You want to be hip, with it, ahead of the curve: you have decided to publish an e-book! E-books have found their way into the limelight of popularity and success so it makes sense to expand your literary career to include this medium but e-books come with their own set of publishing do’s and don’ts. “But I want to be one of the cool kids” you say. Don’t worry, we will help your book find its way to those readers who have transitioned to digital and never looked back. Here are 7 tips to make publishing your e-book quick, easy, and a major success.
1. Take your book for a test drive
Your magnum opus is complete and ready to be published – almost, before you send it off into the world of e-books you should probably have someone else look at it. It is important to ask friends, colleagues, and mentors, specifically people you trust to review your book and provide honest feedback. Getting an outside perspective is key to ensuring that your writing is clear, concise, and connects with your audience. Take the time to complete this step, review the feedback with an open mind, and make any needed changes before you have a proofreader review your book. It would be a shame to pay for a grammar review, only to decide to re-write an entire chapter next week!
2. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s
Becoming a published author can be a rollercoaster of emotions; buckle up, hold on tight, and don’t allow the chaos to make you fail to notice a minor grammatical detail. While it may be more cost effective to attempt to do this yourself, we recommend that you hire an outside editor to review the final draft of your book before you send it off to be published. Why? Because once you look at something as many times as you have gone over your novel, everything starts to run together and appear exactly as you intend for them to be – not as they actually are. Protect yourself from outside scrutiny and have a third party defend your grammatical honorundefinedit’s worth the investment.
3. Don’t judge a book by its cover
We all know they saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” but, unfortunately people do. While we feel that no book should be discriminated against because of its’ cover art, most shoppers use the cover as a way to determine if a book is worthy of their hard earned money and precious free time. Unless your graphic design skills are well beyond novice, we recommend leaving this task to the professionals. Don’t leave your work of art without the window dressing it deserves; invest in a cover that is truly reflective of the brilliant words enclosed within.
4. What do you want for your book?
Before you publish your book, ask yourself, “what do I want for my book and what does its’ success look like to me?” Does the thought of worldwide distribution make your eyes grow wide with excitement? Is digital the only domain you want your book to live in? What about printing for brick and mortar stores ? Determine what features you are looking for in a publishing platform and it will be easier to research and determine the best possible solution for you. Break out the whiteboard or start a fresh excel workbook to keep your thoughts neat, organized, and color coded.
5. It’s all about the metadata
Metadata is the best way to improve your book’s chances of being sold. When you upload your book into any publishing platform you will be asked to provide information about your book, all of that information is classified as metadata. Take the time to give detailed descriptions that are keyword-rich since this information will be used to add your book to the database of titles. Think of metadata as SEO (search engine optimization), the more information you provide about your book and its’ contents the more likely consumers will be able to find it. Strong metadata provides more opportunities for your book to show up in searches that are done by shoppers, increasing the likelihood of it being sold. At the end of the day book sales are what all authors aspire for, right?
6. Make it official
An ISBN is the industry standard identifier used for book and book-like products worldwide. Giving your book an ISBN opens the door to broader distribution and allows for more efficient marketing of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers and distributors. You can purchase an ISBN from many agencies, once you’ve completed your purchase you will need to register your selected ISBN to your title with R.R. Bowker. We recommend that you check with your selected publishing platform before you complete a purchase because some companies allow you to purchase ISBN’s and register them in the platform and some do not require an ISBN. It is also important to remember that if you want to have a print version of your book it will need its’ own ISBN.
7. Formatting doesn’t just apply to paragraphs
One of the greatest differences between an e-book and a standard print book is file format. Why? E-readers and mobile devices are not as equipped to correctly display your content if they are not provided with a tech friendly file format. There are two types of file formats that are most common: EPUB (.epub) and Mobi (.mobi). You can usually find the file format preferred by your chosen publishing platform on their website. There are plenty of services that allow you to convert your standard word processing file into an e-book friendly version. Just keep one thing in mind, not all conversions are equal so use caution when selecting a file conversion service.
You are now but an upload away from being a published author. Go you! After all that work it is time to celebrate your success. Hopefully these tips have helped de-mystify some of the e-book publishing process and provided some insight into reaching a larger audience.