Last month, I wrote an article about eBooks and declared that eBooks were no longer on the wild frontier. Since that article, I have learned that there are more options than I previously thought to convert, design, publish, and network an eBook. The how-to-move from manuscript to published eBook can be complicated. Really, navigating your manuscript through this jungle is a task for any amazons, or publicist. However, just like a book in print, there are steps to take to arrive at the actual published book. Let’s begin with a few basics.
One of the most critical elements in publishing any book is editing. Just because you’ve chosen to go the eBook route doesn’t mean that the industry requirements for professionalism are any less strict. In fact, because the standards for excellence with an eBook are still very wobbly, it’s even more vital for you to have a set — or sets of other eyes on your writing. No subject matter or genre is exempt from this requirement. Start your search for an editor that’s experienced with your type of subject matter. Writer’s Digest’s site, Media Bistro, Linkedin.com. Another good source is the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA). The EFA also has a great list of typical rates for various kinds of editorial services at http://www.the-efa.org/res/rates.php. Choosing an editor for your eBook is a lot like a professional golfer trying to choose a caddy, or for a woman, choosing the right gynecologist. Make sure your editor understands you, your material, and your goals.
Another critical element for any book is your cover. You can begin by looking for designers here https://www.elance.com. Choose a designer whose work you think might harmonize with your project. As a book-shepherd I have my preferred designers including fine artists, such as Jennet Inglis, whose work can be seen on her Inglis Art page. The next step is to convey to the designer what you think will attract your potential reader’s attention. Does the cover need a striking design or a bold color scheme? Do you have already have a catchy title?
Your would-be readers do judge their eBooks by their cover. That means your eBook cover – a postage-stamp-sized image within Amazon, Apple, and the others —will make all the difference in a potential reader checking out your eBook. A great eBook cover is one of your best sales tools, instantly conveying the key thoughts, messages, and images that sum up your book. And on eBook retail sites, it’s essential for you to stand out from everyone else.
There are many more steps to producing and publishing an eBook. One of these steps involves getting your eBook to the marketplace. To say that distributing an eBook is controversial may be an understatement. I wanted to include a few of the comments I received from the previous column about Kindle Select in this column. What do you think of Kindle Select? I feel there are definitely pros and cons to this system.
Dana Lynn Smith, excerpts from her article:
“Amazon KDP Select – Pros and Cons: Some authors and publishers will find this program beneficial, but many in the publishing industry are concerned about the anti-competitive nature of it. Whatever you decide, just be sure you fully understand the program before joining. You can choose KDP Select for each individual book, so you might want to experiment with one of your books before deciding to enroll others in the program…If the vast majority of your revenue comes from Kindle sales, there may not be much downside from pulling your eBooks from other eBook retailers to experiment with KDP Select. And you can cancel after 90 days.”
“…when I first learned how KDP Select worked I decided to stay as far away from it as possible, and my general recommendation is for others to stay away from it as well. This will be difficult to do, because the plain and simple fact is that authors will profit from KDP Select, at least initially. Some will succeed in a jaw-dropping manner. But the more popular it becomes, the fiercer the competition will become, and eventually (I predict) it will lead to opportunists gaming the system, breaking up what communities there may currently exist in the Amazon forums6 and making the self-publishers involved increasingly more insular. And the more popular KDP Select gets, the more it hurts the rest of the publishing world, which is where self-publishers should be trying to expand into instead of walling themselves off in Amazon land. Because if some day Amazon decides you have nowhere else to go, exactly how do you think you’re going to be treated?”
Anytime we take adventure out into the jungle we benefit from knowing the steps to take to prepare and having good guides. Publishing an eBook is an adventure. Having a good team with you on this adventure is essential. Editors, book cover designers, publicists, book-shepherds, and distributors are just a few people that will be part of your team. The team that develops trust, mutual respect, and appreciation of the others’ work will ultimately find success.
Mari Selby founded Selby ink in 1998 after working for a small publisher where she was successful in improving their sales from 20,000 books to over 100,000 books in one year. Prior to being a publicist Mari was a family therapist in private practice for almost 20 years. All of us at Selby ink are passionate about healing and transformation, we prefer to work with books that make a difference in people’s lives, their relationships, our society or the planet. Our passion for books, drive to make your work well-known, and international contacts will provide just the edge you need to create a successful promotional campaign. Selby ink covers all the publicity and promotional bases, from book-shepherding to traditional book tours to online services to viral campaigns. Contact Selby ink today for a free short consultation about your book and you! email@example.com or www.selbyink.com.