If you would like to be published and want to shorten the time between the first manuscript and the final print, e-books are a perfect option.
The written word has a power over us like none other – it can captivate and pull us into a world of make-believe, sometimes and reality that hits us hard, sometimes. And those, who cherish to put their own worlds into words- with the advent of the internet and e-books- this has become much easier.
Here is a complete step-by-step guide, especially for aspiring and new authors who would like to publish an eBook:
Identify your Market
What is the problem your e-book is trying to solve? That is the first question you will need to ask yourself and based on what answer you come up with, identify the prospective readers. For example, if you see that a topic is being discussed in a forum you are a member of, and that your e-book is an answer to that discussion – that is a good sign. You can even run a survey with your followers, social media friends to understand and gauge what the market will be like for your e-book.
Do a search on online sellers like Amazon on the same subject. Maybe books on the same subject would be on the top best-sellers list. Even if that is not the case, it will make you better prepared on what to expect once your book hits the market.
Penning your eBook
Always remember – Content is King! Ensure that your e-book is able to hold the attention of the reader without making them feel that it is too lengthy and too drawn out. Being concise, crisp and stingy with your points will enable the reader to draw value from the book. Online readers have a short attention span, so holding that is of paramount importance.
Editing is another critical aspect. Always follow George Orwell’s remedy of six rules1 as follows:
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speechwhich you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passivewhere you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargonword if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Lastly, get your book professionally edited and proofread. And if that is not possible, ask a friend to edit and review the book and provide feedback. It is critical that the book is exceptionally edited as poor grammar and spelling mistakes is a big turn-off for many.
Here are some proofreading tips from www.quickanddirtytips.com2
- Read your work backwards
- Read your work out loud
- Always proofread a printed version of your work
- Give yourself some time
Designing your cover, formatting etc are also aspects that you can do yourself or engage a professional for.
Choosing an eBook Publisher
The best way to go is with the established players for eBooks like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Nook Press, iBooks Author, Smashwords. These platforms provide easy ways and reasonable royalties.
And with this eBook market boom, traditional and self-publishing companies are offering e-book deals that are bundled into their print book publishing packages.
Always ensure that you do good research on the different players in the market, with special focus on their philosophy, Ideally, as an author, your philosophy towards content and marketing should align with theirs.
You and the publisher will work closely towards a common goal – the success of your book- so have as many discussions and throw in as many questions as you can at the initial stage before signing up.
Pricing your eBook
Price your book correctly and ethically. Never aim for higher prices in e-books- after all, if a print book costs the same, then majority of readers will prefer to buy the latter. At the same time, do not under-sell yourself and your e-book. Make sure the price you quote is worth the time, effort and sweat you have invested in the book. Explore prices on similar eBooks, visit book stores for analysing the prices on the print counterparts and come to a price that seems right to you.
Marketing the eBook
In today’s world of the internet, marketing your eBook well is half the battle won. Even as you are penning your eBook, start building your market. Do not wait to finish the book. Participate in online forums related to your subject, create a Facebook page and if you are the adventurous kind, even build a website to promote your upcoming book.
Be vocal about the subject you are penning and which you obviously are very passionate about. Let the world see what knowledge you have about that subject.
Identify influencers in that area which your book talks about. Network with them and request them to review your book and provide insights. If your eBook touches them, they might also be willing to endorse your book in their own websites which will open up another marketing avenue for them.
Launch your Book
Keep an eye out for literary festivals, online interest groups, bookstore events and other activities where you will be able to connect with your target audience. Find such an avenue to launch your book. eBooks are tricky to market so make sure you have virtual events planned.
Also, prepare beforehand, a list of reviewers that you will send a free copy to for review. Engage in the GoodReads forum to build up reviews and ratings.
Setup free workshops in person, or online to audiences where you will walk through your eBook. This will give you an excellent chance to show your authority in the area and also assist in spreading the word about your eBook.
Head to Amazon KDP AND get started or take HBB’s eBook Publishing Services. Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org