senior chips wrote:
Take your time.
Really. Don't be in a hurry. Do things right the first time.
Start by reading the publishing guidelines at KDP. This is a frequent mistake that many people make, believing they know more about formatting and publishing at KDP than KDP does. Read the guidelines, then read them again. Do what they suggest. Set up your document in the way they suggest. Do it their way, not yours, and you'll have a better formatted, more readable product in the end.
Really. KDP knows more about publishing at KDP than you. Shocking but true. Better to make things right the first time than to make excuses later.
Then study what other authors have at Amazon. Look at the good sellers by at least ten indie authors, and learn what they have done. There will be similarities between all of their books, and try to see what those are. Then look at the low performers and learn what they have done, what the similarities are between those. Which do you want to emulate? Do it that way. Don't learn from authors who have sold ten books; learn from ones who have sold ten thousand books. Study this, it is important.
Take your time in deciding on a genre, theme, plot, character development, scenes, and style of dialog. Take your time in doing research. Once you have figured that out, it's time to begin writing. Use good grammar, correct punctuation and spelling, good transitions, and don't make up fancy languages just to make the story interesting. It won't. This is also very important.
Write until you think you have finished.
Then give the story a rest. Once you've been away from it for a while, sit back and read it. Start making changes, editing, and editing some more.
Then give it another rest before editing it even more.
Then proofread it. Then send it to a professional editor, then make the changes they suggest. Then pay a professional proofreader.
While all of that is taking place, get a good cover that reflects the theme and elements of the story. Make sure it is professional, not cartoonish.
Make sure you have picked out a title that reflects the content of the book, and is compelling. Just like the book, the title is for others, not for you. Seriously consider a pen name. If your book is a flop--and yes, there is a high likelihood it will be--do you really want to look like a nitwit in front of hundreds of thousands of Amazon book shoppers?
You get one chance at making a first impression. Don't screw it up by putting a piece of crap in Amazon,just because you were in a hurry.
Great advice, as is all of what has been shared. Thanks again everyone!