How to Self Publish a Book in eBook Form
How to Self-Publish an eBook Part 2
Publishing an eBook is easier than you think. If you say” I want to publish my own book in eBook form on the internet,” this will help you.
There are well over 100 different eBook publishers.
They charge a variety of different fees. Yes, there are commissions to pay when you sell eBooks.
Some publishers charge a membership fee and some also have professional services to offer, for a fee.
Getting Your Ideas Organised
What type of book do you want to publish? This will have an impact on your costs and who best to publish it. It will also have an impact on your pricing.
Before going into the publishing side of it, you need to be clear about what you are going to write about.
- What Genre, children’s, how to or specific information, or even fiction.
- How much visual, graphics and pictures you will want. This can have an impact on your costs.
- How long will it be?
- What is your target audience?
Remember, there is a lot of competition out there.
- What you publish needs to be good; it needs to be quality and relevant.
- You will need a cover which is attractive and catches the eye. This is something which eBook writers often forget. A strong title and a strong cover will sell before a weak one with a sloppy cover.
- Decide what author name you are going to use. Remember that a successful first book can foster a second by the same author. Make it memorable. You may use your real name, although you might regret it if you become well known.
- Keep the price of your first eBook low and not too cheap. Commissions with different publishers can vary according to the sales price. The price your book sells at is not what you get paid. A good price is between $2.99 and $9.99. Amazon offer highest returns at these prices.
- How your book is marketed is what will control the initial sales. Provided you have a good, well presented book. People need to know your book exists so creating that awareness of it is the secret behind good marketing. The best book in the world will not sell if no-one knows about it.
How to Write it. The Creative Bit.
Ah! If only I could teach this, I could make a fortune.
Have you read “How to Publish an eBook 1.” It briefly gives you an outline of how to formulate an eBook.
At this point I strongly recommend you either put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, and produce the following:
- At least 3 possible titles. This will help you to focus on what you are going to write and who your target audience are.
- At least 10 sub-headings to show the stages of the book and how it will develop.
- A list of links on the internet or references to information you might need to look up.
- A description of your target audience: who will be interested in your book?
- An idea of how many words it will be. I count the average number of words on a line for handwritten or typed and allocate a number of lines in each section, (sub-headings.) A good size is probably over 40,000 words. I am a slow writer and I manage 1,500 words a day, working over about 2-3 hours. That is a complete book in a month.
- Write the introduction for the beginning.
- Write the summary or ending.
- Go to bed and have a good night’s sleep. Get up early and look at what you have done with a cup of tea or coffee and fresh eyes and imagine you are a “punter” considering buying this eBook.
When You have Done That, You are Well on the Way.
Give yourself a pat on the back; revise anything you feel needs doing.
Research the publishers. Do this before writing the rest of the content. You may feel you need to make the book longer, shorter, cheaper, more expensive etc.
The internet and eBook publishing is changing all the time, so this is a summary of what to look for and a few examples. These were accurate at the time of writing but could easily change in time. Do your own due diligence and keep a document/folder on publishers and their differences.
When your book is finished, you will need to convert it to an eBook format. Several of the publishers require different formats. They will tell you on their website. There is software which will do this. Some free, some cost a little. Try “Calibre” for this and also for some more technical support.
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
Amazon Kindle publishing does offer some of the best commission rates and fastest publishing. They also have a massive international market. Look them up and read carefully their current conditions.
BookTango claims to offer authors 100% retention. I do not believe in “Free,” so check it out and check the conditions before committing.
Offer some free services and a good commission structure and also offer professional services for which they charge. Check out their website for current charges and offers.
Try KDP Select. At the moment there is some conditional free publishing available.
There are more and I hope you have worked out how to find them. There is a lot of detail to absorb and no one-size fits all, so much of the information needs to be collected in your own words in your own notes.
When you have finished your book, you can use “PublishXpress”, a free conversion tool, to convert to one of the main eBook formats.
You can then use “Sigil” to edit in Epub format.
“OnlineConvert.com” also has a free conversion tool that includes the Kindle format (AZW3.)
There is More
There is so much more to tell and I do not want to swamp you with information at this point.
If you now have your outline, title and other details of your book, write it.
All the above is technical detail. Detail like this changes with time and this is up to date at the beginning of 2017.
The Hardest Part
The hardest part is writing the book and knowing when it is finished. You will always be able to tweak and improve what you have written, yet there is a point when you have to “let go” and call it “Done.”
As a writer myself I know many of the challenges I have faced, so I would like to encourage you. Do the background work, Join a creative writing group, write your book.
You can always write another.
“How to Publish an eBook” will have a part 3 which will deal with some ideas on how to be creative and improve your writing, making it more interesting and easier to read.
Read More: How to Publish an eBook Part 3. Writing it.
Read More: How To Self-Publish an eBook Part 1
Hi HappyB, I am very glad that this article came up again for me to comment on as I want to say that you have planted a seed which I want to tend and grow into a book.
I have written a piece in a book which was published by Kindle. It is called Kiss and Tell, Dating Menoires. Edited by Leslie Downie. It is a collaborative writing by a number of women.
Now I want to write my own book.You have given me the push I needed.
Hi Jill. Thanks for the comment.
You are welcome to the plug. I will check it out later.
I do hope you go for it. Let us know how it goes.
Get a few friends to proof read it and develop a thick skin to comments.
JK Rowling in her new, post Harry Potter books, was rejected several times because she wrote under a pseudonym. She said she was glad she had done it because the books stood on their own merits, not her personal name.
Mind you, with the money she has, I suppose a rejection or two means very little.
Good luck with the book and go for it.
First of all, thanks for the way you formatted this article and inserting the supporting images. It made this very relevant topic for bloggers and business owners very easy to read.
I didn’t know there was so much to consider in publishing an ebook specifically that what kind of book can help determine what kind of publishing you’ll need, AND, as you write the meat of your book, you have to simultaneously consider publishers and then adjust it based on its specific needs/purposes.
I liked that you mentioned that the hard part is the writing itself but also that you need an attractive exterior as well to market well, like an engaging cover & title and a catchy author name, which may or may not be a person’s real name.
Seems like you gave a great overall crash mini-course article. I felt like it was much more compelling when you shared the tidbits that you are a writer that personally experiences similar challenges that you are describing. Best of luck!
You have also given me very useful tip, to include more personal experiences when writing about topics of this kind.
I appreciate that.
The article was meant to be a short course in how to get started because I would like to see many more people give writing a try.
In my own experience, I found that just writing content for my website and short training exercises, I was writing faster and more fluently, so I know that practice is important.
You are right that these days we have to gift wrap everything to make it look good.
How happy am I that I got up at 4 am and sat down at my computer and came across this post. It is exactly what I need to know about How to Self Publish a Book in eBook Form.
I have bookmarked this article so that when I am more awake, can go back to it and read it again.
Thank you so much for this article. It was so easy to understand, even at this early hour. It has encouraged me to do something I have wanted to do for ages.
Thank you ever so much Jill.
Go for it. There is a creative side to all of us and it gets little chance of expression in this busy life.
Sometimes the early hours of the night provide the best ideas because we are not over thinking and organising.
There is a lot of support on the net and if you plan the stories well, it is easier than you think.
Hi, Thanks for this post.
It offers a nice guideline as to how to go about getting started writing not only an e-book but just a book in general.
You have to have that vision of what you foresee for your book before ever getting started, else I would think it would be really easy to stray from the intended topic or story.
Nice that you give a list of some publishing sites as well. I wouldn’t even know where to start looking there or which places were good to check out.
I wish I had the attention span to write a book. I am just a much more of an ‘immediate gratification’ type of person. I have considered trying to write some children’s books though so I will definitely keep this post bookmarked.
Hi Lynne and thanks for your comment.
I sense a budding writer in there.
I felt like you, exactly, for a long time. Doing a 500 word review was a major mountain to climb.
I found that by planning things in headings and sub-headings then putting a few notes under each heading, that I was able to leave the review from one day to the next and pick up the threads.
Before I knew it I was writing 1200 to 2,000 words in a day. 5 days at 2,000 words is 10,000 words. It is a short story.
Do have a go. I think it is really gratifying to see something growing that I have created.
10 short stories, with a common theme, 1000 words each. In 2 weeks you will have your first children’s book.
Good luck with it all.
Hey there Happy B, I like your post. Your post was a very interesting read and I feel like if I wanted to self-publish then I have your article as a guide which is good for me because I have short stories that I’ve been putting off self-publishing.
Do you self-publish as far as anything you write or have written? Another thing I like about your article is that you mentioned the many options of self-publishing which is handy because it is like a guide that people can use to examine other options besides Amazon KDP.
Yes I have a couple of eBooks that are about to be “published.” They will used as “freebees at the moment.
I have a book and several short stories in the pipeline which are separate from WA, but WA has taken more time than I had anticipated.
My aim with articles is to be as fair and balanced as possible and hopefully, to a guide people can come back to and use again. so thank you for that response.