Unlike ten years ago, when it was a relatively new phenomenon, self-publishing is now an acceptable way of getting your book published. Providing you act professionally.
Professionally means taking all aspects of the self-publishing process seriously, from having your book edited and proofread to ensuring a high quality cover, one that also looks good at thumbnail size. At this point your thoughts may then stray to the publishing process.
The eBook format isn’t the only option as increasingly more authors publish in print and audio too. But today we’ll be concentrating on how to publish your eBook.
Before publishing, you have a decision to make – do you want to publish just on Amazon (which has a reasonable share of the market) or do you want to ‘go wide’ i.e. use other platforms as well. The second option has the advantage of potentially reaching more readers but will mean more work in terms of publishing and then managing different accounts (sales reporting etc). Amazon also offers some promotional advantages if you stick with them and use their KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select programme.
Amazon gives you several options for producing and uploading your eBook:
As an MS Word document – if you use this option keep your file as clean as possible and stick to a limited amount of styling such as bold and italics
As an .epub file
Kindle Create – their free interior formatting tool, but note that this is only for use on Amazon
As a .mobi file – note that from 28 June this year, Amazon will no longer accept this format for reflowable (non-fixed format) eBooks. This applies not just to new titles but to updates of titles previously published using .mobi files. Authors will have to use one of the above formats instead.
For those of you thinking of going wide, many non-Amazon publishing platforms use the .epub format.
So how do you create an .epub file?
More about that next week.
Ellie Stevenson is a Writers’ Coach and the author of three novels. Her fourth novel is due out this summer. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 30-minute, non-obligatory, coaching session to help you achieve your goal. Coaching can make a huge difference.
The next in this year’s series of Motivation to Publication workshops for writers and aspiring authors is this Thursday 22nd April: Publishing and Distributing your Book. Find out more here.