PressThis: How to Publish an Ebook: Resources for Authors | Jane Friedman #MondayBlogs


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For today’s post, I am sharing an article about #selfpublishing that has resources for writers and authors I’ve found to be useful. It has plenty of resources from ebook files, distributors, marketing, and more.


A round-up of the best resources and tools for how to publish an ebook.

About the only thing that remains constant in ebook publishing is that it changes—everything from the services to marketing strategies. Here, I regularly update best resources I know of related to learning to publish an ebook, finding the right e-publishing distributors and services, and staying on top of changes in the industry.

Creating Basic Ebook Files

Assuming you have a finished and polished manuscript ready to be published, your first task is to create an ebook file; EPUB is the industry standard ebook format accepted by nearly all retailers. Unfortunately, this cannot be done through a simple Word export, but many tools and services will help you prep an EPUB file. (While most retailers and distributors try to offer good Word-to-ebook conversion, results and quality vary tremendously. Use them with caution.)

  • Vellum: easy-to-use software for Mac users only to produce EPUB files
  • PressBooks: a WordPress-based system for producing both EPUB and print files
  • Scrivener: this writing software is not free, but it can export EPUB files
  • Apple Pages (can export EPUB files)
  • Sigil: an open-source software for producing EPUB files, requires some tech savvy
  • Reedsy: you can copy/paste your work into its free online editor, then export EPUB files
  • Draft2Digital: you can upload your Word doc for EPUB conversion even if you don’t use them as your distributor
  • Calibre: free software that’s useful for file conversion to/from EPUB, but some find it difficult to use

If you don’t want the headache of creating your own ebook files, check out the services at eBookPartnership.

Creating Enhanced, Multimedia, or Full-Color Ebooks

If you’re publishing a highly illustrated work, such as a children’s picture book, an enhanced ebook, or need to have a fixed layout book—where text doesn’t reflow from page to page—you’ll either need to hire someone or use a special portal for publishing and distributing your work.

  • KDP Kids’ Book Creator: for creating children’s picture books
  • Blurb: produces print + digital full-color books, with distribution to major retailers
  • Book Creator: iPad app for illustrated books, great for children’s authors
  • Again, if you need assistance preparing your ebook files, try eBookPartnership.

Choosing Your Ebook Retailers and Distributors

Ebook distribution to major retail outlets is free and fairly straightforward, at least once you have ebook files ready to go. (Your upfront costs are almost always connected to the effort of designing, formatting, and producing those files, whether the cover and the interior—not distribution.)

Assuming you have ebook files ready to go, you have a choice to make: Would you rather deal with each online retailer directly, or would you rather reach them through an ebook distribution service?

  • Working directly with online retailers usually means better profits, more control, and more access to marketing/promotion tools (but not always).
  • Working with ebook distribution services usually means giving up a percentage of your profits to the distributor, in exchange for the centralized administration and management of all your titles. Some ebook distributors can also reach outlets you can’t on your own, such as the library market, and may offer you helpful tools to optimize book sales and marketing.

The good news is that you don’t have to choose between working directly with online retailers and using ebook distributors, since it’s rare for any distributor to demand exclusivity. For example, you could choose to work directly with Amazon KDP to sell your ebooks on Amazon, then use an ebook distributor such as Draft2Digital or Smashwords to reach other retailers. Or you could choose to distribute directly to Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and Nook (by using their do-it-yourself portals), then use Smashwords to capture the rest of the market (such as Scribd and libraries).

Bottom line: There’s no one right way to go about it, since it depends on your time and resources, your books, and your marketing strategy. You can also change your mind at any time (although not without some administration hassle and sales downtime).

Most important ebook retailers in the English-language markets

  • Amazon. Probably sells 60-80% of all ebooks, more for some authors and titles.
  • Apple Books. Widely considered the No. 2 ebook retailer in U.S.
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Press. Sales have been dropping significantly over the last couple years.
  • Kobo. Gaining ground, international presence. Important for the Canadian market.

Key ebook distributors

  • Smashwords. The largest ebook distributor of self-published titles that’s been around the longest and has the widest reach, particularly to the library market. No upfront cost; they take a cut of your sales.
  • Draft2Digital. Similar to Smashwords, but smaller and more customer-service focused. They take a cut of your sales.

Optimizing Your Product Page and Description

When you upload your ebook to retailers, you need to craft strong book descriptions, research your best categories and keywords, and do whatever you can to increase the likelihood that someone who sees your book page on Amazon will make a purchase.

Sales, Marketing, and Promotion

By far the hardest part of ebook publishing is making readers aware your book exists—then convincing them to buy it.

 

(Click on the link below to continue reading.)

Source: How to Publish an Ebook: Resources for Authors | Jane Friedman

 

 

 

Taking That Jump On a New Lease On Life


I remembered writing the post below as part for a writing challenge five years ago. Different time. Different mindset. It is a wonder and something that is okay to do which is to look back to see how far you came. To check in with yourself periodically, you know? I do know that isn’t good to look into that rearview mirror, but I truly believe it is best to do so to learn from the past. Not to ponder on the past with the wouldas, shouldas, and couldas.

I have always been that person who was afraid to take that first step. I oftentimes will play Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway and give into the lyrics. (Listen to song here.) I nicknamed myself Phoenix for a reason and I have to remind myself that no matter may have happened in life, that I must and will rise from the ashes stronger, smarter, and powerful.

I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly
I’ll do what it takes ’til I touch the sky
And I’ll make a wish, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won’t forget all the ones that I love
I’ll take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway
– Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway

No matter what comes my way, I have to know that I must not be afraid to make a step, jump, slide, or sign into a new lease of life. How about you?


Repost.

As I think back on my past, I had realized how much I was afraid to take chances, to take risks, to just go for it. I would say to myself, “What would others think?” “Is this too much?” “Do I come across as know-it-all?” Now I’m to the point where I’m not afraid to just go for it. My dreams. My passion. My hopes and goals.

When you seek what matters to you, go for it. I’ve wasted years on my craft because I wouldn’t get support from others on how this may sound or what they thought. And, listening to others criticizing my hopes and dreams. Never again once more. I’m soaring. I’m reaching for the stars and I would like to see others do the same. It’s never fun to be at the top alone. Who do you wake up to? Who do you say good night to before closing your eyes?

I want and am taking that jump on what I strive to achieve. I’ve been down too much for too long and fighting my way out of a dark, suffocating tunnel of despair. Happiness and success are our friends. Determination and perseverance are up there as well.

I feel the wind in my face. I feel like I’m getting closer. I see that glowing light at the end of the tunnel. I know I see it, it’s something I longed for but never seen before.

So who’s with me to make that jump? Take that leap on a new lease at life that you always wanted. A life that brings you the qualities that you have searched for. Even when you have those not-so-good days, it’s okay because you are a fighter and you can get through anything you set your mind to.

Getting Inspiration From Twitter


Some of you may be on Twitter as often as you can. And some of you may get on every once in a while, every few days, or few weeks or so. I find myself on there every few days, though I’m slacking off with the word prompts events.

Another thing about Twitter is that other than connecting with those I follow there, I oftentimes find inspiration. Those inspirations may be for writing or life in general.

Below, are a few inspirations I’ve found on Twitter that I would like to share either you. Inspirations can come from anywhere. And they can remind you that though social media can be filled with superficiality, and can have its negatives, you can still find the good within it.

What inspires you, and do you find inspiration on social media?

The Attraction and Manifestation of Abundance


When we think about abundance the first thing that comes to mind for most is a large quantity of something that we want or need. Abundance to me is indeed plentiful, and it has the natural tendency of life and nature to grow and manifest.

We all may want an abundance of things, and most of those things require us to work for them. Like for instance, if we want money we will have to go to work. And when a farmer wants to grow and bring in his crops, he has to do what is needed to be done to do so.

Abundance manifests in ways other than money and wealth and some may believe that is all that they may need.

Too much of mater abundance isn’t good, but you can’t go wrong with spiritual abundance, opportunities, and love, just to name a few.

Attracting abundance from what I’ve learned a few years ago, you have “see” it in your mind what you want. The power of visualization is strong when you set a firm belief on what you want, and leaving room for the Universe to bring it to you in a way it is meant to.

Another way is of attracting abundance is saying and/or writing affirmations about whatever it is you want. You are the co-captain of your life and you can accomplish what you want in your life.

You have to “see” it, open your mind to the outcome, feel it, and expect it to happen.

And not to forget to be grateful for the abundance that we already have and the ones to come.

“May the sun bring you new energy every day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world
And know its beauty all the days of your life.”
–Apache prayer

One of my go-to abundance meditation on YouTube:

What are your thoughts on abundance?

I Write Because… #Writing


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I know I had shared before about why I write, and what writing means to me. Well, I would like to remind myself while sharing not only with my existing followers, but to the new ones as well. I appreciate you all.

Though I haven’t written much lately since participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in July, writing isn’t some sort of mind exercise to transfer thoughts into words on screen or paper. I write because it is a way for me to express myself creatively. I feel like I can create magic with my thoughts and with my fingers. Writing, to me, is a spiritual act because I am not only sharing what’s on my mind, in my heart, but speaking from within my spirit.

It’s also a magical thing when creating characters and world-building when it comes to writing stories. It is also scary reaching into those recesses of your brain to write and sharing what you wrote to the world. Writing helps with emotions and to overcome whatever one may be going through.

I want to forever share my writing to the world because it is one of the few ways I feel safe within my right. It’s where I can be my genuine self. Writing means the world to me since I was a little girl who had a severe stuttering problem and hates to talk. Writing makes me feel like I can conquer the world.

I want to understand words more and feel them deep course through my veins. And also because I still have so many stories and ideas to share that I keep putting off because I have a procrastination issue.

Famous authors’ quotes on why they write:

“I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.” – Octavia E. Butler

 

“Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.” – Anaïs Nin

 

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
— Toni Morrison

 

“So why do I write, torturing myself to put it down? Because in spite of myself I’ve learned some things. Without the possibility of action, all knowledge comes to one labeled ‘file and forget,’ and I can neither file nor forget. Nor will certain ideas forget me; they keep filing away at my lethargy, my complacency. Why should I be the one to dream this nightmare?” – Ralph Ellison

Tell us, why do you write?