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Wherever you are in the development of your book (thinking, planning, writing, producing or promoting stage), we have the tools to make your venture faster, easier and more successful. This site has hundreds of pages of information and free documents plus books (both ours and those from other publishers), reports, disks and tapes. Just click on your area in the menu below. For specific information, use the search feature.

How to Self-publish Your Book

If you’ve written a book and you’d like to self-publish it, you should know that it’s quite possible to create a thoroughly professional package which includes a great cover, excellent formatting and all of the usual bells and whistles (such as a dedication, page numbers, chapter numbers, an introduction, footnotes and/or resource links). These days, plenty of authors choose to self-publish. When they do, they access more control over their work…as well as more of the profits from their work!

While self-publishing has its pros and cons, it is something that pays off for a lot of authors and you may be one of them. In order to get things done, you’ll need to consider whether you want to sell only an e-book or prefer to offer just a print book. Most authors self-publish in both formats, but everyone is different.

Choosing the “e-book only” option is probably the quickest, simplest and cheapest way to self-publish.


Tips for Print Books

If you want to sell a print book, you’ll need to create it in PDF format. It’s the typical format for print books. Your print book will need to be formatted in a standard print book size and it will need to provide a PDF file which may be sent to a printer. This file is something that a printing company will need when its team members are preparing to get your books printed out and ready for you to sell. It’s quite simple to create PDFs. However, creating a really attractive and professional print book is tougher.

To get the job done right (i.e. produce something that you’re really proud of), we recommend investing in a design template for a print book. Some people outsource book design. This may be a good option for you, as long as you don’t mind paying a pro to do the hard work for you. There are also publishing tools that people use in order to create nice-looking print books.  You’ll be pleased to know that it’s possible to export to PDF formats from a range of programs, including Photoshop, Word, InDesign and PowerPoint.


What About E-book Formatting?

There are two main forms of e-book formatting. One is Standard EPUB. It’s something that every platform but Amazon publishes in. When you choose Standard EPUB, you’ll be able to sell your e-book at a lot of different places, without needing to worry about changing the format. For example, you may sell it via the Adobe Digital Editions app or sell it via Apple or B & N Nook…or all three!

With Standard EPUB, you’ll have access to a bigger market than the second option, which is a formatting system that is exclusive to Amazon.

The second option is Mobi. It’s just for the Amazon Kindle Store. Amazon broke the rules by rejecting the industry standard for formatting (EPUB) and creating its own e-book formatting system (Mobi). Amazon is huge and lots of people look for e-books at the Amazon Kindle Store.

With all of these facts in mind, you’ll need to decide which format is right for you. If you choose EPUB, be aware that you’ll need to get it validated before you upload it at a retailer. There is tool for validation online which is free to access. You’ll find it at the official International Book Publishing Forum website. It’s a risk not to validate, so be sure to follow this step before you upload.

Once you choose an e-book format, you’ll be able to learn how to use it online. These formats are easy to access. For example, if you wrote your book in Word, as a lot of authors do, and you want to convert it to EPUB, you’ll find conversion tools online which allow you to take care of this important step quickly and easily. For Mobi, Amazon will walk you through the process once you’ve set up your Amazon Digital Platform account.

Authors who have already created EPUB files and want to convert them to MOBI should probably outsource this task to pros that do it for a living. Otherwise, it may be a bit too challenging.

So, we’ve covered the technical aspects of creating print books and e-books on your own. Now, let’s talk about another vital aspect of the whole enterprise. This is marketing your ebook and/or print book.


How to Market Your E-book

The platforms that you publish on will take a cut of your sales. This means that generating lots of sales is the key to self-publishing the profitable way. You’ll need to sell a decent volume of print and/or e-books in order to get back your investment of time and money. This probably won’t be possible without a lot of promotion. Some people are experts in their fields or have some level of notoriety which helps them to sell without promotion. However, most people have to create self-publishing marketing plans from the ground up…and then implement them.

Promoting your own work (i.e. tooting your own horn) may be something that you’re comfortable with or less comfortable with. However you feel about it, It’s really mandatory in terms of letting the public know that your e-book  is out there. There are tons of these books around and you’ll need to let the public know that you have something new for them to check out. With regard to marketing, your safest bet is to utilize social media in order to get the world out. You may start by promoting to your own social circle and then encourage members of your circle to share information about your ebook with their social media fans and followers.  Another option is start your own website or blog.  The Blog Starter has a good free tutorial on creating a blog.

Paid advertising is also an option. For example, paying for Facebook ads which are targeted at the types of readers that you want to find may be very helpful. Another option is a pay-per-click campaign at one of the big search engines. Google’s pay-per-click campaign is called AdWords. Your ads will show sometimes while people are looking for relevant things during Google searches. If these people click on your ads, you’ll pay a fee.

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with plenty of helpful facts. Once you handle the technical details and put together a smart marketing plan, you’ll be ready to get the most that you can from self-publishing.