Over the last few years, digital publishing has revolutionized the way we purchase books. While it was once seen as a niche industry, the ebook market is now a thriving community of independent and well-established authors. In fact, it's become a great way to break into the often impenetrable world of publishing. But for first-time ebook authors, it can get a bit confusing. Do you know how to format your manuscript for the Kindle? Or how to submit your ebook for publication? If this all sounds a bit daunting - don't panic. Here are some handy tips to help you publish your ebook with ease.
Proofread your manuscript
There's nothing worse than stumping up your hard-earned cash for an ebook that's riddled with errors. Make sure you check your spelling, punctuation and grammar before you submit your ebook for publishing. It's also worth asking a friend or relative to proofread it as well - you never know when they'll pick up on something you missed.
Format your ebook
Just like traditional printing, your ebook must be correctly formatted before it's published. Luckily, Amazon makes this extremely easy with its Simplified Formatting Guide. This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of preparing your ebook for publication, including which pages you should include and how to create an Active Table of Contents.
Create a professional cover image
Despite the age-old saying, most Amazon customers will judge a book by its cover. If you're handy with Photoshop you could always design one yourself, or even hire a professional to do it for you. A good-looking cover image makes a great first impression, so just make sure you get it right.
Decide the right price for your ebook
The good thing about Amazon direct publishing is that you set the price of your ebook yourself. But how should you price your beloved tome? A recent study by Smashwords showed that anywhere between $2.99 and $5.99 yields the greatest profit with royalties of a whopping 70%.
Submit your ebook for publication
You've prepared your manuscript, set your price and now the time has come to submit your ebook to Amazon. Thankfully, it's a fairly simple process but if you're having trouble, Amazon has put together a short video that walks you through the entire thing.
An alternative to Amazon
While Amazon provides the most direct way of publishing your ebook for the Kindle, there is another alternative. Smashwords provides a free ebook creation service, allowing you to use their online tools to create a great-looking ebook in minutes. While this takes away the stress of formatting your manuscript, they do take a cut of your royalties so you'll have to decide whether the convenience is worth the potential cost.
Promote your work
Publishing your ebook is only half the battle - you still need people to buy it. Social-media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are a great way to reach potential customers, but remember to act professionally. Spamming adverts across the internet will only damage your reputation. Visit Copy Blogger for some free online marketing tips.
Of course, the journey of the self-published author doesn't end here. Publishing an ebook can be an incredibly rewarding experience and you might even want to get to work on your next literary masterpiece. Whether it's fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose, follow our advice and you could turn your ebook into an online best-seller.