- Books, Literature, and Writing
How to Publish your e-Book!
E-Books and Self-Publishing are the Way of the Future
Well I've settled on publishing my e-book as a Kindle book through Amazon. I’m in the process of writing my first e-book self-published and I’d like to share my experiences with those who are contemplating doing the same thing. I had a number of technical questions when I started writing and still have some. Here I’ll detail how I worked out some of the hurdles in publishing without breaking the bank. I’m going to cover some of the basics in writing ability and then get into some technical aspects and try to keep this to about 1000 words.
Some things take longer to write than others. The length of time required to write on your topic depends on a number of things like you skill in writing, the knowledge you have of your subject the complexity of your subject and the level of detail required in research. I can often bang out a thousand words in an hour when I am fully versed on a topic and up to a week to write the same one thousand words if I have to do extensive research. One of the problems with the internet is the lack of credible and adequately detailed information to use for research. Before you begin the work required to write on your subject you should be prepared to handle the work and the setbacks that you will encounter.
E-Book First Steps
Getting organized. Sounds so simple doesn’t it. I have been researching a topic which I have a fair degree of familiarity with and still get bogged down. The lack of adequate resources could be one of the hang ups you find as well. I’m going to recommend a separate folder in your browser’s favorites toolbar. There is nothing worse than finding a resource and not be able to find it again. Much of my research is done though some circuitous path of browsing which unless I had bookmarked the page I may never find again.
Develop good writing habits and work ethic towards your e-book. I would say that there are at least 1000 unfinished books out there for everyone that hits the internet. Regular work is required to finish. Pick a time of day when you are energized to do the work. It may be early morning or just after supper or after you had a nap but give yourself a fighting chance since it is so easy to get derailed.
After your introduction and setting the stage I use what I call wire framing to outline the body of your topic.
- State the problem,
- How did I learn to overcome the problem and
- Why I chose the solution I did.
Overcoming E-Book Technical Problems
So let’s talk about the technical side of writing your e-book. Unfortunately if you’re looking for a highly technical explanation you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m not going to teach you a new software program here just how to use what you have in front of you.
My first problem was what platform to use. Should I use special software that compiles a book? Certainly not just throwing out a page on MS Word! Well after researching several standalone expensive platforms I discovered that almost all authors use a PDF document to distribute their work. Adobe created this cross platform document for ease of distribution and it is now incorporated into MS Word, Word Perfect and Open Office (free software). It’s easy to use. Just save your completed document as PDF (file-save as- pdf) that simple. I am using PDF through Power Point because my photography book “Elements of Composition” is almost entirely graphical. Don’t save your document as a PDF until you are done editing to keep it easy.
Go online and get Amazon's e-book on publishing for Kindle. It's free and will give you what you need to handle the technical side of things.
A Simple Solution for E-Book Distribution
The next problem I found was distribution. I either had to figure out html and how a person can click to download a book or find a resource that would handle this for me. My e-book will initially be free and as I improve it, it may become a paid edition. I did not look at Amazon because it will be free. (it is to promote other things I do). I did find a free service called HP Magcloud. You upload your work there and you can offer your e-book for free or set a price and have a separate price for a print on demand version. HP works for a cut so it cost you nothing and the price is better than most of the photo book companies I have seen around.
Social Media Promotes E-Books Nicely
Lastly I needed to know how to promote my e-book. Since I am not selling it I could not afford to pay for advertising. The business case just isn’t there yet. The only way I could find was to develop a following on social media. For this I used a multipronged approach. I announced several of my better quality photos to an ever growing Twitter following (see my article Twitter Marketing 101) and I now have over ten thousand followers on twitter. I developed a Facebook page for my photography and it was off to a slow start but now I have over 350 people liking my page and this is growing at about 5-10 people a week. These people when signed up to my email list will receive a free copy of my work. All in all when the book is finally published I should have a large email following for my newsletter
So in conclusion I’ve discussed the problems every author faces with trying to get an e-book to market and how I have overcome these problems. I would encourage you if you want to publish an e-book to treat it like a job where you need the discipline to work regularly and plow through it. If you are not feeling creative then do some research instead but always keep moving forward.
Since I first wrote this article I am working on 3 books. One about budgeting and finance, one about accident investigation and fraud prevention and my original idea for a photographic book keeps evolving. Maybe I should just publish and have future editions. All in all I've penned over 10,000 words and still have more to go. I'll keep you posted!
I hope you are successful and I’d love to hear about your progress.