Ms. Millar has been an online writer for over eight years. She is well-versed in website development and has created several websites.
Words of Success
My first few attempts at writing, and publishing, was a bit frustrating. Not the writing part, I enjoy that, but the rest of it was a pain. There are so many self-publishing websites, and websites that claim they are self-publishing but they're not, and royalties, and editing, and formats, and fees, my mind was spinning. This article will help you avoid the spinning and get right to the publishing.
After a lot of research I decided to go with the Amazon KDP Program. KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing. All-in-All they offer decent royalties, a whole lot of help topics, and an editing program that won't leave you banging your head, or computer, against the wall.
I included a couple of tables at the bottom of this hub with some of the other popular self-publishers, and semi self-publishers, for this hub we'll be using KDP as reference and instruction.
It's Your Baby
Publishing a book is not as easy as writing on HubPages. On HubPages, you focus on creating quality content, and uploading photo are for it. Then, HubPages does the rest.
When you publish a book on your own, it's your baby! You still have content to create, and photos to include, put it into an acceptable format, and edit your work so it will display on the various readers, like the Nook and Kindle, properly. Once you complete your publishing and see it live online, you'll be so proud of your book you'll want to tell everyone. I've done this several times (twelve books selling on Amazon) and I'll show you how. Come on, let's go do this!
Edit, Edit, Edit
You can't edit your book too much. If you have a friend or family member that enjoys reading, have them read your book and give you feedback. You don't have to take the advice they give you, but it would be wise to consider it.
It can be difficult for us to hear someone critique our work, but it's in your best interest to take their advice and apply it. Don't take their advice to heart, it's your rough draft, you need criticism. You want your book to be the best it can be, so take their advice and go with it.
Editing is so important, no publisher will take it without first being edited. You may read your book ten times and still stumble across errors. Self-editing can work as long as you read what you have written on the paper and not what you have in your mind. Reading your book aloud to yourself can be helpful in reading what is on the page and not what is in your mind. Listen to your voice as you read and you'll hear the spelling and context errors.
It's not unheard of to edit a book 10 to 20 times!
Type Out Your Thoughts
You have a great story, instructional, or poem(s), in mind that you want to turn into a great book. The first thing you need to do is type up a rough draft. When I'm creating my rough draft I use Open Office Writer. It's similar to Microsoft Word. The only difference is Open Office Writer is completely free of charge.
The rough draft should be exactly that, rough. Do your brainstorming and type it out. Type out your story with everything that comes to mind. All the thoughts, and ideas, that come to your mind. Type them out until you have everything you may possibly think of down.
After you've done this, save your work, and tell yourself Good Job!
Now the editing begins!
After you've had some time to think about what you put down in your brainstorming, go back to your saved book. Open it in the word processor again. Start reading it from the beginning. This is where you're going to edit your brainstorming work. As you read, remove sentences that don't make sense. Add content that is missing, and explanations to make your work understandable to a reader. Run the spell checker. Correct any spelling errors. Save your work.
Again, give yourself some time away from your book. Then, go back to it. Start at the beginning and do the same thing again: Check for sentences that don't make sense, or are incomplete. Add wording to help explain your thoughts or processes. Run spell check again. Save your work.
At this point, have another person read your book and give you feedback on it. If another person isn't available I found it helpful to read my book out loud. If I read to myself, silently, I will read what I remember writing more than what is actually on the screen. To get past this I will read my book to myself, out loud. Reading it aloud makes me stumble on my errors more frequently. If you still feel you're not finding all your errors, you can copy and paste your work into a website called Hemingwayapp.com. This website edits your work, suggests wording, rates the content, spell checks, and more! Reading my work out loud helps me find errors, but Hemingway not only finds errors, but also offers suggestions, and alerts me to sentences that are difficult to read. It can be very helpful in this editing mode.
Adding Photos and Tables
When it comes to tables, they don't present well after conversion. I suggest creating your table in Paint, or GIMP (free photo manipulator), and save it as a .jpg, or .png. Then, you can insert the photo of your table, instead of creating a table with the word processing program.
Your book will be converted automatically when you upload it to Amazon KDP. When you open your book in the Previewer it will show you how your book will look when it is displayed on a tablet. Including how pictures you inserted will be displayed. It's important to anchor your photographs properly or they will not display correctly. I have found anchoring to the paragraph works well.
Where to Publish Your Work
Once you have Inserted all of your pictures and arranged the font size (14 max), centered titles and whatnot, save it in HTML format. This is one of the options in the drop-down menu when you click Save.
Below are the various options available for self-publishing. For this hub we're using the Amazon KDP program.
Websites for Self-Publishers
Amazon's KDP Program
70% and 35% depending on price and region.
70% after a tier is met.
B & N Nook Books (PubIt!)
40% and 65% depending on price.
Websites Requiring an Aggregator
Many of the websites, that you can offer your book to, require that you go through an aggregator, in other words an agent. They require an aggregator because they want your book completed and checked, by the aggregator, before putting it on their website. When you use an aggregator, they submit your work to the sellers. They're saying, "Here is a book, we checked it, it's edited and polished and ready to sell. Smashwords and Lulu are both aggregator websites.
Aggregator Submitted Self-Publishing Sites
$29 conversion fee. 70% or 45%
Accepts most aggregators
Diesel eBook Store
Must use Smashwords
Sony Reader Store
Must use Smashwords
At this point, your book is ready to go, right? You've checked and corrected all the errors in it. You had someone, or Hemingway, read it. And you have perfection! Save it in HTML format. It's one of the options in the drop-down menu after you click save, in most word processing programs.
Go to the Amazon KDP program and open an account if you don't have one already. Follow the instructions, they are very easy. Once your account click on Create New Title at the top of the Bookshelf page. Fill in the information. It will offer you to download one of their previewers. Read through the various previewers they offer and choose one. I went with the KDP Previewer. After it is downloaded and set-up, open it. There is highlighted text saying Open Book in Reader, or something similar. Navigate to your book that you saved in HTML format and click on it.
The Previewer may take a moment. It will then present warnings. These are what the Previewer was able to fix for you. Go on to view your book by pressing the OK. The Previewer presents your book as it will look on a tablet device! Go through your book on the Previewer. Make sure the photo's stayed where you put them! Make sure it's all as you want it to be.
The Book Cover
The cover of your book is all you have out that to catch the customers eye. Yours needs to stand out from all the other books offered. You want the cover to represent what the contents of the book holds for the customer when they read it. If the book is about Dragons and Castles, you don't want to put a picture of flowers on the cover. You are better off using a picture of maybe a dragon flying around a dark castle.
The example below is a cover I made myself with GIMP. The book is about driving, and where your eyes should be when your driving, hence the cover with a picture of eyes with a car below them.
Publish Your Work!
If you didn't like the Previewer display of your book, go back to your word processing program and open your book. Make the necessary corrections, save it again, then run it through the Previewer again until it's exactly like you want it.
Go back to Amazon KDP and finish creating your new book. Fill in the title and mark if it's part of a series, fill in your Author name, fill in everything until you get down to the Book Cover part. You can either upload your own book cover or click on their book cover creator! The book cover is all-important because it is the entire representation of your book when displayed online. The cover needs to catch the reader's eye! You want the reader to stop, and buy, or at the least, preview your book. Make the cover your best. You can hire someone to create your cover for you. Websites like Fiverr have people that will bid on the job! Personally, I like to make my own. I've done well creating my own book covers using GIMP.
After your book cover is done, upload your book! Save and continue. On the next screen, you'll be asked what you want to charge for your book, etc. Just about everything you may want to read further is highlighted for that purpose. Read everything available on these pages, they'll tell you everything. Some have handy pop-ups when you click on them.
When your ready, at the bottom of the pricing page, mark the "I Agree" box, and then, Save and Publish your book. Tada! You did it! Amazon KDP will review your book before actually putting it out there for the public. This can take 24 hours. Check back later on your Bookshelf tab and it will reflect LIVE when it's out there for sale!!
Check out all of the options for tracking your book available on your Bookshelf. The other tabs available show you sales and any promotions you've run. The charts tab is nifty! There's way too much to list it all here. Spend some time checking it all out.
You did it! Good job!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.