Before the internet came along being able to self publish a book could be a long, complicated, and often expensive thing to attempt.
Now whether or not you want to try to write a bestseller or just want people to read your thoughts, eBooks (electronic books) are a good way to sell electronic copies of your book at little or no cost to yourself. By producing your own eBook your are self-publishing at a much lower cost than hardback or paperback copies of a book would set you back. Read the following guidelines on how you can succeed in publishing your first eBook. If you have enough material or spare time it could be the start of several eBooks.
An eBook has the potential to be life-changing. Many writers and would-be authors consider writing their own eBook yet not enough of them go on to publish an eBook. You might think you have a world-beating eBook inside of you yet the next stage is to publish that book instead of thinking of reasons not to go ahead with it.
Perhaps the biggest mistake that writers make with eBooks is writing about a subject they find interesting without considering whether or not somebody else would want to read the book. It does not matter how well written an eBook is, if nobody wants to read about that topic.
1. Come up with idea for an eBook
It might seem like a brilliant idea to write your book on dieting or keep fit exercises as these appear to be really popular topics. Yet it could be a bad idea in practice as the only authors that sell books on these topics are the famous ones that everybody else wants to read. The market for certain topics could be saturated already and writing your eBook on it could be a waste of your time as nobody will read it.
At this point remember that an eBook is like any other type of book except for it is not printed on paper. For your eBook to any chance of being a success, it needs to be based on a good idea. The basis for your future book can start off as a single phrase or sentence. This can act as the catalyst for you to expand on the idea and see if the concept can be expanded enough to fill up an eBook.
Authors considering writing a fiction eBook should consider that they will have to spend longer preparing and writing their work compared to if they were writing about a nonfiction topic.
In one respect writing an eBook has one advantage over publishing it on paper, you do not have to make the book a minimum length. So it does not matter that a simple idea only leads to writing a short book as it a perfectly fine eBook.
2. Do enough research for an eBook
Often it is better to write an eBook on a topic that you already know something about, and that you find interesting. This way, you only have to do research to check that the details of what you are writing are correct. This is better than writing about a topic you know nothing about and that interests you even less, that could be the eBook you never finish writing.
Take a further look at the phrase or sentence, which you wrote down, and make plans on how the basic idea can be expanded into your eBook. Creating a web of concepts is an excellent way to make sure that you include relevant parts related to the central theme within your eBook. Completing a “web” means that you can see the concepts that should be put in your book, and possibly the order to put them in.
The type of eBook you intend can also have an influence on its final structure and organization. For instance, a self-help book will be best assisted with a vertical structure, an eBook about technical issues would benefit more from using a web of concepts.
3. Organize the order of your eBook
You should now have enough research and information to include in your eBook. It is best to rearrange all of your notes and to incorporate them into a vertical plan, putting the essential information at the top and the most complicated details lower down. Introduce the main topic at the earliest stage, yet make sure that details are kept simple, to begin with.
It works best to put your eBook into different chapters or even sections depending on how long it is. Chapters and sections help to make sure that the text is not just a continuing block. Whether your eBook is fiction or non-fiction using chapters is useful in presenting different ideas, or divisions within the main topic. Do not make chapters overly long, if it will take several chapters to thoroughly cover a subject then group those chapters into a section.
4. Write your eBook
After getting ready and organized it is now time to write your eBook. Once you have started writing set yourself goals, for instance, write 500 – 1000 a day, or complete 2 chapters a week. Now some days you will find writing comes easier, and on other days you may struggle to get the words flowing. On the days it flows naturally keep on going while you are feeling inspired. If things are going slow, look at the plan again, or write some notes to get writing again. Do not make the target too low, or too high and make sure that it is a realistic goal. Overall you need to enjoy writing your eBook if you find it dull any reader may find it dull too.
How to write an ebook fast and provide value for readers?
Write your eBook so that it is simple and clear for readers to understand what you are teaching them, or providing them with useful knowledge.
5. Review eBook with “fresh eye”
Often it is better to leave your eBook for a few days before attempting to review it. A break from the writing process allows you to focus on reviewing the book with a critical eye. Begin the review by going through the order of the chapters, parts, and sections. If the order does not make sense change it till it does. Sections need to flow, so change their order if the flow stops. Read through each chapter and correct any mistakes.
6. Formatting eBook
Avoid the temptation of making the format too complicated, stick to simple headings. subheadings with short paragraphs and lists. It also pays to keep the color scheme simple.
A key for making your eBook easy on the eye is to use clear and simple fonts that are easy to read. Ariel and Verdana in size 11 or 12 are frequently used for a good reason.
Pick a page size for your eBook, for example, the standard US size of 8 1/2 ” by 11″. This makes the rest of editing and formating easier for you and assists readers in printing out the eBook if they want to. You have the option of putting your book into a portrait or landscape setting. If you select the landscape option it is best to split each page into at least 3 paragraphs to make it easier to read.
Do not be afraid to set a generous margin for pages of at least 1″ all the way around. This makes it easier to read and solve the problem of missing text from the bottom (portrait) or from one side if the margins are too narrow when printing the eBook out.
Remember that whitespace is good as it stops pages having too much text. Achieve whitespace by using wider margins, a larger font size such as 14, and use 1.5 or double line spacing. Whitespace contributes to reading being effortless, which is what you want to achieve.
The editing of your eBook should not be rushed. Set yourself a daily target, for example, 1 or 2 chapters. Read through carefully, to spot errors or spelling mistakes.
If you have to reduce the word count of your eBook then do so. Remove any words or details that go off on a tangent or make the writing too complex.
When the extra information cannot be left out consider putting it in the sidebar, or making it an end or footnote. Alternatively, change the wording so that it flows with the rest of the chapter.
7. Add or change the title and add extras
You may have had a working title for your eBook yet once it has been written that title may not be the best one to use. Whenever possible keep the title short and to the point. Also add prefaces, introductions, bibliographies, or reference pages if these have not already been included.
It pays to have at least 3 possible titles in case any have already been used by other writers. or are too similar to other titles.
Whenever you use any outside information it needs to be cited and included in the bibliography. If any friends have helped you or provided information then mention them in an acknowledgments page.
8. Give your eBook a cover
Just like a hardcover book, an eBook sells better with a well-chosen cover. The front cover, even a virtual one is the first thing that attracts or deters readers from picking your eBook so that cover needs to look good. Depending on how you can design things consider designing your own cover or getting a professional designer to do it for you.
When designing and selecting your cover look into if the image you want to use is subject to copyright. Seek permission from copyright owners or find a different image to use.
Depending on your budget or unless you have great skills in graphic design it is worth getting a professional to design your eBook cover. Others have told me that oDesk and 99Designs are really useful sites for finding people that will be able to design a cover. If you like the cover designed for you it may be worth seeing what else could be designed for you.
9. Ask people to review your eBook
Before publishing your book ask family, friends, neighbors, and possibly work colleagues to read and review your work. People that know you can provide feedback that will allow you to make changes before you publish the book. The opinions of others can highlight what is good, bad, or needs changing.
Be sure to ask:
- What parts of the book did you enjoy reading?
- Were there any parts of the book that could be improved?
- Which parts of the ebook that you disliked?
Examine all of the feedback and if needs be change your book. Decide if the changes will be merely cosmetic or if a full rewrite is needed.
10. Publish and distribute your eBook on your website
Now everything is ready to put your book on your website. Look for a system that will publish and distribute your eBook. Automatic systems are the most useful as these do it for you.
Consider selling your book through other platforms such as Kindle and Nook besides selling a PDF version on your own site. Should you opt for your book to be sold on other sites these will either charge a fee for publishing or take a percentage of every copy that you sell.
Here are some places where you can distribute your eBook:
The type of ebook — the somewhat traditional “information product” designed to teach something valuable or sharing the experience.
Ebooks are designed for speed with skimming, scrolling, saving digital notes, and linking. while physical books are designed for slow processing, with larger pages, without any links or digital references.
Major advantages of eBooks:
- Ebooks are usually less costly to produce and less expensive to buy.
- Readers can store thousands of e-books on a single device.
Can you really make money selling self-published ebooks?
Here is some information from WiseBread:
About 200,000 authors selling ebooks on Amazon, only about 5,000 — less than 3% — consistently earn $10,000 a year or better, according to the website Author Earnings. More than half of those are traditionally-published authors. So, only around 1% of all the people self-publishing ebooks are making much money on it.
According to Selfpublishing site:
Amazon offers a 30% or 70% royalty rate for eBook authors. This means that an author will earn 70% of the total list price of their book when it is sold on Amazon’s platform.