How to Publish an eBook: Step-By-Step eBook Publishing
Here are the main benefits of publishing an eBook:
- Easy publishing. Gone are the days when authors had to wait on someone else to publish their book. The eBook publishing process is easy, user-friendly, and can be done with the click of a button.
- Low-cost. Publishing your eBook is free on Amazon, but you’ll still want to make an initial investment on professional services like cover design and formatting to get your book ready to be published.
- Maximized reach. Get wide distribution of your eBook to readers all around the world without ever mailing anything out.
- Passive income. Many people turn to eBooks to generate passive income (they can sell eBooks anytime, anywhere without lifting a finger once its published.) Use this Book Royalties Calculator Tool to determine your book’s possible profits.
- Grow your platform. Many bloggers, entrepreneurs, and online business owners use eBooks to leverage their platform, build raving fans and customers, and create book funnels to increase revenue.
How to Get Started
You don’t have to write a book in a week, although it might not be as difficult as you think when you consider than many ebooks are as short as 6,000 words or consist of a collection of articles previously published by the author.
Whether it takes a week or a year to write your book, focus on quality. Edit, edit, edit, and find a volunteer to read your work and offer an objective critique. Then get ready to publish.
Detailing every technical aspect of the publishing process might intimidate some readers into inaction. Instead let’s take an overview of the process and point out some good resources for information about publishing on Kindle that cover various aspects in more detail. But believe me, if I could figure it out in an afternoon or two, you can, too — after ten years of making a living online, I still don’t own a smartphone and I struggle to download programs.
To begin, you need to convert your book to the proper format. Amazon supports a few different file formats and published a handy guide to creating ebook files. Some file types allow more flexibility, like being able to link to chapters from the table of contents. Several authors recommend converting to Amazon’s mobi file format, but you can always try different file types to see which work best for your purposes. As for my preferred method, they say, “Microsoft Word with limited formatting translates well to the Kindle device.”
The real test comes when you upload your file and check it in the Kindle Previewer. Go through the entire book. If there are formatting issues, fix them and upload the file again. You’ll be uploading and previewing quite a bit before you get it right, and in the process you’ll learn what to do and not do the next time.
Of course you’ll need a cover image, which you can make yourself if you are creative, or pay to have one made. My wife made some of my covers, and I’ve had nice ones made for some of my books for $15 through Fiverr. Amazon even provides a free cover-making tool if you have an image to work with.
You’ll also have to decide whether or not to make your ebook exclusive to Amazon Kindle through their KDP Select program. I’ve done it temporarily (you enroll for 90 days at a time), and there are some advantages, like special promotional and pricing opportunities. But eventually, you might like to offer your book through other channels (more on this below).
How much does it cost to publish a book on Amazon?
Nothing! It’s free to publish a book on Amazon through their online Kindle Direct Publishing platform. You pay no upfront costs, but Amazon will take a portion of your book’s earnings to print, leaving you with 60% royalties after the book print price, which is why authors are making more now than ever before.
If you set your book’s price to $17.99 on Amazon, there will be a $.85 printing fee for 100 pages, plus $.012 for each additional page. You will make 60% of the list price, and the printing fee will be subtracted from that to give you your total amount of earnings:
$17.99 x .60 = $10.79 royalties per book
Subtract the printing cost from your royalty rate to get our take home pay (based on a 300-page book):
$10.79 – $3.25 = $7.54 take-home per book