So… I assume if you’re reading this, you already have your eBook written and you are looking to take the next step – actually publishing it. Good for you! It’s such an exciting feeling when you can search your name on Amazon and the results reveal what you made with blood, sweat, and tears. Now that you’ve poured your heart, soul, and most importantly, knowledge into those pages, it’s time to get it out there. Now… it’s time to release that baby bird into the big wide world… Yikes!
Yes, I know. It’s definitely nerve-wracking. I am all-too-familiar with this feeling, as I went through the same terrifying process this past year with my first eBook, Photography Means Business.
Not to mention, about to have to go through it all over again. Yes, that’s right… A second book is on the way.
That’s why I decided to write a post to make your first time a little bit easier and a little less stressful. So! Open up your file, and let’s get to publishing!
Step One: Format and Revise
At this point your eBook is most likely still a MS Word file. That’s ok, it’s pretty much where all eBooks start. But now it’s time to decide what happens next. Let’s begin:
- Decide on your format: Standard or Fixed?
There are two types of formats for an eBook – Standard and Fixed. Both are an excellent choice but they deliver slightly different results.
A Standard eBook format is excellent at adaptation. It can change and adapt to pretty much any eReader device, like a Nook or Kindle or iPhone. The font and size of the text can also be adjusted and personalized – pretty nifty! Right?
However, it has its drawbacks. The Standard eBook format is better for eBooks that are mainly text, so having lots of illustrations and images of larger sizes can really mess up the structure. Also, referring to page numbers in the text is a no-no in the Standard eBook format, as the number of words per page change depending on the device used and the size of the chosen font.
A Fixed eBook format is, well, fixed. This means that the way you place your text and images will stay exactly the same, no matter what device your readers use. Now this may seem like a less customizable option, but it works much better if you have large, good quality images and illustrations. You can style it any way you want and not have to worry that the letters and images will get mangled when the reader changes the device settings.
However, although you get to have full control over how your eBook is presented, this means your audience does not. They won’t be able to increase/decrease the font size for easier reading, and they might find your book awkward to read on certain devices.
Here are some general tips to keep in mind:
- Change all of your fonts to something standard
Sure, using a fancy font may give a certain “image” to your eBook, but you have to keep in mind that not all fonts are supported by the eBook format. It won’t matter how badass your new font is if the format is unreadable on my device.
- Don’t use very large or very small font sizes
It may look very good in your MS Word file, but extreme sizes are known to mess up when converting to eBook format. Best to just keep things simple and standard. Anywhere from 10pt to 14pt font is usually pretty good. After all, you want your audience focusing on what you’ve written rather than the uncomfortable sizing of the letters.
- Resize larger images
Again, make sure everything is standard size so that nothing screwy happens when it’s being converted into the eBook format. Images included.
- Proofread your work
Remember that you are your own editor. Grammar and spelling mistakes will reflect solely on you and make you look unprofessional, so make sure there aren’t any. I would suggest using an online service such as Upwork or Fiverr to hire a trained professional to do a final proofread of your book before publishing. It will cost between $20 – $100, but hey, even if they just find one punctuation error you overlooked—that makes it worth it in my opinion.
Step Two: Do a final checklist
Congratulations! Your text is now fully convertible to eBook format. Now go do it. Seriously. Or you will put it off, and put it off, and you’ll want to fix one chapter here, or add some more details there. Don’t get stuck in limbo. Once it’s done, create a folder on your desktop [or whatever] and rename it to be the title of your Ebook. This folder is where we will keep the rest of the items necessary for publishing your Ebook.
- A cover for your eBook in a JPEG form
Whether you designed it all-by-yourself, or paid a professional, make sure your cover properly represents your eBook, and that it conveys the right message to potential readers. Lastly, don’t forget to put it in JPEG format.
- A blurb for your eBook
This should be a short summary of what you talk about in your eBook. Summarize it like you were explaining what it’s about to a group of people. As a standard, it should be less than 750 words or 4000 characters.
- A bio of the author
It’s time to talk about yourself! This part will be cake for some, but for others—myself included, it’s painstakingly difficult. Make sure to always refer to yourself in a professional manner [obviously] and don’t include anything about your interests or hobbies…unless you’re into something off-the-wall like skydiving. Nobody cares that your favorite band is Panic! At the Disco. [Mine, too!]
t is usually best to write bios in third person. You should never forget to mention what makes you an authority in your industry, or otherwise prove your credibility one way or another. Oh, and you should keep it short and sweet… like between 75 and 150 words…
- Have a PayPal account
Last but not least, make sure you have a PayPal account. This is how you’ll be receiving revenue for your eBook. Ker-CHIING!!
Step Three: Publish your eBook
Well, now your eBook is nicely formatted and looking fantastic. You have the rest of the necessary items ready to go in your Ebook folder. It’s time for the final step – picking your way of publishing and going for it.
There are two ways to publish an eBook: Self- publication and through an aggregator.
If you want to publish your eBook yourself, you can do so through Amazon KDP, Kobo Writing Life, and iTunes’ iBooks. All of these platforms are incredibly helpful when it comes to guiding you through the process. However, it’ll be loads of work publishing on so many platforms at the same time.
If you’d like to use an aggregator, like Draft 2 Digital and Smashwords, your life will become much easier because they will basically do all the work for you and even submit your eBook to other stores. Think of an aggregator like—“the Legalzoom of publishing.”
If you cannot decide which option is better for you, why not choose both?
Many authors self-publish and use an aggregator to make sure they are covering all fronts. But you have to make sure that the price stays consistent on all platforms.
And now, my friend, you are ready to become a published author. If you have an Ebook, leave a comment below and I will be sure to check it out! You can also click here to show your boy some support and purchase your very own copy of Photography Means Business on Amazon!
‘Til next time!
Best of luck!
“Red Fox Ouuut!”