Self-Publishing Your First EBook 

Nothing has influenced the writing industry so much as self-publishing ebooks. As the market’s leading publishers have rolled out this feature to allow every newbie to become a successful author, it has increased the number of contributors to the eBook market to its fullest with Amazon Kindle ebooks leading the market. Needless to mention, tooth-and-nail competition has followed for freelance writers.

Thus, while self-publishing and eBook is pretty easy, it is becoming a successful self-published author that is the hard part. You have to perform research, find a suitable niche and write an eBook that makes a difference. Only then can your eBook be deemed popular, and you successful.

But what if writing is not exactly your thing? What if all you have got is a brilliant idea but no words to turn it into an eBook? Finally, how do you self-publish your first eBook? You will find answers to all of these questions. Just read on to know more.

The Beginner’s Journey

The best way to start is to read a successful eBook written in a niche similar to yours. Choose a highly rated book on Amazon. You may also visit Udemy for some great insight into the subject. It provides some proven educational courses for first-time authors.

To find out how popular your preferred genre of writing is, you can use Google’s Keyword Research Tool to do a general search. Also, by subscribing to a website such as MerchantWords.com, you can easily find out how much the monthly demand on Amazon is for your genre or niche.

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However, choosing a niche with high demand is not enough. High demand also means high competition, as the niche is probably already flooded with a load of eBooks. Yours will therefore need to be high quality, innovative and sharply competitive on the price.

If you are worried about the length of your eBook, don’t be. Most eBooks, especially those in the non-fiction genre, are actually pretty concise. Just focus on quality and don’t let word counts limit your creativity. Your eBook can be as thick or as compact as you would like.

Outsourcing Your Work

But what if you are not an innate writer? What if you simply have a great idea but not the words to capture it into an eBook? Even that issue has its solutions. You can easily hire freelance writers, otherwise known as Ghost-writers, from popular Freelancing sites, and negotiate a price for them to write your own eBook for you. You will still own all the credit; the freelancer just gets his pay.

However, if you do choose this route, be sure to first analyze the work provided by your ghost-writer carefully before making a payment. Ideally, you can use Copyscape to determine whether the eBook submitted by them is original.

Publishing Your eBook

Now that you are all done writing your eBook, it’s time to get it published. There are a lot of questions to be asked here. Should you just publish your eBook as a PDF file on your own website? Or should you publish it through a powerful self-publishing platform such as Amazon’s Kindle? Also, should you keep a paperback too?

In itself, Amazon is the world’s biggest and fastest growing market for eBooks. However, publishing your book with them will mean that you’ll have to offer a percentage from each purchase to them as a commission. Also, in order to fit their promotional program, your eBook has to appear exclusively on their site only.

If you want freedom and control, publishing your eBook solely on your own website is the right choice for you. This would mean less exposure, but you get to keep all of your earnings.

You can even turn your eBooks into hard copies by using the ‘print-on-demand’ services offered by Createspace (an Amazon Company) and others.

Marketing Your eBook

Once your eBook is written and published, marketing presents itself as the next challenge. Without successful marketing, your eBook will not generate any leads, hence no income.

If you choose a successful marketplace such as Kindle, you will already have access to their huge reader base. However, you’ll have to work hard to make it up to their topmost ranks. With every purchase, you will hope to get quality reviews from your readers, which will help further your sales. Joining Amazon’s KDP Select can help you generate more quality reviews and sales. This is because KDP Select gains your book access to Kindle Unlimited, and even puts your book up in their lending library.

You may choose several other ways to market your eBook. A successful website or blog can be of great help. You may also try publicizing your eBook on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media. Goodreads is also another option.

That being said, writing an eBook, publishing it and generating successful leads is a lot of work. We hope that the following 15 Steps To Becoming A Best-Selling Kindle Author will help you:

15 Steps to Becoming a Best-Selling Kindle Author 

Many writers are publishing ebooks these days!  Gone are the times when you had to send your manuscript to a publisher and go through the agony of waiting and rejection letters.  Now you can publish your own eBook on Kindle.  But you won’t find yourself with a best-seller unless you put in some preparatory work and do your research first. 

1. Get some ideas and learn the process from an eBook or online course.

Knowledge is key to getting it right from the start.  Learn the correct way to go about things from those who have gone before.  Udemy is a great place to find online courses which take you through step by step.

2. Find your niche or topic by doing keyword research and investigating the competition.

Read a few books on your topic, and use tools like Google Keyword Tool or Merchant Words to find out if there is any demand. 

3. Research the content of your eBook by looking at successful books in your niche.

Of course, your book needs to be outstanding and original, but you can get lots of ideas by studying how others have tackled the subject.

4. Brainstorm content ideas and plan the structure of your book.

If you list all your main ideas and organise your chapters it will be easier to get started writing your book.  Tackle it in small sections.

5. Write your eBook or have someone else ghost-write it for you.

There are many talented writers available online, but shop around if you want someone to write an entire eBook for you.  Get them to write some smaller pieces for you first, and make sure that you can get along with them, as you may be working with them for some time.

6. Find a keyword rich and appealing title and sub-title for your book.

The title of your book might be the make or break of whether it sells or not.  Do your keyword research, but make sure the title is catchy and appealing. 

7. Create an eye-catching cover, or employ a graphic designer to do one for you.

The cover of your book is very important, and needs to be simple and have a large font, as it will only be seen in a small thumbnail on Amazon.  It needs to be noticed among the crowd.  So it can be a worthwhile investment to get this done professionally.

8. Format your book for Kindle using their guidelines.

Kindle provide instructions for doing this, and it’s worth reading these first before writing your book, or you could spend a lot of time re-formatting.  This is also a task that can be easily outsourced.  There are many freelancers offering Kindle formatting online.  But why not learn it yourself, and you can then make some money offering your services to others.

If you would like to undertake training in this area we recommend that you examine the courses related to self publishing ebooks using Amazon Kindle. Here is a list of the top 10 courses related to self publishing ebooks available through Udemy that are listed in the order of the number of people enrolled as at 27/10/15:

9. Upload to Kindle and work out your pricing and royalty strategies.

Kindle provides a step by step process to publishing your book. You will need all your business details and tax information to hand. During this process you will choose your book price and royalty level for all countries.  Don’t worry, you can change the book price at any time after you have published.

10. Decide whether to publish in paperback. It can look more professional to have both!

Amazon’s Createspace is the logical place to publish your paperback version, but there are others. You might want to use one local to your country if you are planning to print a large number of copies for your own use, as shipping costs can be high from the USA with Createspace. 

11. Investigate KDP Select and decide whether to join.

KDP Select allows your book to be added to Amazon’s lending library and Kindle Unlimited which gives you a wider distribution.  There are also other marketing tools within this program which are very useful. The downside is that you will need to give Amazon exclusivity.

12. Get some reviews from colleagues, peers and friends to help increase your rankings.

Reviews are absolutely essential to improve your rankings on Amazon, and they can be the most difficult to obtain.  But don’t be tempted to fake it.  Amazon is pretty good at detecting that. It’s more effective to get genuine reviews gradually from your readers. A free giveaway campaign can be a good way to ask your readers for reviews in return. 

13. Let everyone know about your book on Social Media.

Join lots of Facebook and Linked In groups in your niche and make sure everyone knows about your book.  There is a huge choice of social networks, but it’s usually best to choose one or two rather than get overwhelmed.  You can also outsource this task if you have the funds. 

14. Consider other marketing tactics such as press releases and mail-outs.

If you have an email list, you have a head-start.  Make sure all your contacts are aware of your book.  A press release can be distributed by various internet companies such as PRMWIRE and they will even write it for you if you require it. 

15. Run a free giveaway campaign through KDP Select to increase awareness.

It may seem counter-intuitive to give away your hard work, but it is a good way of getting up Amazon’s rankings as number of downloads is taken into account.  You can also ask readers to give you a review and with any luck they will love it so much they will all go and tell their friends to buy it.

Here are 3 books that are well worth reading to learn how self-publishing  can be done very successfully:

Summing Up

If you are like me you will find that procrastination is one of the big barriers to publication. When I was working through the project of getting my Amazon Kindle ebook "How to be Self-Employed - A Freelance Work from Home Guidepublished I found that procrastination was a major problem.  I have found that the following two resources can help. Click on the icons for further information.

Author Audience Academy
Procrastination to Publication Training

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