On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to Publish an E-Book: Part One

This series discusses how you can format, e-publish, and sell a book on Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes and Noble (Nook).

E-Book sales are exploding. As a small publisher myself, I can tell you that 90% of my book sales income last year was from e-books, especially the Kindle. This makes sense: publishing an e-book to Amazon or Barnes and Noble is free, and there are only nominal ancillary delivery costs. I also sold a fair number of print books, but printing/shipping costs, as well as the requisite 55% discount to the booksellers, ate into profits voraciously.

As recently as two years ago I almost always advised someone to try for a traditional publisher before going it alone. Now I'm ambivalent. I've heard enough stories of self-published million-ebook sellers (John Locke and Amanda Hocking were the first, and the ranks are growing) that I'm beginning to think e-publishing in many circumstances is a better way to go.

The main advantage of e-publishing yourself is NO GATEKEEPERS that almost always rudely turn you down, and if they don't they take years to accept and publish you. The main disadvantage of e-publishing yourself is that you must make sure what you have is good writing.

For this series of articles I'll go over an easy way to e-publish your book. There are more sophisticated ways, but the method I describe here will give you a perfectly formatted and presented e-book. We will assume, of course, that you have something good enough to publish in the first place. People are paying money for your book, and they will be annoyed if it isn't at least reasonable.

There are three format types for e-books:


The .mobi/.azw format is proprietary to the Amazon Kindle, and downloaded free Amazon apps for computers, tablets, and smartphones HERE. The .mobi/.azw format was originated by Mobipocket and bought by Amazon in 2005.

The .ePub format is considered the "default" format for e-books. It is used by the Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony e-reader, Apple iPod, and other devices except for Amazon Kindle. Libraries with e-book lending usually use the .ePub format. It's possible to translate .mobi to .ePub and vice versa using Calibre provided the e-book rights will allow this.

PDF (Portable Document Formatting) preserves the exact layout of the document across forums. PDF documents are easy to read on the computer using Adobe Acrobat, available for free download HERE. The advantage is that PDF documents can be viewed on all e-readers. The disadvantage for PDF documents is that text size and layout cannot be manipulated, and therefore may make PDF documents difficult to read on e-readers such as Kindle and Nook. PDF documents are sold on individual websites, not on Amazon or Barnes & Noble for Kindle and Nook. While PDFs can be read on these e-readers, this is only secondarily.

I will not go over packaging or selling PDF documents because this is a separate topic from learning how to produce and sell E-Books. Just FYI, if you want to produce a PDF there are many free PDF converters for the PC. A popular one, PrimoPDF, is located at www.primpdf.com/download.aspx. The Mac has a built-in PDF converter under the “Print” option.

OK, enough for today. On Friday I'll go into formatting your document to prepare it for e-book translation.

Copyright 2012 by Amy Deardon. All rights reserved.

check out: www.ebooklistingservices.com

No comments:

Post a Comment