How to self-publish an ebook on Amazon KDP, Kobo Writing Life, iBooks and Nookpress


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Why you should publish an ebook, even if you don't read them. Choices for formatting your ebook for Kindle and ePub. Considerations for images in ebooks. Useful books for self-publishing. What you need for publishing an ebook including a great book cover, back blurb or sales description, keyword research, sampling, pricing. Which sites to use for self-publishing ebooks including Amazon KDP, Kobo Writing Life, Nookpress, iTunes Connect for iBooks, as well as Smashwords, BookBaby and Draft2Digital. How reporting works on the stores, and how payments and help with with-holding tax. Piracy vs obscurity.

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How to self-publish an ebook on Amazon KDP, Kobo Writing Life, iBooks and Nookpress

  1. 1. How To Self-Publish An Ebook
  2. 2. “But I will never give up printed books” ! “I love the feel and the smell of a real book” ! Even if you’re not the market, you should publish an ebook.
  3. 3. * Sell to anyone in the world over the internet without printing or shipping costs. ! ! * Huge growth market globally in coming years. US & UK ‘mature’. ! ! * Proliferation of smartphones, tablets & e-readers + kids reading on devices = future! ! * More profit per book even when priced reasonably, unlike print! ! * Speed of publishing and changes - 24 hours! ! ! * Lower entry costs, lower risk 2013/ebooks-at-50/
  4. 4. 4 In order to publish, you need: ! * Finished, professionally edited manuscript in correct format ! * Professional designed book cover ! * Back blurb / sales description ! * Keywords ! * Great sample ! * Price & market decision
  5. 5. 5 Write your book and publish it to .mobi and .ePub with Scrivener. It’s only $49 for a once off payment and you can format forever. For complicated multi-media (but book well in advance) ROUND-UP POST on publishing here: Format your edited manuscript
  6. 6. 6 Considerations for illustrations / images * Complications in formatting for multiple devices so you might need a professional ! ! ! * File size impacts your royalty as it impacts delivery cost ! * Image files for ebooks may be different to print version e.g. colour vs b&w ! * Full color images expensive to print so will impact cost of book
 * Ensure you have the rights
  7. 7. 7 Useful books for self-publishing
  8. 8. 8 I used to use Word and chapter headings or separate documents but Scrivener is life-changing! You can also use it to format for Kindle and ePub
  9. 9. 9 Great Book Cover * Research books in the genre and take screenprints of what resonates ! * Give ideas to designer but give them creative expression
  10. 10. 10 * Better deal if you get ebook & print together
 * Optimize for Amazon page and thumbnail size. Can add any extra text to print only editions. 
 * Revamp old books with a new cover
  11. 11. 11 Killer Back Blurb & Sales Page * Model successful books based on your target market research * What’s in it for the customer? * Fiction - hyperbole, hook * Non-fiction: Can include table of contents * Use keywords that your target market use within text * Include review quotes in description box - there’s no limit so use it.
  12. 12. 12 Making changes to your sales page * Re-format descriptions with bold, italics, spacing and HTML ! * Add videos, blog feed, twitter and more info & photos about you ! * Multiple names for brands ! * Reporting and tracking for author & books
  13. 13. Use keyword research * Research keywords on Amazon & online keyword tools ! * Non-fiction: Use in book title if possible and keywords when loading to book sites ! * Themes/places for fiction e.g. ark of the covenant, akhenaten
  14. 14. 14 The Sampling Effect Or Look Inside the Book * Ebook readers sample. It’s how we buy. If you don’t hook me in the first 3 clicks/pages, I delete. ! *You can get millions of samples, but people have to click Buy. * Do you jump straight into the meat? Give people a reason to get the rest? * Have you used beta reader/editor feedback to improve the book & first few chapters?
  15. 15. 15 Appropriate Pricing / Price Pulsing * Amazon royalties: Under $2.99 = 35% , $2.99 - 9.99 = 70% ! * $4.99 - $9.99 for non-fiction ebooks. Look in your category/niche at what others are charging.What is your market happy to pay? ! * Cost / benefit to the customer? ! * There are no rules - you can play with it & change it when you like.
  16. 16. 16 Strategic use of Free (ebooks only) * Price pulsing has been the strategy of many authors who have done well. Put on sale at 99c or free, then change price back up again, ! * Amazon algorithms have changed so free & 99c aren’t so rewarded anymore, but can be a “gateway drug” so best if you have multiple books. Also ‘perma-free’ strategy which I use for Pentecost (first in series). ! * Do it through KDP Select or making free on Smashwords which then translates to the other sites
  17. 17. 17 Basic rule: Go direct where you can for the most control, fastest service/changes and income payments as well as reporting 
 My strategy: * Direct to Amazon KDP (70-90% of most indies income)
 * Direct to Kobo Writing Life, iBooks and NookPress ! * Use Smashwords / BookBaby / Draft2Digital for the rest ! * These are all global options and all have mobile apps for reading.
  18. 18. * Biggest share of ebook market revenue * Direct to all Kindle stores worldwide * Published in 24 hours, change whenever you like - pricing/content etc * KDP Select - your book in lending library and also free promos available for ranking - BUT/ exclusivity * Transparent reporting on ranking, sales & income * Payment by cheque/bank transfer monthly 90 days later
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  21. 21. 21 * 20% of the ebook market now - beating B&N Nook, 2nd to Amazon in some territories ! * Aggressive global expansion
 * Partners with independent book stores ! * ePub format and user friendly interface ! * Electronic payment in author’s currency !
  22. 22. 22 Recommended: * Direct to Amazon KDP (70-90% of most indies income) * Direct to Kobo Writing Life, iBooks and Nookpress * Use Smashwords / BookBaby / Draft2Digital for others * Beware of price matching by country site * Most relationships with providers & marketing opportunities with Apple/Nook ! * Free to publish, ~15% commission per sale ! * Difficult to use interface (as most established service) ! * Entirely self-service/ DIY ! * Changes are self-service and speeds vary * Fantastic, easy-to-use interface ! * Has multiple services so you can get a package deal ! * Upfront fee and then 100% royalty ! * Changes need to be emailed & can take a while * Fantastic, easy-to-use interface. ! * Ebooks only so a focused service ! * Free to publish, ~10% commission per sale ! * Changes are self-service and fast
  23. 23. 23 Apple iBookstore providers/book-faq.html * Can go direct or go through distributors. Direct requires a Mac and iTunesConnect - process to set up ! * Kids at home with iPads and being used in some schools. Some kid’s publishers moving to iPad only editions. iBooksAuthor for creation tool. ibooks-author/ ! * Takes time so don’t remove later e.g. for KDP Select. Leave it and promote it.
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  25. 25. books/view/52 * Distributes to all ebook stores so use for the ones you can’t get to directly ! * Free to publish to, takes 15% of sales - so they take the risk, but more money later if you’re successful ! * Formatting can be a real pain - for those who like to tinker & DIY or pay one of Smashword’s freelancers. ePub just available or Word. view/145431 Fantastic, free book!
  26. 26. 26 Has a free package with 15% commission or premium services. * Opt out of Amazon, Kobo etc if direct publishing * Easier interface than Smashwords - ePub files * Offers a lot more services if you don’t want to DIY * Difficult to change once published
  27. 27. 27 * no upfront fees * 10% royalty
  28. 28. 28 Transparent and timely sales reporting For each title, for each store and each region, including price and discounts, borrows ! Online and downloadable Excel sheets
  29. 29. 29 How does the money work? Income: ! * Amazon: 35% under $2.99. 70% 2.99 - 9.99. Pays monthly, 60 days after, by check/transfer in USD & GBP & EUR. Reconciles to sales report (awesome) ! * Kobo. Pays monthly, 45 days after by transfer in author’s currency w/ report ! *Smashwords. Quarterly by Paypal * Bookbaby & D2D. Set payment limit & paid monthly when it reaches that. Check/EFT/Paypal
  30. 30. 30 If you’re planning to make some money :) then sort out your US tax number in first 6 months 30% with-holding tax otherwise which adds up pretty quickly - for Amazon & iTunes (US companies) ! * whatever your business setup you need a tax number for the US ! * ITIN, EIN, W8-BEN This article will guide you through the process:
  31. 31. 31 Piracy vs Obscurity * Piracy happens to the biggest, most successful books. Obscurity is a greater threat to the unknown author. ! * Big authors like Neil Gaiman and Paulo Coelho now embrace piracy as part of marketing and finding readers in new markets. Tim Ferriss used BitTorrent to launch Four Hour Chef, NY Times bestseller ! * Most ‘real’ readers prefer to buy and support the author. ! * Understand that Copyright is applied when you create the work ! * Set up alerts ( so you are aware, but don’t worry!
  32. 32. 32 If you’re going to e- publish, buy an ebook reader ! * So you can test your own files on at least 1 device as well as web services ! * You can understand the reader experience so you can sell more effectively ! * Once converted, you’ll find it addictive!
  33. 33. 33 Free 87 page ebook on ! self-publishing and book marketing