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A Complete Guide to Self-Publish eBooks

Everything You Need To Know About Self-Publishing An eBook

The essential free guide to self-publish ebooks! Strategies, tips and research… all in one place.

How this guide will help you

Introduction

Self-publishing requires a monumental effort and yes, the process is long (as this post is). But fellow author let me tell you something, self-publishing is like traveling, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. There’s so much to learn along the way and as you may know, with practice comes expertise. Eliminate from your mind any preconception about the burdens of self-publishing. Get into a positive state of mind and stay positive along the way. Remember, you get what you want, so go and get that Law of Attraction working for you.

In this comprehensive guide to self-publish your ebook I will cover every step in an author’s journey. Based on your comments and further research I will gladly edit this post to keep it updated and relevant. If you find this guide valuable, please share it and bookmark it for further use.

(last updated: February 2017)

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe


Continue reading, or skip to another section of the guide:


No time nor money to waste

Preparing the Ground for Self-Publishing Your First Ebook

What you will learn in this section:

– The benefits of having a mentor

– The importance of finding a niche market for your ebook

– Deciding what to write about

– Staying motivated and passionate


Get a Mentor

First things first, get yourself a mentor. Have you heard about the phenomenon of deliberate practice? If not I highly recommend listening to Freakonomics’ podcast on How To Become Great at Just About Anything. This phenomenon is related to the need of putting 10,000 hours of practice to learn a skill but, according to scientific research, the quality of your practice matters as much as the quantity. Ever wondered why Olympic records keep constantly falling?  Top athletes are trained by top athletes who themselves were trained by top athletes and so on. A mentor knows the best methods from experience and provides almost instant feedback which shortens the learning curve according to Anders Ericsson’s book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. Getting ongoing good feedback to focus on specific techniques leads to real improvements. Deliberate practice needs well defined specific goals and it needs stretching out from the comfort zone. Knowing this, select your mentor wisely to receive proven ebook writing tips and follow this guide’s advice to get the most out of your mentor:

  • Establish goals for the new mentor-mentee relationship
  • Define communication methods and frequency of contact right from the beginning of the relationship
  • Express gratitude and learn actively

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself and helps it out of you.” -Bob Proctor

get mentor placeit


Define Your Niche Market

According to Google, more than 130 million books exist in the world and each year around 2 million books are published all around the planet. Competition is fierce, but don’t worry, your book will be a success if you find your niche and write an ebook for it. In the overcrowded world of books, it is fundamental to write for a highly focused niche. The book business demands heavy marketing efforts, defining your niche market properly will ease marketing your ebook and will pay off your investment. Truth is a smaller niche is bigger business.

It is good to add that you shouldn’t start writing for the wrong reason, yes, money. What really reaches individuals is passion and constant effort. I recommend watching Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” where he emphasizes that “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it” and that “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe”. His talk has inspired entrepreneurs, authors, leaders, writers, and CEOs – watch it and get inspired.

“My ambition comes from my passion: finding what I love and then expanding on that.” -Miranda Kerr


Budgeting For Your Ebook

First-time writers encounter problems calculating the amount of money they will need to start writing their ebook. Consider the self-publishing task as a long term investment since the average writer starts making real money until after a year the earliest. There are “hidden” costs authors fail to foresee and prepare for. Hopefully, you’ll already have money saved up and set apart just for your ebook publishing expenses.

Follow the next advice to make sure you have enough money to publish your ebook:

  • Before starting to write, make a list with the costs of editing, designing, formatting, publishing, promoting, etc.
  • Have an action plan to cover the costs of ebook publishing.
  • Remember that you get what you pay for. It is easy to ask in Reddit or Facebook groups for free advice and criticism about your progress, but if you pay for a professional service you will most likely receive better counseling.
  • Spend wisely, consider inexpensive services like Placeit to create mockups for promoting your ebook.
  • Consider crowdfunding your project. Start by asking your close friends and family and then go and try a crowdfunding platform.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in a single basket, diversify. Find alternate sources of income to have cash available to support the long hours spent writing.
  • Eat healthy even if it seems more expensive. Your brain doesn’t like unhealthy food and you need a healthy brain to keep on writing.
Kindle Mockup Made with Placeit
Kindle Mockup Made with Placeit

Do You Have True Grit?

Grit, the magic combination of passion and long-term perseverance. Along your self-publishing journey, you will inevitably get distracted by the zillion distractions of today’s modern life. Find a consistent time each day, or several times a week, to work on your e-book. You might want to try the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes writing, 5-minute break) to use your time effectively during writing sessions. Anyone can write for just 25 minutes, don’t you agree? Make writing a habit.

Joining a book club will also help you stay motivated. Remember that reading is to authors what exercising is to athletes. Surrounding yourself with fellow writers, self-publishers, and bookworms will provide you helpful insight. Ali Luke also suggests “…to plan your e-book before you start writing. This means having a clear outline that has, at the very least, a title for each chapter. Yes, that might seem a bit boring, but it will make the writing stage far easier (and more fun). Try freeform brainstorming or mind maps or index cards as creative alternatives to help get your ideas flowing.”

In a nutshell:

  • Unplug the internet cord, say goodbye to distractions, enter focus mode.
  • Get motivated, surround yourself with the best to be the best.
  • Establish daily/weekly goals, e.g. “x” words written, “y” chapters completed in “z” time, etc.
  • Remember, improvement comes only with practice!

“A determined mind and a strong will bear endless possibilities.” -Anonymous


Continue reading, or skip to another section of the guide:

Preparing the Ground for Self-Publishing Your First Ebook

Starting Your First Ebook

Pre-Launch Ebook Promotion

Self-Publishing Your Ebook

What To Do After Publishing Your First Ebook


Hands-On

Starting Your First Ebook

What you will learn in this section:

  • Tools to ease self-publishing tasks
  • Importance of Social Media
  • How to make good use of Social Media
  • How to build a community for your ebook

HANDY TOOLS TO CONSIDER

The secret of getting ahead is getting started is using the best writing tools available. As Vita Sackville-West once said, “A man and his tools make a man and his trade”. There are a plethora of tools available for the modern writer, be sure to use the ones that suit you best and you feel comfortable using. Most of the following tools have an user-friendly interface for users of all ages so don’t hesitate in giving them a try. Choose a determined app depending on what platform you plan to publish your ebook on.

How to Write an Ebook with the Help of Tools:

Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft. A favorite of many.

scrivener screenshot

Ulysses provides a pleasant, focused writing experience combined with effective document management, fast syncing and flexible export. With Ulysses you can transform your texts into beautiful PDFs, Word documents and eBooks, properly formatted and styled. It also lets you export to HTML, ready to be used anywhere on the web.

ulysses app preview

– Google Docs  – Access, create, and edit your documents wherever you go — from your phone, tablet, or computer — even when there’s no connection.

google doc

Hemingway App is a free web app helps to improve your writing skills, by highlighting words and phrases you should reconsider, for bold, clear writing.hemingway app

iBooks Author is an amazing app that allows anyone to create beautiful iBooks Textbooks — and just about any other kind of book — for iPad and Mac.

ibooks-author

WordPress lets you create beautiful and powerful websites,  landing pages or blogs.

wordpresstheme

– Placeit is a free easy to use 3D book mockup generator, it contains the largest library of handcrafted mockups and templates for your book marketing needs. Whenever you are ready, go and create a book cover to better promote your book.

before after placeit

Did you know that you can now also create Book Video Mockups with Placeit!? Have a look!

By following the same simple steps of dragging and dropping a JPEG image file to your screen you can create eye-catching Ebook Videos that look as if you’ve invested hundreds of dollars in them. Don’t believe it? Click on the button below to create yours!

 

The Good Old Pen & Paper are your best allies. It’s not always possible to carry a laptop around (or having more than 10% of battery in your smartphone) so as a last helpful tip I suggest you to carry a small notebook around (and a pen) with you at all times. We never know when or where the creative juices will flow so better be prepared.

notebook pen


How-to Set Up Your Digital Properties

Evan LePage masterfully wrote about How to Set up Facebook, Twitter and Every o Twitter and Every Other Major Social Media Profile for Hootsuite’s Blog:

“Your social media profile is a window into your personality, your job, your interests—sure, but if done correctly, it can be so much more than that. It can drive people to your website or other online assets; it can promote some of your best content; and it can lead to new clients and sales. When you reach out to a new contact or prospect, the first thing they’re going to do is look you up online. Your profile needs to be both impressive and discoverable.

With so much potential value in each social media profile, it’s worth investing the time and effort required to set them up properly. (Or, if you’ve neglected yours for an extended period of time, it can be just as important to give it a complete overhaul.)”

“Why is your bio so important? In addition to sharing basic information about yourself, adding your website and email address turns any social network bio into a potential source of referral traffic. Especially on company pages, the opportunity to describe your products and link out to an external website makes bios a powerful marketing and sales tool. Plus, including your Twitter handle or Google+ page in the personal information section of another social network is a simple form of cross-promotion that could help grow your social following across the board.”

Online Presence Best Practice:

  • Claim your name (before somebody else does) on the social media platforms you want to appear on and have consistent handles.
  • Create appropriately sized imagery for each network you plan to have a presence on.
  • Check how successful writers have their social media properties set-up and imitate their style.
  • Engage with your audience, be active, don’t disappear for long periods of time.
  • The 80/20 rule also applies in Social Media, follow it. 80% of your posts should be interesting, shareable content and 20% of your posts should be persuasive Call-to-Actions.

Take a look at the digital properties of our favorite authors:

J.K. Rowling’s Facebook:

facebook

Veronica Roth’s Google+:

veronicaroth-googleplus-mini

James Patterson’s Twitter:

twitter

George R.R. Martin’s Goodreads:

george-rr-martin-goodreads

Kristin Hanna’s Website:

website_mini


Building Your Community & Networking

It’s no secret that community building is an important factor of an ebook’s success. Hop onto the bandwagon of social media and connect with your audience. Having online presence is as important as having real human interaction. Attend relevant conferences, cultural events and concurred cafés like the Crémerie-Restaurant Polidor which is said to have been a favorite of André Gide’s, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Antonin Artaud, Paul Valéry, Boris Vian, Julio Cortázar, Jack Kerouac, and Henry Miller. Most cities have bohemian locations where you can mingle with fellow literature enthusiasts.

Jennifer McCartney suggests hitting the road and assisting book conferences to find inspiration and network. She writes, “Writers’ conferences, book fairs, and festivals are an important tool for indie authors looking to market their work to a wider audience. Attending these events allows authors to network with agents, publishers, and other authors, as well as to meet fans and learn more about the industry in general.” Find her complete article and a list of almost 100 relevant conferences and events for authors here.

How to Build Buzz:

Share your goals. Let people know you are writing and share important milestones along your self-publishing journey. There are 5 reasons to make goals public, verifiable, and open: accountability, clarity, progress measurement, motivation, and connection.

– Embrace the power of the #Hashtag. Create a hashtag that resonates with your followers and relates with your book’s theme. You can use Hashtags to easily track the ongoing conversation your followers are having on social media.

– Identify and create a list of your top influencers. Influencer marketing effectiveness has increased thanks to the wide-spread use of social media. If influential people write, tweet, post about your ebook then your ebook will reach and convince more readers.

– Use the AIDA model. AIDA is an acronym used in marketing and advertising that describes a common list of events that may occur when a consumer engages with an advertisement.

aida model

A – attention (awareness): attract the attention of the customer/reader.
I – interest of the customer.
D – desire: convince customers that they want and desire your book and that it will satisfy their needs.
A – action: lead customers/readers towards taking action and/or purchasing.

“It occurs to me that our survival may depend upon our talking to one another.” ―Dan Simmons


Continue reading, or skip to another section of the guide:

Preparing the Ground for Self-Publishing Your First Ebook

Starting Your First Ebook

Pre-Launch Ebook Promotion

Self-Publishing Your Ebook

What To Do After Publishing Your First Ebook


Building Buzz

Pre-Launch Ebook Promotion

What you will learn in this section:

  • Pre-launch checklist
  • How to price your ebook
  • Launching an email marketing campaign
  • Everything you need to know about ebook metadata

The Devil is in the Details

A book’s success is determined by multiple factors and one of them is its title. Since we judge books by their covers and around 40% of a book’s cover is the title you must invest time and energy finding the best possible title for your ebook. Book success is not guaranteed merely because of a good title but a bad title can definitely doom it. In a nutshell, your book title should possess all of these attributes:

  • Attention Grabbing
  • Memorable
  • Informative (gives idea of what book is about)
  • Easy to say
  • Not embarrassing or problematic for someone to say aloud to their friends

Chairman and co-founder of Book in a Box, Tucker Max, writes a comprehensive guide on how to pick the perfect book title which you should check out.

Format your ebook manuscript properly. Set up your page size, choose a font, choose a font size, justify your text, number your pages, set up your margins and chapter headings, insert illustrations, and prepare both your front and back matter. Once you have all these aspects covered, read your manuscript out loud one more time and make corrections. Next step, hire an expert editor to proofread your book. Be open for early criticism, the feedback you will get from professionals and peers is important and you will still be in time to make corrections both in form and substance.

“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.” ―Michael Crichton

Book aesthetics truly matter. Same story as with the book title, ebook cover design must not be taken slightly. Your ebook cover art must be enticing and must stand out from the rest. Go ahead and try Placeit’s book cover maker, it is the easiest way to have an awesome looking ebook cover art for your book done in seconds. See how easy it is to create your own book cover art.

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Once you have a couple possible designs, split test them with peers and on the internet. You can also use Facebook reactions to ask questions to your followers or to create a poll to help you decide. Check which one performs better and go for that one. Here’s an example of how a post could look:
ebook-cover-art-facebook-poll-contest

Once you have a well designed and peer reviewed kindle cover design, you should create a 3d ebook mockup to showcase your ebook to potential readers in a professional manner. Thanks to ebook cover maker tools, you can share your work in a context that relates to your audience. Find below how easy it is to create ebook covers for promotional marketing campaigns. We actually wrote a guide on how to promote your eBook online and off, you should check it out. And if you need some inspiration, here are a bunch of great premade book cover examples to get your started.
before-after-placeit2-mini

How to Make an Ebook Cover

Step One

Head to Placeit.net and click on the Print tab on the upper left corner.

step one mini

Step Two

On the left side, you will be able to see the Print catalog, click on Book. Now go and browse the more than forty 3D ebook designs.

step two

Then Select your favorite ebook design. You can choose a Landscape Book Mockup, Hardcover Book Mockup, Square Book Mockup, Photorealistic Book Mockup, or many others.

step three

Step Three

Click on the Upload Image white button or simply drag & drop your ebook cover on top of the book area. Each design displays a recommended resolution. If your image is of a different size Placeit’s powerful software will do the best to make it look professional.

Step Four

Click on Download -> select the resolution that you need and click on Purchase -> type in your email and password and click on Sign up -> click on Purchase one more time then introduce your payment details and click on Pay to download your professional book cover.

Optional Step

Add Text / Effects as desired, apply, and save.

Step Five

Click Download. Your download will now be processed in Placeit’s powerful servers.

placeit free download

Step Six

You will receive an email with a direct download link when your high-resolution 3D ebook cover design is ready OR you can also get your image(s) by accessing to My Drive on the top right corner on Placeit.net.

Hiqh Quality Book Cover Made With Placeit
High Quality Book Cover Made With Placeit

[Find here more Book Templates]


Your Ebook’s Price

Congratulations, chances are that by now you are almost ready to publish your ebook. According to Millcitypress, $3.99 is the most popular price to sell your ebook for. This magic price doesn’t apply to every self-publisher’s ebook out there and setting this price for your ebook is just a recommendation. Price psychology is an interesting subject and I recommend you to get informed about it. Only you know how valuable your work is and how much you’ve spent on it so do not necessarily go with price best practices. Also, consider that you make a royalty out of the ebook’s retail price so make sure that you are satisfied with the final amount that you will be receiving.

Let’s suppose you sell 100 ebooks. Here’s what your approximate royalty would be. (All amounts rounded to the nearest dollar.)

List Price

Amazon.com BN.com Apple iBookstore Other Retailers

$2.99

$209

$194

$209

$120-$160

$3.99

$279

$259

$279

$160-$219

$4.99

$349

$324

$394

$200-$274

$5.99

$419

$389

$419

$240-$329

$6.99

$489

$454

$489

$280-$384

$7.99

$559

$519

$559

$320-$439

$8.99

$629

$584

$629

$360-$494

$9.99 $699 $649 $699

$400-$549

[You can find this table on Millcitypress blog]


Pre-Launch Ebook Promotion

Strategically Plan Your Product Launch

Deliberately plan your ebook launch date, what do you want the media to say about your book, who you want talking about your ebook, and how you can turn your ebook launch into something worth talking about, maybe even making it viral.

Make Noise

Start working with the media in advance of your ebook launch. Even if you don’t have great success in the beginning, it will give you something to build on.

Take Pre-Orders

Have a way for prospects to sign up for updates. Then make sure those updates offer a link to pre-order as soon as it’s possible. Try Campaign Monitor to build your ebook’s marketing campaign.

Building an email list to inform your users about your ebook release date is important. Setting up an email marketing campaign is not as complicated as some people think. Software like Campaign Monitor or Mailchimp is perfect for this and it is inexpensive and easy to use. It is important to have clearly defined goals for your email marketing campaign. You may want to get recipients to visit your blog, download a preview of your ebook, purchase your ebook or write a review on a specific website. You may already have several emails in your contact list with which you can start your email marketing campaign but that should only be the beginning. Check Campaign Monitor’s advice to build an extensive email list and follow their instructions to get started with email marketing.

  1. Create simple subscribe opportunities (website, your social channels, twitter lead generation cards, email signature, etc.)
  2. Offer a valuable incentive (early access, discounts, offers, etc.)

ebook metadata
An Ebook’s Metadata

Ebook Metadata Is More Important Than Ever

In a few words, Metadata is extra information that a file (like an EPUB) contains that allows it to be categorized by genre, author, title, etc. It makes your ebook easier to find. You should include keywords and data in your ebook’s Metadata that you think could help a reader find your ebook in the vast ocean of ebooks.

The most important information (metadata) an ebook file must have are both the copyright and what the ebook is about. You should allocate enough time to fill up every piece of metadata information that a platform requires from you. Even if it seems like filling up all the required information will take a lot of time, believe me, it is worth the burden.

There’s core metadata and enhanced metadata. If you don’t want your book to have a chance of succeeding just fill up its core metadata, if you want it to have great success keep on reading. Core metadata is the very basic information every professional ebook must contain like its title, where can it be sold, in what language it is written, etc. Enhanced metadata’s purpose is to enhance both computers’ and humans’ experience. It can include information about the author, reviews, images, and any other information that makes an ebook unique and thus worth to read. Find more information on Ebook Metadata on DigitalPublishing101.com and in the following links.

Further reading on metadata:


Continue reading or skip to another section of the guide:

Preparing the Ground for Self-Publishing Your First Ebook

Starting Your First Ebook

Pre-Launch Ebook Promotion

Self-Publishing Your Ebook

What To Do After Publishing Your First Ebook


It’s Time

Self-Publishing Your Ebook

What you will learn in this section:

  • How to publish your ebook on different platforms

“Publishing is the final step in making a book; if I was afraid to publish one, I wouldn’t write in the first place.” -Charles Stross


Ebook Self-Publishing Platforms

Today self-publishers have to choose between a multitude of options that a few years back were unavailable. Some authors prefer to publish on popular platforms and some others prefer to publish on less popular platforms because there is less competition. What’s true is that each platform has its own loyal customer base but if a reader doesn’t find a specific title in a platform then the reader will look for it in the next popular platform. Invariably, there are always pros and cons for authors. I strongly recommend that you look into all of the available options and follow with what works better for you.

Here are the instructions on how to publish your ebook on five different ebook platforms:

Publishing You Ebook on Kindle Direct Publishing

After completing your account setup and preparing your book file, you will now be ready to publish your polished, formatted manuscript on Amazon. Go to “Your Bookshelf” and then carefully review the “New Title Checklist“. Visit the links below and follow their advice to correctly publish your ebook.

Publishing Process:

It can take from one to two days for your book be available for purchase in the Kindle Store. After publishing, any changes you make will take up to two days to appear.

[Publishing process extracted from KDP Help Section]

Publish Your Ebook On NOOK Press (Barnes & Noble)

Start by signing up for a Nook Press account. After you have registered, sign into the main page of the Nook Press dashboard.

To start a new project, click “Create New Project”. Now you will give your project a name. This project name will show up in your project list. It doesn’t have to be the same as the title of your book.

Fill out each section before your ebook project is complete. Most of this information is Metadata which is important for your ebook’s success. Click “Save & Next” at the top of the page.

Enter your Rights & Pricing information. Then answer “Other Information” section. Finally, enter any Editorial Reviews (from blogs, news articles, fellow authors, etc.) you might have. Writing several positive reviews will help to convince readers. You will now be ready to publish your ebook on Barnes & Noble, it should take no more than two days for your book to be available for purchase.

[This is a shorter version of this awesome Ebook Nook Press guide by Sarra Cannon]

[Find Nook Press specific Marketing Tips, Toolkits & more at The Nook Press Blog]

ibooks

Publishing Your Ebook on the iBooks Store

iBooks Store Checklist:

– Get an Apple ID (go to the My Apple ID website)

– Enable iTunes Connect with your Apple ID.

– Grab Apple’s ebook software: iTunes Producer is available from the Tools section and iBooks Author is available from the Mac App Store.

– Grab an EPUB file converter.

You will be able to submit a book made with iBooks Author or any other book in EPUB file format (.epub). You will be guided through the required steps and then asked to Open iTunes Producer. Once in iTunes Producer add your cover art, provide metadata, payment details, and price information

Allow maximum a day to view and edit your ebook details. All books must be reviewed and approved before they’re available on the iBooks Store.

[Publishing process found at the iBooks Author FAQ Section & iBooks Store Publishing Overview]

lulu_logo_new

Publish Your Ebook on Lulu

To start a new eBook project:
1. Click Create > Create eBooks.
2. Review the eBook options. If you are doing it yourself, click Make Your eBook.
3. Enter a title and author name.
4. Select your project’s availability: “Sell this book” or “Make available only to me”. Click Save & Continue.

Now you be sent to the ISBN section.

Note: If you want to create an eBook that is going to go to retail channels, you will need an EPUB. The Lulu EPUB Converter can create one for you or you can upload your own. Get the Lulu EPUB Converter here.

What to do next:

1. Select Make an EPUB or Make a PDF.
2. Click Browse and search your computer for the file you want to use.
3. Highlight the file and click Upload.
4. Click Save & Continue to convert your file into an eBook.

Describe Your Project & Add Cover Image
Fill in the description fields and click the ‘Save & Continue‘ button.

Set Your Project Price, click Review Project, and if everything is to your liking click Save & Finish.

Your eBook will now available on Lulu and if you have selected retailer options, it will be queued to be reviewed by the Lulu Quality Assurance Team.

[Lulu’s Publishing Guide found at Lulu’s Knowledge Base]

bookbaby

Publishing Your Ebook on Bookbaby

1. Register on the site
2. Create and save a quote here
3. Templates will be provided for your size manuscript and cover artwork in your saved quote.
4. Download the templates from the saved project listed under the manuscript and cover art sections of your project and import into your graphic design program. (If BookBaby is designing, you can skip this step).
5. You’ll need a single page spread PDF of your (proofread and edited) manuscript
6. You’ll need a separate PDF of your cover artwork
7. Upload your PDF’s into the appropriate placeholders in the Project Center
8. Walk through check out.

What happens next?

1. Bookbaby will convert your files to 3 different formats (PDF, mobi and ePub)
2. Bookbaby will send you an ePub galley proof so that you can view your files on any type of reader or mobile device for playability
3. Bookbaby will distribute your book to all of their partner sites
4. Bookbaby will collect your royalties from your sales
5. Bookbaby will report your royalties via My Account
6. Bookbaby will pay out your royalties according to your instructions in My Account under Payment Info.

[Visit Bookbaby’s Self-Publishing Step by Step Guide]


Continue reading, or skip to another section of the guide:

Preparing the Ground for Self-Publishing Your First Ebook

Starting Your First Ebook

Pre-Launch Ebook Promotion

Self-Publishing Your Ebook

What To Do After Publishing Your First Ebook


The Day After

What To Do After Publishing Your First Ebook

What you will learn in this section:

  • How to promote your ebook in social media
  • How to promote your ebook on KDP and Bookbub
  • The importance of getting reviews

Free Advertising for Your Ebook

By now you probably are a published Ebook author. Hopefully, your book is a great success and it is doing well. Nevertheless, a little help never hurts. Here are 5 tips to expand the reach of your ebook without spending much:

  • USB Sticks: You shouldn’t stop attending to writer’s events after publishing your ebook, actually you should attend to more of them after publishing your ebook. Buy bulk cheap USB sticks and place a copy of your ebook in them. Next time you attend an important writers event (or family/friends gathering) give away USB sticks to people you meet who could be interested in your book. With some luck they will read your ebook and review it, if they like it, they will also buy it.
  • Run a Facebook/Twitter Contest: Use a free ebook cover maker to get the people’s attention and simply publish a post on your page with an image of your ebook mockup.
    • Something as simple as: “LIKE this post to win a FREE copy of my Ebook”
    • Or perhaps you want people to Like & comment: “Want a FREE copy of my Ebook? LIKE this post & COMMENT about why you should win.  We’ll pick a random winner.”
    • You can even require contestants to post photos: “In the comments below, post your best picture of you reading my Ebook. One lucky commenter will win $80!”
    • Make people answer a trivia question to enter your contest and only those who answer correctly qualify to win: “How did Tom & Jerry first met? Correct answers have a chance to win a FREE copy of my Ebook!”
    • Get creative and make use of the new Facebook reactions to create a fun contest.

faceboo fb reactions contest

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you’re doing, but nobody else does.” – Stuart H. Britt


Paid Advertising for Your Ebook

Facebook Advertising

free ebook cover maker

Advertising Best Practices for Ebooks

Using Facebook Ads will help you to reach your audience driving more sales. We have recently released Ebook Facebook Ad Images you can use when advertising on Facebook. Have a look!

facebook-ebook-ads

 
Here are 8 best practice tips to help you optimize your ads.

  • Include a call to action within the first 90 characters and tell your customers what you want them to do. For example, tell them to subscribe to your email list or to download your ebook.
  • Use high-quality attractive lifestyle photos, bright product imagery or videos to grab the attention of potential customers. Create a visual representation of the words in your ad or Post.
  • Always refresh your ad creative every 1 to 2 weeks for the best performance, in other words, combat Ad fatigue.  When everyone in your target audience has already seen your ad many times, it becomes more expensive to achieve desirable results.
  • Include the most important content in your post in the first 90 characters. If you want visitors to your website, link to it upfront.
  • Identify your target audience. Think about your best current customers and use Facebook’s targeting options to reach a similar audience. For example, if you do not think French speaking customers will be interested in your ebook, only target English speaking countries.
  • Organizing and promoting an event gives you an opportunity to attract new customers and bring previous customers back. Use Page Post ads to increase reservations or attendance to an event.
  • Boosting posts will ensure your most important messages are seen by your fans and their friends. Boost posts about sales during the holidays to get in the news feeds of current customers and use targeting to expand your reach to new ones.
  • Facebook Offers allows you to promote special discounts to Facebook fans and non-fans in your specified area.

[Find out more about Facebook Advertising Best Practices]

Twitter Advertisingtwitter placeit book

  • Select a campaign objective:
    • Send people to your site, (to purchase, signup, etc.)
    • Grow your follower community on Twitter
    • Collect emails from interested people
    • Reach more people and drive conversation
    • Find out more about Twitter Advertising.
  • Decide on a landing page
  • Create a hashtag for your book
  • Use a URL shortener
  • Identify a series of “tweetable” quotes from the book
  • Automate the delivery of your tweets.

Further reading:

Advertising for KDP Select

sponsored-products-amazon

Amazon Marketing Services

Creating your ad in 5 easy steps:

1. Choose which book you’d like to promote
2. Choose your campaign type

  • Sponsored Product ads: keyword targeted ads that appear below search results and on detail pages.
  • Product Display ads: readers and genre-targeted ads on detail pages.

3. Select your targeting to reach the right customers.
4. Set your bid and budget: Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Bid or Campaign Budget

5. Set your campaign dates

[For more details on advertising with KDP Select, see Getting Started with Amazon KDP Ads Guide]

Recommended KDP Select reading:

BookBub

bookbub logo

BookBub is allegedly one of the best ebook promoting services. It is a free service that helps millions of readers discover great deals on acclaimed ebooks while providing publishers and authors with a way to drive sales and find new fans. Its members receive a personalized daily email alerting them to the best free and deeply discounted titles matching their interests as selected by the editorial team. BookBub works with all major ebook retailers and devices and is the industry’s leading ebook price promotion service. Find out more about becoming a BookBub partner here.

Don’t forget to visit this amazing compilation with comprehensive Ebook marketing tips: The Top Guides to Online Advertising for Marketing Book

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.” – David Ogilvy


Aim for the 5 Stars

Getting reviews is of maximum importance for your ebook’s success. Readers get a book recommended by a friend, they add it to their “To-Read” list and forget about it for a while. Then, when they are looking for their next read, they find your book on their list. They go online and either make a Google search or look for your book directly on Amazon, Goodreads, whatever. This is the moment of truth! Does the book have 1 or 2 reviews or maybe none? Does the book have 2 or 3 stars or maybe one? Chances are he/she will not get your book and instead will consider another book from their list.  Now let’s picture a different scenario, the book has 50 reviews maybe >100 reviews. The reader will then read the reviews and short description because so many people before them found it interesting, therefore they will very likely get the ebook. This is how most readers behave and is also one of the many reasons to get positive and organic reviews for your ebook. Getting reviews in the first days weeks of your book release is important so plan your outreach efforts with time.

Now let’s picture a different scenario, the book has 50 reviews maybe >100 reviews. The reader will then read the reviews and short description because so many people before them found it interesting, therefore they will very likely get the ebook. This is how most readers behave and is also one of the many reasons to get positive and organic reviews for your ebook. Getting reviews in the first days weeks of your book release is important so plan your outreach efforts with time.

Why getting ebook reviews is important:

  • Consumers/readers read online reviews before buying/reading.
  • Consumers/readers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • Positive reviews build trust.

Here are some tips on how to get ebook reviews:

  • Do some research and build a list with the Top Reviewers of books of a similar genre or plot story as your ebook and get their emails.
  • Craft a short email and reach out to these power readers and kindly request them to read and review your book.
  • If necessary, give away your ebook for free. Follow up if no answer is received and also be thankful when you receive a review.
  • Another approach is to remind every person you know is reading or has finished reading your book to post a review, tell them it will just take 2 minutes no more.
  • Include at the end of your book a Call-To-Action. This might be the easiest and most effective way of getting reviews. If a reader is seeing this last page it means the reader has put the effort to finish your ebook so why not rate it and review it if it’s as easy as clicking the links.
Example of the Last Page of Your Ebook

Thank you for reading our ebook self-publishing guide, feel free to go back to any section you want by clicking the links below:

Preparing the Ground for Self-Publishing Your First Ebook

Starting Your First Ebook

Pre-Launch Ebook Promotion

Self-Publishing Your Ebook

What To Do After Publishing Your First Ebook


Don’t forget to Bookmark this guide for future reference.

Read our recently released guide that is focused exclusively on book marketing.