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How to Create a LaTeX Paperback for Sale on Amazon
May 4, 2022

Table of Contents

Introduction

This blog post describes how to create a LaTeX paperback for sale on Amazon

I described how to create an eBook on Amazon KDP previously. You might also enjoy these other blog posts:

Amazon KDP

Amazon allows independent publishers (normal, everyday people) to sell books through their Kindle Direct Publishing website. Independent publishers can sell eBooks, paperbacks and hardback books. The physical books can be sold in both color and black and white, although the selection will affect your royalty payment. Estimate your royalties with Amazon’s calculator.

Creating a Paperback for Amazon

Paperback books must be 72 pages minimum, not including the cover. The default size for a paperback through Amazon KDP is 6″ x 9″ although other options can be selected. The Amazon KDP website accepts PDFs as the final format for the document to be published which makes generation using LaTeX convenient.

You also don’t have to purchase an ISBN when publishing through Amazon KDP, they can assign you a free ISBN and even create a barcode for you!

Create a New Title

The KDP website is super easy to use. To get started, create an account on Amazon KDP. Then click on Paperback under Create a New Title:

Create a new paperback title on Amazon KDP. The first step in selling your LaTeX paperback on Amazon!
Create a new paperback title on Amazon KDP. The first step in selling your LaTeX paperback on Amazon!

Much of the forms are self explanatory, proceed until you need to upload a manuscript.

LaTeX Template

I used the following LaTeX template to create my book. I generate a bunch of “lipsum” text to fill out the page length to meet the 72 page minimum. I also disabled the page numbers to fit within the margins, if you desire page numbers you will need to re-enable them or add them back in using fancyhdr.

\documentclass[12pt,twoside,openright]{book}
\usepackage[
    left=0.5in,
    right=0.5in,
    top=1in,
    bottom=0.6in,
    paperwidth=6in,
    paperheight=9in,
    bindingoffset=0.375in
]{geometry}

\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\pagestyle{fancy}

% blank out the footer
\fancyfoot[L]{}
\fancyfoot[C]{}
\fancyfoot[R]{}

% blank out the footer on the chapter pages
\fancypagestyle{plain}{%
    \fancyhf{}%
    \fancyfoot[L]{}%
    \fancyfoot[C]{}%
    \fancyfoot[R]{}%
}

\usepackage{lipsum}

\begin{document}

\tableofcontents

\chapter{first chapter}
    \section{first section}
    \lipsum[1-100]
    \section{second section}
    \lipsum[1-100]
    \chapter{second chapter}
    \section{third section}
    \lipsum[1-100]
    \section{fourth section}
    \lipsum[1-100]
\end{document}

LaTeX Makefile

I compile the LaTeX into a PDF using TeX Live.  TeX Live can be installed on Ubuntu using:

$ sudo apt-get install texlive-full

I also installed the evince PDF viewer:

$ sudo apt-get install evince

I wrote the following Makefile to compile the LaTeX into a PDF:

all:
    pdflatex FoundationsOfDigitalSignalProcessingComplexNumbers.tex
    bibtex FoundationsOfDigitalSignalProcessingComplexNumbers
    pdflatex FoundationsOfDigitalSignalProcessingComplexNumbers.tex
    pdflatex FoundationsOfDigitalSignalProcessingComplexNumbers.tex
    evince FoundationsOfDigitalSignalProcessingComplexNumbers.pdf &

spell:
    find . -name “*.tex” -exec aspell –lang=en –mode=tex check “{}” \;

clean:
    rm -f *.pdf *.aux *.log *.toc *.blg *.out *.bbl

Save all of this text into a filename “Makefile”, and then in a terminal run:

$ make

and the PDF will be compiled and opened.

Cover Editor

Amazon’s website has a great cover editor if you want to use one of their premade formats. I created my cover image in PowerPoint and then exported it as a PDF. The cover dimensions for a 6″ x 9″ paperback (including margins) are 12.325″ x 9.25″.

I created the cover image in PowerPoint
I created the cover image in PowerPoint

Conclusion

Selling a paperback on Amazon is an incredible feeling! It may take a couple iterations to get the document looking like you want and also formatted correctly, but the turn around time is pretty quick. I hope this guide is helpful in your journey to create a book for sale on Amazon, please leave a comment once your book is published!

Check out these other blogs:

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