This guide is for all those who have not been getting proper guidance on how to publish an eBook. This is basically a beginner’s guide which will walk you from start to finish in publishing your eBook.
You can utilize all the free as well as paid tools to create your first eBook hassle free. The experience and the tools mentioned here are my personal recommendations which I have used for creating my eBooks.
There are plenty more tools that you will find online. But I don’t want to confuse you mentioning too many tools and software. Only the ones I have used and tested.
There are more steps that you need to do in the future to market and promote your eBook. These steps are covered in another article – Book Marketing for Self-Published Authors.
Table of Contents
But Before moving any further you should know a few things.
WHY PUBLISH AN EBOOK?
With rapid Digitization, everything is evolving. Like posting mail changed to digital emails, voice calling evolved into VoIP calling, etc. So does the paperback book, which has evolved into eBooks.
Paperback books are not completely removed as there are still those who like to touch, feel and smell a new book but eBooks have become more and more popular, especially with adult fiction and non-fiction. Its market has grown exponentially over the last 10 years with the rise of smart phones, tablets and eBook readers.
Everyone is trying their hands at creating and publishing an eBook to create their personal brand as well as make money online.
There are various factors that created a buzz in the eBook market. These are the reason why you should look to publish an eBook right now.
The advantages of Creating an eBook
- It is really easy compared to the traditional publishing process. You can write what you like without having the approval of a publishing house.
- eBooks can be created, stored, published, & read instantaneously.
- eBooks can show links for related posts, articles and recommended information as needed.
- You can carry eBooks everywhere.
- An eBook is delivered through the internet so there is no need for packaging and shipping.
- People are now spending more time using their smartphone so reading eBooks on the go is an awesome feature.
- Fonts in eBooks can be resized, making it easier to read for people with disabilities.
- eBooks are searchable. You can easily search for any information in an eBook, instead of turning page after page.
- Self-published authors have had big success in recent years.
- Great source to make money online.
- Requires less investment.
- With some additional software eBook can be turned into Audiobooks.
- No inventory cost as you can go down the print on demand route.
- Almost no risk involved.
- You own the full copyright.
- You can enjoy full royalty.
- Can publish as many as eBooks on the go.
- No technical skills required.
- No trees are cut, which is great 🙂
The disadvantages of Creating an EBook
All things come with some drawbacks. There are some disadvantages you can experience if you are not careful.
But these drawbacks can be solved with some techniques.
- Lacks look and feel (the tangible qualities of a book).
- Some people still prefer Paperback over eBook.
- You need to take care of all the things like formatting, cover design, interior design etc. Though you can hire a freelancer or designer to do it for you.
- You have to take care of Marketing and Promotion.
- Sometimes it lacks professionalism.
- People who are not familiar with eBooks sometimes have difficulty in digesting it in digital format.
Now if you are ready, let’s begin the process of eBook writing and Publishing step by step.
1. CHOOSE A TOPIC
DETERMINE THE TOPIC FOR YOUR EBOOK
The topic on which you will create your eBook will be the core of your eBook. So coming up with a topic is a crucial part in creating an eBook that sells. The aspects you should consider while choosing your eBook topic are:
1. Your Expertise
Always write on the topic on which you have an expertise or at least some knowledge. Don’t just focus on writing on any topic based on trends or selling percentage.
2. Solve some Issues/Problems
Create a solution to some problems your reader might be going through. If your eBook serves to solve problems, it can do well in a specific niche.
So instead of targeting a big niche try to focus on a narrow niche because of its market and competition. This is not applicable in the case of fiction novels/storybooks.
3. Unique Content
Always create content that is unique in each and every aspect. Remember “Content is King”. Create something that is unique as well as serving this purpose:
Failing to serve any of these will make your content boring. Whether it’s a storybook, guide or motivational eBook, all those have as sense of fun along with the message the reader is trying to give.
Everyone has a unique style of telling the same story. It’s the style that makes it different.
Your eBook length also has a major role to play as the number of pages are displayed on every site your eBook is published.
So suppose you are creating a short story eBook and the number of stories were ten. So your eBook can be a maximum of 30-40 pages, each story of 3-4 pages.
It’s not mandatory to have that exact number of pages. That’s only an example.
Use only the number of pages as necessary in case of a guide, tutorial, course etc. because people see the number of pages as well. Some people get scared off if the book is too long. However, others don’t see value if it is too short. Have a look at your competition for a guide.
The number of pages doesn’t matter in case of fiction, a biography etc.
Think at the beginning of your writing whether you want to publish an eBook which is part of a series/volume. This will be useful while making the cover and publishing on any site.
You can always have a call to action on the last page of your eBook for the next volume or book in the series.
Now, you’ve written your eBook, you need to format your document first so you can create a perfect masterpiece on your own.
Software For Writing eBooks
This will be the platform where you will begin your amazing journey of creating a masterpiece eBook.
Some software listed here are paid and some are free, so use it according to your convenience and budget.
Some of the best-paid software you can use for creating eBooks hassle-free are:
If you don’t want to spend something here are two best options you can use. But I advise you to use MS office at least.
Free tools you can use are:
Once you have decided on the software to use, you need to format the interior.
Just format it once so you don’t need to format it again and again for various platforms.
If you don’t want the hardship of formatting you can download my sample template. All you have to do is just edit it according to your own needs.
But as far as standard formatting goes keep it like:
Size – 5*8 (5-inch width and 8-inch length)
Margin – 0.75″ (top, bottom, left and right)
Gutter – 0
Gutter Position – Left
Orientation – Left
Font – Times New Roman
Size – Body – 11, Heading – 14,
Subheading – 12.
Spacing – 1.5
Alignment – Justify
Style – Normal
Font Color – Automatic (default black)
If you are still unable to format correctly or want a fresh but professional interior design you can outsource or hire someone to do it for you.
Sites to Outsource Designer:
Some online tools that you can use to master your writing.
Grammarly is a proofreading tool that helps you spot grammatical errors, typos, and awkward sentences. It is a web-based app and even has a web extension for your browser.
2. Reedsy Book Editor
Reedsy Book Editor is a good alternative to Scrivener. It will let you write or import your manuscript and typeset it for print ready or publish it.
3. Hemingway Editor
Hemingway Editor evaluates your writing for clarity and simplicity. It calculates readability, passive voice, dullness, adverb etc.
3. CHOOSE TITLE
Choosing the title is also a crucial Part in creating an eBook which can generate the sale.
Determine The Title For Your Ebook
As 8 out of 10 people read the title first in buying any book.
So if you can master which title sells you can produce eBooks which can make you more profit. Do some keyword research through Google or Amazon (just search different topics and see what results come back) to see which keywords are more popular.
I am no master but there are some tools that can help you choose the best title. You can modify these titles a little bit to match the content of your eBook.
And if you don’t want to use any tools here are some of the things you can use to make your title stand out.
1. Have Numbers in your title
For example, 101 things that can make you successful.
In this example, “101” (as a number) plays a vital role. Adding numbers by way of a prefix or suffix makes a title very impactful and immediately helps capture the reader’s attention.
2. Use Catchy Words that drives Emotion
Some words have the power to drive emotion. A good title for an eBook needs a dash of oomph to improve social shares, which means making it pop out from the rest of the crowd.
Coupled with some adjectives can create an amazing title.
Like the above example “Successful” is the keyword that can grab the attention of the user and these things convert well during purchase.
3. Is the Title Informative
Your title has to contain words that are informative especially for non-fiction eBooks. But for fiction, this can be really tricky…and super important.
So, make sure your title actually helps the reader know from the get-go what the book is about or what to expect. Combine informative with creativity to get the best result.
4. Use Common Phrases
These come as a great alternative to names. Try to think of phrases from your eBook content and match up with the regular Phrases, Quotes, and Poems etc.
5. One Word Title
One word titles seem to be in trend with both fiction and non-fiction eBooks. It can be combined with your book cover to give a powerful meaning as well as sales punch.
Some common examples are:
Allegiant, Divergent, Insurgent, Nevermore etc.
6. Use Parts of Your Story Content (For Fiction Novels)
Especially when you choose the title of your Fiction eBook you can use options like:
- Character name
- Main Event
- Character Motivation
Some Tools For Title Generation
If you want you can try some of these tools to get very amazing titles with less work. And the best thing is that these tools are free.
1. Portent Title Maker
Portent title maker is one of my recommended online tools that you can use to generate pretty good titles for your eBooks as well as blog posts.
Just enter your keyword and select the most suitable title according to your content.
You can modify it as to create something unique because many people use this tool and if you target a broad keyword there is a possibility that you get titles that somebody already used.
2. Tweak Your Biz Title Generator
Tweak your Biz is similar to Portent title generator.
You need to give your seed keyword which can be either a Noun or a Verb and gives you Ideas for your title.
The main advantage of this tool is that it will give you titles based on categories like a list, Best, How to, Question, Answer and many more.
3. Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator
It is basically used for getting blog title ideas but I have used Hubspot’s Ideas generator for getting eBook titles too.
The main function is that it works with 3 Nouns column to get the best result.
Use Keyword In Your Title
This is one of the best ways to rank your eBook on a particular topic.
If you can put those keywords directly into your title your eBook will rank on the first page of Amazon search. Search in Amazon (under kindle store), in incognito mode.
Type your seed keyword and look for the suggestion underneath. Check for the competition and find a title that is less crowded.
Now put your keyword in the following ways:
- Sub-title (if any)
- Book description
- Author’s Bio
- Get keyword even in review (if possible)
4. COVER DESIGN
Your cover will be the first thing any user will notice.
So yes people still judge a book by its cover (especially if you just starting out).
There are many tools you can use to design a cover for your eBook.
Even Amazon has a free cover designer but the styles are basic.
If you are good at Photoshop you can design the cover with ease. Else you can use an online tool.
My personal favorite is Canva.
Canva is a Freemium online tool which lets you design graphics for each and every platform ranging from FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Poster and Kindle covers etc.
Some of the covers are paid and some are free.
Choose the one that suits your title and customize it according to your own needs.
Even the paid covers were as cheap at $1.
“Proofreading is the reading of a galley proof or an electronic copy of a publication to detect and correct production errors of text or art.”
Investing in Proofreading is a good practice.
If you don’t want to invest in Proofreading you can use the free online tools mentioned above.
But letting someone read your whole manuscript is essential to find any Grammar, Punctuation, and Typo mistakes.
If you can get an expert to do Proofreading it can be beneficial for you.
You can give your manuscript to your teacher, professor (literature) or even to someone who has written a novel or eBook.
Proofreading is simply having a second eye on your work.
I always look for spelling mistakes. Because grammar mistakes can be ignored if you have amazing content.
NOW IT’S TIME TO PUBLISH YOUR FIRST MASTERPIECE
6. PUBLISH YOUR EBOOK
“If you are reading this part….means you have completed the most difficult job. Now it’s easy”
There are plenty of online sites where you can submit your completed eBook and could get a lot of reads.
The best among them are:
- Amazon (Kindle)
- Google Play Books
- Barnes & Noble (NOOK)
The first and foremost site you will start with is Amazon. Consider it as your priority. You can consider other options at a later stage.
Now I will provide you the step by step tutorial to publish your first eBook on Amazon (Kindle).
GUIDE TO PUBLISH EBOOK ON AMAZON
Step 1: Sign-up
Visit kdp.amazon.com and Sign up (if you don’t have an account).
Step 2: Add Book
Add New eBook title form your Kindle dashboard. It will look something like this.
Step 3: Fill the EBook details. You have to fill:
2. Book title – Book title & subtitle (optional)
3. Series – if you have parts or volume for your EBook.
4. Author – First and Last name.
5. Contributor – If you are writing with partner/editor whose name you want to appear, you should add them.
6. Description – This will be your book description that will appear on Amazon. So make sure to use it efficiently and try to include the keyword in it and utilize full 4000 characters.
7. Publishing Right – Click on you hold the necessary publishing rights.
8. Keywords – You can enter up to 7 keywords here. Enter the most searched terms that are related to your book – it is good to have some short and long-tail keywords.
9. Categories – you can choose a max of 2 categories according to your book. Choose the best match.
10. Age & Grade range – Choose according to your eBook Topic. It is optional.
11. Pre-order – If you want you can opt for pre-order or directly release your eBook. My suggestion is to keep your book in pre-order to gain some pre-reviews, time for marketing etc.
After that click on “save and continue”.
Step 4: Kindle EBook Content
1. Manuscript – Here you need to upload your manuscript. Make sure to convert it to pdf to check whether your formatting is correct or not.
Click YES on DRM Rights. And then click on “upload eBook manuscript”.
2. Kindle EBook Cover
You can upload your own cover that you have created. If you didn’t have the cover you can click on “Launch Cover Creator”.
It is a free tool from Amazon KDP to create covers from stock images. And if you have your cover you can upload it here.
3. Kindle eBook ISBN – If you have your own ISBN, then enter it here. Otherwise, Amazon will assign you one for free. If you want to sell your book on other platforms, you need to acquire your own ISBN. The best place to purchase one is through Thorpe Bowker.
If going for the free Amazon one, leave this field blank. And click on save and continue to move to the next step.
Step 5: Kindle eBook Pricing
1. KDP select enrollment – Click on “Enroll my book in KDP select”.
2. Territories – You will here have the option to target your book worldwide or specific to a particular country.
3. Royalty and Pricing – This is where you will enter your price for your eBook.
You can either opt for 35% royalty or 70% royalty.
The major difference is that for 35% royalty option the min price of your book should be $0.99.
And for 70% royalty, the min price should be $2.99.
You can even set a different price for a different country, but don’t do that.
4. Matchbook – click on “Enroll my book in Kindle MatchBook.”
5. Accept the terms and condition.
Final step – Click on “Publish Your Kindle eBook”
Wait for 24 hours (on average – sometimes it can take longer) for your titles to be live in Amazon Kindle Store.
Congratulations you have created and published your eBook!
Now there are some things you need to take care of.
Some of the things are:
- Setting up your first official Website
- Getting reviews
- Organizing Giveaways
- Offline Marketing
You can follow my blog to know more on the above-mentioned topics and for making money by writing.