Publishing an eBook: Where to Start

Photo by Horia Varlan under Creative Commons License

Photo by Horia Varlan under Creative Commons License

It’s not news: the Internet makes it easier than ever for people to put their content out there for everyone to see. In fact, with the low barriers to entry, users find themselves inundated with more content than they can ever hope to get through. So, if you have an idea for an eBook, where should you even begin, and how can you ever have any hope of reaching your target audience amid all of the noise?

Authors can take certain concrete steps from the get go to set themselves up for success. But one of the most important things to keep in mind is a lesson more from the business world than the publishing world: it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get it started. Whether you are waiting for the perfect time or hoping to create the perfect product before you launch, you will never get started if you are waiting for the stars to align in your favor first.

Generating an eBook is its own process that deserves a manuscript in and of itself. We’ll be addressing each part of the process step-by-step in future articles. But for now, whether you’re a fiction author looking to release the newest and biggest romance novel, or a tech guru looking to share how-to tips on the latest productivity tools, it’s important for you to have a product ready to sell. Try different strategies to motivate yourself to get your eBook down on the page, so to speak. If you are having trouble or don’t have time, you might want to consider hiring someone to write your eBook for you. Remember to get yourself a snazzy, eye-catching cover as well.

Once you have your product ready – and again, the key word is “ready,” not “perfect” –  you need to prepare it for the distribution channels of your choice. Here are a few popular ones to try:

1) Amazon Kindle via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). While Amazon is very secretive about its sales numbers for the Kindle, rumor has it that the device is the bestselling e-reader on the market. Amazon also offers integrated self-publishing tools to go from print to eBook and vice versa through their platform CreateSpace.

2) Barnes & Noble Nook via Nook Press. One of the last big book retailers keeping a toehold in the industry in the U.S., the Nook is another e-reader worth noting, having several attractive features and available in B&N stores for purchasers.

3) Apple iBooks. With the massive popularity of tablet computing via the iPad, iBooks has the potential to get your eBook in front of millions of readers via their built-in app.

4) Smashwords. For authors looking for a one-stop shop for their digital publishing needs, Smashwords might be the answer. Through this one outlet, it is possible to reach Barnes & Noble and Apple, as well as the stores for e-readers made by Sony, Kobo, and more.

Use one or all of these publishing platforms to put your product out there and have it ready to sell. Stay tuned for ideas to promote your book and get it onto people’s computers, e-readers, tablets, and smartphones.

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