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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Self-Publishing and Promoting eBooks 101 Part 1

This was an article previously published on as a guestblog.

 eBooks are the fastest growing segment of the book market. And self-published authors are finding an audience of readers for their titles due to the low cost of setting up a title on an ePublishing website such as Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Pubit!, Apple’s itunes or Smashwords.

Self-publishing eBooks isn’t expensive nor is it difficult. All an author needs to create an eBook is Microsoft Word, some photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop Elements for their covers, an e-mail address and a bank account to deposit royalty payments in. Most e-Publishing websites such as Amazon or Pubit! will convert the Word Files to ePub or Mobi, the two leading formats used by the marketplace.

However, before an author self an author needs to understand that the formatting of an eBook is different from a traditional paperback or Hardcover. eBooks don’t have front matter. So they don’t require title pages or blank pages in between like paperbacks or hardcovers have.

Nor do they need multiple returns to create “white space” Since text shifts from device to device in an eBook, keep the formatting of an eBook simple. Small indentations, (0.3”) works best along two returns on the first page when a chapter starts and no spaces between the lines of a paragraph.

A PDF eBook like the Smashwords Style Guide will help an author format eBooks that will look great on any e-reader. (Available for free on

After formatting their eBooks an author has several venues they can self-publish and sell eBooks from. An author can take their work to Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Pubit! or Smashwords.

An author should use as many venues as possible to sell their work. Using all the eBook venues possible ensures an author can have maximum exposure for their titles. Plus venues like Smashwords allow an author access to popular eBook sites like Sony and Apple’s ibookstore.

The more venues a title is available at mean more places for readers to discover an author’s work at. And each eBookstore has its own niche audience and some titles in certain genres will sell better in some venues than others.

An author may think after self-publishing an eBook their work is done. It’s just started Formatting and publishing an eBook is only the first part of reaching the reading audience. In order for readers to find an author’s eBooks authors have to promote them. I'll share some tips on promotion in Part 2 of this blog. 

1 comment:

  1. One of the secret to selling self-published eBooks (or any kind of eBook or print book, for that matter) is to get your link on as many websites as you can. You have to remember, you have an electronic book. You can't go on book signings, so you have to rely on the Internet to get the word out.