Learning how to publish an ebook can be pretty painful without the right process.
Writing and publishing a book successfully by itself is a challenge.
But with kindle direct publishing, Amazon publishing, and other forms of self-publishing at your disposal, publishing an ebook can even be easy—with our help.
We get how much information is out there about learning how to publish an ebook.
So how do you know what’s legit?
How do you position your ebook to sell in a the current times of millions of ebooks available online?
And how do you sell your ebook effectively?
Here are the steps for how to publish an ebook:
- Write a strong book
- Create an Amazon KDP account
- Format your ebook for publishing
- Upload your ebook to KDP
- Choose your ebook publish date
- Build your book launch team
- Create hype for your ebook
- Publish your ebook!
- Create emphasis for it on your site
With all the different types of advice, how do you know what to follow and what will just elongate your already lengthy process?
Since we specialize in self-publishing, we can easily teach you how to publish an ebook without all the fuss and fluff that can bog you down along the way—because there is a lot.
Why write an ebook?
The ever-rising trend of ebooks should be more than enough of a reason to write and publish your own ebook but if you’re not quite sold, we’ll break it down a bit further.
Here are the benefits of an ebook:
- In 2018, ebook sales are projected to account for about one quarter of global book sales.
- Ebooks sell easier online
- Ebooks can be used to grow your business more so than physical books
- You make a bigger profit from ebooks
- You can grow your blog and its income
- Passive income
- You help save trees!
- You can embed links directly to your site and products you sell
- They’re cheaper to produce
Many authors choose to sell both physical copies and ebooks when they write a book but you can easily sell only ebooks and reap all of the benefits above.
Now that you know the why, let’s talk about how to publish an ebook.
[Pssst! Want to see some of our students’ published books? Check out the SPS library here!]
How to publish an Ebook on Amazon
Amazon is the biggest retailer online and with the world of book-buying migrating and settling on the internet, Amazon is the place to publish.
Here’s how you can publish an ebook on Amazon with Kindle Direct Publishing.
#1 – Write a book worth buying
There’s no point in publishing a book that’s not your best work. But if you’re not much of a writer or have no idea how to write a book in the first place, that can make this entire process much more daunting.
In order to write a great ebook to sell on Amazon or even on your own website, you first have to pick a book idea that you’re passionate about. Remember, you’ll be writing up to and even more than 25,000 words so you want to make sure you have a topic you know a lot about and love.
Here are the overall steps for writing a book and getting it ready for publication:
- Choose an idea
- Come up with a good book title and subtitle
- Create your mind map
- Write a thorough outline from your mind map
- Schedule your writing time and get your book done!
- Thoroughly self-edit
- Hire an editor to ensure perfection
- Hire a book cover design artist to bring your book to life
This might seem overwhelming but I promise, it’s not. We even have free training for you to understand exactly what it takes to write and publish your book.
#2 – Create your Amazon KDP account
Learning how to publish an ebook means navigating the online space in a way you may not be familiar with, like using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to get your ebook out into the world.
Setting up your KDP account is actually really easy.
Here’s all you have to do:
- Visit https://kdp.amazon.com and create an account. You can either use your existing Amazon account or a different email address.
- Set up all your tax information. You can’t submit your published ebook unless you have all of these steps completed.
- Once your tax information is all filled in, hit “Finished” and you’re all done.
See? It’s pretty easy and simple to use from there. If you’re having trouble, we detailed more in-depth instructions over here.
#3 – Format the ebook properly
Book formatting is really, really important. If you just upload your manuscript as is, you’ll run into a number of different problems.
And this is awful because with the “Look Inside” feature Amazon offers, anyone can see the formatting of your book right away.
If it’s bad and difficult to read, they’ll avoid buying your ebook and your sales will tank.
Most people hire a professional to format their book to ensure everything looks great but we also have a guide to help you format your book properly.
#4 – Upload your ebook to KDP account
This is a very simple step for publishing an ebook. All you really have to do is “plug and chug,” as they say.
You have all of the information you need and now it’s just about uploading your formatted manuscript to your KDP account and filling in the information you need to.
That means you’ll need to fill out the title, subtitle, and the description.
Now, you really don’t want to write a boring “filler” description. After the cover, this is the single most important part of publishing an ebook.
If people aren’t sucked in by your description, they won’t buy your book.
Here’s an example of a killer description that has helped sell thousands of copies of this book:
#5 – Choose a launch date
Believe it or not, there are actually good and bad days to launch your book. Typically speaking, the winter holiday season is the worst time to publish a book simply because the advertising market will be super saturated.
Everyone is putting their best ads forward so they can reap the rewards of those holiday spending dollars.
And although this might seem like the perfect time to launch, it’s actually one of the worst.
Your book can easily become lost in the hype of literally every other book and product marketed during that time.
If you want to launch a book during the best possible time for its sales, use this guide below:
|Month to Launch||Good For||Bad For|
|January||Self-help, goal setting, inspirational/motivational||Summer-focused reads, fiction|
|February||Love, romance, poetry||Fiction, recipe books|
|March||Baseball books, sports, spring, women's books||Self-help, holiday|
|April||Religious, Easter, memoirs, World War II, Fiction||Love/romance, winter/holiday|
|May||Summer reads, fiction, history, parenting||Romance/love, self-help|
|June||Contemporary fiction, fatherhood/parenthood||Diet/exercise, romance|
|July/August||Fiction, heavier reading materials||Holiday, self-help|
|September||History, politics, memoirs, school, college||Fiction, romance/love|
|October||Mysteries, horror, thrillers, dark nonfiction||Love/romance, happily-ever-afters, self-help|
|November||Cookbooks, holidays, religion, children's books||Self-help, romance/love|
|December||Generally avoid launching during heavy buy/ad months||Most books|
#6 – Put together your launch team
This is such an important step when it comes to self-publishing an ebook. What you really need is a great group of people who can help launch your book to heights you wouldn’t reach otherwise.
If you want to learn more about how a launch team can hep you, check out the video below:
Your launch team should be composed of people who:
- Love your book
- Want to help you
- Are very enthusiastic about your book
- Have some sort of following or online presence
- Are fans of you and your work
Since you’re trusting these people to help get the word out, make sure they’re all committed. A great way to do that is to have an online application form that each person has to fill out.
This will help narrow down those who are serious about helping you and will put in the time and effort to do so.
Make sure to also check out this guide to building and managing your book launch team.
#7 – Build hype for your ebook on your website or blog
Many who publish ebooks usually have a website or blog they can use to drive traffic to it. Not only that, but some actually use the ebook as a lead magnet and even the main source of income on their site.
And publishing a book – even just an ebook – can do wonders for growing your online business as well.
What you have to do before your launch is to build interest about the ebook.
Here’s how you can build hype for publishing your ebook:
- Link to your book within blog posts
- Create blog posts related to the topic of your book
- Create graphics for your book and place in your sidebar and within blog posts
- Create a graphic to use on the front page of your website
- Create an email sequence to sell your book (this is for those more advanced with a larger email list)
- Continuously look for ways to integrate your book into blog post ideas and on social media
The idea with optimizing your website with your book is to convert your blog followers into customers and to give those coming to your website from your book the content they’re actually looking for.
All of this builds fans and most importantly, a loyal and engaged following!
For example, we use Chandler Bolt’s book Published. as
#8 – Publish your ebook!
It’s time to kick off your ebook and launch! If you’ve followed the steps above, then you’re ready to get your book published and start reaping the rewards.
The best part about publishing an ebook is that you don’t have to worry about ordering prints and going through the proofs and the entire process of adjusting how they look.
Once the ebook format is complete, that’s all you need to concern yourself with in terms of delivery!
Your launch day is very important and exciting.
Make sure your launch team is ready for a day of sharing and even some activities.
It’s best to host activities that your audience can actually engage in. Some fun launch day activities include things like hosting a live webinar, doing a Q&A on Twitter or Facebook or your preferred platform, sending out an email to your entire email list, and any other fun pursuit your readers will benefit from.
Get together with your launch team beforehand and have everyone brainstorm some launch day events.
You can even give prizes to those whose ideas get used!
#9 – Create emphasis of your book on your webiste, social, or email list
Now is the time to leverage that book!
Writing the ebook itself isn’t the hardest part of this process; making continuous sales is. And the best way to ensure you keep pushing buyers to your book is to make it the focus of your blog and website.
Plus, if you have those great reviews from your launch team, you can actually leverage those to make more sales.
Place reviews on your website on the same page your book is linked to. They’re kind of like testimonials for a service. Except, in this case, your service is a book.
You can feature them on your website wherever you want.
Obviously, if you’re someone who only wants to sell your ebook, a blog or website might not even be something on your ebook publishing to-do list.
You should, however, think about creating a website to at least host your book and information on in case others want to find you and even connect with you about speaking engagements and other amazing opportunities a book can grant you.