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So, you’ve caught the eBook bug and want to know how to create and publish an eBook?
If you’ve done a little bit of research, you‘ve probably read about a girl named Amanda Hocking who just happened to earn a few million dollars because of her eBooks. To be fair, she did write well-targeted books that resonated with her fans.
The point is that you can have her success too. You simply need to do a few things right. In a nutshell, you need to write, format an eBook and get people to buy it for the price you’re selling it for.
It sounds so easy. How hard could that really be? Let’s take a look at the entire process of how to create and publish an eBook from start to finish. Let’s try to answer all the important questions before diving headfirst into the writing business.
Whether you’re in it to genuinely contribute to literature, or you’re in it for the money, the eBook is a powerful platform at your disposal.
First, let’s deal with the why.
If you’re a writer and you want to get published, the eBook is your friend. It’s the fastest way for you to get your story in front of your readers. If you have the right stuff, writing an eBook expedites your journey toward the bestsellers list.
If you’re an online entrepreneur, then the eBook business offers a huge potential for earning if you successfully establish a cash flow. If successful, each eBook becomes an asset that pays dividends. In this massively interconnected society of ours, it’s a mistake not to tap into this huge growth market.
Easy. This cuts out the middle man, which streamlines the process, making the process go a lot faster. You get to make the book you want and publish it on your own terms. Going the eBook route allows you to reach your target audience instantly – at least, relative to the traditional route of going to the publishers.
Also, by self-publishing an ebook, you can pretty much bootstrap your way to success. You don’t need a lot of money to do this. You simply need the passion and the consistency to write your eBook, or you could hire a ghostwriter to do the dirty work for you.
Once you have your eBook, you need to publish it on Kindle Direct Publishing and market it on your website and social media accounts – you can get other people to do this for you too if you want.
Now that we’re done with the whys, you should decide to write. Yes, that’s the next step. Decide to do this. This should be a big decision because the road to the bestseller list or the road to earning a living with eBooks is going to be tough. If you’re not fully invested in it, it’s going to be frustratingly difficult.
You need to answer this before typing your first word. Just how do you decide on a topic? For many, this right here takes up a great deal of soul searching. Do you have a book in you that’s been there for years and is dying to get out? If so, then this question is going to be easy to answer.
If you’re not quite sure what to write, you first need to go back to your whys. Then, you need to go inside yourself and really reflect on what you know. It’s not easy filling up hundreds of pages with words that people want to read. You need to know a lot about the topic you’re planning on writing about, or at the very least, you need to be really interested in it to want to do some solid research.
Think about your personal life. What are your interests? What are the experiences that only you have? What can you do well? Or, you can go about it in a non-personal way and become more audience-centered way. This brings us to the next question.
If you want to write for your readers, then you first must know who your readers are. Writers are well-known for possessing an acute ability to read people. As a writer, you need to get into your readers’ heads and predict what it is they want to read next – because that’s the entire chase. If you know that, then you’re golden. Is your target audience comprised of preteens who swoon over cute boys? If so, then it would be a good idea to make a main character who just happens to be a cute boy.
Before you decide on a topic, you need to get your answers for the whys, whats, and whos down. Now, as for the specific topic, you need to choose one that is interesting for you. If it does not interest you, then chances are it won’t interest your target market.
Also, if you’re in it for the money and your plan is to write eBooks that teach some sort or skill or something similar, then you need to choose a topic that’s not saturated. Don’t choose a topic that has a few popular, well-known authors. If you do, you’re not going to get noticed. Your target reader is probably going to happily spend $14.99 buying a popular author’s book rather than pay $2.99 for someone they don’t know.
Choose your topic wisely. Research topics on KDP and find out trends. Find out what the bestsellers are. Find out who the most popular authors are. If it’s saturated, it’s best not to enter.
Honestly, everywhere. If you want to be specific, then do your search. Use the most powerful archiving and searching tool on this planet – Google. Search about the topic you plan on writing about and see what has already been written. If you find a niche topic that has a lot of interest but has little content, then maybe that’s the topic for you. Or, if you have already read a few websites, a few books, or heard a few podcasts about the topic you want to write about and still find yourself wanting, then write about that.
Write about the thing that you want to read. Maybe you haven’t found the book you want to read because you haven’t written it. If that’s the case, then you’re probably sitting on a goldmine – a great idea for a topic that simply needs to be expounded on a bit.
Once you’ve decided on a topic, the next step is to write your title. The title is your hook. It needs to capture the eye and the imagination of your reader. You need to entice, to seduce, to titillate your reader enough for them to want to give you cash for the privilege of reading your words.
Do your research. Check out how the best do it and try to copy them. Or, you could go the opposite way and do something unpredictable. If it’s crazy enough, it just might work. This goes the same way for book covers.
There are a lot of different ways to go about it, but the main idea is for the cover to pique the interest of your target reader. Use a cover design that incorporates the script art or the cover art or image that is in line with the interests and the personality of your target reader. And, this goes without saying, but the cover art should at least represent what your book is about. With this said, you can sometimes complete the book cover only after you finish writing.
What you need: Microsoft Word and your mind (optional: internet connection for research)
Now that all the preliminary stuff is out of the way, the next step is the easy part – the writing. Open Microsoft Word and bang out a page. Type. Put one letter in front of the other to form a word and put a few of these together to make a sentence. Repeat a few times to make a paragraph, and if you do this a few more times, you’ll probably end up with a book that someone wants to read.
There really is nothing to it but to do it. If you want to be a writer, know that there is no magic trick. You simply need to write. Well, you can get a ghostwriter to write it for you, and you can still claim to be the author on your KDP account, and the book will technically be your property even if it is not your writing at this point. Still, if you’re in it merely to create a decent cash flow, this shouldn’t bother you one bit.
If you do decide to write a book yourself, then you need to organize your thoughts. Write down all your ideas. Arrange them into chapters or sections and try filling in the gaps. This is how you create a cohesive thought. If you have facts and figures that you want to present, then do so effectively. Use the right visuals and images for emphasis and effect only as needed. And, do so maintaining the tastes of your target audience.
Your ideas are not the only things that you need to organize, Tou need to get yourself organized too. Think about the outcome first. Think about the big picture, your goal, your eBook, and then break the main topic down into several sub-topics and continue to break these down into much more specific topics. This makes it easier for you to focus and to organize your thoughts.
Create a timeline. Think something like, “I’m going to write a 50,000-word eBook on this topic with 15 chapters in the next 6 months.” To accomplish this, you need to make a schedule and stick with it. How much time are you willing to give to your eBook project? Are you working full-time? If so, when can you write? Can you write 2 hours every single day after work or 5 hours each day on the weekends? Decide on something like, “I’m going to write 500 words every day.” Or, “I’m going to write 2 hours before going to bed.”
Now that you’re done with the easy part, let’s get down and dirty with the hard part – making the sale.
Do you have a following? If you don’t have fans, then you need to make a Facebook page. Create a following by presenting yourself as an authority in a topic. Or, if you’re a novelist, then you can gain a following organically by going on the many social media platforms and by creating great content based around your stories.
KDP is the company with the most market share, and if you want to make it big in the eBook world, then you have to be familiar with their system. This is where most, if not all, of the eBook millionaires earned their money.
If you’re all set up on KDP, publish your eBook with them. It’s easy to do. Just save your Word file into a PDF to make sure it looks right on the page. Word does this natively. After that, open your KDP account and publish your eBook by uploading your PDF file.
Once your eBook is live, you need to set up the price. Remember that you need to price your eBook right. This is easier said than done. KDP has a great promo system where you can mark down your books for specific periods to drum up interest. You can even give them out for free for 5 days for each 90-day period. Use this to get people to read you. Your goal is to create a buzz around your title, and if you’re so lucky, you’ll get a snowballing effect through word of mouth and virality. If you achieve this, you’ll reach a tipping point where you’ll find that it’s going to move on its own, creating that much-coveted passive cash flow.
If you are an unknown author, always price cheap – especially in a topic that’s saturated or is close to saturation. Play around with the price. The good thing is you can always move the price of your eBook up or down anytime. You have total control of the price. But always consider the actual value of the eBook. If you genuinely think that it is valuable, then price it as such but also consider how much your readers are going to be willing to pay for what you say in your eBook. Think about it this way: if they can get it for free on a website, why would they want to pay for your book?
Make it easy for your potential readers to want to read your titles. If your target readers know that you have something important to say, then price it as fair for them as it is for you. But play around with the price to maximize your profits too.
Build hype! You need to market on social media. Promote your eBook everywhere.
Live and breathe your eBook! Make a website and have an active presence on all social media platforms. Build a Facebook page and create a fan page for you or your title. You can also create a Facebook community that centers on an interest or topic that you’re writing about and cultivate that community. You can then “organically” promote your eBook on the page to your receptive community members. Just build a following. Use twitter, IG, YouTube, Facebook, forums, and everywhere else you can find to talk about the topic.
The eBook landscape is a fertile ground that offers the potential for fame and riches. Use it wisely to your advantage. Don’t think that this will be easy. It’s not. Realize the fact that it is going to be one of the hardest things that you’ll ever have to do. But know that it’s worth it if you’re really serious about your goals. Find out how to do it and just do it. If you really have something good to contribute to the conversation, if you have a book in you, then it’s your duty to bring it forth into this world.
We’ve given you the steps of how to create and publish an eBook. Now, good Luck!