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Become a Kindle author

Writers can self-publish to Amazon's new e-book

Amazon's Kindle, the new electronic book reader (hands-on first look), is not just a device for reading paperless books and newspapers. It's also an ecosystem for writers who want to publish their works without dealing with publishers or vanity presses or other middlemen.

Publishing doesn't look too difficult--providing your book is formatted for the Kindle device. The Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP) works best with simple HTML code--no CSS style sheets, please. Kindle will also display other formats, like Word .Doc files, straight text and PDF, but Amazon recommends you do the conversion on your end to HTML for best results.

Got a book in you? Put it here.

You even get to set your own price, from 25 cents to $200. Most Kindle books on Amazon right now are $9.99, so don't get too greedy. (Although Amazon prices will no doubt go up after the introductory period.) You get 35% of sales revenue, although Amazon reserves the right to sell your book at a discount.

Blogs and newspapers can also be read on the Kindle, but as of yet there's no self-service way for bloggers to put their work on the Amazon store.

For writers (I'm looking at you, NaNoWriMo authors), there's no reason I can see to not put a book on the system. The terms of participating in the program are nonexclusive, so if you want to later print your book, you're still clear to do so. And a successful e-book sales record might help line up a publisher or secure better promotional placement on Amazon.