eBooks are digital books that anyone can self-publish on ebook marketplaces like Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords as well as your own website, blog and social channels. Learning how to publish an ebook starts with researching and writing your ebook, then formatting it for various distribution channels and finally marketing it to potential readers.
It’s easy to list your ebook on Amazon and the other ebook marketplaces. However, every author should have a website as home base for his or her brand, email list and social media marketing. WordPress is the top pick for this, and it runs just $2.95 per month with our preferred provider, Bluehost. You also get a free web address (domain name) and email with your Bluehost account.
Start building up your author brand from day one — enter your author, book title or business name below to get started.
1. Choose a Topic That Has an Audience
You probably already know what type of book you want to write, along with the topic — called genre in the publishing world — that you plan to target. However, it’s a good idea to ensure there’s an audience interested in your subject before you put time into learning how to publish an ebook. How you research your topic depends on the purpose of your ebook.
Typically, writers publish ebooks for two reasons — either for profit or as a business marketing tool — and the research needs differ for each.
How to Publish an eBook for Profit
If you want to become a money-making author, you need to make sure there are readers interested in purchasing what you write, so research is key. eBook marketplaces pay you royalties per-sale, which range from 35 percent to around 70 percent of the sale price, so there’s money to be made on a title that sells. Researching the demand for ebooks in specific genres will ensure your writing efforts are profitable.
How to Publish an eBook as a Business Marketing Tool
Consultants and small business owners can use ebooks as marketing tools to create instant credibility with clients, coworkers and the media. If your goal for publishing an ebook is to use it as a marketing tool on your website or through a giveaway, market research might not be critical. However, research can help you gauge the overall popularity of your subject in the public sphere and is worthwhile if you intend to sell your ebook too.
Note: If you’re primarily interested in learning how to publish an ebook for marketing purposes, you can skip the research outlined below and head to Step Two. However, if you want to learn how to write an ebook for profit, the research step below is a key ingredient for success.
How to Use Amazon to Research Profitable eBook Topics
For research purposes, Amazon is an ideal tool — and, best of all, it’s free. Amazon represents more than 85 percent of the ebook market, so it provides indie authors great insight into what’s selling. With a little research, you can discover hot-selling genres, identify profitable ebook opportunities and set your ebook up for best-selling status within niche categories.
Dave Chesson, the founder of Kindlepreneur, has fine-tuned the process of researching profitable ebook opportunities on Amazon. He says, “Learning how to publish an ebook for profit starts with understanding the Amazon Best Seller Rating (ABSR) and how that translates into income potential.”
“Amazon assigns every ebook in its Kindle library an ABSR number,” says Chesson. “The ABSR is based on how many times an ebook was sold and downloaded over a period of time as compared to all other titles listed on Amazon and within an ebook’s listed categories. The lower the ABSR number, the better the title sells. Conversely, the higher the ABSR number, the fewer the sales. It’s that simple.”
To help authors translate the ABSR number into potential dollars and cents, Chesson has created the Kindle Sales Estimator Tool. “When researching ebook categories and titles on Amazon, authors can simply enter the ABSR of a title into our calculator to see its estimated number of sales per day,” like this:
“The estimator tells us that an ebook with an ABSR of 70,000 generally sells two or three times per day,” says Chesson. “In contrast, an ebook with a lower ABSR of around 1,000 sells around 113 books per day.”
According to Chesson, top ebooks in hot categories like Romance or Mystery have lower ABSRs and more sales per day than titles in less popular categories. “However, it’s nearly impossible for a new writer to break into the top 100 sellers in these competitive categories,” he says. “Instead, new writers should drill into genre subcategories and come up with ideas for ebooks that can become best-selling titles within a smaller niche. This strategy is a quick way for both author and title to gain best-seller status, which boosts overall sales and credibility.”
According to Chesson, aspiring authors should research and fine-tune their ebook ideas using these four steps:
- Search for ebooks related to their ebook idea on Amazon.
- Find the ABSR numbers for the top-ranking titles related to their idea and use the keyword estimator to find sales per day.
- Click on the subcategory listings for these titles.
- Find the ABSR numbers of the top sellers in these subcategories and use the keyword estimator to find sales per day.
It sounds complicated, but as you’ll see below, the process is quite easy. Following Chesson’s advice, we searched Amazon Kindle books for how to publish an ebook on Amazon and got these results:
We clicked on the first nonsponsored ebook title in the search results. Note that this is an important detail because sponsored listings are paid. The first nonsponsored listing is an organic result — that’s the one you want to use. So, we clicked on “How to Publish an eBook on Amazon.”
We then scrolled midway down that ebook’s listing page to find the ABSR and category stats for that title:
This title has an ABSR of 39,075 which, using Chesson’s Kindle sales estimator tool, tells us it sells about eight books per day. That’s about 240 books per month. Not bad.
The next step is to see how well the best-selling title in a subcategory is selling. So, we click on one of the subcategories listed — we picked Business Writing. Note that when you click on a category, Amazon shows you the top-selling titles automatically, so it’s easy to find the number one ebook in any category:
We find that “Building a Story Brand” is the currently the number one ebook in the Business Writing subcategory. So, we clicked on it and scrolled midway down its listing page to the statistics:
This in-demand book has managed to capture the number one spot in several categories.
Again, using Chesson’s Kindle sales estimator tool, we see this title sells an estimated 133 times per day — that’s nearly 4,000 sales per month! If you make just $1 per sale, that’s $4,000 in monthly income off of just one title.
Now, this title is not directly connected to our original search for how to publish an ebook on Amazon. But, this research has given us insight into the demand and potential categories for our original ebook idea plus other profitable subjects and niche subcategories that we might want to target.
To recap, if you want to learn how to publish an ebook strictly for marketing use and profits are secondary, the Amazon research might not be important to you. But, if profits are your reason for learning how to write an ebook, the research is time well spent.
Once you’ve settled on your topic (researched or not), it’s time for the fun part — sitting down to write your ebook.
2. Write Your eBook
Once you’ve settled on a topic based on research, your business expertise or both, it’s time to write your ebook. According to successful ebook author and writing coach Joanna Penn, “writing an ebook can change your life, but you have to sit down and write the book.”
“Simply getting the words down in a draft, even if you dictate it rather than type it, can help you see a clear path for your story or define the message of your nonfiction ebook,” says Penn. “Setting aside the time to write, writing with purpose during those times and not letting fear derail your efforts are the keys to starting — and finishing — your ebook.”
If you’re considering publishing an ebook, you probably already have the writing step well in-hand. But, if not, here are some ways to get your ebook ideas flowing:
Fiction Story Generators
Many fiction writing websites have story generators that pepper you with ideas and prompts to get your creative juices flowing. If you can’t seem to get past “It was a dark and stormy night …,” try visiting: Seventh Sanctum, Masterpiece Generator and Writing Exercises. These are fun to tinker with, and you might uncover the beginnings of a best-selling romance, intrigue or whodunit.
Nonfiction Business Expertise
If you’re writing a book covering your area of expertise, dig into what you know, but do this from the perspective of your reader. Nonfiction is a powerful business marketing tool because it gives you the chance to educate prospective clients while displaying your expertise. What do they need to know? That’s what you need to tell them. If you can reach them in words they understand, they will connect with you, find you credible and want to work with you.
Another thing to consider as you write your nonfiction ebook is linking opportunities. Unlike a printed book, an ebook lets you include links to outside sources, like your own website or even money-making affiliate links. As you write, think of ways to build links into your text naturally.
Transform Existing Content Into an eBook
Do you blog or have you published short stories or industry-related web content? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to learn how to publish an ebook. Repurposing the content you already have (as long as you own the rights to it) is a great way to fast-track your ebook. It’s very common to offer a downloadable ebook version of online blog articles, reports and stories. As proof, that’s exactly what we did with this guide.
For more on learning how to write an ebook, you can find tips for developing fiction storylines, planning nonfiction ebooks and more on Penn’s author coaching website, The Creative Penn.
Of course, not everyone with a good idea is a born writer, but there are plenty of ways for nonwriters to publish ebooks. Many successful authors employ ghostwriters and freelancers, like those listed on Fiverr, to complete ebooks based on roughed-out plots, storylines or nonfiction outlines.
Decide on the Length of Your eBook
Do not feel compelled to write a 100,000-word groundbreaking novel out of the gate. If you try, you’ll likely never complete your first ebook effort. Different genres typically call for different word counts, but when it comes to ebooks, there are no rules. You can publish a work in whatever length you wish. However, it helps to have a target word count to give you a writing goal — and stopping point.
Here are the industry standards to use as a general guide:
- Literary fiction: 80,000 to 100,000 words
- Popular fiction: 40,000 to 80,000 words
- Kindle Short Reads: Up to 7,500 words
- Kinds Singles: Up to 30,000 words
- Novellas: 10,000 to 40,000 words
- Nonfiction: Whatever tells the story; 5,000-word short reads and 50,000-word plus works all are marketable
eBooks are also incredibly marketable in a series format. If you can break a long work into three or more shorter independent titles, you can publish them in a series with more sales and marketing opportunities. Amazon Short Reads are very popular bite-sized ebook options and sneak peeks into upcoming series releases help build your website audience and email marketing list.
Pick the Best Tool for Writing Your eBook
The best writing tool for you is the one you’ll use. But, be mindful that when done, you must convert your finished text into various ebook formats to sell or distribute your work. These formats include:
- .mobi: This is the ebook file format you’ll need to publish ebooks on Amazon for Kindle
- .ePub: This is the ebook format that all of the other ebook distributors use, such as Kobo, Nook and Smashwords
- .pdf: This a simple ebook file format you can use to create an ebook and upload it to your website for free (or paid) user downloads; your users can print this too, making it a good choice for nonfiction books used as business marketing tools
Word Processing Programs — Pros & Cons
Popular word processing apps such as Google Docs and Microsoft Word don’t directly convert your text into these ebook formats. You’ll have to use ebook converters such as Calibre, Amazon KPD ebook converters, and iBooks Author, to turn these documents into ebooks. These are free to use but can be finicky. If writing in a word processing document, it can be easier to enlist the help of freelance ebook formatting pros on Fiverr to handle ebook formatting.
eBook Writing Tools — Top Options
The simpler way to learn how to publish an ebook yourself — and how we turned this guide into an ebook quickly — is to use an ebook writing tool. These tools combine word processing, formatting, and even research and organizational tools into one easy-to-use app. Top options include:
- Reedsy: This free, cloud-based ebook creation platform is my personal favorite for writing ebooks and converting them into the various publishing formats in one easy tool. We used Reedsy to turn this guide into ebooks in all three ebook formats.
- LucidPress: From $5.95 per month and cloud-based, this is another popular ebook and e-publication development tool. It handles ebooks as well as formats for rich content e-magazines and e-newsletters but is geared to .pdf file needs.
- Scrivener: From $45 for Mac and PC, this writing app works on many platforms and has great organizational tools including outlines, virtual whiteboards, research files and built-in formatting tools. Cost is $45 for PC and Mac desktop versions and $20 to add the optional mobile app for iPad and iPhone.
- Vellum: $199 for Mac only, this is a popular ebook tool with features writing, organization and formatting features comparable to Scrivener. At $199, it’s pricey but delivers serious ebook creation tools for authors using Macs.
The tools listed above are just a sampling of the many you’ll find if you search for ebook formatting tools online. However, those listed here are widely used and have a minimal learning curve so you can focus on your writing, not learning a new program.
Handling Images in an eBook
Images in ebooks can present formatting challenges. However, most of the ebook writing tools listed above can help you format ebooks with images properly too — as we did using Reedsy:
If your book is image-heavy like a children’s picture book or contains many charts and illustrations, the Amazon Kindle Kids Book Creator or Kindle EDU are excellent tools for creating illustrated books sold on Amazon as is Apple’s iBooks Author for books sold on iBooks.
3. Editing Your eBook
Once your ebook text is complete (congratulations, by the way), it’s time to edit your work. Like the writing process, writers handle this many different ways. Some writers self-edit by letting the draft “rest” for a week or longer, then reread it with fresh eyes. Others hand the entire editing task over to a trusted friend or a professional.
Most successful authors combine the two. First, they run through a few rounds of self-edits, then ask for the opinion of both friends and/or paid editors. This provides objective honesty and polish so you can deliver a professional final product.
In his bestselling book, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,” Stephen King says of first-draft editing, “I love this part of the process because I’m rediscovering my own book and usually liking it. During that reading, the top part of my mind is concentrating on story and toolbox concerns,” he explains, “adding clarifying phrases where they seem necessary and, of course, deleting all the adverbs I can bear to part with.”
“Most of all,” King says, “I’m looking for what I meant.”
As he states in “On Writing,” even seasoned pros typically self-edit several drafts before getting feedback. Whether you’re attempting your first writing effort or are a seasoned writer moving into your first ebook, King’s editing model is a good place to start:
- Let first draft rest, then reread in full
- Make round one edits
- Let edited draft rest, then reread
- Make round two edits
- Release to trusted friends and/or editor
Why Use eBook Editing Pros
A professional ebook editor adds an expense to your project, but the results can be worth every penny. A good editor knows what the reading market expects from the type of book you’re writing, plus they spot pacing issues or logical holes in your work and catch embarrassing typos and grammatical errors that invariably slip through.
Of course, you can find plenty of editing pros on Fiverr that specialize in all types of ebook genres for rates that suit all budgets.
4. Design Your eBook Cover
After your ebook text is complete or sent off for final edits, it’s time to work on your ebook cover design. This is something you can do yourself with graphic design software that you already use, or you can try out free graphics apps or use the budget-friendly book design freelancers on Fiverr to give your cover professional-looking polish.
Your ebook cover image is, in many cases, the only graphic that you have to communicate your story or message. To sell your ebook cover must look professional. An amateurish cover tells potential readers that the content is likely amateurish as well. However, book covers do not have to be complicated to deliver a professional image. Here’s a look at some current top titles on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.
If you want to try your hand at cover design, check out these free online design tools and image sources:
- Canva: Top-rated cloud-based graphics and design tool with a great selection of ready-to-customize ebook templates
- Snappa: Another popular online graphics tool with great ebook templates
- Adobe Spark: Adobe’s own book cover creator offers both free and paid account options
- Pexels: Free stock photography resource with a huge variety of images under Creative Commons license, meaning you can use them for free for both personal and commercial needs
We used Canva to create this simple yet professional ebook cover for our ebook version of this guide:
After you have your cover art and final edits complete, it’s time to put it all together and format your ebook into the appropriate files for distribution.
5. Format Your eBook
With your cover art and final edited manuscript ready to go, it’s time to format your ebook and save it in the file formats needed for Amazon Kindle, other ebook distribution platforms or downloads from your website. Before doing that, you need to set up the information typically referred to as front and back matter.
There’s no set standard the front and back matter content pages. However, it’s a good idea to include at least a few of these details to help readers navigate the ebook, plus market other titles in your lineup.
An ebook’s front matter includes:
- Title page: Includes the ebook title and author name
- Copyright page: Lists copyright statement, edition number and ISBN (not required)
- Dedication: Thank your supporters and helpers here
- Other works: A list of your other works with links, reviews by others for the current or past titles work here too
- Preface: A summary or introduction to your work, why you wrote it and so on
- Table of contents: Detailed table of contents with links, many ebook formatting tools create this for you
An ebook’s back matter includes:
- Your author biography: This is your spot to shine, thank your reader and share what drives you as a writer
- Endnotes or references: Bibliographies, appendices, notes or glossaries
- A preview of your next book: Inserting a chapter of the next book, especially if writing a series can help you pre-sell the next title
How you set up front and back matter up depends on the writing and formatting tool you use. For example, Reedsy makes it easy with simple built-in forms, like this:
Most of the ebook writing and formatting tools also create and insert your table of contents for you like Reedsy did for us. We can even choose to have some or all of our subheads included in the contents outline, like this:
Once everything is in place, it’s time to format. Reedsy does this via an export, which is similar to how other ebook formatting tools handle this task.
Using our example, in Reedsy’s export screen above, we can select the file format — or formats — that we need to sell our ebook in Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo and through distributors like Smashwords, which we’ll cover next. We can also choose to export a .pdf file to upload our ebook to our WordPress website and offer free downloads to potential clients.
For expert help with any or all of the above steps, be sure to check out the budget-friendly freelancers on Fiverr. From ghostwriting and editing to cover design and ebook formatting, the seasoned pros on Fiverr will give your book the professional polish it deserves. You can even find freelance pros to assist with ebook publishing and marketing, so you can get busy planning your next project.
6. Publish & Market Your eBook
Once your ebook files are created, it’s time to upload them for sale and distribution. How you do this depends on the intended use of your ebook:
How to Publish an eBook for Marketing Purposes
You can upload the .pdf file of your ebook to your WordPress website. Once uploaded, you can feature it as a free download in your sidebar and web pages. Offering your ebook as a free download in exchange for a signup to your email newsletter is a great marketing tactic. You can also link to your ebook from your email and social marketing. Of course, you can also sell your ebook on your site, via Amazon and on other ebook marketplaces, which is covered below.
How to Publish an eBook to Sell
You can upload your ebook to one or more ebook marketplaces to sell directly to readers. This is free for you, and you make money every time your ebook sells. The most popular ebook marketplaces include Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Nook (Barnes & Noble), which we detail below. You can create author accounts with each and manage the uploads yourself or use a distributor to handle all listings. Many new indie authors start with Amazon Kindle, by far the largest marketplace, and then grow from there.
Where to Publish & Sell Your eBook
To sell your ebook or distribute it beyond your website, you need to upload the ebook files you’ve created to various seller marketplaces. Here’s a quick look at the top ebook sales and distribution outlets, what they pay authors per ebook sale and how they differ:
Amazon Kindle Books
Royalties paid: 35 to 70 percent, based on the list price of your book and chosen royalty option
File format accepted: .mobi ebook files
All ebooks sold on Amazon fall under the Kindle family. Within Kindle, there are many ways for indie authors to publish, market and sell ebooks on Amazon, including these two popular programs:
- KDP Select: A limited-time exclusive Amazon sales program that helps you jump-start your book sales and gain user reviews via free reads and other promotional perks
- Kindle Unlimited (KU): KU is Amazon’s huge library that allows subscribers to check out up to 10 titles at a time; for KU lends, authors are paid per-read, not per-sale
Royalties paid: 70 percent of the list price of your ebook
File format accepted: .ePub ebook files
iBooks is considered the second-largest ebook marketplace behind Amazon. It’s free to create an account and upload ebooks to sell on Apple iBooks.
Royalties paid: 45 to 70 percent, based on the list price of your ebook
File format accepted: ePub files
Kobo is another free online ebook publishing market that pays writers royalties for every ebook sold. Kobo serves more than 200 countries and publishes works in many languages, so it’s considered a truly global ebook marketplace.
Nook — B&N Press (Barnes & Noble)
Royalties paid: 40 to 60 percent, based on the list price of your ebook
File format accepted: .ePub ebook files
B&N Press is Barnes & Noble’s in-house Nook ebook marketing and sales platform. It’s not as big as Amazon and Kobo but Barnes & Noble has a loyal following and, again, it’s free for you to join as an author and publish ebooks that can be downloaded to B&N’s Nook ebook devices.
If submitting your ebook to so many different marketplaces seems daunting, you’re not alone. Many authors turn to ebook distributors to handle all of their ebook marketplace listings — including Amazon listings. There are added costs if you opt for a distributor; fees run about 15 percent of the royalty payout from the marketplace where the sale occurred. But, the convenience of streamlining all of your ebook listings and sales within one simple portal is a real time-saver, so that you can focus on more writing.
The two most popular ebook distributor options for indie authors are:
Fee:15 to 20 percent, on average, of your royalty payout from each platform
File format accepted: .ePub ebook files
Smashwords will list your ebooks on iBooks, Kobo, Nook and many other smaller marketplace and independent ebook retailer sites for you. Smashwords charges a percentage fee on each sale, which is taken from your royalty from the marketplace like Kobo and Nook where the sale originated. You also must agree that a percentage of your book can be preread for free by potential buyers.
Fee:15 percent, on average, of your royalty payout from each platform
File format accepted: .ePub ebook files
Draft2Digital, like Smashwords, distributes your ebook and it’s free for you. It also has a nice set of free formatting tools to turn your manuscripts into the different file formats used by various ebook sales marketplaces. Also like Smashwords, Draft2Digital charges a fee of around 15 percent of your sale royalty.
Pricing Your eBook
When you upload your ebook, you’ll set a sale price. Remember, you’ll make a percentage of this amount each time your ebook sells, as explained above. eBook authors use a wide variety of pricing strategies based on genre, topic, competition and purpose for the ebook. Pricing strategies typically change over time too, so you’re never locked into a price you set.
According to Chesson, “a general formula that’s quite popular for self-publishers is pricing books at 99 cents when the book first launches, or even offer it free for a limited time via KDP Select or to existing newsletter subscribers. This move helps push up the Amazon sales numbers and gives the book more visibility.” He adds, “this strategy also motivates early readers to leave reviews since they were given the cheaper deals.”
“Following the initial launch,” Chesson says “and once the title has some momentum, the price can be raised, say to $2.99, $3.99 or more, depending on the competition within the genre.”
On Amazon, many authors price their book at a standard amount, say 99 cents to $3.99 or more, and then list them in Kindle Unlimited for read-based income from the massive KU subscriber base. The takeaway on ebook pricing is there are many tactics to try, and you’re not married to any of them. You can alter your book’s pricing at any time for promotional or competitive reasons.
Market Your eBook to Bring in Sales
Listing your ebook on the marketplaces is just the first step. To publish a successful ebook, you need to market it just as you would any other product or service. Most successful authors use a website as their primary marketing and branding tool. Joanna Penn says, “your website is one of the most important things to get sorted if you’re serious about your author career.”
“Your website is your home on the internet and the hub for your books,” says Penn. “It’s how readers, agents, publishers, journalists, bloggers and podcasters judge how professional you are. It’s where you can start to build an email list of readers.” In fact, Penn credits much of her success to the attention she gives her websites, “I’ve built a multi-six-figure business off the back of my author websites, so I know how important your site and email list are.”
WordPress is the most popular website platform used by ebook authors like Penn, above, and you can start yours today on Bluehost for just $2.95 per month. Our quick-start WordPress tutorial will walk you through the setup process — enter your author, book title, or business name below to get started today.
Once your website is live and your ebook is featured front and center, it’s time to expand into other marketing avenues. eBook authors can tap all types of budget-friendly online marketing tactics, such as:
- Email marketing: Email is a proven way for authors to reach their readers. Fans love to be the first to know about sneak peeks and new releases. You can connect an email marketing service to gather addresses for email marketing to your growing fan base.
- Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter posts and branded social media author pages can help you get the word out about your work, announce new releases and connect with your fans.
- Podcasting: Readers love to hear what you have to say. You can be a guest on writer podcasts that cover your topic or genre or create a podcast of your own on your own website.
- SEO for organic search: Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website rank well in the search engines. You can use good SEO on your website to attract readers looking for the topics or genres your ebooks cover.
- Paid ads: You can use Facebook ads and sponsored posts, Instagram ads and Google AdWords to get the word out about your latest ebook titles with links to purchase them.
- Book clubs and reader collectives: Local book clubs and online reading collectives like GoodReads, Reedsy Discovery and LibraryThing let you participate in genre-specific reader communities, get the word out about your ebook and receive reader feedback. Limited-time giveaways, free reads and chapter previews of new works help you gain attention and new readers using these outlets.
Mistakes to Avoid When Publishing Your eBook
eBook publishing is a far easier publishing process than traditional print book publishing. Writers don’t have to query publishers, find an agent or deal with rejections. Even still, the process can be overwhelming. Since the basic steps — write, format and upload files — are fairly simple, it’s tempting to cut a few corners to get the job done. However, the experts we talked to warn that certain mistakes can hurt your chances of success, such as the following.
Not Researching Your Genre and Topic
According to Chesson, spending time writing, designing a cover, and formatting and uploading ebook files to various marketplaces is wasted effort if you pick a too-competitive or unpopular genre. He says, “New ebook writers have a far better chance of success if they take the time to research their ideas and target Kindle categories that are trending but not too competitive.”
Not Using a Professional Editor
Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes scream “amateur writer” from the pages of your ebook, and this applies whether its purpose is a marketing tool, moneymaker or both. Of course, typographical errors do occur in books from top publishing houses — perfection is unattainable in publishing — but if your ebook is rife with errors, your readers or potential clients will leave and never return. In most cases, a seasoned pro is the simplest answer, and the budget-friendly copy editors on Fiverr can ensure you deliver a professional piece.
Not Using a Distributor to Sell on Multiple Marketplaces
If you want to reach readers beyond Amazon Kindle, you can save a lot of time by letting a distribution marketplace like Smashwords or Draft2Digital handle the rest for you. While they do take an added percentage off your royalties, all of the uploading, tracking and payments are centralized and handled by them, so that you can focus your time on your next ebook.
Expecting Instant Success
The ease of ebook publishing is a double-edged sword. You’ve read to here, so clearly the thought of publishing an ebook must be a reality for you. Guess what? It is for thousands of other aspiring authors too. But, don’t be discouraged — do research, write, and publish your ebook. After all, according to Jeff Bezos:
“Over 1,000 independent authors surpassed $100,000 in royalties in 2017 through Kindle Direct Publishing,” as reported in the Amazon 2017 Letter to Shareholders
eBook publishing is fast-growing, and so is the e-reading audience, “but it’s not an instant-success scenario,” says Chesson. “Most indie authors gain sales momentum only after publishing several titles and, even then, few authors make a full-time living from writing ebooks.”
If you’re yearning to share your story or knowledge with the world through one or more ebooks, do it. It’s rewarding, has income potential and attaches expert credibility to your name. Plus, if you don’t try, only one thing is certain — you’ll never make it onto Bezos’ $100,000 indie author list.
The Bottom Line
Learning how to publish an ebook can serve many purposes. It can be a money-making career move for aspiring authors, or it can be a tool to market your professional expertise. Whatever your reason for learning how to write an ebook, you need to understand the basics of the process. That starts with researching the market for your topic or story, getting your words down, creating a professional cover, formatting it for publication and marketing your finished work.
There are many tools to help you get all of this done, and you can reach out for budget-friendly professional help from Fiverr any step of the way. The one tool you really must have to publish a successful ebook is your own author website. WordPress is the top choice of most serious authors, and you can launch your own home base for your writing for just $2.95 per month with our preferred provider, Bluehost.
Have you published your first — or 50th — ebook? What writing and ebook formatting tools and sales and marketing platforms work for you? We’d love to hear your advice and experiences in the comments below.