I published my first eBook in April this year. Getting it from the ideation to publishing stage, was a superb learning experience. Publishing the eBook on Amazon Kindle taught me so much about the eBook publishing business, and (unexpectedly) made me a more confident writer.
Here’s what I learnt from writing and publishing my first eBook on Amazon Kindle. I hope you will take away something from my experience.
1. Choosing the topic
The topic of your eBook will depend on your motive for writing it. Do you want to write an eBook because you want to make money or do you want to share your knowledge? Ideally, the aim is to do both.
When I began researching my eBook topic, I realised that I should write about what people are looking for online and that I should write in a niche that does not have much existing material.
My eBook called ‘ Guide to Becoming a Freelance Writer- How to Use Freelancing Websites to Source Content Writing Jobs and Make Money from Home‘ is on a topic that did not have many online searches in the Indian market. But it is my understanding that more and more Indians are looking for a work from home option, especially young mothers and able retirees, and I felt that my eBook will certainly help this section of people outsource their talent.
Also, when I looked online, there were plenty of native English writers who had written eBooks on freelancing websites, but very few well written consolidated guides existed from an Indian writers perspective.
2. Incorporate keywords
Having decided what topic you want to write on, search for keywords ( or phrases that people looking for that information may be using on search engines). Use these keywords in your eBook title, table of contents, subheadings within the eBook, and all through the content. Also, ensure that your ebook description carries the right keywords.
3. Platform for publishing eBook
After a lot of research, I found out that Amazon Kindle was the simpler platform to use compared to Google Play, so I opted to use Kindle as the publishing route. And having gone through the different stages of publishing and eBook promotion on Kindle, I would recommend it to any first-time self-publisher.
4. Hire a professional for the cover design
People judge a book by the cover, and especially an eBook. I hired American graphic designer Christopher Trimble, who for a very affordable price gave me three to four cover design options. Once the design was finalised he also gave me free bonus images for promoting the eBook on social media. I will certainly use his design services again and recommend him to anyone looking for a professional graphic designer.
5. Formatting your eBook for Amazon Kindle
Ensure that the word document is ready to upload to Kindle. For instance, all images must be in the JPEG format. Also, it’s advisable to compress the pictures to web resolution once pasted to reduce the digital size of your eBook. You have to insert a ‘Bookmark’ that allows your readers to move up to the table of contents from anywhere in the book.
Formatting the eBook is easy. Use this link on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on how to get your eBook published on this platform for free.
6. Write a book description that sells your eBook
Write an eBook description that immediately tells a prospective reader what it is about and why they should download/ buy it. Include an author bio to sell your credibility as the author. Let readers know why they should take the time to read your eBook.
You don’t have to be a roaring financial success for people to buy your eBook. The fact that you have gone through something similar, or made big mistakes and learnt from them, can be motivation enough for someone to download the eBook.
Think about it – if you have lost a job or gone through a bitter divorce and come out of that experience stronger, isn’t that something worth sharing? In my case, it was the transition from a banker to a freelance writer that I knew would resonate with others looking to make a career change.
7. Include a professional author photo
If it’s a self-help book, ensure that the author photo you upload to Amazon Kindle exudes confidence and professionalism.
8. Final editorial check before uploading
Before you upload your eBook on Amazon Kindle, read the document on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet; this help you spot grammatical and typographical errors. Also, use tools such Grammarly and HemingwayApp to improve the ease of reading of the content.
9. Copyrights and Feedback Page
Place a Copyright page before the table of content stating the explicit ownership of all content. There are various formats in use; formats for eBooks by US authors tend to be a lot more elaborate. I found this basic version apt for my requirement.
Copyright © 2016 by Rhea Gaur
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced, or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
First Printing, 2016
For further information, contact
At the end of the eBook, encourage readers to leave feedback on Amazon Kindle. Also, include your website address so that they can contact you for more information.
10. Social media promotion
Social media promotion requires regular and targeted efforts. You need to have enough content ( both type of content and volume of content) to create an online buzz, as well as be consistent with the quality of content.
If you have the funds, I suggest you hire a social media manager (SMM) to execute the online promotion strategy for your eBook. If like me you can’t afford an SMM, here are a few tips:
- Have a social media strategy in place well before the launch date. Experts suggest at 90 to 60 days. But since I didn’t have the time to develop so much content, I started creating teasers only a month prior to the launch date.
- Customise your existing business page, or create a new social media page, to promote your eBook. Use a social media cover showcasing your eBook.
- Schedule posts about the eBook – Some posts could focus on why they should buy the eBook, and others can be about the contents of the eBook.
- Create YouTube Videos – Talk about the chapters of your eBook. Building following on YouTube takes time, so if you can, start filming your videos several months ahead of launch.
- Become active in social media groups on Facebook and LinkedIn – Participate in conversations and offer help. Then when the time comes, post updates on your eBook with catchy images, tag lines, and contests.
Publishing an eBook on Amazon Kindle is an excellent calling card letting people know that you are confident about your knowledge in a given field. Also, as I see it, publishing and selling eBooks on Amazon Kindle becomes easier with each book that you write.
So don’t put off the idea of writing an eBook any further. Start today by listing the table of contents and write the first chapter within the next one week. All the best.