how to publish an ebook

How To Publish An Ebook: A Guide You Actually Need

Selling ebooks online is a highly effective method of turning your passions into a business and monetizing your abilities. Finding a readership for your ebook requires more than simply uploading it and clicking “publish.” You are responsible for overseeing every aspect of the publishing process, from writing to artwork to editing, and for its success. Here’s a guide to assisting you with how to publish an ebook successfully.

What is an ebook?

An ebook, or electronic book, is a text file converted to a digital format, and people can view and read on an electronic device such as a tablet or smartphone. Unlike other types of text that people can read and edit on a device, you can’t edit an electronic book. In this case, the author’s confidentiality and security are paramount. No one should be able to alter the content of an e-content book without the author’s consent, especially now that so many people can read it on various electronic devices.

For their convenience and their lower production costs, ebooks are gaining popularity. Authors save money by avoiding the need to print physical copies of their works. Knowing how to publish an ebook help save space because people can read simultaneously on multiple devices. A good ebook puts the reader in the driver’s seat. When writing an ebook, it’s always a good idea to keep the reader’s perspective in mind.

9 steps to publishing an ebook

Electronic book publishing continues to grow at a breakneck pace. Are you hoping to profit from the current upswing? Discover how to publish an ebook in nine simple steps.

1. Edit and finalize your book

While ebook readership is at an all-time high, readers are not consuming just anything. To entice them to read your work, you must first serve them something delectable — flawless prose to the last drop. Quality is critical whether you’re self-publishing a fantasy novel or an actual cookbook. Before tackling how to publish an ebook, you’ll want to double-check for any misplaced commas or grammar errors.

A word of caution: self-publishing an ebook is straightforward, but it can be dangerous. An impatient writer can convert a draft into a fully-fledged ebook in less than an hour and have it available for purchase the next day. Independent authors prefer digital publishing due to its rapid pace. However, publishing ebooks has a downside: it makes it far too easy to publish work before completion.

A thorough editing process is an insufficient reason to publish immediately upon completion of the final sentence. Rather than that, set your manuscript aside for a time to allow yourself to become refreshed enough to catch errors missed during the previous pass. Then enlist the assistance of another pair of eyes — ideally, a trained editor who will leave your manuscript impeccably clean.

2. Compose a book description

The next step in how to publish an ebook is writing your description. The book description serves as your reader’s elevator pitch. You are not attempting a comprehensive summary of the book. You’re trying to persuade them to make a purchase. Consult the individuals with whom you wish to communicate. How much does the book mean to these individuals? What will they unearth, and why should they read your book instead of someone else’s?

Draw them in. Demonstrate how your book will improve their lives or solve their problems by justifying it. Make it clear what the advantages are—justification for your competence to assist them. You’ll want to arouse their curiosity. A well-crafted book description can be a powerful sales tool. Additionally, this principle serves as a guide for designing an adequate cover.

3. Create a cover for your work

Before you finally publish your ebook, the next how to publish an ebook step is to create a cover that accurately reflects the quality of the content you’ve spent so much time crafting. Keep in mind that the cover of your ebook is the primary and most effective marketing asset you have. It should look great in advertisements, garner social media likes, and, most importantly, stand out in crowded online marketplaces. 

Whether you create the cover art yourself or hire a professional designer, it is critical to use cover art representing your book. You would not want to submit a hastily created, heavily clip art image, as this would be akin to sending a priceless gem to the post office in a burlap bag.

Compared to a print cover in a brick-and-mortar bookstore, your body must look good — and make sense — at both large and small scales. You must upload large, high-resolution JPG images to electronic book publishing platforms for your cover. If you hire a professional designer to create your cover art, the designer will send you an image of the correct size and quality. However, if you’re going it alone, make sure that your homemade image is the right size.

While your cover image may be significant now, potential buyers will initially see it as a small thumbnail — frequently less than 100 px wide — on retail platforms like the Amazon Kindle Store. This chance encounter can potentially transform a virtual window shopper into a new devoted fan. A stunning cover at full scale but becomes a meaningless blur at miniature scale will do your sales no favors — so invest in art that shines at any scale.

4. Select an appropriate format

You can publish your ebook in one of three formats. Your final choice will be heavily influenced by the type of content you intend to use and the platform you plan to sell your book. Here’s how to publish an ebook in different ways:

  • Reflowable ebooks

It’s ideal for novels and other works with a lot of text. It enables text to be resized and scaled for improved legibility and page flow. You can sell reflowable ebooks on Amazon’s Kindle Store and Apple’s iBooks Store by creating products.

  • Fixed layout

It’s an excellent option for enhanced ebooks or content that contains a lot of illustrations. Your content is anchored to the page’s layout with a fixed layout, preserving your carefully selected design choices. This format allows you to publish your ebook on Amazon and the Apple iBooks Store.

  • PDF

PDF files are ideal for sharing and sending because they can be viewed and purchased on virtually any device. The disadvantage of this format is that it lacks multimedia support. Furthermore, they are frequently quite large files that are not optimized for mobile or tablet devices.

5. Select an ebook platform

The top choice for publishing ebooks is Amazon KDP. Amazon KDP offers KDP Select, a specialized service through which you can register and publish for 90 days. It means your books will be added to Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime-exclusive subscription services, where they will have a greater chance of being borrowed by readers. Additionally, there are advantages to free promotion days or countdown deals. At the end of each month, the authors share a pool of funds based on the number of pages read.

If you have only one book and are just getting started with learning how to publish an ebook, use KDP Select for the first 90 days. Alternatively, if you have a collection of unrelated books across multiple genres, it may be worthwhile. On the other hand, if you have numerous books in a series and wish to earn a living from your writing, diversifying your platforms is the best action.

6. Create metadata that is easy to read

Once you’ve chosen a platform for publishing your ebook, visit the sites and create an account. Certain retailers, such as Barnes & Noble Press allow you to upload your manuscript after activating your account immediately. Others, such as KDP, will require you first to complete a series of fields. To be safe, compile all of the necessary information for your book in advance. Metadata is the information that enables retailers to discover your ebook. It includes your title, book description, and the categories that define your genre and niche.

Remember when learning how to publish an ebook that all publishing platforms and aggregators will require that you complete these fields. Some may require additional metadata, such as keywords that describe your ebook or a target audience’s age range—good metadata results in increased traffic to your product page — and, ultimately, increased book sales.

7. Determine the price point for your book

Reduced production and distribution costs result in a higher profit margin when self-publishing an ebook. Bear in mind, however, that the low overhead costs translate into a lower price for an ebook versus a printed book. Before establishing your own price, it’s prudent to conduct market research on similar books sold by your target retailers. Additionally, you should consider a few additional factors when deciding on a course of action.

When you sell your book on Amazon, the royalties you earn are contingent on your set price. You’ll retain 70% of your profit between $2.99 and $9.99. Royalties are reduced to 35% if you fall within or outside this bracket. The first consideration is the book’s length. Readers are unlikely to pay more than $0.99 for short stories that typically range from 1,000 to 5,000 words. Longer novellas usually cost between $2.99 and $5.99. Additionally, the suggested retail price for a novel should be between $2.99 and $7.99.

Keep in mind when learning how to publish an ebook that an ebook’s price is also affected by the genre it is published. Romance, science fiction, and fantasy books, on average, sell for less than literary fiction or nonfiction. Consider that your pricing strategy is fluid, and nothing is set in stone. You retain the right to change your price point based on market conditions or the level of demand for your book.

8. Determine the date of publication

This is typically the upload or publication date for your ebook. Additionally, some platforms now allow you to select a date month in advance. Commercial publishers publicize their books in advance to generate sales and reviews before the book becomes available to the general public for purchase or generate many deals on the day the book becomes available for sale. 

Establishing an advance publication date after learning how to publish an ebook enables customers to view and pre-order your book immediately but not to download or read it until the day it becomes available. Some days are better than others for book launches. The advertising market is saturated during the winter holiday season, making it the worst time to release a book. 

Everyone is putting their best foot forward with their best advertisements to capitalize on the holiday shopping frenzy. And while this may appear to be an ideal time to launch, it is one of the most inauspicious. Your book can easily get lost in the hype surrounding virtually every other book and product currently being promoted.

9. Publish and distribute ebooks

This is the final step in how to publish an ebook. Your ebook will not be available for purchase until you click the ‘Publish’ button – so be sure not to overlook this step. If you change your mind later, reverting your eBook to draft status will remove it from online book stores. The duration of time required for your eBook to appear on virtual bookshelves varies by the publishing platform. It may take only a few hours, while it may take weeks for others.

When the big day arrives, you can rest assured that you’ve made every preparation necessary for a successful ebook launch. Then, send a special email announcement to your mailing list, host a reading or webinar, or host a Twitter Q&A. Have fun commemorating your ebook’s publication.

 7 common errors during the ebook publishing process

The publishing industry has been thrown for a loop since the introduction of the eBook. It is a viable option for publishing houses because of the numerous benefits, including increased readership and a competitive edge. Some businesses or authors struggle to generate a profit even after investing the time and effort necessary to learn how to publish an ebook, create, edit, format, publish, and then sell these ebooks. Here are some of the common problems when publishing.

1. Selecting a dull or overused theme/subject

how to publish an ebook

You may write about anything you wish to learn how to publish an ebook. On the other hand, there may already be many books available on popular subjects. To succeed, one should always strive for uniqueness. It is preferable to write about an issue for the sake of the subject rather than writing.

On the other hand, your writing should be flawless, produced exceptionally, and concise, with no repetitions. You should not repeat information in different ways. Choose a topic or theme that will pique the public’s interest. It may be a one-of-a-kind subject, but it is instrumental in meeting the needs of a particular target audience.

2. Inadequate research

While self-publishing is less complicated than finding a publisher for your book, it is not simple. Inadequate research into how to publish an ebook can hurt your budget, marketing capabilities, print quality, and even the reach of your newly published book.

Therefore, conduct extensive research on the self-publishing process from start to finish to develop a road map for yourself. Whether you’re still debating self-publishing versus traditional publishing or have already decided to self-publish, you must understand the process thoroughly to maximize your success.

3. Not promoting your book

How will you convince people to read your ebook if you never market it and promote publicity? Simply put, you can’t. Remember this when learning how to publish an ebook. You’ll need a strong marketing strategy to make money selling ebooks online. An excellent place to start is with social media marketing. Create an online presence for your business or ebook. Then, through targeted advertising, get your product in front of the most likely buyers.

Additionally, you can use blogging and content marketing to promote your ebook. Essentially, you’ll be writing posts with relevant keywords to increase your product’s visibility in organic search engine results. Additionally, you can pay for favorable reviews of your ebook. This is an extremely effective method, but it may be more expensive depending on the source.

4. Editing with excessive haste

Even more critical than writing the book is thoroughly editing it. Many authors are pressed for time and rush the editing process to stay current. It is a fact that poor editing can negatively affect your author’s brand. An incomplete book that is published tarnishes your reputation. Frequently, the process of writing a book is collaborative. Having a professional editing team on your side can help to bolster your project’s strength. 

Even if you are an excellent editor, it can be difficult to spot flaws in your work due to your close association. Before reaching the final step of how to publish an ebook, your manuscript will be reviewed by a professional editing team for errors such as grammatical, spelling, and stylistic infractions. Additionally, the best editors can assist you with more complex issues such as character development, plot twists, pacing, structure, and overarching themes.

5. Making a mess of your cover art

While the content of your ebook will keep readers engaged, their decision to download it will be influenced by the cover. If you opt for a do-it-yourself approach of how to publish an ebook, the cover of your book may suffer. Ascertaining the cover’s size is only the first step. Additionally, you must select images that reinforce your message, are crisp and clear, and, most importantly, are acceptable for use. 

Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay are all worth checking out if you’re on a budget. If you have a limited budget for high-quality images and are looking for a stunning ebook cover image or vectors and illustrations in your creations, you should start with iStockPhoto.

6. Inconsistent branding

Establishing your business begins with a strong ebook, and all subsequent products should work cooperatively to establish your company’s name. Utilize the expertise of a professional designer rather than writing, designing, and publishing your eBook independently. A professional can help ensure that branding is consistent and effective across multiple ebooks, a series, or an entire product line.

7. Wrong pricing

The average price of an ebook is between $2.99 and $9.99. Numerous pricing strategies for your ebook will earn you a different percentage of the sale price in royalties. It is critical to have all of the facts before setting a price. Even at the entry-level, selling your ebook can generate a sizable profit. It’s prudent to learn the approximate prices range at which other authors write about your subject and sell their books when learning how to publish an ebook. As a result, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed choice.

Frequently asked questions

Here are the answers to some of your frequently asked questions about how to publish an ebook.

How much does writing an ebook cost?

While it’s challenging to provide an average cost for ebook development, when combined with a print book, a book typically costs between $500 and $1,500. The cost of an ebook-only book project can range from $500 to $3,000. Naturally, some projects will deviate from these parameters. This depends entirely on the amount of work you outsource, the cost of book promotion, and any other costs associated with the book’s writing.

Can you publish an ebook for free?

You can become the next best-selling ebook author without spending money. With several online publishing companies, you can self-publish your ebook for free. Consider publishing your ebook on every free online self-publishing site to maximize your ebook’s exposure. Here’s where and how to publish an ebook for free.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a no-cost e-publishing platform that enables you to self-publish your ebook without paying the publisher a dime.
Apple eBook StoreApple’s iBook store and iTunes U are free self-publishing platforms that maximize your ebook exposure. Please visit this page to learn more about online self-publishing platforms. Only one of two online bookstores accepts digital books.
SmashwordsPublishers can look to Smashwords as a pioneer in ebook publishing. It boasts a sizable collection of published books by more than 40,000 authors. Additionally, you can post your ebook on the site for free.

Conclusion

Ebooks are one of the most potent lead magnets an author can use to acquire new customers. To achieve a high sales volume, an ebook must provide a high level of value at a reasonable price. Your ebook launch will generate revenue for months, if not years, as long as you’ve defined success clearly in advance. Whether you’re creating one to accompany a printed book or as a first foray into self-publishing, these ‘how to publish an ebook’ tips will help you succeed.

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