You can use almost any graphics programs that you are familiar using to make a book cover.
I think my book cover turned out OK, but I did spend a couple hours designing it and making the final image the desired size. If you aren't up to designing your own book cover, you can purchase a professionally designed book cover. The Smashwords Style Guide offers some contacts to have a book cover designed for you. Kindle Direct Publishing has some tools to create book covers, but I did not explore these since I had already designed my book cover when publishing on Smashwords. One nice thing about self-publishing an eBook is that you get to set the price. Kindle prices must end in 0. The prices for eBooks are noticeably lower than for print books, and there are lots of eBooks that are offered for free.
Low price seems to be a big factor for readers of eBooks. I am happy that I now have the experience to answer this question- I have actually sold copies of my eBook, so I have been able to see how royalties and payments for eBooks work. We'll see how many copies I can sell, but the table below shows some possibilities for how much money you can make selling eBooks. If I manage to sell more than , copies of my eBook, I'll have to come back and add a line to this table! So, you have written a book and managed to get it converted into eBook formats. But how do you get your book into on-line bookstores where readers can buy your book?
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This is where distribution channels come into play. You could put your eBook on your own website and set up e-commerce software to allow visitors to purchase your book. However, people who are shopping for books tend to go to booksellers to browse and make purchases. You need to get your book for sale on the sites where people buy their books to have a chance to sell very many copies.
There are many bookselling sites. You can approach them individually, or you can find a service to help distribute your eBook. Smashwords offers distribution eBooks to a number of booksellers.
Deciding Where to Publish — CreateSpace, IngramSpark, or Other Platforms
You can upload your book to Smashwords and your book can be delivered to the following sales channels:. There are a couple of key booksellers missing from this list, however. Kindle Amazon represents a large market share of eBook sales. Smashwords has not been able to work out an automated upload to Kindle, so you'll need to open an account on Kindle Direct Publishing yourself and upload your book to get it on Amazon for Kindle. Also missing from the list of Smashwords distributers is Google Play. Kindle is one of the biggest marketplaces for eBooks.
You'll want those millions of people who have Kindles to be able to buy and read your eBook. Looking over my sales figures, it is clear that my book sales on Amazon Kindle are far greater than other marketing outlets. This is a way to publish exclusively on amazon and receive some promotional benefits and enhanced royalties. Since most of my book sales are from amazon anyway, I am willing to try an exclusive release on Amazon. I can always withdraw from this program and publish my book on other platforms if this doesn't work out.
Selling books through Apple for iPad and iPhone is another big market channel. Smashwords provides a style guide and Word template that is designed to help you meet all of the requirements to have your eBook accepted for sale by Apple. Google Play was not a distribution parther with Smashwords, so I went directly to Google Play to publish my book.
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I used free Calibre for Windows software to convert my Word document and book cover graphic into epub format. CreateSpace offers a print-on-demand service, which is a great way to get books printed as they are ordered so you do not have to pay for a big printing run up front. I have not decided yet whether I will pursue a printed version of my book, or stay exclusively with a digital eBook. The cost of the printed book will be higher, but it would be nice to have something to autograph at book signings! Overall, I found the process of publishing an eBook required learning a lot of new things.
There are so many eBook file formats and so many distributors to deal with. I decided to use Smashwords to simplify things by handling many of the eBook formats and about 10 or so distribution channels with one upload. The process of editing the book into a format that works well for eBooks took a lot of work and study of the Smashwords Style Guide.
Kindle is too big of a market to overlook, so I opened an account on Kindle Direct Publishing and uploaded my book file for distribution on Kindle. Google Play has a lot of potential, and I like the idea of having text from my book in Google search results, so I set up an account with Google Play Books Partner Center so I could upload my book for that channel as well.
Review: Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing vs. Smashwords
It is a lot to keep track of, but I like having my eBook in all of the major distribution channels so anyone can find it and buy it. I was impressed that I could publish my book for free over a single weekend with some hard work. Publishing a book is very rewarding- I hope the information in this article will help you get your eBook published. Good luck! Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. I'm just starting down the ebook path, and I found this info to be very useful. Thanks for providing it. I used Lulu. It worked very well.
The other comparison: ebook royalties versus ebook self-publishing
Seems there are new options available every few months. Thanks for this useful hub! Nadine May, I had never even read an eBook when I started working on writing mine! I read a few to see what they were like and then went for it This hub on how to create an ebook was very informative, even from our publishers desk.
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We always learn more and more about the electronic book world. Thanks you. Caleb Melvern, my English teacher in high school used to say that anyone could write a book- the trick was to get it published.
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Now anyone can publish a book too. There are no excuses left, so go ahead and publish your book! Fantastic article! I've been thinking about writing an ebook and this enlightened me about the process. Thank you! Sharing this awesome article.
StoneCircle, Best of luck on publishing your eBook. It's fun to see your own book on sale! Glad to see a next step that can be affordable, do able and actually get me motivated to keep on writing! I will be referring back to this hub to get that ebook off my computer and into the virtual world. Cavallo, I found publishing an eBook to be a great experience. It is fun to share your book and see how people react.
Thanks for reading and commenting. Excellent article. Sure anyone writing an E-Book will know all there is to know after reading it. Wrote mine years ago,for fun really while recovering from broken back in FL. Once you have it written, the mechanics of publishing an eBook aren't too hard. It's exciting that anyone can publish an eBook for free. Very interesting hub. I learn many things here. I can't wait to publish my own eBook. Thanks for sharing with us. Voted up A book on craft projects might work better in a printed book rather than an eBook format.
I would think that high resolution, high quality images would be important and that is not a strength of eBook reader devices.