of your potential buyers.

To ensure consistency, you need to keep some parts of your cover design the same. This typically means the fonts and general layout. You can then use different colors, images, and text to differentiate and clarify the content of each book.

Step by Step

You can publish all the books in your series together or you can add books to the series as you go. A series needs at least two books so don’t bother if you only have the first book ready.

When you publish a Kindle book or Paperback on KDP, you will be asked to enter a Series name and number. Doing so will NOT automatically add your books to the series, but it is the first step toward doing so.

Make sure the series name is the same in all books. Make sure there are no missing series number, i.e. 1,2, and 4.

You will also need to add the series in the following places:

Book descriptions

You need to add the series information in the description of each book. Something like “Series name- Book 1” or “This is the second book in the I Love Myself series” will work. You can add it anywhere in your description. I typically add it at the end of the description to avoid wasting one line from the visible description on the product page.

Cover

Amazon says you need to add the series name and book number on the cover. They don’t always strongly enforce that, and adding it to the back cover of a paperback seems to also work. If you do not want the series on your Kindle front cover, you can try skipping it but be aware that Amazon may ask you to add it.

Inside the book

You have to add the series name and book number inside your book. I typically add it on the title and subtitle page.

Other places

Amazon also says that the series should be mentioned in your editorial reviews (if any), Goodreads and your website. I have never been asked to add it to any of these places but your experience may differ.

Once you have completed all the steps above, just head over to KDP Contact, click on Amazon product page and expended distribution, and then on Kindle series bundles. Send a message to Amazon with the information they require and wait. It typically takes 3-5 days for the series to go live.

To your Serial Author Success!

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