A Beginner’s Guide For Print, Digital and e-Books, by J. Bruce Jones
Topics Covered Below
- What is a Book?
- Why Should I Self-Publish?
- Can I Make Money From Self-Publishing?
- Where Should I Publish My Book?
- Where Do I Sell My Book?
- Types of Books You Can Create
- How Do I Publish My Book?
- When and How Do I Market My Book?
- What Do I Do After I Have Published My Book?
- Publishing Resources: Layout/Design
- Publishing Resources: Publishing
- Publishing Resources: Marketing and Building Your Platform
- Publishing Resource: Re-purpose Your Content
How to Publish Your Book available on Amazon.com.
It seems like many of us have a book inside just waiting to come out. Today, huge changes are going on in the publishing, distribution, and marketing of books. The gatekeepers that use to keep us out are now falling and it is easier and easier to bring your book to market. This online book is about how you can publish and bring your book to the market.
What is a Book?
Wikipedia defines a book as:
"A book is a set of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of ink, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf, and each side of a leaf is called a page. A set of text-filled or illustrated pages produced in electronic format is known as an electronic book, or e-book.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book
Books have changed a lot over the last several years, especially with the growth of e-books. We used to think of a book as a physical thing that was perhaps 300 pages and printed on paper with a nice cover. Not any more. Books can be any length, even one page. In electronic form, it is hard to tell how big a book is. It all depends on the device on which you are reading it. A book is more about the information than the length. Books used to be permanent. Once printed you couldn’t change them. Now with print-on-demand and e-books, if you want to make a change you simply upload a new file. Books can be continually updated. A rug has been pulled out from under traditional publishers, but tremendous opportunities have opened up for authors. Books can be created in hard copy physical form, electronic form, pdf, audio, video, long or very short.
From my own experience I have found it is a lot easier to write and deliver six 60-page books than one 360 page book. You can now turn your six books into a series or volumes, then combine them back together into a collector’s edition of all six. Publishing today is much like the days of Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, when books were serialized. You can now charge for all six volumes and make more money than you could for the one.
A book today is a shifting concept but one that fits very well into the internet and the electronic world.
Why Should I Self-Publish?
I am a big believer in self-publishing. Self-publishing has changed a lot from the vanity press days when the industry seemed more like a scam than an actual publishing business. Publishing on your own today gives you options and control. Distribution channels are changing from bookstores to internet sites and services like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Kindle and many others. Printing physical books, building inventory and shipping books to stores is changing to the electronic world of print-on-demand and e-book readers. Using services like CreateSpace/Amazon, Kindle, Kobo and others, writers can now deliver books to the world quickly and at minimal costs. These changes have been matched by the closing of many bookstores and a general shift to buying online.
Most of the print-on-demand and e-book services operate on a non-exclusive basis. You don’t have to sign your rights over to a publishing company anymore. You are free to distribute your work through as many places as you like and in as many formats that you want. Occasionally, some sites or programs will have some limitations like Kindle Select or Apple's iBookstore program, but overall it is the Wild West out there. This is great and allows us to explore many different avenues with our content.
Leo Melendez from LeoMelendez.com sums it all up in his latest video, Why is Now the Time to Publish. Leo helps entrepreneurs find their perfect customer, monetize their email and grow their social media platforms, to learn more about Leo, check out LeoMelendez.com
One of the biggest changes to physical books is print-on-demand. With print-on-demand, a book is printed and shipped when it is ordered. There is no inventory and no storage costs and the speed of delivery is almost equal to picking it off a shelf. We also don’t end up with a garage full of books that we have to pack and ship ourselves. With print-on-demand, books are printed and shipped as they are ordered. This results in a tremendous savings to authors and to booksellers. I actually think this is the future for all books. Why have warehouses filled with books when they can be printed almost immediately?
Because we can control our rights, I encourage everyone to look at their content as a well from which you can make many different products. Make a book; record it as an audio version; use PowerPoint and make a slide deck with a lecture. Add a spiral binding and you have a workbook that starts a course. Or read it into video and stream it. How about simplify it down, add illustrations and turn it into a children’s book? Take the illustrations and make t-shirts or pillows or clocks on a site like Zazzle.com or CafePress.com. The ideas go on and on. But because you own the rights and are self-publishing, you can now do all these things and make money from each of them.
If your book happens to get picked up by a traditional publisher, it can be a major undertaking. It can also take up to a year or more for the book to come to market. With self-publishing; Kindle or print-on-demand, you can have a book published and marketed to the world in as little as a weekend. You can also have a royalty payment that is three to five times what a publishing house can pay. Traditional publishers today are pickier than ever because their business is struggling with e-books and vastly lower pricing models. Book-buying habits are shifting to e-delivery and a world of books that sell for $0.99-$2.50-$9.99, these are tough prices for a big publishing company. Publishers need bestsellers. Bestsellers support all the traditional books that don't sell so well. The need to find bestsellers to support their world has become very important. Publishers live off their bestsellers. But most of us don't write bestsellers. We just write books.
According to Publishers Weekly, the average book sells a few hundred copies per year and maybe 3,000 in its entire lifetime. Some industry leaders say that the average book sells no more than 150 copies. These numbers work if you are using print-on-demand or services like Kindle, but they don’t work if the books are sitting in your garage.
Publishers traditionally handled the editing, design, publishing and marketing of books. Many small authors, even if they have a publisher, now find that they are also responsible for some or all of these services, especially the marketing and selling. Self-publishing gives you control and responsibility of the entire process.
For me, the reasons to self-publish are speed to market, control of rights, control of design and layout, and more royalty income. In addition no one can say no. Does this result in a lot of crappy books on the market? Yes it does. But so what, it also results in a lot of good books too.
Can I Make Money From Self-Publishing?
A lot of the money from traditional publishing comes from the advance you might receive from the publisher, not from the sales. Because we are self-publishing our revenue is based on selling. I may sell a little or a lot but I at least have control over the process and can do something about it. The average author royalty on a book from a major publisher is between $0.70 and $1.00. Using a print-on-demand service like CreateSpace.com or an e-book with Kindle and selling on Amazon.com royalties can be two to five times what a traditional publisher pays. How much money you can make self-publishing your book is anyone's guess. Because I control the rights, I can also sell my content in many different ways.
There are no guarantees. Most books sell a little. Some sell a lot. But because our costs are so low, we can actually make money with very few sales. My experience is that once your book starts selling, it can continue to sell pretty consistently for a long time. It is like a little engine. I also find that book sales tend to grow over time. I think once Amazon sees that a book is selling, they tend to push it along with better promotion and search results.
I am a firm believer that an author's success in traditional publishing and self-publishing is directly related to how well you use the web and social media to market your books. To market and sell your book, I recommend building a small website highlighting your book and linking it to Amazon so fans can buy it. Set up a FaceBook page, a Pinterest page, a blog, etc. Push it out there.
My recommendation to authors is don’t put all your ideas into one big book. Release many different kinds of books. Don't make them huge thick books that take years to write. Release thinner volumes more quickly and get them out to the market. You can always recombine them into one deluxe or box collection. Many authors are writing books in a serial format where one book leads to the next book. Move the reader along through your books.
Because of the speed to market and the almost zero publishing cost you can test different kinds of books and topics. See what works. I have released more than 20 books in four different markets: music, geography, coloring/kids and business. Music and geography are leading; the others not so much. But I am enjoying some nice success when I add them all together.
Where Should I Publish My Book?
There are many, many places to publish and sell your book on-line, but the main place to focus on is having your books on Amazon.com. In my opinion everything else pales by comparison. I recommend authors start with Amazon and then move out to other sites, including your own.
If you are making a physical book to sell on-line this usually means a paperback book and working with a service like CreateSpace.com. CreateSpace.com is the print-on-demand side of Amazon and it is an excellent service but only produces paperback books. If you want to have a hard cover, or spiral bound book or maybe a book with a cover wrap, then look at print-on-demand sites such as Lulu.com or Blurb.com. You can also use CreateSpace as a book printer if you want to produce books to sell in other places such as at a store or privately. By streamlining the process CreateSpace offers a very competitive paperback book product. Because you own all the rights to your book it is easy to branch out to the other print-on-demand sites such as Lulu.com or Blurb.com for a wider range of products. Most of these sites also offer design and editing help for additional costs. Many of these other publishing sites also have distribution relationships with Amazon, Kindle, iTunes, and others. I have used all three of these print-on-demand sites and have been happy with each.
CreateSpace.com works, as do many, by uploading two high-resolution pdf files of your book; the inside content and a cover. After the files are uploaded, you fill in some key information such as the book description, author bio, price, etc. and they take care of the rest. The files are processed and the book is moved over to Amazon ready for selling. When someone orders a book, it gets printed and shipped to the customer. All of this is done for free. These sites do take their percentage but there is no out-of-pocket costs to you.
PDF files for your book are generally created using page layout software like Adobe InDesign, or Apple Pages. You can also use MS Word if your book is mostly all text. I have also produced books using Adobe Illustrator and some of the on-line book building services that are now appearing such as BookSmart from Blurb.com. To build your book you can use really any software that can create a hi-res pdf file. Most of the print-on-demand sites also supply different size book templates and a lot of hands-on-help. The decision of what software to use to build your book depends somewhat on the amount of design needed. A book of all text, like a novel, might be fine with MSWord, but a book that has a lot graphics might need Adobe InDesign. Covers are made separately from the insides. If you have some design skills you should be fine making our book. If you need help there are freelance graphic designers that you can contact. Many of the book sites also have packages that you can buy that include editing and design help.
For the e-book side, the best option is Kindle. Kindle is the highly popular e-reader developed and sold by Amazon.com. A formatted text or MSWord file is uploaded to KDP Direct, (www.KDP.Amazon.com), along with a jpg cover graphic. Once the files are uploaded to KDP Direct they are moved over to Amazon ready to sell. If you have a physical book selling on Amazon, they will link them so your customer can choose the option they want.
Amazon takes care of displaying, selling, printing, shipping, collecting the money and depositing it in your bank account. It is a wonderful thing. Cost for each of these sites is zero. They are free.
Along with physical books, there are also many options for producing an e-book. E-books generally break down to two basic formats; the Mobi format for the Kindle and e-pub for all the other e-book readers. Kindle is the largest but Kobo.com, with their Kobo reader, is pretty big outside the US, especially in Canada and Japan. Kobo is currently in 190 countries. Again I recommend starting with Kindle and then branching out to the others. An interesting development with Kobo and Nook is the ability to use their online tools to write and build your book. This is a trend that I am sure Kindle will pick up at some point. It just makes sense. If you want to be in the iTunes book tore, take a look at Smashwords.com and Lulu.com. Both companies act as aggregators for Apple and manage the entire process along with payment.
Books can take all kinds of shapes and forms these days. So start writing, illustrating, photographing, and dictating, and get publishing.
Where Do I Sell My Book?
With the advent of e-books, pdf, print-on-demand and non-exclusive rights we now have many places and ways to sell our books.
The top places to sell your book are:
• Kindle e-books, Mobi format
• CreateSpace for print-on-demand physical books. Enhanced distribution books will sell in many web-based stores and in many countries
• Audio books using ACX.com
• E-books, ePub format, generally authors use a service like Smashwords.com to put their books into the iBookstore.
• Use iBookAuthor to create an interactive book for sale on iPads and Mac computer. iBookAuthor is becoming big in the education market.
Barnes & Noble
• Nook e-books, ePub format
• If you select enhanced distribution on Amazon for your print books, they will appear here also
• ePub, http://www.kobo.com/writinglife
• ePub and pdf format
• Connections to other on-line retailers
Processes and distributes your e-book to 10 of the major e-book retailers including Apple’s iBookstore, Kindle, Nook, Kobo
• Aggregates ePub books across many different e-readers and companies
Your Own Site
• Pdf or ePub, using a service like e-Junkie.com, Gumroad.com or Scribd.com for handling the distribution and payment options
• Set up your own sales pages and direct traffic to sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and others. I highly recommend this option.
Types of Books You Can Create
• CreateSpace/Amazon. http://www.createspace.com
• Lulu.com. http://www.lulu.com
• Blurb.com. http://www.blurb.com
• Amazon Kindle. https://kdp.amazon.com
• Barnes & Noble. Nook, https://www.nookpress.com/
• BookBaby.com. http://www.bookbaby.com
• Kobo. http://www.kobo.com/writinglife
• Smashwords. http://www.smashwords.com
• iBook/iTunes. iBookAuthor
Photo and Graphic Books
• iPhoto. On every Mac computer
• BookSmart. http://www.blurb.com
• Photo book reviews. http://photo-book-review.toptenreviews.com/
• Photo Book Girl. http://www.photobookgirl.com/ Good resource to find out about many of the photo book sites
• Kindle picture books using Kindle Comic Creator. https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A3CDGNR40RY9I9
Mobile Phone and iPad Apps, at iTunes
• Mosaic for iPhone, http://heymosaic.com/
• Book Creator for iPad, http://www.redjumper.net/bookcreator/
• Some good resources, http://www.edudemic.com/8-powerful-apps-to-help-you-create-books-on-the-ipad/
Host a pdf book, workbook or a course on your own site and sell using e-junkie.com, Gumroad.coml. E-junkie.com and Gumroad.com both will host and store your pdf book file and accept various payment options. Basically they give you an online store without requiring you to do all the work of building one. One advantage of selling your own pdf books is that you get to keep all the money.
Audio Books and Podcasts are hugely popular these days. Taking your existing print or e-book, record it and sell it as an audio book is almost a no-brainer. Take a look at Audiobook Creation Exchange or ACX, which is now part of the Amazon family. ACX.com can walk you through the process. You read your book into your computer using a program like Audacity or GarageBand chapter by chapter, edit it and upload an mp3 file along with your cover art and you are ready to go. Use a site like CreateSpace, yes they take audio and video files too, to host and manage your recordings. Through CreateSpace you can stream video. Not a lot of authors make audio versions of their books and they generally sell for more than the original book.
Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), http://www.acx.com/
How Do I Publish My Book?
Most books start out in MSWord or something similar. From here you can move in a number of directions. Most of the print-on-demand and e-book sites have either MSWord or InDesign templates that you can download, or online book building applications that you can use to design and lay out your book. Most of the publishing sites also have design, layout and editing packages that you buy and have someone else put your book together for you. The trend seems to be for sites to develop online applications, which is great. A lot of the press these days is on all the success e-books are having, especially with fiction books. But paperback books are still very successful and I recommend if you produce a book in one format, you should also produce it in the other. Amazon will link the print and e-books together on one sales page. And while you are at it you should also make an audio version of your book. Give your readers several ways to buy it. Let’s dig into a few options.
Physically Printed Books
There are many types and styles of books and many ways to get your book produced. You can hire a vanity press service that will do it all for you; edit, design, layout and printing, and just send you a pallet of books. You can also hire and work with a graphic designer to design and layout your book. Then hire a printer to print it and then you can deal with the marketing, handling and shipping.
For this book I am focusing on self-publishing where you do a lot of the design and layout work yourself or hire someone to do it and then use print-on-demand technology through a company like CreateSpace/Amazon to produce and ship your book. Your designer could be local or on the other side of the planet working through a website like www.99Designs.com. I don’t believe you have to have a garage filled with books to be successful. In fact I do not recommend having any books hanging around. You do not want to be in the book shipping business when you have print-on-demand at your fingertips. If you are serious about being an author and selling physical books, my recommendation is to work with CreateSpace/Amazon.
I produce most of my books using MS Word for writing and Adobe’s InDesign or Illustrator software for layout and producing a high-resolution pdf file for printing. For publishing, selling and shipping I work mostly with CreateSpace.com, which is the print-on-demand side of Amazon.com. I upload my finished pdf files to CreateSpace and then they move them over to Amazon for selling and shipping. It is very smooth. Many of the print-on-demand sites also offer MS Word or InDesign templates that you can download and work from. I find the book templates a little awkward but the cover ones work pretty well. Almost all of the publishing sites also have extensive tutorials and instructions to help you along and additional instruction can be found on video sites like YouTube.
To produce your book you can work in almost any program that can export a high-res pdf file, including Adobe Illustrator, Apple Pages, InDesign and even MS PowerPoint. If you aren’t able to produce the book yourself you can usually find a local graphic designer or even a design student to help with the design/layout and produce your book. If you don’t have any local freelance design help you can look at sites like 99Design.com, Fivrr.com, Elance.com or ODesk.com and outsource the production. If you are writing mainly a text only book you can do the project pretty much yourself in MS Word. CreateSpace and Kindle both have on-line cover building services.
The most popular software for laying out your books are MS Word or Adobe InDesign. InDesign gives you a lot more flexibility but MS Word will work fine, especially if you are making a book that has just text in it. If you have a lot of graphics or design requirements then I recommend using InDesign.
For print-on-demand sites like CreateSpace.com and Lulu.com books are created in two parts, the book text inside, and the cover. I find that covers are the trickiest part of the process. Covers need to look professional and convey what the book is about. It is often recommended that you seek a professional designer to help you with your cover, while you can usually handle the insides yourself. On the production side, your cover needs to be a complete spread, this includes; the back, spine, and front. Pay attention to the spine width and length. Setting up of your cover can be tricky.
Some sites now have online software packages for laying out your book. Blurb.com has a very good one called Booksmart. It is a free download to your computer and you use it to build your book. It is pretty cool and gives you a lot of options in terms of design and layout. Once your book is ready you upload it to Blurb for printing and selling. I recently produce a picture book in about 5 hours using it.
Along with books, CreateSpace.com, can also take an audio mp3 file or a video file and use the print-on-demand technology to make CDs or DVDs. Along with physical discs they can also stream your content to your customer. Perfect for distributing a music or film project or maybe a lecture. This is another way to use print-on-demand to distribute your content to the world for almost no cost.
There are two basic formats for e-books. Mobi format, which works with Amazon’s e-book Kindle reader and ePub, which works on all other readers, such as Nook, Kobo and about 80 more. The Kindle dominates the e-reader market and is where you should focus your energy.
The main software for formatting your book is usually MSWord. Kindle offers templates you can use or you can do it yourself. Amazon also has some excellent free books you can download from their site to help you through the process. The main thing to remember about the Kindle is that the text is flexible depending on the reader you are using and how you set it up. Authors get in trouble when they try to make the design of their e-books very specific. In e-readers the text flows back and forth depending on the device, the point size of the text and how the reading device is held. Books formatted simply, generally work the best. Amazon also has a number of free software applications to help you make and preview your books, such as Kindle Previewer.
Like the books text insides, covers are uploaded as a separate individual jpg file. Amazon also likes to have a connected Table of Contents, a designated Start and a Cover. If you aren’t working with a designer, you can use the online cover creator that is on their site to make one.
A trend that is starting to appear and I think will eventually come to Kindle, are online e-book creation tools. Nook and Kobo already have these and it just makes sense to build your book online, right on the site on which it will be sold. Both of these sites allow you to upload or type right in the tool to create your book.
Kindle Resources, (All Available on Amazon)
• Building Your Book for Kindle, Kindle Direct Publishing/Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing, 2012). Free download.
• Building Your Book for Kindle for Mac, Kindle Direct Publishing/Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing, 2012). Free download.
• Publish on Amazon Kindle with Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle Direct Publishing/Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing, 2011). Free download.
• From Word to Kindle: Self Publishing Your Kindle Book with Microsoft Word, Aaron Shepard (Shepard Publications, 2013)
• Pictures on Kindle: Self Publishing Your Kindle Book with Photos, Drawings, and other Graphics, or Tips for Formatting Your Images So Your Ebook Doesn’t Look Horrible (Like Everyone Else’s), Aaron Shepard (Shepard Publications, 2013)
• No Bull Guide to Kindle for Non Techies – Format Books for Kindle in Microsoft Word 2007 - 2010, H. Aitoro (Aitoro, 2012)
• 61 Ways to Sell More Nonfiction Kindle Books, Steve Scott (Scott, 2013)
Along with making Kindle books, Amazon has a number of programs that you can access to help with your selling your book. Including programs like Kindle KDP Select and Amazon Lending Library
Kindle Kid and Comic Creator
This is a really cool application and helps authors of graphic novels, children’s books and other illustration heavy books create Kindle books. The Kindle isn’t very friendly to books with a lot of graphics. It can be a real struggle. Comic Creator is the next generation of book creation applications and all you need is a pdf copy of your book or jpgs of each page, and in about 30 minutes you have a Kindle ready file. It is a huge leap forward for creating a graphic heavy book.
To learn more about how to Kindle Comic Creator to make your book, please check out this video. “How to Publish Your Graphic Book on Kindle Using Kindle Comic Creator”
This is Apple’s own ePub book authoring tool for books published in the iBooks store and that will be read on iPads and Macs. This is a robust application that brings together text, images, video, and audio. This free software is only for Apple products but gives you a good idea of where the market is going. A lot of textbook are being moved over to iPads using this software.
iBookAuthor Resource, (Available on Amazon)
Publishing with iBooks Author, Nellie McKesson, Adam Witwer, (Tools of Change, 2012)
Audiobooks and their related cousins, Podcasts, are very popular. Using a program like Audacity for PC or Mac, or Garage Band on the Mac you can easily pull together an audio version of your book. Audiobooks are becoming more and more popular and make a great additional product that you can sell. While audiobooks are very popular, very few authors actually produce an audio version of their book. In fact less than 5 percent of published print books are turned into audiobooks. There is a lot of opportunity here.
The leading service for selling audio books is Audible.com a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Inside of Audible is Audiobook Creation Exchange or ACX.com. ACX brings together authors, narrators, studio professionals and publishers to produce and distribute audio stories. Books are recorded and upload to ACX for distribution to Amazon, Audible and iTunes. Through ACX you can record your book yourself of get connected with others who will help you.
• To learn more about producing an audiobook and selling it through ACX.com visit http://www.acx.com/
• Also check out the Audacity wiki for additional info on producing clean audio files, http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Vocal_Removal
Most of the sites that I have mentioned also give you an on-line store in which to sell your books. Some of these sites also have relationships with other on-line resellers to sell your books. A good example is Lulu.com, which has a deal with Amazon.com for selling your book along with an on-line store. Smashwords.com, the world’s largest indie e-book distributor, supplies books for many different e-book readers and sites, including iTunes, Kindle and Nook. Smashwords.com manages the entire sales, distribution and royalties process after you upload your files. Another manuscript processor and distributor to pay attention to is BookBaby.com. BookBaby takes your MSWord, text or pdf file and converts it into either Mobi or ePub format for distribution to all the major e-book retailers websites. BookBaby.com has made some nice improvements in their site and services.
Smashwords’ service is free while BookBaby.com has a free and a couple of pay options for processing your book. Both of these sites have the relationships with the major e-book distributors and devices. They also have a handle on all of the technical aspects for each site and device. All you have to do is upload the file. Once your books have processed I recommend including all of the distribution sites in your marketing somehow. Use your website and social media to drive traffic to the individual sales page.
For each book I recommend starting with Amazon, as it is the biggest game in town, and has the most traffic and sales, and then move out to aggregators for distribution to the other sites. Manage your Amazon account yourself. I find that the other sites can work for you if can drive traffic to their sale page with advertising or marketing. Left on their own they just don’t have enough web traffic to generate very many sales. Use your own websites, blogs and social media to market your book, and then give a direct link to their sales page. I highlight most of my books on my websites and then drive the traffic to Amazon for purchasing and processing. I have found though that most of my sales come directly from Amazon instead of these other book sites.
When and How Do I Market My Book?
Be sure to check out my international best selling book, Book Marketing Checklist for Self Publishers, available on Amazon. Marketing your book is a huge part of publishing and being an author. I feel that being a successful author today means taking control and actively managing your social media and web presence. As publishing companies drop the services they offer, it is up to individual authors to promote themselves.
Marketing your book begins almost from the day you start to write it. The key is building your Platform. Your Platform consists of your followers, your Facebook fans, followers of your blog, Goodreads, your website, Twitter, Pinterest, and very importantly your email list. It includes any and all of the places that fans and readers can follow and interact with you. Your Platform needs to be built and nurtured before you publish and then be ready to connect with buyers when you release your book. Even if you are thinking of going to a traditional publisher, they will want to know about your Platform. This is where they will turn first to sell your books. If you come with a large and active platform publishers will pay attention to you. But if you have that, you probably don’t need them.
Before Publishing and While You are Writing
One of the easiest ways to start building a platform is to have a blog where you can release excerpts from your book and write on various topics. I am a big fan of Google’s Blogger blogs, they are free, easy to set up, easy to add content and they are part of the Google family of products. Blogger, like most blogging platforms, allows you to have the blogging page and also other static pages that you can use for your author bio, extended excerpts, an event page, a video page or really anything that you want.
WordPress is another very popular blogging platform. It takes a little bit more technical knowledge to set up and maintain but also works very well. I am just a fan of Google’s Blogger platform because it works so well for anyone starting out, and it integrates so well with Google.
Having an active email list is one of the most important tools that you can have for marketing your book. Set up an email sign-up box on your blog so fans can keep up with you. Give away a couple of chapters, some short stories or other content to thank people for signing-up. AWeber.com or MailChimp.com are excellent sites for managing your email list. I use AWeber.com.
Social media is a great way to connect with fans, build social proof, and get your message and content out to the world. I recommend starting with the popular sites, FaceBook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Goodreads and Pinterest. Each book should have a Pinterest board. I also recommend producing several videos for YouTube where you discuss your book and subject. Don’t overthink your video production, keep them simple and clean and you will be fine.
A key point in all of this is to have one central site that you direct people to, to find out about your book. Generally this is your blog or website. Your blog acts as your home base and then you link all of the other sites to it. Give people a place to read your work, connect with you and buy your books.
Publishing Your Book and After
Your Platform becomes the key for announcing your new book and giving people a place to either buy or connect to sites where they can pick up a copy. Blogs work great for this. You can write about the process, announce book signings, and play videos of you talking about your book. On the side of the blog or website you can drop in a book cover graphic that connects to Amazon. Using your email list you can send out announcements about your progress and connect with your fans. Facebook also gives you a great place for fan interaction and updates on what is going on. All the sites work together. There are also many industry sites that you can use to promote your new book. On Linkedin, you can list your book as one of your major accomplishments. Pinterest is a great site to promote all kinds of books. Every author should also be on GoodReads.com. GoodReads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.
Social Media Sites for Promoting
• Facebook.com. http://www.facebook.com
• Google+. https://plus.google.com
• Linkedin.com. http://www.linkedin.com
• Pinterest.com. http://www.pinterest.com
• Twitter.com. http://www.twitter.com
• GoodReads.com. http://www.goodreads.com
• YouTube.com. http://www.youtube.com
All of the above sites are great places to promote your content, before, during and after you publish your book. For some additional promotional advice check out Joan Stewart, and her public relations tips, every Tuesday, http://www.publicityhound.com/
What Do I Do After I Have Published My Book?
You have finished your book and it is published and selling. Congratulations! Now what? Well first is to keep up the promotional activities across all your social media and blog sites. Keep posting your progress and accomplishments on your blog. Talk about your book on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.
What you have created with your book is one set of content. At the moment it is in book form, but it can be so much more. Take your book and read it into a recorder on your computer, edit it and upload to ACX.com and Audible. If you have a Mac, Garage Band works great, or download Audacity and use that. Audacity is a free recording and editing software for making podcasts or audio books. Audacity works on PC or Mac. To make an mp3 file you will also need to download a second piece of software but it is all pretty easy.
Depending on what kind of book you have written, consider making a workbook that goes along with it. That would be cool. Workbooks can sell for five to ten times the cost of the original book. Or maybe you wrote a business book. Take it and create a PowerPoint presentation that gets uploaded on SlideShare and Linkedin. If your book has illustrations, how about pulling them out and using them as art for calendars or mugs on one of the print-on-demand products sites like Zazzle.com or CafePress.com? Take your novel and have some illustrations or photos produced and make a deluxe version that sells for twice the price or maybe take them and create a children’s version.
You can start or add to a consulting business using the book as the lead generator. Or figure out a course that goes along with it and sell it on sites like Udemy.com, the online learning site. Books make fantastic calling cards to promote your business.
Re-purposing Your Content
It is all about re-purposing your content. Create it once and use it over and over for different products.
Book Content Can Be Turned Into Any One of the Following Products:
• Physical Book
• PDF book
• Workbook, worksheets
• Audio recording of the book, mp3
• Audio program or course built around the book
• PowerPoint presentations
• Record the PowerPoint presentation and make a video, preview on YouTube
• Annotated versions
• Webinar. Use some of these other products as a bonus or sell Seminars
• Google Hangout with other authors or experts to discuss the book or topic
• Interviews and guest blog posts around your topic
• Video training courses around your topic. Each chapter becomes a video
• Cheat sheets, assessments, how-to sheets
• Take the illustrations and make a picture book
• Take the illustrations and use the art on sites such as CafePress.com and Zazzle.com for products like t-shirts, mugs, clocks, pillows, etc.
• Use as content to start a monthly membership site or newsletter
• Resell the content for Private Label Rights
• Book content can easily become blog posts or podcasts
• Build a resource list to go with the book, readers love resource lists
• Build affiliate offers into your list
Sites to Use for Creating Additional Products
Gift and Apparel Producers. On Demand Manufacturing
Sites for Creating Physical Audio, Video, and Print-On Demand Products
• CreateSpace, they are more than just books, http://www.createspace.com
• Speaker Fulfillment Services. http://speakerfulfillmentservices.com/
• ACX.com and Audible.com. http://www.acx.com
• Udemy. http://www.udemy.com
• How to Publish Your Book School
Publishing Resources: Layout/Design
• AnimationFactory.com. http://www.animationfactory.com/en/
• ClipArt.com. http//www.clipart.com
• Graphics Factory. http://www.graphicsfactory.com/
• World of Maps Clipart. http://www.bjdesign.com
Color Palette Generators
• Adobe Kuler. https://kuler.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/ really cool site for understanding and selecting colors
• Colourlovers.com. http://www.colourlovers.com/
• Degraeve.com. http://www.degraeve.com/color-palette/
• Imagepalette. http://www.cssdrive.com/imagepalette/
Commercial Stock Photo Sites
• BigStockPhoto.com. http://www.bigstockphoto.com
• Corbis Images. http://www.corbisimages.com
• DreamsTime.com. http://www.dreamstime.com
• FotoSearch.com. http://www.fotosearch.com/
• Getty Images. http://www.gettyimages.com
• iStockphoto.com. http://www.istockphoto.com/
• Jupiterimages.com. http://www.jupiterimages.com
• Shutterstock.com. http://www.shutterstock.com/
• Pond5.com. http://www.pond5.com/ A lot of people use this site for stock video, sound effects, After Effects and music. They also have lots of regular stock images.
• Fonts.com. http://wwwfonts.com
• MyFonts.com. http://www.myfonts.com/
• 1001FreeFonts.com. http://www.1001freefonts.com/
• FontSquirrel.com. http://www.fontsquirrel.com/
Online Photo Editing
• FotoFlexer.com. http://fotoflexer.com/
• Gimp (free PhotoShop type of program)
• Lunapic.com. http://www.lunapic.com/editor/
• Picnik.com. http://www.picnik.com
• Pixlr.com. http://pixlr.com/
• Befunky.com. http://www.befunky.com/
Public Domain Photo Sites
• Visipix. http://www.visipix.com/index_hidden.htm
• The US Government http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Graphics.shtml
• Wikipedia: Public domain images resources. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain_image_resources
• PublicPhoto.org. http://publicphoto.org/
• Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_page
Publishing Resources: Publishing
How to Write a Book Using a Blog
• Pat Flynn. http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/ Pat’s free downloadable e-book is the best I have seen on how to pull a book, e-book or traditional book, together using a blog.
Book Publishing / e-Book and Print-on-Demand Sites
• BookBaby.com. Takes wide variety of files and distributes through all the major on-line retailers. http://www.bookbaby.com
• BookTango.com. Free to paid e-book services. Connected to all the major e-book on-line retailers. http://www.booktango.com
• Blurb.com. Used by a lot of artists and photographers for excellent quality image reproduction. http://www.blurb.com
• CreateSpace.com. The print-on-demand side of Amazon.com. http://www.CreateSpace.com, also DVD, CD, and streaming video and audio
• EBookIt!.com, e-Book conversion, publishing, distribution and promotion. Major on-line retailers. http://www.ebookit.com/index.php
• Kindle, KDP Publishing. The e-book side of Amazon, most popular e-reader. https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin
• Kindle Comic Creator. Graphic novels, childrens books and comic books. https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A3CDGNR40RY9I9
• Kobo.com. International sales. http://www.kobo.com/writinglife
• LightningSource.com. http://www1.lightningsource.com/# Good publisher for textbooks
• Lulu.com. Provides lots of book publishing options. Excellent quality. http://www.lulu.com
• Pressbooks.com. e-Books and print-on-demand services. http://pressbooks.com
• Nook, Barnes & Noble. http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home
• Smashwords.com. http://www.smashwords.com/
• Vook.com, e-book publishing site, total publishing solution, some costs involved, adds design and styling. https://vook.com/
E-book Aggregators and Publishers
• Bookbaby.com. http://www.bookbaby.com/
• Pressbook.com. http://pressbooks.com/
• Smashwords.com. http://www.smashwords.com/
File Conversion, PDF, Mobi, EPub
• Pdf, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, Apple Pages, built into the software
• Mobi, MSWord combined with Kindle Previewer. https://kdp.amazon.com/
• EPub, There are free programs like PressBooks, Leanpub and Jutoh, and pay programs like Scrivener, Apple Pages and Adobe InDesign. Scrivener is also a popular book organizing and writing program. Scrivener for Mac. http://download.cnet.com/Scrivener/3000-2079_4-139287.html
• Mobi and EPub, a very popular program is Calibre which works on both Mac and PC. http://calibre-ebook.com/
• On-line are services like Smashword.com and BookBaby.com are often a better bet as it is their business to get it right and they handle the steps beyond. EPub and Mobi conversions can be tricky.
iPad Book Publishing Apps/Programs
• BookCreator app. http://www.redjumper.net/bookcreator/
• Demibooks app. http://demibooks.com/
• iBookAuthor. http://www.apple.com/ibooks-author/
ISBN numbers are unique per book title and format, but not all formats require them. E-books don’t require them because they don’t count them but some of the distributors do. It is kind of confusing. It really depends on the kind of book you are making and where you are publishing and selling. I use CreateSpace for my print books and I use their free ISBN numbers. They who hold the ISBN number also control the name of the publishing company but not the rights. Kindle doesn’t require an ISBN numbers. Apple iBookStore does. It is best to check with the distributors you are using.
• ISBN numbers are all controlled by one company, R. R. Bowker. https://www.myidentifiers.com/Get-your-isbn-now
Preview Your Book
It is vital to preview your book before final publishing. It is easy to mess up the formatting. I also like the on-line Kindle Previewer in KDP Direct. https://kdp.amazon.com/
• Kindle Previewer from Amazon. https://kdp.amazon.com/
• Nook Everywhere from Barnes & Noble. Available in app stores
Publishing Resources: Marketing and Building Your Platform
• Blogger.com. https://www.blogger.com/start
• Tumbler.com. http://www.tumblr.com/
• TypePad.com. http://www.typepad.com/
• Wordpress.com and org. free.com or paid.org http://wordpress.org/
E-mail Hosting and Marketing Sites
• AWeber.com. https://www.aweber.com
• ConstantContact.com. http://www.constantcontact.com
• iContact.com. http://www.icontact.com/has A free edition for small businesses, individuals, and local organizations
• MailChimp.com. http://mailchimp.com/
• MyEmma.com. http://myemma.com/
• Gmail, set this up first, this also is your Google account. This opens the door to all the Google products.
• Google Alerts. http://www.google.com/alerts Keep up with competition, market awareness.
• Google Analytics. http://www.google.com/analytics/ Track everything.
• Blogger.com. http://www.blogger.com/home An easy blog platform to start your web presence.
• Google Trends. http://www.google.com/trends/ What is hot. What is going on.
• Google Images. http://images.google.com/ Great for ideas.
• Google Plus. https://plus.google.com Becoming the home for all things Google.
• Google Keyword Tool. https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool. For doing research, you will need an Adwords account for this site.
• YouTube.com. http://www.youtube.com/ The largest video hosting site.
• SEOBook.com, http://tools.seobook.com/ Not part of Google but a pretty good resource. SEO Optimization tools needs a free account but a great resource for finding keywords phrases.
Online Resources for Video/Video Marketing
• Bill Gentile’s Video Journalism Workshop. http://videojournalismworkshops.com/
• How To Sell Your Videos. http://howtosellyourvideos.com/
• James Wedmore. http://www.videotrafficacademy.com/
• Steve Garfield.com. http://www.SteveGarfield.com
• VideoMaker.com. http://www.videomaker.com/
• Web Video University with Dave Kminski.
Photo Sharing Sites
• Facebook.com. http://www.facebook.com
• Flickr.com. http://www.flickr.com/
• Instagram.com. http://www.instagram.com the leading mobile photo sharing site
• Picassa, Google’s photo site. http://picasaweb.google.com
Single Subject Blog Posting Sites
• HubPages.com. http://hubpages.com/
• Squidoo.com. http://www.squidoo.com/
• Facebook.com. http://www.facebook.com
• Google+. https://plus.google.com
• Linkedin.com. http://www.linkedin.com
• Pinterest.com. http://www.pinterest.com
• Twitter.com. http://www.twitter.com
• YouTube.com. http://www.youtube.com/ Filled with social media tools.
All of the sites listed above are great places to promote your content. For some additional promotional advice check out Joan Stewart and her public relations tips every Tuesday. http://www.publicityhound.com/
Publishing Resource: Repurpose Your Content
Computer Based Audio Recording Software
• Audacity. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
• Garage Band. Comes standard on all Macs and now iPads
• Audacity wiki. http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Vocal_Removal
Computer Based Screen Capture and Video Recording
• Camtasia Studio for Windows. http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/
• ScreenFlow for Mac. http://www.telestream.net/screen-flow/
• iMovie. Standard on all Apple Mac computer
• MovieMaker. Standard on all PCs
Gift and Apparel Producers, Print-On-Demand Manufacturing
• CafePress.com. http://www.cafepress.com
• Zazzle.com. http://www.zazzle.com
• Spreadshirt.com. http://www.spreadshirt.com/
• Printfection.com. http://www.printfection.com
Products can also be developed out of your books. Two great places to create and sell stuff are:
• Cafepress.com. http://www.cafepress.com/
• Zazzle.com. http://www.zazzle.com/
Personal Broadcasting Channel, Live Streaming
• Google Hangout OnAir, part of your Google Plus page, broadcasts live to YouTube.com
• Justin.tv. http://www.justin.tv/
• Livestream.com. http://www.livestream.com/
• UStream.TV. http://www.ustream.tv/
Transcription Software, Speak and Convert to Text
• Dragon Naturally Speaking. http://naunce.com
Video Distribution and Sharing Sites
• DailyMotion.com. http://www.dailymotion.com/us
• Rev.om, a $1/minute
• UStream.tv. http://www.ustream.tv/
• Vimeo.com. http://vimeo.com/
• YouTube.com. http://www.youtube.com
• Amazon S3 video distribution. http://aws.amazon.com/s3/ If you set up a membership site you can use Amazon S3 to host your content and videos.
Web Based Screen Capture Software
• Jing.com. http://www.techsmith.com/jing/
• Screenr.com. http://screenr.com/
• Fivrr.com, outsourcing services starting at $5. http://fiverr.com/
• ODesk.com, freelance help. https://www.odesk.com/
• Elance.com, freelance help, https://www.elance.com/
• 99Designs.c0m, graphic design services. http://99designs.com/
About J. Bruce Jones
J. Bruce Jones is a Massachusetts-based business graphic designer, software developer, musician and independent video producer. Bruce is the author of more that 20 books. He writes on all kinds of topics that interest him: business books on social media; and publishing, growing your business and increasing your visibility on YouTube; books on playing and writing music; geography textbooks for learning and coloring books for fun.
Bruce is also the developer of the World of Maps editable clip art map collection for PowerPoint and Adobe Illustrator. These maps are used for business presentations, illustrations, graphic design, and web sites. They are distributed through various web sites including; http://www.mapsfordesign.com and http://www.bjdesign.com. He is also the developer of Antique and Historical Maps, a collection of royalty free, antique digital maps from the 1500s to the 1900s, used for graphic design, illustration, web sites and education.
Bruce is active in both producing and creating original programming for local public access television and the web.
You can learn more about Bruce and his endeavors at:
Amazon Author Central Page
Edited by Allison K. Jones
© Copyright J. Bruce Jones 2016 All Rights Reserved
All rights reserved. No part of this online book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the author. Reviewers may quote brief passages in reviews.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, or transmitted by email without permission in writing from the publisher.
While all attempts have been made to verify the information provide in this book, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretations of the subject matter herein.
This online book is for entertainment purposes only. The views expressed are those of the author alone, and should not be taken as expert instruction or commands. The reader is responsible for his or her own actions.
Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, including international, federal, state and local governing professional licensing, business practices, advertising, and all other aspects of doing business in the US, Canada or any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the purchaser or reader.
Neither the author nor the publisher assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of the purchaser or reader of these materials.
Any perceived slight or any individual or organization is purely unintentional.
Throughout this book, trademarked names are used. Rather than put a trademark symbol in every occurrence of a trademarked name, we are using the names only in an editorial fashion and to the benefit of the trademark owner, with no intention of infringement of the trademark. Where those designations appear in this book, the designations have been printed in initial caps.
Websites and Ideas
The Internet is a fluid changing medium and websites change all the time. All links are for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy or any other implied or explicit purpose.
The ideas expressed in this online book are my own and there are no guarantees that you will have success with them. This book is intended to be informational and is my opinion only.
7 Steps to Publishing Your Book Today Online Video Course
Hi, my name is Bruce Jones and I am the author of over 35 books and the creator of 7 Steps to Publishing Your Book. My job is to teach you how to do this. My course focuses on the ideas and tools to help you bring your book to the world. This is not a course that shows you how to connect with many stream publishers. This is a course that focuses on authors that want to do this themselves. This doesn’t mean that you have to do all the work yourself. I give you tons of resources and tools that you can use or hire to help in the process. This course shows you what and where they are and how to access them. Or, yes you can do it yourself, that is here also.
This course focuses on self-publishing your book. We will look at writing, editing, design and layout, where and how to publish and marketing. The entire process from beginning to a finished book you can hold in your hands. I have witnessed the excitement in a new author when they walk into a room with their book and show it to their friends and family. It is amazing, it is life changing and I want that for you.
The gatekeepers have fallen in publishing, marketing and distribution. It is our time, we can now access the entire globe right from our desks to create, publish and sell our books. There is no one to say no, we now can say yes. So say yes and lets gets that book out of you.
Join me and lets begin bringing your book to life. Join me by just clicking the Gain Access Now button on this page and I will see you on the other side.
Course Includes 7 Modules
1. Your Best 10 Tips, How to pull together the outline for your book around your subject matter. Includes Idea Starters and Beginning Your Platform.
2. Writing and Editing, expanding out your subject matter. Includes templates and worksheets.
3. Design, Layout and Formatting the Interior of your book based on where you are publishing it, Kindle, paperback/CreateSpace/Amazon, local quick print or pdf. I answer the question of where do I publish my book? We then move into how to set up a Kindle book, and a CreateSpace paperback book.
4. Design, Layout and Formatting of the Cover for Kindle and CreateSpace. Includes templates and worksheets.
5. Publishing Your Kindle Book, File prep, getting your book ready for uploading, filling in the book account info and publishing on Amazon. Plus a video on setting up your publishing accounts on Kindle and Createspace.
6. Publishing Your CreateSpace Paperback Book, File prep, getting your book ready for uploading, filling in all the dashboard info and publishing on Amazon
7. Marketing your Book, basic tips you can do to promote your book. Including how to build a book/author blog for your book.
To sign up for the course please click here, 7 Steps to Publishing Your Book
Also includes special Case Studies with several authors on the building of their book covers. I take you from beginning to end on the process.
Question on the course? Call Bruce Jones 781-492-0742
How to Publish Your Book School
I am in the process of building out a book publishing school with marketing, layout, publishing and marketing courses.
Click Here to check the courses I have at the moment