Quick Guide for Self-Publishing eBooks

eBook allows any author with the aspiration of self-publishing his/ her own creative work to interface with prospective readers in asimple and fast manner. This post discusses how to publish a book stepwise in an electronic format quickly.

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By 2019, it was predicted that eBooks would constitute about 30% of the net book sales across the globe. Readers still prefer printed, hardcover books but the market for book publishers in electronic format is also expanding at arapid pace. This is because the prices of eBooks are comparatively lower compared to their printed counterparts. Also, the ePublishing process, right from conceptualization to publishing, takes lesser time. eBooks are cheaper and one can read the eBook right after buying. Authors too are preferring eBooks because of significantly lesser production and distribution related expenses. Also, the eBooks can be formatted and made ready for sale significantly faster.

Self-Publishing an eBook

  • Prepare Your Content

    The initial step to self-publishing the eBook involves organizing and pruning the available content. If narrative related breaks are natural, you can consider serializing the content. Proper arrangement of content enhances the potential to make more money and also paves the way for innovative promotional means.

    You can consider releasing the first version of your eBook series for free to build up the excitement and curiosity among readers. If your content is intriguing, they would be willing to pay for the next versions.

    Another aspect of successful eBook publishing is the thorough proofreading of content. The content should be checked several times for inconsistencies, errors or grammatical mistakes. If a typo catches your attention at a later date, you can make needful corrections to the published eBook and put it up for sale again. You can always seek the help of your friends and near ones for reviewing the flow and consistency of content and checking out the errors.

    Finally, the eBook cover should be strategic and suitable. The cover should be attractive and in sync with the genre of your publishing. This is because prospective buyers would be viewing many eBooks and your book’s cover should be compelling enough to grab their attention. The cover should be visible and eye-catching even in the thumbnail format. You can also hire professional and experienced designers to build the cover for your eBook.

  • Choose the Correct Format

    For online book publishing, you have to choose from three formats depending on the content type used for eBook and the platform on which you want to sell your eBook.

    The reflowable content is ideal for text-rich eBooks and novels. The resizing and scaling of the text are done spontaneously to ensure optimum legibility. The content flows from a page to next. You can sell the reflowable eBooks through Blurb on the Apple iBook’s Store or Amazon Kindle Store.

    If your eBook is enhanced i.e. contains multimedia content or rich illustrations, you have to go with fixed-layout. The content remains confined to the pre-defined page layout which facilitatesthe preservation of design elements. The fixed-layout eBooks can be sold on Apple iBook’s Store, Amazon and Blurb Bookstore.

    The PDF or Portable Document Format is ideal for eBook sharing and forwarding. eBook pdf can be viewed on all devices and can be sold through Blurb Bookstore. The format, however, does not support multimedia elements. The pdf files are larger in size and mobile or tablet optimization option is not available.

  • Define your eBook

    The book can be described with metadata which carries relevant words or phrases. These include name and biography of the author, eBook title, blurb or description of the book. This information would enable prospective readers to locate your eBook.

    Keywords are used by internet search engines like Google and online eBook publishing platforms like Amazon for facilitating searching of relevant titles by eager customers. The metadata of the eBook should essentially contain all relevant information.

    You can start with brainstorming i.e. list down the words or phrases you would use for searching an eBook. After this, try shortlisting about ten to twenty highly relevant keywords that can describe your eBook in the best possible way. Then, you can analyze the relevance of them by carrying out theAmazon search. If the keywords bring up eBooks that pertain to your publishing genre, you are successful. Insert the keywords in the book’s title, sub-title, description and author’s biography. You can also research a bit about writing compelling blurbs for your eBooks.

  • Finalize the Price

    Since eBooks are self-published, the cost saved on production and distribution fronts gets translated into better profits. But, you need to appreciate the fact that customers too are aware of lesser overheads of eBooks and they are not willing to pay as much as printed books.

    Before finalizing your eBook’s price, you need to take a look at the prices at which the eBooks similar to yours are listed in your favorite retail platforms. This would help you to make a ballpark estimate of the price you should be quoting.

    You need to consider other factors too. The platform from which your eBook would be sold also matters. The royalty you would fetch by selling an eBook on Amazon (kindle publishing) would depend largely on the eBook’s price. You would get 70% of the price if it is listed between $2.99 to $9.99. If the price is above or below this range, you would get only 35% of the price. This should serve as your guide. If the eBook is sold through Blurb, you can keep the complete royalty.

    For Blurb publishing, few things have to be considered. The length of the eBook is the first one. The eBook content which is in the range of 1000 to 5000 words would usually fetch anything below $0.99. Novellas with more word count can be sold at $2.99 to $7.99 but everything should be in order.

    The price is also impacted by the eBook genre. The prices of non-fiction or literary fiction eBooks are usually higher than sci-fi, romantic or fantasy related eBooks. You should keep the pricing mechanism flexible so that the price can be adjusted at any point to cater to the increased or decreased demand for your eBook and other factors affecting the publishing market.

  • Publicize the eBook

    You have to invest quality time and efforts for marketing your self-published electronic book to secure better sales. For this, the first step is to set up a personal website from which you can execute your marketing strategies. You can build your brand, create mailing lists of your fans, and can post retailer links through which your eBook is being sold.

    Also, you need to work on your social media image for setting the right sales pitch for your eBook prior to its launch. When you get down to promoting your eBook before publishing, you are sure to reap rich dividends after the launch.

EBook Publishing

A number of things have to be considered when you talk about eBook publishing. Some companies pitch services for author or publishing in return for a price. You can avail for exhaustive publishing service which starts from initial editing to final publishing and e-distribution. You have to choose from available companies based on their unique approaches to authors and eBooks.

You need to differentiate between authentic and vanity publishing services as the editing, cover designing and other publishing related processes are costly. You should be wary of companies that ask money for publishing the eBook but won’t share how the money would be spent. Once you have entered into return agreement, getting out can be difficult.

There are some companies which offer retailing and distribution related services along with editing and eBook conversion services.

When thinking about how to publish an eBook, you need to consider a few important points for selecting the correct publishing platform. These are discussed below.

  • Royalty

    When you choose to publish the eBook with the help of a platform, you would have to share your royalties with it. The proportion of share would depend on the services you have chosen. You need to learn more about the royalty shares of platforms.

  • Pricing of eBook

    The pricing of your eBook is limited bya few services. For example, you cannot offer the eBook for free on Amazon. The royalties for various price ranges are different for Kobo as well as Amazon. You should be careful as you can land yourself in a situation where the pricing does not appeal to you but you can’t change anything. The process of finalizing the right price for eBook is tough; hence you should select a platform that allows experimentation before finalizing.

  • File Format

    Almost all platforms allow eBooks to be converted from one format to another for free or for a nominal charge.

  • Exclusiveness

    Some platforms may need you to use exclusive titles for your eBook like Kindle Direct Publishing Select of Amazon. You have to keep a few titles ready so that you can offer an exclusive title for eBook in the selected platforms.

  • Top eBook Retailers

    Retailers which are most popular and larger in scale are Kobo, Amazon, Google Play, Scribd, and iBooks. These publishers sell in most nations across the globe. You should offer your eBook in all these popular retailers alongside offering them on local and smaller platforms.

Major Self-Publishing platforms for eBook Authors

  • CreateSpace

    CreateSpace offers you access to advanced publishing tools, high-resolution printing options, top booksellers, major eBook distributors, and proven marketing strategies. You can sell your eBook more strongly and can build your fan following of loyal readers. The eBooks can be sold at a minimal cost compared to conventional production means. You can exercise better control over the content and other aspects. With the various retail outlets present on the internet, the distribution of eBooks also becomes simpler. CreateSpace also supports eBook distribution through your website, libraries, bookstores, retailers and other academic systems.

  • Amazon KDP

    You can easily go about publishing your eBooks with the help of Amazon KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing. This platform gives you the advantage of editing or updating the eBook atany time you want while being available on the Amazon Kindle Store. Once it is published, your eBook is visible to every global reader. The process of publishing consumes only five minutes or less and then, the eBook appears in the proper format along with other Kindle-compatible devices and free applications within a day.

  • Lulu

    Lulu is the pioneer in self-publishing domain. It showed authors around the globe how eBooks can be self-published and how complete control can be exercised on the content. You can avail the worldwide distribution facility for reaching readers through devices such as tablets, eReaders, and print media. It is the mainstream self-publishing service provider and helping authors in different countries to publicize their creative works which include about 2 million global publications.

  • Partner Center of Google Play Books

    You can reach out to billions of global readers by publishing your eBook on Google Play. The eBooks published there can be searched for previewing by using the Google Books search engine. Uploading the content, finalizing prices, and selecting the nations for the accessibility of your eBooks can be easily done through The Google Play Books Partner Center.

  • Barnes and Noble Press

    This is one of the fastest self-publishing companies that can be availed freely and used easily. You can go about publishing and selling your eBooks directly to various readers worldwide. A lot of popular and best facets have been incorporated in this platform for creating a unified experience that renders the publishing of eBook or print book in an easier and streamlined manner.

    If you are an experienced author, a beginner or have a desire of publishing an eBook for self-use, you can resort to Barnes and Noble Press for creating the eBooks in a customized manner. The platform offers resources as well as expertise for helping out independent author by successfully creating their eBooks.

  • Kobo Writing Life

    If you want to tell a story or publish a content to make it available for numerous readers across the globe, you need to rely on the advanced tools offered by Kobo Writing Life. This portal allows publishing in ‘do it yourself’ mode and keeps the digital rights to your publications in your ownership.

  • Smashwords

    Indie eBooks are distributed worldwide in the largest manner by Smashwords. You can go about publishing and distributing your eBook to prime retailers across the globe in a simple, free, and quick manner. To market, distribute, manage metadata, and report sales, you can avail free tool and take full control for previewing, price setting, and promoting your original content.

  • Lightning Source

    You can publish your eBook in a fast and inexpensive manner while marketing them to a wide reader base with the help of Lighting Source. Its publishing model is highly detailed and personalized for your needs. You can print and deliver eBooks in the most professional manner. Besides, you canalso hire companies offering solutions regarding the self-publishing of books and gain easy access to the global book markets.

  • Issuu

    This digital publishing service is growing at the fastest pace worldwide and has already published more than 15 million titles. This platform is frequented by countless readers who look for free eBooks from aspiring authors across the globe. The major topics that attract most attention include global affairs, art, lifestyle, sports, and fashion. Independent publishers too harness the network of Issuu for reaching out to newer fans in uncharted territories.

  • BookBaby

    You can easily self-publish eBooks and design its aspects like cover and book printing mode. You can get the eBooks converted, distributed and can even create a website by using the largest distribution network of eBooks which include Apple, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Sony and others. All popular retailers across the globe are accessible. Not only you can reach out to a global audience, but also you can keep the complete earnings of your eBook along with maintaining the copyright of your work. For professional publishing and distributing your eBook, you can get all the tools.

  • Booktango

    Author Solutions have launched this innovative eBook publishing platform recently. It is one of the leading indie book publishing domains in the world. It has helped many authors to self-publish, market and gain access to a wide reader base across the world. Till date, titles in excess of 1,70,000 have been published. The tools for publishing are advanced, and you can exercise complete control over the creative work. The professional services save time, offers ‘do it yourself’ service, and interfaces authors with major eBook retailing platforms that are present online so that the eBooks enjoy success after launching.

  • EBookIt

    It is helping a variety of authors or publishers in formatting and converting their books or written materials into eBooks and distributing the same to all popular eBook retailing platforms such as Kobo, Amazon, Sony,Apple, Barnes &Noble Press, Google, and Ingram. Your file is prepared for conversion, assigned an ISBN code, and converted to all popular eBook formats for the ease of distribution.

  • AuthorHouse

    This is a brand from Author Solutions and leads the world in providing authors with self-publishing services across the globe. It commits to provide the best quality regarding ePublication. Here, a publishing is assigned to every author who offers guidance throughout the publishing process. Various tools are also provided to help in taking independent decisions.

  • FastPencil

    Here, you are enabled to create online eBooks independently. Collaboration, publishing, and distributing eBooks become more cost competitive, easy, and rewarding. You are required to pay only for the publishing of eBooks. You are enabled in writing, designing, publishing and selling eBooks on various platforms like Kindle, Amazon, Ingram, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Nook, etc.

  • Nu- Book

    The platform core of Nu-book is sophisticated. You can take advantage of legacy as well as contemporary publishing technologies. The components of the platform have been developed within the organization which includes unique and personalized Digital Rights Management systems with administrative console and databases. You can deploy content and enjoy rich features in a flexible manner.

  • BookLocker

    This is an online platform for selling printed as well as electronic titles to new authors on different subjects which can be common, unusual or unique. This platform is different from other services such as Author Solutions (which owns Trafford, Xlibris, AuthorHouse, iUniverse and other services) in the sense that it does not demand large sums of money on various counts from authors. It offers unique and custom publishing packages that can suit all budgets. The service has also launched a Do-It-Yourself Publishing Program without any setup fees for facilitating authors to self-publish their eBooks.

  • Pressbooks

    This is a simple to use writing software which facilitates the creation of eBook in any format that suits your publishing needs. You can get the files readily available for printing in different platforms like CreateSpace, IngramSpark and Lightning Source. The eBook can undergo optimization for appearing aesthetically pleasing in major stores such as Amazon, Google Play, Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, Nook, etc.

  • Outskirts Press

    It has simplified the self-publishing process. As an author, you can enjoy complete rights and full royalties on your creative work. You are offered the benefits of conventional as well as independent eBook publishing. There is a team of professionals who would offer you complete assistance prior to, during and after the publishing of eBook. You don’t even to share or publishing rights or profits. The Outskirts Press offers Private Label Imprint and optional ISBN where you can enjoy the privilege of owning directly assigned ISBN at a price which is 20% lesser than the market price.

  • Xlibris

    This book publishing company was created by various authors for supporting other authors. It focuses on fulfilling the requirements of existing as well as new creative writers or artists. It facilitates the application of print on demand technology and contemporary approaches to the publishing industry. Best in class publishing services are offered to authors for helping them publish their creations. They offer the expert services of a competent team of publishing professionals at each step for guiding authors with the self-publishing process. Help is offered if you are planning to write an eBook, undertake epub to pdf conversion, carrying out copyediting, or looking for online publishing services. The self-publishing process is customized with a complete array of publishing, editorial, add-on and marketing services provided by Xlibris.

  • iUniverse

    It is a publishing and author marketing services provider. iUniverse offers self-publishing and editorial services and is renowned for being the frontline book marketing agency. The initial focus of the company had been on business to consumer on-demand print publishing services. It has entered into strategic alliances with other publishing houses for allowing the availability of superlative options and support services for authors. The management team of iUniverse prides itself for exhaustive experience in editorial and managerial services involving conventional publishers.

If you are an author on the verge of publishing your first eBook, you must take care not to fall prey to these 7 mistakes discussed below.

eBook Cover Is Uninspiring and Irrelevant

When you go for self publishing eBook, you need to pay special attention to the cover. Cover should be relevant and must offer a subtle glimpse of what to expect in pages within. Buyers make decision by analyzing the cover. You need to justify the money spent and time invested by potential readers with a professional and meaningful eBook cover.

Takeaway: Entrust a professional designer to develop the cover of your eBook.

You Are Spending Way Too Much On Conversion To eBook Formats

When you first take to ebook publishing, you often feel motivated to invest on expensive tools that convert your manuscript to different eBook formats. You are guided by the feeling that more the format, the better would be the exposure your eBook garners. This is a fallacy.

Takeaway: Spend money on marketing the eBook on a single platform and on its cover. You can convert eBook to other formats with DIY tools.

Your eBook Blurb Or Cover Does Not Describe Your Credibility Quotient

In every digital book publishing niche, readers have thousands of options. Why would they commit attention to the seminal work of a new author? You need to prove your credibility to make readers invest in your eBook.

Takeaway: Prove your authority in specific knowledge domain by citing on eBook cover or blurb time spent by you in research or other interesting facts. The cover can also carry the review or recommendation of a renowned author or other eminent figure.

Book Description Is Not Engaging

Your eBook’s description should be engrossing. If it is boring, rambling or distracting; potential readers would just leave not to return ever. Readers want to learn what to expect from the eBook by reading the description.

Takeaway: Ensure that description section is sensibly crafted and must efficiently communicate the content’s nature. During online book publishing, you must include relevant keywords in description to facilitate appearance of your eBook title in niche specific search results of Amazon, Google etc.

Your eBook Is Not Discoverable

If you have subjected your writing to electronic publishing on major platform, this does not imply that it would be visible to all. You need to grab the attention of readers as every day many eBooks are published on eBook stores. You have to stand tall among competitors to trigger sales and this calls for promotion to make your eBook discoverable.

Takeaway: Promote your eBook in various ways so that potential readers start taking note of it. Submit guest posts on authority blogs. Have authors, influencers, and social bloggers review your eBook. Hold contest on social media. Do everything to garner attention of readers.

You Are Editing The eBook Yourself

When you get down to e publishing books, you must ensure that your books are edited properly. Correctly edited books are sold quickly and your reputation as a writer grows. If mistakes are present all over the book, it would be rated poorly. Books with poor reviews starve for readers. You may be solely relying on Grammarly, AutoCrit, and other apps to review the book yourself. This is good to a certain extent but professional editing support is a must.

Takeaway: Hire an editor who can perform developmental as well as copy editing. This would ensure that all questions are adequately answered within the book and the book is error free.

Forgetting To Release Your Book in Paperback and Audio Versions

When the manuscript of your book meant for e publishing is ready, you can take its printout and send for publishing in paperback version. Although paperbacks are costlier than eBooks, but you can garner some popularity. You must also create an audio version of eBook on Audible by reading the text yourself. The audiobook can be offered on the same page as your eBook.

Takeaway: Always release your audiobook with eBook.

You would appreciate the fact that you have to invest significant time and energy for creating your eBook. To reap rich dividends, you must invest efforts at post production stage to publicize your eBook. If you avoid mistakes discussed above, you can beat the competition and be a successful writer.

The Way Forward

This brings us to the conclusion of the step by step guide to help you with self-publication of your creative work in electronic format. If you are trying the self-publishing domain for the first time or interested in complementing your printed book, you can benefit from the steps mentioned above for flawless results.