Publishing an eBook is actually a rather simple process once you understand all 10 steps in the process and how they fit together.
Here are the 10 steps to writing and publishing an eBook on Amazon Kindle:
1. Clarify Your Purpose and Mission
First, you must understand why you’re writing your book. Is it a passion of yours? Are you just trying to make a quick buck? Are you trying to become a better writer?
In my experience, authors who are passionate about writing will have the most success. Authors who are just in it for money or aren’t excited about writing tend to struggle when the inevitable challenges come up.
Realize that your first book will probably be your worst book, and that’s okay. We get better through practice. Don’t expect your first book to be a masterpiece unless you put in the time and energy to become a master. Most writers find that finishing a few mediocre books first helps them learn the craft and become great writers. You can always go back to edit, revise and improve your first books.
Many writers find the process of writing several books early on in their career is a lot more fun and productive than simply writing and rewriting one single book over and over. It also tends to be a lot more profitable long-term because you’re getting more practice and producing more salable work.
2. Create a List of Book Ideas
Once you understand your mission and your purpose, it’s time to create a list of potential book ideas.
Here are some great questions to help generate some book ideas:
What are you passionate about?
What message or story do you have to share?
How can you create a new story that’s never been told before, or take an old story and tell it in an entirely new way?
3. Do Your Market Research
Market research is a simple process of simply looking at the potential markets in which you may want to write a book to learn from what’s working and what’s not working. It shouldn’t take a lot of time, and it should be fun and interesting to see what other authors have done and how successful they have been in the markets in which you wish to write.
Watch the video on how to do some quick and easy market research for Kindle books below.
4. Choose Your Best Book Idea
If you’re like most creative types, you’ll probably end up with a huge list of potential book ideas. So the challenge isn’t usually coming up with ideas; it’s deciding on an idea to start with and complete.
I use a simple, powerful question to help me choose that one book idea and get started:
“If I could only write one book before I died, which one would it be?”
Usually just that one question will help me get focused and stay focused on the one book that’s most important to me right now. It’s okay to write multiple books at once (many successful authors do, as New York Times Bestselling Author Hugh Howey admitted in a recent interview).
Just make sure you’re actually finishing a manuscript instead of getting lost in an endless web of new ideas that never get finished.
5. Creative Writing Time
I call the first part of writing creative writing because it’s all about using your creativity. It’s not about editing. It’s not about research. It’s not about facts or figures or charts or pictures or graphics or references or footnotes. It’s just about writing your ideas and thoughts on paper and letting it flow unrestricted with no distractions!
Most new writers try to do too much when they start writing. They get this great idea, write 200 words and then think, “Oh shoot, I can’t remember if there are 30 or 31 days in November,” so you minimize your writing document, open up your web browser and start Googling to do some research.
The problem with this is that it will DESTROY your writing output and productivity (by the way, there are only 30 days in November).
It’s like telling a young child to draw a picture and then every 5 minutes you offer them a cookie. You’re not going to get that picture done anytime soon, and it’s probably going to look like crap with all those crumbs all over it.
Instead, when you start writing, just write! Don’t research. Don’t close your writing document. Don’t talk to anyone. Don’t try to edit while you type. Don’t worry about spelling. Don’t look at a dictionary. Don’t do anything that distracts you from writing the ideas flowing through your mind.
If you get to a point where you know you’re going to have to do some research, look up facts and figures, or make some other editorial changes later, simply mark the spot in your document and move on.
I usually write three big x’s like this: XXX anywhere in my manuscript I know I need to come back to later for future research. The key for maximum productivity during your writing sessions is to keep the creative process moving. Save the editing for later or you’ll find the stop-and-start writing style will really slow you down. That’s my personal experience.
If you follow these simple rules, you’ll find your writing productivity will increase dramatically. For me, my writing productivity increased by 3-4 times by simply separating my editing from my creative writing. Imagine if you could write 3-4 books in the time you had previously been writing only one. Do you think that would make a difference in your results? Of course it would!
6. Editing and Extra Research
Now that your creative writing is done, it’s time for some research and editing. Once you’ve gone back over all your XXX’s and done the necessary research, you’ll want to go back and do another round or more of edits.
If your book is very long, you may want to break your editing sessions up into specific segments such as. This will help make your editing sessions more focused and productive instead of trying to fix everything at once.
Here are some examples of recommended editing sessions:
Go over the timeline in your book and make sure every scene and sequence fits chronologically)
Go through each of the scenes with one particular character to make sure the character is consistent and well developed.
Good dialogue takes a lot of work. It doesn’t just happen the first time around. Go through the dialogue to make sure it flows well. Sometimes just changing one word can make a world of difference. If you’re having trouble with a particular dialogue, try acting it out by reading the lines aloud. You’ll often be amazed at how it can help clarify issues that need to be fixed.
After you’re done self-editing your book, it’s time to hire a professional editor. You can get great editors at relatively cheap prices nowadays. Always make sure to get at least three quotes before you hire someone. Otherwise, you risk making an impulsive decision that can cost you a lot of money and time.
I recommend the folks at ebookEditingPro.com. They do great work and provide detailed feedback for writers (which is very important in helping you learn and become a better writer). Most of them have experience editing for big publishers, and their rates are very reasonable.
7. Title Creation
Once your book has been edited and is ready to go, you’ll need to come up with a final book title so that you can finalize the cover design and formatting of the book.
We’ve covered title creation extensively in our previous article on Choosing a Bestselling Book Title so we won’t go into it here.
8. Cover Design
Cover design is very important. You want your cover to stand out, look professional, and have a title that’s very easy to read when shrunk down to 60×90 thumbnails (that’s how many people will see your book cover on Amazon and on their ereaders).
See the Kindle Publishing FAQs for cover design recommendations.
9. Formatting for Kindle
Next, you’ll have to format your ebook for Kindle. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is with Microsoft Word. It’s quick and easy and doesn’t require and complex formatting, software or knowledge of .epub, .mobi, .html or .ibook ebook formats.
You can watch the tutorial video below on how to format your ebook for Kindle.
10. Publish Your Ebook on Kindle
Finally, it’s time to publish your ebook on Kindle!
You’ll need to create an Amazon account at www.kdp.amazon.com if you don’t have one already and publish your book there.
Here’s a video tutorial that will walk you through the entire process of uploading an ebook to Kindle:
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