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Tips and Advice from Publishing and Selling an eBook
Writing an eBook is a common dream. Fortunately, accomplishing that dream is actually quite easy with online self publishing tools. I'm going to share my experiences in writing (and selling) my first ebook.
Writing eBook Content
Writing the content was the most time-consuming part of the process. I chose a topic which I am passionate about - breastfeeding. I thought about conversations I had with other moms and combined that with my personal experiences to create a book that I wish I had read when I first became a mom. Find your niche, know what your readers are looking for and then deliver quality content.
The great thing about an electronic (ebook) format, is that the length is more forgiving. You don't have to write a 500 page novel. In fact, the typical word count of an e-book is 5,000 to 30,000 words.
Don't Rush the Content Creation
Please take your time writing your content and make sure you have a quality book. Don't let grammar or typos take away from your work. Spend the time to edit (and edit) your book. Have others read the book. Set it down for a while and come back with a fresh set of eyes. I can't stress enough the importance of quality content.
Follow grammar and punctuation guidelines. In fact, invest in a some grammar and writing books to help you improve your writing skills, such as the books on the left.
Online Book Publishing Options
There are, thankfully, multiple options for you to publish your ebook.
Amazon Kindle - Many self-published authors, myself included, like the benefits of self-publishing with Amazon, including a 70% commission to the author and a huge audience. Publishing on Amazon is actually very simple and only takes a few hours before your book is live on the site.
Barnes and Noble Nook Book - You can also publish to the Barnes and Noble Nook.
Paypal - You might also consider self-publishing and letting customers purchase a copy of the book directly from you. You can do this through a niche website devoted to your topic where you offer your book through a Paypal link.
Formatting the Content of Your eBook
Once you have your content written, it's time for formatting. Depending on how you are going to distribute your book, different formatting rules apply. For example, if you are going to self-publishing through your own website, you can format the book to your own standards. If you are going to publish to the Amazon Kindle, there are certain formatting guidelines to follow. These guidelines can be found in a free downloadable guide from Amazon.
How Much To Charge For an eBook
Most small books on Amazon are priced between $1 and $5. This is a good range for starting out, testing the waters and discovering who you are as a writer. As you mature in your writing, develop a following and gain more experience, you can reevaluate your pricing strategy.
The First Sale
I first published my book directly on my own website as a PDF. I set up a payment option on paypal, linked to it through a "buy it now" and got started promoting my book.
How Did I Promote my eBook?
Since my book was first available only on my website, search engine optimization was very important. I was also already active in several online communities related to my chosen topic, so it was natural for me to promote my book in that arena. Of course, when self-promoting in an online community, it is important to make sure you are an active participant and not only there for self-promotion. You should be engaged in the conversation and offer balanced contributions.
Words can't express how thrilled I was when I made my first sale!! I was on cloud 9 for about a week.
Obviously, online publishing isn't a get rich quick scheme. It takes talent, hard work, determination and passion. But, with a good balance of each of these, and a little luck, you can realize your dream of selling your own written work.
I would love to hear about your experience with self-publishing or answer any questions I can about my experience.