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Self-Publish books written in a Right to Left language such as Farsi/Persian

Self-Publish Right to Left Language

My Experience as a Self-Publisher with Amazon

I have recently gone through the process of self-publishing my first ever book written in Farsi/Persian. Paperback and eBook versions of my book are now available on platforms such as Amazon, Apple, Google etc.

Although, this could have been much easier if I had written my book in the English language. Through this process, I learned that EPUB files in Farsi/Persian are perfectly displayed on Kindle but Amazon for some unknown reasons to me has decided not to consider Farsi/Persian as a supported language for Kindle.

I know this because I managed to create an Amazon KDP account and uploaded my file on this platform under English as a selected language. Others did the same and I assumed this was a normal way to do so. I thought I could eventually ask Amazon to change the selected language of my book to Persian from their end!

The format was supported perfectly and I could even create a promotion for this book. I used Persian/Farsi keywords and my book could easily be located using these keywords. Everything was absolutely perfect. I even managed to earn some royalties through the very early days of the promotion. The only problem was the selected language and also no support for self-publish paperback versions of books written in Farsi/Persian so I contacted Amazon to get help and this was the start of hardship!

They blocked my title in the middle of the promotion abruptly and withheld any royalties I had made. After a series of correspondence, one of the more accountable staff directed me to go through one of the global distributers to be able to make the Paperback version of my title available on the Amazon platform.


Even though there are some Farsi/Persian eBooks available under other languages’ categories on Amazon, It is against their policies. They will remove them if it comes to their attention during auditing!

The Process of Self-Publishing E-Books written in Right to Left Language

 The good news is that Apple Books, Google Play and Rakuten Kobo support the Persian/Farsi Language perfectly. You can self-publish the eBook version of your title on these platforms without any problem.

Steps to Self-Publish on Apple Books from PC

  • Step 1: Create an iTunes Connect Account
  • Step 2: Enter your banking and tax information
  • Step 3: Upload your book (Use Publishing Portal (PC) to upload your EPUB file and Book cover image jpg file)
  • Step 4: Enter your metadata
  • Step 5: Choose your categories
  • Step 6: Set up your territorial pricing

Wishing Well (Persian Edition) E-Book by Zahra Pedram Jafari on Apple Book

How to Self-Publish on Google Play

  • Step 1: Create your Google Play Partner account
  • Step 2: Enter your financial information
  • Step 3: Create your first book
  • Step 4: Fill in your books’ metadata
  • Step 5: Upload your book and cover files
  • Step 6: Set your book’s price
  • Step 7: Review and publish

Wishing Well (Persian Edition) E-Book by Zahra Pedram Jafari on Google Play

Self-Publish on Rakuten Kobo

“Rakuten Kobo Inc., or just Kobo, is the name of a Canadian company specializing in eBooks, eReaders, audiobooks, and more. They introduced consumers to their own brand of tablet back in 2012. Since then, Kobo has become well known as one of the major self-publishing platforms in the industry.”

How to Self-Publish on Kobo – Written Word Media
  • Step 1: Create your Rakuten Kobo account
  • Step 2: Click on eBook and Create a new eBook
  • Step 3: Describe your eBook and add your Cover
  • Step 4: Add eBook Content
  • Step 5: Set The License and Geographic Rights
  • Step 6: Set the Price
  • Step 7: Publish your eBook

Wishing Well (Persian Edition) E-Book by Zahra Pedram Jafari on Rakuten Kobo

Paperback Self-Publishing (Black & White)

There are languages like Farsi/Persian that Amazon KDP doesn’t support so you are not able to publish Farsi/Persian eBook directly or indirectly on this platform. But there are global distributors like IngramSpark to distribute your title in both eBook and Print format on all Major Retailers and Public Libraries such as Amazon(Only Print Version for Books in Farsi/Persian), Apple Books, Kobo etc.

This would be one platform for all distributions which controls the actual sales of your book. There are three packages on IngramSpark to choose from for uploading your title (October 2021)

  • Print & E-book US$49
  • Print Book only US$49
  • E-book only US$29

To be able to self publish your title through IngramSpark, you must have the following properly-formatted files:

  • Print jacket and/or cover (spread including front, spine, and back cover)(.pdf)
  • Print interior (.pdf)
  • E-book cover (.jpg)
  • E-book interior (.epub)

Steps to upload files on IngramSpark:

  • Step 1: Create IngramSpark account
  • Step 2: Select one of the available packages for publishing E-book, print or both
  • Step 3: Answer to the ‘Do you have files to upload?’ with either yes I do and checked the boxes below or No but I enter my title info and submit files later.
  • Step 4: Answer ‘what would like to do?’ by selecting one of the options which would be either Print, Distribute and sell book, Only Print book or distribute and sell book based on the step 2 selection you did. And continue
  • Step 5: Add basic Title info such as ISBN, Title, Language of the book, Publishing rights, Description etc.
  • Step 6: Add Print info such as Trim Size and Set the price for Print edition. You can’t enable print distribution until you approve the EPROOF which will be available online usually within 24 hours of the submission
  • Step 7: Set E-book price
  • Step 8: Upload all content and cover files and wait for automatic Validation of the files (enable E-book distribution if you are hundred percent happy with uploaded files)
  • Step 9: Proceed to Payment and complete the submission
  • Step 10: When EPROOF of the print is made available online and you are notified by email, you can download the file, follow instructions attached and if you are happy with the EPROOF approve it otherwise you can upload new files and wait for new EPROOF file to be made available to you.
  • Step 11: Place an author order for print edition which will sent to you by post, make sure you are happy with the result otherwise upload new files and repeat step 10
  • Step 12: Enable print distribution as well

Prepare Print interior file for Books in Right to Left Languages

  • I assume your doc file is edited and laid out correctly and you have applied all the following steps:
  1. You have left blank pages correctly for your front matter; the first page just has the title, the second page is blank, the third page has the title, subtitle and author name and the fourth page is the copyright page. You can also leave blank pages after the dedication page or table of contents if you wish.
  2. Right to Left is selected for Section direction in Page Setup > Layout and Mirror Margins is selected for pages in Page Setup > Margins
  3. You have selected the correct margins based on the size of your book and its Trim size. (e.g. considering the final trim size of my book was 6×9 inches with no pictures inside and having Footnotes, I chose 1 inch for Top, Outside, Inside, 0.5 inches for the bottom and 0 inches for Gutter )
  4. The chosen font size for books written in Farsi/Persian is usually 13 and I used B Mitra and B Titr. You can download them from here and install them on your computer.
  5. Make sure your fonts are embedded in your Word file before exporting PDF by selecting File > Options > Save > Embed fonts in the file
  6. Make sure you have selected ‘Do not Compress images in file’ on the title Word File by going to File > Options > Advanced > Image Size and Quality and also set ‘default output target to’ 220 ppi if you want to have the original size and high-quality pictures in your file
  • Export your correctly laid out and edited title file in word to PDF by going to File > Export > Create a PDF/XPS Document
  • Open your exported PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Professional Version 6 or higher and look at the Font tab of the document properties to make sure all fonts are embedded correctly to the PDF
  • select Print > choosing Adobe PDF from the printer option set. Make sure you have selected Reverse Pages and have all the correct options selected and save your reversed PDF file (refer to the following story for more details)

Steps to follow to create a Print interior file (.pdf) for books written in right to left such as Farsi/Persian (PDF must be reversed for these languages) :

Prepare E-book interior file for Books in Right to Left Languages

  • Download  calibre for windows (free) to create and edit your ePub
  • Open calibre and add your edited and correctly laid out E-book word file
  • Convert DOC/DOCX file to EPUB
  • Make sure the version of your ePub file is 3
  • To have the direction of the file showing from right to left, Open the ePub file in Calibre Editor > view content.opf file > look for page-progression-direction=’ltr’ and change it to ‘rtl’
  • Select your book and view it with calibre E-book viewer to make sure is correctly converted, You can also download Kindle Previewer: Kindle Store to check the format and layout of the E-book
  • Validate your ePub file before uploading it on any of these platforms
  • Make changes and edit the file in calibre if the file had an error and is not validated successfully before uploading it

Prepare E-book and Print cover files for Books in Right to Left Languages

  • You can use Canva to create your eBook Cover
  • Use KDP Cover Calculator ( and download the Cover template for your selected Trim Size (They have recently updated this page and added a page-turn direction field). You can also download the template from IngramSpark but I found the Amazon one easier to work with
  • Download GIMP if you don’t have Photoshop
  • Use the Amazon template as your guide layer

Important Steps to remember before Publishing your Titles

  • Even though you don’t need ISBN for eBooks to be published on Apple Books, Google Play and Kobo but I suggest to buy your own ISBNs for different formats of your book for easier marketing in future.

Australians can buy ISBNs from Thorpe- Bowker. The ’10 ISBNs with 1 barcode’ package for $133 (October 2021) is a good starter package for new writers who want to make available online different format of their book like ePub, PDF , Paperback etc. New publisher setup fee of $55 (October 2021)will be also added to your cart if you have not previously purchased ISBNs from Thorpe- Bowker. You also need a Barcode if you want to make your print available in physical bookstores.

You are responsible for assigning the ISBNs to your titles by entering all the book information including titles, description, cover etc. Unfortunately this database is in English and you are not able to register your title in its original language. There is an option to let you select the current language of the book.

  • Learn about Imprint and Thema
  • You can also use global eBook distributers such as Smashwords as one platform to distribute only your eBook to Major Retailers and Public Libraries through them. But some of these retailers such as SCRIBD do not support languages like Farsi/Persian which is writing from right to left. This will cause your eBook to not be displayed in correct format and is not ideal for your book marketing. You also do not have direct access to these retailers sales.
  • If you decide to upload updated files to IngramSpark for a title which is already enabled for distribution, you will be charged US$25 for each file you upload
  • You can’t use Ingram Spark Free Book building tool for books written in Right to Left languages
  • You can also find useful guides and helps on the IngramSpark site explaining the process of preparing your files.
  • Title info such as book name and description in IngramSpark must be all in English even though Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Google Play all accept these info in Farsi as well.

Wishing Well (Persian Edition) Paperback by Zahra Pedram Jafari on Amazon

Wishing Well (Persian Edition) Paperback by Zahra Pedram Jafari on Barnes & Noble

Final Product

You can find out about my book and access the links to the digital and print versions from here. You can also have a look at the original post where I introduce my book. And the YouTube video of the Print version. 

6 thoughts on “Self-Publish books written in a Right to Left language such as Farsi/Persian

  1. What a lovely guidance. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m in the beginning of the process about making an ebook that came across your post here. I wish I could learn more about your experience. 💗🌺💗

  2. Thank you for such an amazing site.

  3. Dear Mrs. Jafari,
    Thank you for your informative article on publishing Farsi books on IngramSpark.
    I have written a Farsi novel that I would like to submit to IngramSpark for publication. IngramSpark requires the Farsi pages to be reversed in the PDF file. The free version of Adobe Acrobat does not allow me to do that. Could you please advise me on how to resolve this issue.
    Many thanks,
    S. Rohani

    1. Thanks for your kind words. You need to use the paid version of Adobe.
      Good luck

  4. Dear Mrs. Jafari,
    Adobe Acrobat Pro has been installed on my computer and I want to reverse the pages of my PDF for uploading to IngramSpark. However, I cannot find the tool to do so. I would appreciate if you could tell me how to do it.
    Many thanks

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