Since Amazon started with their kindle eBooks program, everybody seems to be able to become an author easily. Just write a few pages, put it online and see money coming in…
However, with more than 2 million eBooks available on Amazon alone, only a few make money and most sell only a few copies or none at all. So, how can one be successful with one’s eBook? I think there are a few very important steps involved to have a chance it make this work and publish your eBook successfully – don’t skip any to have a chance to successfully publish an eBook:
- Have an error free and well written manuscript: hire an editor to correct any grammatical errors and spelling mistakes as well as push your writing to the next level. Many would-be authors tend to overlook this and skip this most important step due to costs involved and/or maybe in the thinking ‘my book is error free and I am the best writer’. Every manuscript needs an editor even those from bestselling authors – period.
- Use a professionally designed book cover: good writing but book cover lacks appeal? Don’t do it yourself using some templates or just some pictures downloaded from the web added on white background – have this done professionally by book cover designers / graphic specialists. The cover is the first impression your potential readers will get and you better make this standout from the millions of books available.
- Convert to .epub & .mobi & .pdf using professionals: do not use any automatic (mostly free) conversion software or online web service where you upload your Microsoft Word file and it will be converted automatically (by software) to the various eBook formats – this works out very rarely and your eBook might not look as you intended. Don’t forget that a .pdf file is not an eBook and to submit to major retailers you need to have an Apple approved (free flowing or fixed layout) epub or Amazon’s mobi approved file. Have this converted professionally and not by automated software.
- Sell worldwide and stay clear of any exclusive publishing deals: have your eBook listed on as many as possible retailers and online bookstores. Do not enter any exclusive deals – Amazon especially tries to convince every author to agree on their exclusive Amazon Select and Amazon Unlimited agreement which forbids your book listed on every other retailer and even on your own website! They might generate the most sales for your ebook but your readers might have found your title somewhere else and then purchased on Amazon. If you go exclusive with them, you book can never be found somewhere else.
- Promote your eBook: Use social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) to get the word out and participate on various publishing or author blogs
- Give away printed copies: have a few copies printed to give to newspapers & magazines as review copies and enter writing competitions
- Offer your book as printed book & audio book: offer your potential readers more choices – ideally as eBook (on ALL major retailers), as printed book (with worldwide purchase possibility), as Amazon POD (Print-On-Demand) book for sale in the US and Europe and as audio book.
Our blog will be updated irregularly on a weekly or bimonthly basis with many insights into the ever changing publishing world to keep abreast of new developments. We hope this helps many authors to publish successfully and crack the New York Times Top 10 Bestseller List.
George Gensbichler (CEO BooksMango)