The publishing world has been changed so much by technology; publishers and traditional bookshops have been pushed to the side and online retailers, such as Amazon and Google, have become the new distribution channels. For budding new authors, the phenomenal rise of ebooks is a great way to get your work published without any help from a publisher. But how do you do this?
Here are a number of tips to get you started publishing your own ebook.
1. Create the book online.
No need to use a type writer or even a word processing package. An online editor, such as Google Docs, will save your work for you immediately and allow you to collaborate with others during the writing process, such as a collaborator or your editor.
2. Get someone to proof read your book.
It makes sense to step back and get someone else to read your book with a new pair of eyes when you've finished your first draft. Sometimes you get too wrapped up in the details and miss the bigger picture. Another person will ask you questions that you haven't thought of and identify any mistakes that you've made. This will result in a better finished product. If you're writing the book online then they can annotate and make suggestions for you, which you can then accept and incorporate into the ebook.
3. Test on your ebook reader.
Make sure that you read your draft on your kindle, kobo, nook or whatever ebook device you can get your hands on. You can convert your ebook into any format you like using Calibre - an open source and free ebook library application. When you've formatted it, test it on your computer and your devices too.
4. Get your friends and family to read it.
Get them to be honest with you and see what they think. Would they pay to read it? If so, how much. This will allow you to gauge your pricing strategy for the book.
5. Work out what your market is.
When you've finished your ebook, then you should work out what your market is. Try and come up with three words that represent your book. Condensing everything that you've put into your book into three words is tough but its worthwhile because then you can decide on the genre and how you are going to market it.
6. Organise your artwork.
The front cover will represent your book to your potential customers and is the face of the book. It will help people to make up their mind about whether they want to purchase it or not. Here's an example of a cover that I produced for a friend of mine who wrote his own book - The Vampires of Wincolmlee. He took the picture himself of a run-down warehouse in Hull where the novel was set and I added the text for him. It didn't cost anything and provided an interesting, eyecatching cover for his first novel.
7. Build an online presence.
If you're just starting out then you can market through free and effective channels such as social media. If you build a website with extracts from the book, a biography and some pictures then this will help to market it too. Wordpress is a popular choice for building your own website and is simple to use.
8. Launch your book.
Have a party and invite local journalists, book reviewers and anyone that has been interested in your endeavours. Give them free food and drink and enjoy yourself. Read an extract from the book at the party and ask one of the journalists to interview you. Host a question and answer session and blog about it.
And lastly, keep marketing! Market your book every day, whatever way you can. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest: all of these platforms are ideal to promote your literary masterpiece. You've put all this hard work in - keep going. The knowledge that someone somewhere is enjoying your work is a reward in itself. Also, remember that you can get automatic feedback from your readers from the online bookstores - take this on board when you're writing your next novel. Good luck and happy writing!