How to Self-publish an eBook in 9 Simple Steps
eBooks are a great way to share your ideas and stories with the world. With the boom in technology, eBooks have become easier to create for any aspiring writer. It has proved to be an easy way to reach the maximum number of readers.
Many independent authors have found success in writing and self-publishing their eBooks. The path to getting your work published is made easier with self-publishing. But, it comes with its own challenges. You need to invest ample time and effort into it. This article will guide you through the process of self-publishing your eBook. Before we delve into the process, let us look at the reasons to self-publish an eBook.
Why Self-publish an eBook?
When authors decide to publish their books, they focus on getting it printed and overlook the idea of eBooks. It is always better to get the eBooks out as well along with print books. It is beneficial to get your eBook self-published for various reasons, namely:
- Many independent authors are making more income by self-publishing their eBooks. Like in print books, there are no printing or shipping charges with eBooks. A reader can purchase the eBook easily and it is readily available for them. Hence, sales of eBooks alone add up to the author’s income.
- eBooks are cheaper to create and self-publish. The authors pay for formatting, designing, and distributing the eBook but the cost is less compared to getting a print book published.
- eBooks are also a great way to grow your business and also establish your expertise.
- eBooks have a wide reach. Self-publishing on any platform like Amazon KDP guarantees to get your eBook distributed to the reading audience around the world.
- It is also a significant way for many entrepreneurs, bloggers, and coaches to use eBooks as a means to grow their platform and followers.
Steps to Self-publish an eBook
When you decide to self-publish your eBook, you have the freedom to create it the way you want, and also a responsibility to produce a professional eBook. With the freedom and flexibility that self-publishing offers, the process can be challenging for many aspiring writers.
The following steps will guide you to successfully self-publish an eBook:
1. Write your eBook
It indeed is the most significant step in the entire publishing process. It would be best if you wrote an eBook that is worth buying and reading. It is pointless if you have a self-published eBook published that is not appealing or attractive to readers.
It would be best if you created a book that is engaging and also has a readership. Follow these simple steps to write your eBook to enter the vast eBook market:
– Choose a topic
It is essential to select a topic or idea that you have expertise in and are passionate about. Be it fiction or non-fiction, and you need to be confident about the idea you want to write. So, choose an idea or topic after giving it a thought and then plan the writing.
– Brainstorm ideas
Before you dive into writing, brainstorm ideas related to the selected topic. You can use mind mapping techniques for brainstorming ideas. When you have more thoughts on the paper, it makes writing easier.
– Create an outline:
After you get all the ideas and materials needed for writing, create an outline for the book. For instance, if it is a non-fiction book, create a chapter-wise outline for the book, and list the main topics that need to be included in each chapter.
– Schedule time & place for writing:
You need to set aside a particular time of day for writing. Otherwise, it is easier to procrastinate and never write a book. So, plan a schedule and place for writing where you can peacefully sit and finish your book.
You need to have a routine in place and follow the routine religiously to finish writing the eBook. We have seen many writers who enthusiastically start writing the book but never complete it. So, don’t fall into that trap.
– Write the first draft:
Follow the book outline you’ve created, and start writing the rough draft. Take small breaks in between the writing and finish writing the book.
It might get frustrating at some point in time to continuously sit and write the book. So, take breaks between and do something other than writing, like listening to music, sketching, or walking. Do something you like in between so you don’t feel the burden.
– Choose a book title:
You also need to choose the perfect title for your eBook. Make sure you select an apt eBook title and don’t write confusing and misleading titles.
2. Proofread & Edit the Manuscript
After completing the first draft of your eBook, it is essential to revise and edit the content. Many writers find that writing and editing don’t go hand in hand. It is better to write the manuscript first and later get into the process of editing.
Revise your manuscript again and again. A complete check and copy editing are necessary before you enter the process of publication. You need to check the manuscript for the following:
- Spelling, Syntax and Grammatical errors
- Content Structure
- The flow of the content
You can proofread the manuscript and do your editing. If you are writing your eBook on Word, make sure you use the default setting to make formatting easier.
Even if you do the editing yourself, hiring a professional to recheck the manuscript is beneficial. Professionals will give you honest feedback, which will only enhance the content and style of your eBook.
3. Format the Manuscript
It is a fact that formatting is crucial in creating an eBook. You need to invest ample time and effort to publish your eBook. The readability of an eBook is dependent on the formatting. Only a well-formatted eBook can ensure an enjoyable reading experience for the reader. Formatting an eBook also ensures if it can be accessed and read on all possible devices and platforms.
There are a lot of online tools available for formatting your eBook. Indie use software like Vellum, Scrivener, or InDesign to format your manuscript. You can format your eBook in Word, and many first-time authors find it easier to format their manuscripts using Word.
Even though there are numerous tools available to format your manuscript, it is beneficial to hire a professional designer for the job. Like we mentioned earlier, formatting is crucial in creating an eBook. So, it is wise to hire a professional since it will also make the task more manageable and less stressful for you.
4. Choose the Format
After you complete writing and editing your manuscript, you have to choose the format to publish the eBook. There are various eBook formats. These are a few popular eBook formats:
- ePUB file
- MOBI (for Amazon’s Kindle)
You need to research a great deal of the different formats available for eBooks, decide on a publishing platform, and then determine the format you need to publish the eBook. Choosing an eBook format is crucial because the formatting might differ for each.
Another important choice you need to make is with the type of eBook you want to publish. What genre is your book? Is it fiction or non-fiction? Do you have pictures, illustrations, graphs in your book, or is it purely text?
Keep these questions in mind because there are two major types of eBooks, ePUB Reflowable and Fixed-layout. If your eBook is purely text-based, like novels and other fiction books, it is ideal to choose the reflowable format. It is an apt choice since the text can be resized and scaled at the reader’s convenience.
If your eBook is enhanced containing photos, illustrations, and other multimedia content, then it is ideal to choose fixed-layout. It is the better choice since the content is fixed on the page and protects your ebook design. Children’s books, comics, and textbooks can have a fixed-layout format.
5. Design an Attractive Cover
The cover design is crucial when it comes to self-publishing your eBook. People make judgments about a book by seeing the cover image. It is one of the factors that help them decide if they want to buy the eBook or not.
It also becomes one of the significant factors that help sell more eBooks and make more money. Your cover must be appealing and also inform or intrigue the reader’s interest.
You need to design a cover that is professional, attractive, and grabs the reader’s attention. There are great tools available to create an eBook. But, it is always advisable to hire a professional cover designer. Cover designers will help you design a cover or a cover image that is unique and befitting for the content of your eBook. They will also be aware of the cover dimensions needed for publishing your eBook.
6. Choose a Publishing Platform
The big question when it comes to self-publishing is- selecting a self-publishing platform for your eBook. There are numerous platforms like Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble’ Nookpress, and other stores. Each platform has its own set of specifications and guidelines for publication. You need to be aware of the guidelines before you make the decision.
Before you select the platform to self-publish your eBooks, find answers to the following questions:
- Do you want to publish on various platforms or with Kindle Direct Publishing alone?
- What about eBook distribution? Where and all do your eBook gets distributed if you choose any particular platform?
- What is the royalty percentage for the author with each platform?
It will be easier to choose when you research a bit more about each platform and answer the questions mentioned above. It will help you to make an informed choice.
With Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, self-publishing has been made easier for many independent authors. You can learn more about self-publishing with Amazon Kindle here.
7. Important Details needed to Self-Publish
When you self-publish an eBook on any platform, there are essential details you need to provide. For instance, if you are publishing through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, details like book description, keyword category, book title, etc., are needed to complete the process.
The metadata is essential for eBook publishing. It refers to the words and phrases that you use to describe the eBook. The metadata required are:
- Book Description: it is required for the sales of your eBook. You need to provide a book blurb here. A book blurb is generally found on the back of a book cover. It has a brief description that gives the reader an idea about the book. With eBooks, you need to provide the same. The description will be available for readers.
The reader gets an idea about the eBook through the book description, so you need to write one that intrigues the reader and entices them to buy it.
- Book Title/Subtitle: you need to provide the exact title of the eBook as given on the cover. Like I mentioned earlier, write a title that grabs the reader’s attention and is apt for the eBook’s content.
The subtitle is optional as far as books are concerned. But, if you are publishing a non-fiction book, it cannot be overlooked. Many non-fiction books come with a subtitle. Make sure you have the subtitle that naturally contains the relevant keywords.
- Author’s Bio: it has to be prepared and compiled as well. It would help if you wrote a compelling author bio. The reader should get an idea about the author through the Bio, so make sure you add an appealing author’s Bio.
8. Set a Price for the eBook
It is the final step in the publication process. Pricing is an important step that will determine the success of your eBook. As an author, you want your book to be well received and also do business. So, you need to know how to price an eBook that sells well.
Before you decide to set a price for your eBook, do a little research on the cost of similar eBooks on the platform you wish to publish. . It will give you an idea about how much you should price your eBook.
Here are a few things to consider before you decide on the price:
- The genre of your eBook
- Length of your eBook
- Royalty percentage
Do your research and consider these factors before you arrive at a price for your eBook.
9. Promote the eBook
Book marketing is a crucial and significant step in self-publishing. There are numerous eBooks in the market. You need to invest time and effort in marketing strategy to attract more readers. eBook marketing is essential to get your eBook to reach the target audience.
A great book with poor marketing strategies is a deadly combination. If you are an indie author, book marketing is your best ticket to reach potential readers. Just opening your book to a grand launch is just a drop in the ocean. There are various ways to promote your eBook, namely:
- Author website
- Social media marketing (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- E-mail marketing
- Getting good book reviews
These are some of the main ways to get your eBook promoted. It would help if you had a proper plan to promote your eBook. So, have the plan in place, and start promoting your eBook.
Self-publishing an eBook can be your road to success. You can make a livelihood out of getting your eBook out in the world if you avoid the self-publishing mistakes. It also gives you complete creative freedom and also a way to earn revenue.
Self-publishing an eBook needn’t be a difficult task. Follow these steps to successfully self-publish a professional eBook that has the full potential to be the next bestseller. So, what are you waiting for? Start writing your eBook and get it self-published.
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