While in two-week quarantine for my 4th time, I made myself a promise to use the time to write an eBook. This also meant ticking off my new years resolution which was ‘publish an eBook’. Along the way I learnt that both writing and publishing a book were nowhere near as hard as I had first imagined. There are challenges and learning curves, but I believe everyone has the ability in their life to give writing an eBook a go. Publishing and writing an eBook doesn’t have to be a daunting task, eBooks don’t have to be in the thousands of words of hundreds of pages.
My eBook was a publication of my summer dairy in Canada. 50% of sales from my eBook in 2021 would go to fire-fighting relief efforts in British Columbia.
In this short guide ill cover the basics of getting started with your eBook and also dive into the publishing tips you might need. Some of the hardest parts of publishing are designing a cover, copywriting, editing, formatting, listing and marketing your eBook.
So, want to write an eBook? I’ll try break it down into simple steps to get your started.
What I learnt: Writing
- Just start writing: You either do or do not start, its that simple. I think getting as much writing done as you can is a good way to boost your confidence. Just let the words flow as they come, you can always neaten it up in the editing stage.
- Stop worrying: aiming for perfection will stifle you. Don’t second guess. You will make changes along the way. Coming back over your work during the editing stage is usually where the writing takes form.
- Have a rough plan: I cant speak from a place of experience as I have only published one eBook. But I think having a framework for the eBook is important. Chart a rough course from start to finish. For me this was very easy, as I just had to type up my diary entries, so much of the ‘creative thought process’ was removed.
- Keep your style: People are drawn to individuality. Keep your style and your voice, and don’t try to write for ‘someone else’. Write what you enjoy and what feels natural.
- Routine & Setting: Knowing yourself is important to knowing how you will get your work done. What are your quirks?
If your fiddle with your phone a lot, turn it off for 2 hours while you write.
If you need quiet, go somewhere quiet and don’t listen to background noise like podcasts or music. Establishing setting will mean you give yourself a clean mental slate to work with. For me it was having a cup of tea next to the laptop, and telling myself “I’ll just write one page at a time, then get up, stretch, walk around, and sit back down”. So I built myself a frame-work which made both the disciplined side of me happy and the restless side of me happy.
- Motivation: Motivation is not easy. If you see writing as ‘work’ you will have an aversion to avoid it. For me I saw writing as a release and looked forward to it. Establish some reasons WHY your writing and use these as motivation when you need. Reasons like; I want to challenge myself, I promised myself I would try this, I would like to make a second income stream, I find writing relaxing, I find writing enjoyable.
For me most of the learning process in publishing an eBook came in the form of educating myself in new media forms and technology. Things like designing a cover, copywriting, editing, formatting, marketing,
What I learnt: Publishing
Cover / logo design
- Before designing a cover, consider researching what similar book covers look like online. Do a little background research and figure our what sort of design you would like.
- Depending on what kind of eBook you want to publish you’ll need a cover. To keep this easy I would advise using Fiverr. Fiverr is a website where you can find graphic designers, artists and creatives who will make you a cover to your design or will design one themselves. (Fiverr link at bottom of blog)
- You can shop around for price but paying $20-$50 for a decent cover is realistic.
- Once you have a cover image (cover) Shrink the cover image to these dimensions if your publishing an eBook;
Copywriting is pretty simple. Add this template below to the first page of your book;
Copyright © by (YOUR NAME)
All rights reserved. No part of this publication including the cover art may be re-produced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including and not limited to; photocopying, recording, emailing, messaging, sharing or other electronic or mechanical methods without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests please write to the publisher.
- Always do a final read. Look for spelling errors, grammatic errors and see if the sentences flow correctly.
- Have a friend read the book, does it make sense?
- Add page count
- Add heading / chapters
- Add table of contents on page two of your book
- Hyperlink the table of contents chapters to their corresponding page
I watched YouTube tutorials on how to format the eBook >> (link at bottom of blog)
A simple eBook layout would be:
- Copywrite page
- Table of contents (hyperlink table of contents so that readers can click on heading or chapter and be taken there)
- Body of text
- Conclusion / Finish
- I published with Amazon through their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) this service was easy to use, friendly and free. For listing your book on Amazon, you will be charged a fee every time someone purchases your book. For the amount of customers Amazon has, starting here is a good idea.
- Make a kindle direct publishing account (KDP)
- Upload your completed eBook as a word file.
- List your price (with Amazon minimum eBook price is $3USD)
- Write a description: It is best to write a summary of your eBook that will interest readers.
- Register your book for Amazon KDP book club where it can be included in KDP memberships
Marketing is important
- Timed release: Consider doing a timed release, where you inform an audience of your intended date of sale ahead of time.
- Social media: Considering using your own personal social media to promote your eBook.
Should I put my own name on my eBook?
That is entirely up to you. I used my real name for my book. If your feel more comfortable using a pseudonym than that’s fine too! Think about how you want to market your eBook, and if you would like to announce it through social media.
Writing and publishing an eBook doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. It’s a fun and exciting and at times challenging process. If you wish to express yourself or share something with the world you have nothing to lose by writing an eBook. Starting small is a good way to introduce yourself to the writing and publishing concepts. I would suggest that if you wanted to publish an eBook is to have an idea, start writing, and see where you end up.
Want to keep reading? You might enjoy:
YouTube eBook editing tutorial