Now You Can Finally Write That Book! How to ePublish.

They say everyone has at least one novel in them. What holds people back from writing it? Of all the excuses we make to ourselves to rationalize our procrastination, the one BIG stopping block is finding someone who will publish it.

The process of submitting a book to a publisher is daunting. The big question is how is it done in a professional manner. Then there’s the wait time to hear back from them, and that can be up to six months or more and then it’s on to the next publisher. Along the way, it’s easy to lose your momentum.

JK Rowling submitted Harry Potter to 12 different publishers before her last submission was shown to the publisher’s daughter who pleaded with him to print the book. A publisher, upon turning down The Diary of Anne Frank wrote, ‘the girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the “curiosity” level.’

George Orwell, Author of Animal Farm, which is required reading in most English classes, received a response that read, ‘It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.’

The list of absurd rejections goes on and on. Hopefully, there are a lot of out of work editors because of the lack of vision on their part. Still, the publishing industry hasn’t gotten any easier for new authors.

Vanity publishing is expensive and for several hundred dollars, you get a dozen or so bound books to hand to friends. There’s no money in that. So how do you get published and make money from your work?

Luckily, due to the internet and the digital age, publishing your own book is as easy as hitting “send.” Well, there is writing it and creating a cover and probably a few images for inside, depending on the subject, but editors with a lack of vision or who are just having a bad day and don’t want to read another manuscript have been removed from the equation.

Getting Started

The book is written. You’ve proofed it for typos and had a friend or two read it to see if they could find any typos or misspellings. Time to check out your publisher!

Amazon is in the business of book selling and it is now cutting out publishers and courting authors directly. You may not be at the level where Amazon comes to you for writing but you can go to them! Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is, ‘the fast and easy way to self-publish your books for sale in the Kindle Store.’

With up to a 70% royalty rate for the authors, you can choose to publish for ‘Kindle devices and Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, and Android-based devices. With KDP, you can self-publish books in many languages – including English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian – and specify pricing in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, and Euros.’

Judge the Book by its Cover!

Amazon has some requirements for creating a cover. To quote from the page, ‘A book is judged by its cover! Your cover image can have a direct impact on your readers’ purchasing decisions and adding a high quality cover image is an effective way for you to inspire customer confidence and boost sales.’

eBooks available on Amazon.com. Any of these images are available as a stock image. Whether it’s a photo, illustration, cartoon or pattern, you can find what you need for maximum impact.

They also add an important factor. ‘You must ensure you have all rights necessary for the content of your cover image.’

You cannot just pluck an image off the web and use it. You can, however, purchase an image or images from a stock image service. When it comes to using a stock image, Kelly Jay, Partner of GL Stock Images, imparts some important information you must consider. “All ebooks that are sold online must obtain an extended license for each royalty free stock image used. The reason for this is because the publisher/author is profiting from the sale of the book. Extended license usage permissions can vary on all stock sites, so make sure you read all the restrictions carefully. Here are a few things to consider before purchasing an extended license:

Price – Not all stock sites are priced the same. Extended licenses can range from $45 to $350 each. If you are budget conscious, it is best to shop around.

Distribution Limits –  Some licenses allow up to 10,000 copies to be sold and some have no reproduction limit. If you are just starting out, it is best to purchase the less expensive, lower distribution limit to keep initial costs low. If at a later date, your ebook becomes a best seller and exceeds the license limit, then you must upgrade the licensing for each image used in your book.

Keep in mind, you may want to include an image for each chapter heading and if you need graphs, charts or infographics for the ebook, make sure you have all the proper rights as copyright infringement can be VERY costly to you.

With an image or images chosen and secured, you will want to engage a graphic designer to add the title and author name. You can do it yourself with an image editing program and type insertion but again you must be certain you have the proper rights to use the fonts (letter forms) for the cover. Since a book IS judged by its cover, don’t skimp and hire a professional designer to create a beautiful cover.

Publish!

All of the steps for uploading the final ebook are spelled out by Amazon. Once everything is placed together and uploaded, you are a PUBLISHED AUTHOR! Go crazy like Hemingway or sit in a park like Tolstoy but there’s still work to be done.

Sure, people may find your ebook just by surfing sections of interest on Amazon but using social media will help drive people to your ebook. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blogging and other free marketing tools are at your fingertips. How do you use them properly? THAT is another article, so check back to read it. In the meantime – start writing!

Cover image © GL Stock Images

Speider Schneider

Speider Schneider is a former member of The Usual Gang of Idiots at MAD Magazine and has designed products for Disney/Pixar, Warner Bros., Harley-Davidson, ESPN, Mattel, DC and Marvel Comics, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon among other notable companies. Speider is a former member of the board for the Graphic Artists Guild, co-chair of the GAG Professional Practices Committee and a former board member of the Society of Illustrators. Follow him on Twitter @speider

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