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


Image by Firmbee from Pixabay

 

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.

The Feathers Collector/What Does A Feather Symbolize |


Photo taken by me a year ago. (2019)

Hi lovelies! I ended up doing two posts in one because it was basically about the same thing. First one is Wordless Wednesday, except with words. Lol. Second, well, it’s a post I wanted to share. 

I started collecting feathers two years ago without first planning to do so. It just so happened. I didn’t realize I was doing this until I was cleaning out my purse one day and saw a ziploc bag of a few feathers. This would occur whenever I am out walking, something I love doing. But, you knew that already.

Since then, whenever I come across a feather or two, (or more) I would gather them. And give thanks to whatever bird who lost its feather(s). I don’t always pick up every single feather I see; only when I feel like I should (spiritually.)

Now, as you can see in the photo above, I have collected quite a lot. Fifty, I believe.

I plan on holding on them and probably use them in some way.


Note: Each culture has different feather meanings. And each color of a feather has its own meaning. Below, I have included an article from Woot and Hammy’s website for reference, because they pretty sum it up better than I could. Feel free to click on the link to lead you to their website. 

what do feathers mean

Finding feathers

Finding a feather can be an uplifting, spiritual experience, especially when you find one in an unexpected place such as in your house or in your purse, where there isn’t an easy way to explain its presence.

Any feather can be a sign, but the meaning of finding a feather in an unusual place or having one suddenly float across your path can especially seem to be a sign from the angels or from a loved one who has passed to the other side.

You may wonder, “what is the meaning of finding a feather?” Because it is a very personal experience, the meaning will be different for each person.

To get a clearer understanding of the significance of the feather, you might try to remember if you were thinking about anything when the feather appeared. You might also ask yourself if there is some issue or question you have lately been pondering in your life. 

The feather may be a validation of your intuition or a hunch you had been feeling to follow one path or another. Feathers may also appear in you dreams in which it would be helpful to ask yourself similar questions. 

It’s important to remember that a feather sign is the most important when it is personally meaningful to you. The most important question is to ask always, “What does this mean to me?”

A sign or symbol is only as important as it is to the person who is experiencing it – what does it mean to you personally or how does it fit into what you are currently going through in your life?

The spiritual meaning of feathers

As a symbol across many cultures, feathers have always represented a connection to spiritual realms and to divinity. And because of their connection to birds, they have always been a symbol of flight and freedom, not just physically, but also in a mental or spiritual sense, and communication.

Like a bird that soars through the boundless sky and has a view of all things from high above, feathers symbolize the ability to transcend and move beyond your mental barriers and limitations – to see the larger picture and understand what really matters.

bird feather meaning

They represent the freedom of your mind and heart and your ability to travel, change and move through life freely…

SourceWhat Does A Feather Symbolize?

 

What do feathers mean to you? And have you ever found any feathers? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you for reading.

–Pamela

 

Reblog: Sometimes The Universe Sends Us What We Need, Not What We Want- by Emily Heron


We need to be happy with what we have in order to move forward on our journey.

Great article. Do read and click the link below. And share with us your experience(s) or what you think in the comments.


Sometimes we think we want things to turn out a certain way. We will hope and pray for something specific. We might take action towards certain goals. We might try to control situations that are beyond our control. But sometimes, the most healing and enlightening thing to do is to allow the universe to send us what we need rather than what we think it is we want.

An example in my own life has been several partners and jobs that came to me when perhaps I wanted something better, shinier, or more permanent for myself. Sometimes we just have to let things play out due to karma we might have accumulated from the past that keeps us stuck in seemingly stagnant situations. When we allow the karma to play out, it can actually be very healing and good for our souls.

In Western society, we tend to see things much more rationally and linearly—we think that taking action towards our goals is always the best way to create what we want in life. Oftentimes when we do this, we get to a certain destination, and instead of being happy where we are, we continue to want more and better for ourselves...

Source: Sometimes The Universe Sends Us What We Need, Not What We Want