I just completed my first book via Kindle Direct Publishing (not going to promote it here) and wanted to give back to the forum. There's a lot of information about publishing to Kindle, but nothing really easy, quick, and step-by-step. So here goes:
First Things First:
You need to create good and compelling content. It doesn't have to be the next best seller, but it can't be re-hashed PLR. Amazon is really cracking down on this and will review your book prior to publishing and also while its published.
It's not that hard to create good content that people will want to buy. This tutorial is geared toward creating very simple books with one specific topic.
Okay quick step-by-step:
I used Microsoft Word for the book. I am sure you could use Openoffice, or another word processor, but I didn't so keep that in mind.
You don't need to buy expensive templates. When I first started I was looking around for templates to use and holy hell are they expensive as WSOs.
In Microsoft Word 2007+, there is a style called "Manuscript". It's perfect for writing these books. There's your template.
Cover for your book
Go to Fiverr.com. Search for "Ebook covers", and then sort by ranking. Make sure that you have a title (do some keyword research), subtitle, your name, and that you tell them to make it a 2D flat cover. Kindle is not the place for a 3D ebook cover.
Oh, and VERY Important: make sure that you give the ebook cover provider an image THAT YOU CHOOSE. When I had them pick a "royalty free" picture on their own they picked an image that needed all sorts of license requirements. The last thing you need is to get sued.
You can find a list of public domain image resources here: Wikipediaublic domain image resources - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pretty important page if you don't want people stealing and reselling your stuff. Here is a goof resource: Copyright Page Samples You Can Copy and Paste Into Your Book
Keep in mind that you don't have to put everything he has on that page. Just make sure that you explicitly state your copyright and what people can and can't do.
Table of Contents
I used the Modern Style table of contents in Word and took the page numbers off (pages differ according to device). Make sure that you are using Header styles in your document or else your chapters won't show up.
Content (How much?)
Keep it simple. The purpose of my books are to solve one problem and to create avenues to my business (whether blog or content).
5000 words is plenty for a quick book that you can sell for $.99. Not much, I know, but you get the Amazon behemoth promoting your book, it's a low entry price point (but not free), and an opportunity to make money on the backend.
You can put in links (although they may be cracking down on affiliate links, but as long as the content is good then you are fine I think), so don't be shy to promote yourself.
I also put several call-to-action links that direct the reader to my email opt-in and products. I even offer a free gift for signing up. Be smart about it though. Don't be overly salesy.
5000 words is perfect.
Get it edited
You can pay a proofreader on Fiverr, but I just had a friend edit it. They liked the book anyway and I got free editing. You can also entice them by saying that you'll put their name down as the editor (which is easy to do in Kindle Direct Publishing)
Save your Word document as a .DOC file (important), and upload it to KDP. Fill out all of the information about your book, author, etc. Upload your cover image. You can preview what your book will look like on all devices.
Next, you'll choose the price and royalty, and where you want it distributed. Like I said before, I want it read as much as possible so I choose the 35% at $.99 and I distribute it all over the world.
This may not be right for you. Like I said, my goal is to make money on the back end
Nothing fancy, just quick and painless. Either way, it's a good way to at least get your feet wet with self-publishing.
Hope this helped!