Best Way To Self Publish An Ebook – In January 2020 alone, US readers collectively spent $75 million on e-books. And that’s just for conventionally published titles: add indie ebooks and you can see that number double. Then, throw in social distancing to increase demand even more. In short, ebook publishing shows no signs of slowing down. Would you like to take advantage of this boom?
Stop! Is it true to write yet? Check out our guide on how to write an ebook first. 1. Repeat the bill
Best Way To Self Publish An Ebook
Readers may be hungrier than ever for ebooks, but their interests don’t discriminate. If you want to convince them to read your work, you need to offer something mouth-watering – good prose to the last drop.
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Okay, enough cooking examples. The point is, whether you’re publishing a fantasy novel or an original cookbook, quality matters. Before you even think about publishing your e-book, you need to make sure there are no commas.
A word of caution here: Self-publishing an ebook is fast – so fast that it can be dangerous. An impatient writer can turn a draft into a great ebook in less than an hour and see it sell the next day. This grease-and-lightning speed is why many indie authors prefer digital publishing. But the benefits of e-book publishing have a downside: it’s all too easy to send your work out into the world before it’s ready.
Don’t jump the gun and post as soon as you write the last sentence or as soon as you finish editing. Instead, put your writing aside for a while so you can come back to it refreshed enough to spot the mistakes you missed.
Pass Then bring another pair of eyes – the best, a professional editor who will keep your text spotless.
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After you’ve organized your e-book text, it’s time to wrap it up with an equally polished cover.
Remember, your collateral is your first and best ebook marketing asset. It needs to look good in advertisements, attract popularity on social media and above all, attract attention in crowded online markets. Whether you try DIY or outsource to a professional designer (we recommend), using cover art is essential to doing your book justice. Making quick, photo-heavy calls is like slipping rare gems into a sack.
If you want to dive deeper into the world of book cover design in general, we have a post that covers that (pun definitely intended). But here’s an important, ebook-specific thing to remember. Unlike the print covers of brick-and-mortar bookstores, your cover should look good — and make sense — in full scale and small form.
Ebook publishing systems require you to upload large, high-resolution JPG images for your cover. If you outsource your screen art to a professional, your designer will send you an image of the appropriate size and quality. But if you’re doing it yourself, check out this guide to make sure your DIY photo has the right dimensions.
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How does an ebook cover differ from a printed book cover? Young and old must watch! Click to tweet!
Now, your cover photo may be large, but on sales platforms like the Amazon Kindle Store, potential customers will first encounter it as a small thumbnail – usually no more than 100 pixels wide. This lucky glimpse can turn a window shopper into a devoted new fan.
It’s pretty cool, but a blank slate in miniature won’t do you any favors in the marketing department – so make sure you invest in some fine art of any size.
With your pixel perfect cover and beautiful text, you’ve reached a crossroads in your ebook publishing journey. Two different ways are in front of you: Amazon alone or “going wide.” Which would you choose?
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For many authors, the words “ebook publishing” automatically conjure up Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon’s digital publishing platform. With 67% of the world’s ebook market share, Amazon deserves to be published – whatever you do you should publish with KDP. But if you choose to go wider, you can
Sticking with Amazon only gives you certain products to sell through their KDP selection. This program allows you to promote your e-book through price promotion with Kindle Unlimited, a popular subscription service for e-book lovers.
On the other hand, different platforms can help you reach readers who might not come to a large e-commerce company. This is especially helpful if you plan to sell in countries like Germany or Canada, where Amazon has a much smaller share of the ebook market than the US and UK.
We also have an in-depth post that guides you through Amazon’s exclusive and comprehensive offers. Watch it here!
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If you choose Amazon Exclusive, you can move on to the next level – it’s for the best indie authors!
Now that you’re ready to diversify your e-book publishing, you can choose from any number of publishing systems, including:
But after you’ve made the big decision to publish an ebook, you have other rights going forward. Will you publish directly to all your chosen platforms or coordinate the process with a cart (for a price)?
Aggregator is a solution for authors who are overwhelmed with the idea of publishing their e-books over and over again. These services allow you to instantly upload your eBook and related information and submit it to multiple marketing platforms on your behalf. The largest publishers responsible for publishing e-books are:
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In addition to saving time, the aggregator helps you avoid technical limitations imposed by certain printing systems. For example, you can simply print an iBook directly to an Apple device. The aggregators, however, allow Android PC users to join the battle.
However, no aggregator offers its services for free. Some charge a flat fee for each title you publish through their system, while others charge a list price for each copy you sell. Prices vary and so do services – not all aggregators deliver to every ebook publisher. You may want to link to a wide variety of aggregators to get all the platforms on your list. Or you can use an aggregator that reaches multiple target marketers and advertise directly to others.
Feeling defeated? Check out this post on self-publishing companies for a review of top contributors (and some less important ones). You can also check out this infographic, which explains our recommended setup and how aggregators can give you as much access to your ebook as possible.
You’re publishing your e-book, it’s time to go to your chosen platforms (and/or aggregators) and create your accounts. Some publishers, such as Barnes and Noble Press, allow you to upload your text as soon as your account is opened. Others, like KDP, give you a number of fields to pre-fill. But even so, it is better to prepare the information of your book in advance.
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Your title, the description of your book, the categories that describe your genre and niche: all this is considered metadata, the information that makes your e-book available on marketing platforms. All publishing platforms and aggregators will ask you to fill out these three fields, and some may ask for additional metadata forms, such as keywords that describe your e-book or the age of your target audience.
Pro-tip: Want to write a description of a book that sells? Download this free book description template to get started.
Correcting your metadata means more traffic to your product page – and more sales of your book. To make the process easier, we’ve put together tools to help you create your book description and choose your categories. Check them out below:
We’re almost done! Now your e-book gets your e-book in its final form, so you can click the “publish” button.
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You made your text “word-perfect” back in step 1. Now it’s time to take that flawless text and convert it to EPUB, the file format used by ebook publishers.
They often allow you to upload files in different formats, such as .docx or PDF. But when they convert your file to their preferred file type, you end up with line break issues, white space and other visual issues. That’s why we recommend getting your eBook into your preferred format for your publishing platform before uploading it.
For e-books in many genres, you can format them directly in the Readsy Book Editor for free. However, if you want more features, you can choose a paid program like Vellum. In fact, for titles with images, you can hire a designer – someone who can put your e-book together.
Want to learn more about the Reedsy Book Editor and other ebook format options? Check out this guide.
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Now you are ready to take your well-formatted eBook and upload it to any aggregator or platforms along with your cover image.