How to Publish your own eBook
To publish your own eBook nowadays is as easy as never before. Before the “age of eBooks”, you had to send your manuscript (yes, via mail) to different publishers, hoping that one of them would like your idea enough to consider a publication. But until then, you had a lot work to do and a lot time to invest in finding those publishers, sending your writings, waiting for a response…
Today, the steadily growing eBook market favors your own publishing. There are many online eBook publishers you can send your manuscript to, reaching a bigger amount of people in much less time. However, there still have to be a few things done other than “just” writing your book.
Yes, that is most obviously the first, most time-consuming, and creative part of it all. You will have to decide what kind of book you want to write, find a good idea, and struggle with all kinds of problems like lack of motivation or the dreaded writer’s block.
A less fun part of publishing your own eBook is giving the document you wrote the correct formatting. This doesn’t only entail a correct grammar and spelling, but also the task of adding important information to your eBook, providing meta data, choosing a good cover, and using the right font-size for headings among other literal formatting matters.
The meta data usually contained in an eBook consists of the author’s (aka your) biography, the genre of your book, a short and a long description, and important keywords that make searching on, e.g., Amazon easier.
The cover should display the name of book and author in big letters so that it is still readable even when the cover is displayed quite small. It should also show the potential reader in about 2 seconds what they can expect from the book, which tone it’s held in, and which kind of story or information it holds.
Make sure that, when writing your book using Microsoft Word, Apple’s Pages, or another word processing software, it contains formatting that is compatible with eBook standards. There are quite some tips on the correct formatting, which we will cover in an upcoming article.
3. Go Global
Finally, your book is written, formatted, and completed with all other important information. Now, it’s time to get it out there to as many different and wide-spread people as possible! For that, it’s not enough to rely on Kindle publishing solely. True, with the Amazon reading device, many readers of eBooks can be reached already, however to react and act more globally, other publishers shouldn’t be ignored. Especially the reading devices from Apple like the iPad, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook hold a fair share of readers as well.
Thus, furthering your reach by not only concentrating on Amazon, but selling your work via many different eBook retailers expands your reach enormously and enables even more people to read your work.
Congratulations, now your book is out there! But… what now? Don’t just let your eBook stand there on the digital bookshelves all by itself. Promoting your book is an important step to not only spread your book, but also engage readers and gain their interest. Plus, it can be really fun.
One part of book promotion is surely your online presence. Social Media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other platform that contains your target group help to not only spread the word, but give your readers a more direct approach to you as well. Running your own blog or website where you provide information, answers, and even some intriguing extracts of your book (because everyone loves free stuff) should be an essential as well.
Furthermore, whether you create your cover yourself or let an agency do it for you, make sure to request some banners and other press material as well. Pictures and variations of your book in banners, ads, etc. combined with a short and intriguing book description can often be placed on different websites and shared/reblogged/retweeted on social media.
Writing can be a quite limited medium, featuring pictures at best – but it doesn’t have to be! Maybe you have seen them already, on Amazon or elsewhere: Book Trailers. Those trailers raise even more awareness, are surely an eye-catcher not everyone has, and also provides your presence on video platforms like YouTube.
As we have mentioned before, people like free stuff, so why not give out some free reading examples to popular book bloggers or influential people on sites like GoodReads? If they like what you wrote, positive reviews and feedback is given instantly. And even if not, you will gain (mostly constructive) criticism that will help you to better your book and make it more appropriate and favorable for your target audience.