How to Publish an ebook

Writing and publishing your ebook is easier then you think.

In this article we will see what the easiest way is to publish your ebook. Ebooks are still very popular, they had their hypes back in a few years when all the tablets came out, but still, they are very popular and widely used. Why?

Well, they are easy to buy, easy to send to somebody, you can read them on all your devices and you can also print them out if you want. They are very easy to publish as well. So if you are thinking of writing something the best way to do that is in a form of an ebook. But how do you do that? Let’s see that now.

Firstly, you must write your text

First of course you must write the book, the easiest is just to type into Microsoft Word. You need to pay attention of the grammar. The best is to use Smashword’s Style Guide. It has pretty much become thre standard of formatting a digital book.

If you don’t know yet, Smashword is the biggest aggregator, (the word ‘aggregator’ means they help you formatting, publishing and distributing your books to several platforms). They are very good at it and there are a lot of reasons why you should choose them. On their website they list a few good reasons:

  • It’s fast, free and easy! – Smashwords makes it free and easy to publish and distribute an ebook. No technical experience required.
  • Robust, centralized multi-title metadata management – Metadata is data about your book, such as pricing, categorization and book description.  From the Smashwords Dashboard, you’ll have centralized control over your book’s metadata at multiple retailers.  Update once, broadcast everywhere.  It’s a huge time saver.
  • Preorder Distribution to Apple, Barnes & Noble and Kobo – List your book for sale weeks or months in advance.  Preorders allow you to capture more sales and increase the odds of hitting bestseller lists at major retailers.  Many Smashwords authors have topped the charts using our preorder tools.
  • Daily Sales Reporting – We offer daily sales reporting from Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive and the Smashwords store.  Detailed charts and analytics help you spot trends and measure the effectiveness of your sales and marketing campaigns.
  • Smashwords Channel Manager – Monitor the timing of retailer shipments, or opt in or out of specific distribution channels. You’re in control. No exclusivity!
  • Smashwords Series Manager – Improve the discoverability of series titles.  This powerful tool gives Smashwords series writers a competitive advantage.
  • Smashwords Coupon Manager – This awesome promotion tool creates custom coupon codes you can share with readers, reviewers and bloggers.
  • Smashwords Widgets – This tool makes it easy for you and your fans to create attractive widget advertisements for your books on websites and blogs.  You’ll find the widget link below the shopping cart on every book page.
  • Pricing Manager – Centrally control your pricing across multiple retailers, and set custom pricing for public libraries, and the option to set custom pricing in each of over 200 countries.
  • Global Distribution – Reach exclusive sales outlets that are otherwise difficult or impossible to reach.
  • Smashwords Alerts – Readers can subscribe to receive automated alerts when you publish a new book.
  • Continuous enhancements – Smashwords provides exclusive tools and distribution channels that can’t be found anywhere else. We’re continually developing new capabilities that help Smashwords authors and publishers gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

There are more aggregators, of course, like, Draft2Digital, Ebookit, Publish Drive or Streetlib but since Smashwords is the oldest and biggest one (and not to forget that it is free) we will mostly talk about them in this article.

So, just sign up (it is free) to Smashwords and use their aforementioned Style Guide to format your book. Once you’re confident the book is formatted according to the Style Guide, click “Publish” and follow the simple instructions. You will upload your manuscript or finished work in Microsoft Word’s .doc format, or as a professionally designed .epub file. If you’re using Microsoft Word, save your finished manuscript as a .doc file, not .docx. If you’re using a different word processor (such as Open Office), be sure when you save the document, you select “save as: file type: Microsoft Word .doc“.

Secondly, you need to upload it to an aggregator

Once your text is formatted correctly it is ready to be uploaded to Smashwords, Meatgrinder (as they call their program which handles the uploads and error checking). You also need to create a cover for your book, or let somebody do that for you. Finally, you need to assign a free ISBN number for your book. This is an identification number for books. Every book needs one.
Depending of the platform you will be using (Smashwords, Lulu, Amazon, Apple) follow their guides regarding the sizes of the cover design.

Thirdly, you need to market it.

Smashwords will distribute your books via multiple online channels, including but not limited to the Smashwords.com web site, major online retailers (Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive, Scribd, Gardners, Baker & Taylor and other online venues.
(Note: If you also want to display your book on Amazon you must upload it separately using the Amazon KDP program.) Once your book is published you just need to advertise it everywhere you can possible think of, to get more sales. Good Luck!

If you want to make your cover art yourself, you just need to use Photoshop for that. Maybe swap a photo and just put the title and your name on the image. Easy. See some Photoshop tutorials on our blog.

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