Self-publishing an eBook: a guide

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There are countless blog posts and websites preaching the benefits of writing your own eBook. Often the authors of these pieces have made a substantial amount of money from said eBooks and are laughing straight to the bank. But the truth is, these people are almost always marketing professionals or have some kind of expertise and years of experience in a particular field. These books do well because they deliver something valuable to the customer. Some kind of knowledge they wouldn’t otherwise have if it weren’t for this book.

 

But the truth is, anyone can write a book. Heck, even I’ve done it. Not saying it’s a literary masterpiece or anything because it certainly isn’t. It doesn’t offer anything super important to the customer except for a few laughs and a good source of procrastination. Buy it here if you want to. I didn’t entirely expect anyone to buy it and if I’m being honest, I really just wanted to be able to say that I wrote a book.

 

So in saying that, if you want to write an eBook, but you don’t know where to start, let me help you out with a few tips.

 

There are so many guides on the internet from people who have successfully sold eBooks like this one so I’m not going to go into a super comprehensive how to. I’m going to tell you how I did it and how it’s not really that difficult at all.

1. Choose your subject matter

First thing’s first, choose what the contents of your book is going to be. It could be anything your heart desires. However, I would say that it’s vital to choose subject matter that you are passionate about, knowledgeable in, or is at the very least something that you won’t get bored writing about.

 

2. Write baby write

Time to start the real work. This part is obviously the part that takes the most time and I’d recommend setting daily or even weekly writing goals. I found that setting word goals helped me to stay focused and to be continually working towards the completion of the book. It doesn’t always stick and there are days where you just can’t be bothered and that’s completely fine. It happens. Just as long as you keep writing. Some days I’d be able to write several thousand words, other days I could only write a few hundred. You can be as strict on this as you like, you’re your own boss here. There’s no recommended amount of words you have to write. You could write 20000 words or you could write as little as 6000 words. Just as long as there’s something in there and you’re not scamming anyone, that’s all that matters. Also, you don’t have to write on any special platforms that are easily converted into eBooks, Microsoft Word is just fine. BUT REMEMBER TO CONTINUALLY SAVE YOUR WORK AND BACK IT UP.

 

3. Find a publisher

Once you’ve finished your work of art, it’s time to start the publishing process. There are several platforms from which you can publish your eBook, I personally used the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform with Amazon. All you need is an Amazon account and it’s free to publish. They also have a step by step guide which I’ll link here that’s really easy to follow especially if you’re a visual learner like me.

 

4. Judging an eBook by it’s cover

Like it or not, people will always judge a book by it’s cover, which can be a problem if you haven’t got a graphic design bone in your body. But fear not, you have options my friend. There are graphic design professionals all over the place these days, and often they can offer their services for a pretty decent price. Sites like fiverrupwork or airtasker are good for outsourcing your graphic design needs and create you a really professional looking book cover. Or you utilize graphic-design tool websites like Canva that are really easy to use and save the design onto your device for free. I used Canva for my cover and while my cover is a very plain one, you can definitely play around and add a bit of your own creative flair.

 

5. Formatting

The one thing that I thought would be my biggest challenge was the formatting. When I was researching the how to’s of how to publish an eBook, the one thing that seemed to me the most intimidating was the certainly the formatting. However, all my stress turned out to be for nothing because it was actually super easy. On KDP, as it comes up to the formatting section, there’s a tool called Kindle Create that I cannot recommend enough. It’s free and all you have to do is install it onto your computer or device and as soon as you’ve done that, upload your document and play around with the format a little bit until you’ve decided on the layout of your book. The preview feature is great because it shows a preview of how the book will look on either tablet, mobile or Kindle. As soon as you’ve done this, you are ready to publish it.

 

6. Pricing

I won’t go into much detail about pricing because I didn’t look a lot into it, but there are plenty of articles like this one that go into great detail. I will say that I priced my book at $2.99, because you earn a 75% royalty for charging at that price and this was the price that most articles I read seemed to suggest.

 

7. Marketing

I didn’t do any marketing activities with my eBook, but it is something that I will look into and potentially do another post on because when it comes to marketing strategies around eBooks, there seems to be a lot of information and it’s something I’d like to look into further. There are also promotional tools on KDP that you can utilize and I’ll look into that further as well. So be on the look out for further blog posts on that.

 

Well there you have it, how to write and publish an eBook, for those who don’t know where to start. Overall, it was a rewarding experience, albeit a lot of hard work and I’d definitely do it again. If you’ve ever written an eBook and have any advice or tips or if you have any questions, leave a comment below.

Catch you next time!

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