Ebooks have become one of the most widely shared types of books in the world today. While they still haven’t surpassed the traditional print books as far as sales are concerned, millions are published every year – and that’s likely to change with the Kindle and iPad.
If you want to get in on this incredible growth within the business world, then it’s time that you learn how to self publish an ebook.
For most of the twentieth century, you basically had two options when it came to publishing books. You either had to go through a major publishing house, which meant that someone would decide whether your book was worth their time and effort, or you had to choose a vanity press. The latter choice meant that you would have to pay money to get your book published and then on top of that, you would have to try and sell it.
Thanks to technology, it has become simple to self publish an ebook. You do have options available that can make publishing this ebook either free or expensive, depending on what you’re looking to accomplish. For example, a high quality cover will cost you several hundred to several thousand dollars.
Many small businesses have decided that the quality of the cover is negligible because people are more interested in content. If that’s the case for you, then you can publish for little to no money out of pocket. It doesn’t matter the length of the ebook, either.
What is an Ebook?
An ebook is basically a book that is published through electronic media. The most common form of ebook for small businesses today is still the pdf. However, ebooks are being published in a variety of formats for different types of reading devices, such as Amazon.com’s Kindle e-Reader.
While traditional ‘books’ generally contained 50,000 words or more, ebooks can be anywhere from a few thousands words to hundreds of thousands of words (though you’re not likely to get people to read a massive book unless you already have a great reputation). To topics that are covered through ebooks can be anything from How To books to novels, biographies, discussions, and more. If you can think it up, you can make it into a digital product.
What Format to Choose to Publish
When it comes to ebooks, as mentioned already, there are many different formats to choose from. Pdf formats, which need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view, is the most common. However, the more formats that you offer when it comes to ebooks, the more you increase your exposure to potential customers who will be willing to read your material. At the end of the day, it all comes down to exposure.
If you decide to go with the pdf format or a multi-format approach, using free platforms, then you are basically taking the reins of promotion and marketing, along with sales, on your own. Many small businesses offer ebooks to their customers for free. They do this so that they can show their passion and expertise to the customer in order to build trust.
If your goal, however, is to make money with your ebook, then you will be selling it. While it is certainly possible to sell it on your own, using the services of Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and a hundred other sites can place your ebook on their servers for a fee. Some of these companies will give you the information on how to format and post your ebook.
It’s important to note, though, that with these major companies, you will be earning a commission on every sale of your ebook. That means that if you want to earn two dollars per sale and the company takes 50% of the sale price, then you will have to charge $4 for your ebook. Whether your target customers will pay that amount is something you’ll have to decide through research.
Protect Your Work
The Internet is a wide open super-highway filled with people looking to steal content from others. It’s important to understand the copyright laws of different countries and how you’re protected. While many governments have been slow to protect electronic media, they have been coming around and are helping to protect people from intellectual theft.
When you have completed your ebook, before you post it online for sale, make sure that it is protected by law. In the United States, for example, any original work that is created is automatically protected. However, it’s still a good idea to register with the Copyright Office in that country so that you have proof of its original creation.
There are always going to be risks when it comes to publishing online. You may protect your work but someone from a foreign country steals it and begins selling it for themselves. Your home country may not have any jurisdiction within that foreign country to stop this crime.
Yet web hosting companies have done well to protect original works and if you have proof that your work is being stolen, the web hosting company can step in and take down the site if the theft continues. If you are too concerned with theft, then you’re not likely to publish at all.
The Cover and the Price
Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover?’ Well, in the world of ebooks, that’s exactly what people do. The more attractive your cover is, and the more it represents the content of the book, the more success you will have with it. For example, if you wrote a book titled, ‘How to Start a Blog,’ and the cover showed a blogging platform, you’ll grab casual viewers’ attention much more readily.
When you have a cover that attracts attention, then you need to establish a marketable price. I’ve seen ebooks selling for $70 from unknown authors. If you’re going to charge a premium price for your book, you’ll need to increase your marketing efforts and make sure that you deliver on your promise.