Do you dream about being a published author? Do you have something to say but no way to say it? Maybe it’s time you consider publishing your own e-book.
Sharing ideas and information is now much more straightforward than it once was. Thanks to modern advances, it is much easier for aspiring writers to get their work out there into the world. If you are ready to put your ideas out into the ether for inquiring minds to absorb, consider publishing your work online.
If you are thinking, just now, “That sounds great, but how would I even go about publishing my e-book?” Well, we are glad you asked. It’s easier than you might think to self publish. You just need proper planning and preparation, and before you know it, you will have your own e-book.
The first step towards publishing your e-book is proper formatting.
Why formating is important
You may think that your standard word processor is sufficient for your e-book project. In reality, your favorite text editor is only the first step on the path to publication.
Text editors are there to help you work with your text. Use them to write, edit, and share your work in the early stages of development. Most of them have built-in grammar and spell checkers and allow you to get feedback on your work from outside sources.
Once you have the final draft ready, it is time to switch to an e-book editor. These programs are designed for one purpose- to assist you in producing the best e-book possible. They create an epub which will display differently depending on the device on which your e-book is shown.
If you fail to utilize an e-book editor, you might face rejection by stores or sites. It will be a shame if the only thing standing between you and publication is a few technical issues.
It’s up to you
The freedom to publish your e-book comes with a few drawbacks. While the publication barriers are now broadly removed, as the writer, you shoulder much more of the burden when you choose to self-publish.
Traditionally, much of these burdens would fall to the publisher. Now that you are the publisher, you will have to take many of these steps into your own hands.
As a publisher, you will also need to become-
- A marketer
- A promoter
- A sales tracker
- An editor
You will need to become a jack-of-all-trades. Take on the mantra, “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done.”
Simplicity is key
Save yourself the frustration and headache of agonizing over font, spacing, and color. Most e-book reader applications and devices come with a lot of user customization.
If you spend hours worrying over and changing your formatting, that time will most likely be a waste. Most readers will take advantage of all the customization features and format your e-book to their own specifications.
On the bright side, your readers will enjoy your work that much more when they are allowed to read it in the way that they prefer.
While you shouldn’t worry too long or hard about your format, you should strive to be consistent in whatever formatting choices on which you decide. While this may seem obvious, you need to keep this simple reminder in mind.
Keep track of the choices you are making as you go. It will be hard to remember what font and size you used for your titles when you haven’t added on in awhile.
Become your own editor
Spell checkers and grammar checkers are handy tools for any writer. Frequently, though, a writer can fall into the trap of believing that these tools take the place of an actual editor. Please don’t be complacent; they don’t!
Ultimately, it is up to you, and only you, to make sure your work is correct and easy to read. We recommend proofreading yourself, many times, in fact, as well as asking someone else to proofread as well.
Remove all formating
Once you are ready to transfer your text from your word processor, it is best to start with a clean slate. To do this, you will need to remove all the formatting you used.
You must remove all tabs, spaces, headings, and any other formatting tools you have added throughout your writing process. Don’t panic; your e-book converter will take care of everything.
What about the font?
When choosing your font, go with something standard and traditional. A couple of appropriate selections are Times New Roman or Courier.
It is tempting to try to insert a little flair with an unusual font, but try to fight the urge. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
When it comes to size, stick with 12 point-size for your body and 14 to 18 for your headings and titles.
What about the images?
If you decide to include images, try not to add anything too big. Resize your large images to around 300 pixels to allow them to display in-line with your text.
For full-size or cover images, go with around 800 to 1,000 pixels by 550 to 700 pixels. It is best to use image-editing software instead of Word or a text editor. You will get better results.
Your images must be in one of the following modes.
We also don’t recommend attempting to wrap your text around your images. Instead, set them in-line with your text.
If you have a table or graph, you should include them as images. Your epub will not correctly display them otherwise.
Don’t talk about page numbers
Here we have another obvious suggestion, but an important one. The page numbers from your word processor or text editor will not translate to your e-book. Do not refer to a specific page number because that number will likely be lost in translation. You can easily use TheWordPoint to find an expert translators' help!
It may seem a daunting task, this path to self-publication. You might think it is too risky or complicated, and not worthy of your time or effort. We urge you to fight those feelings.
Anyone can publish their own e-book. With just a little hard work and perseverance, there is no limit to what you can do. If you follow our guidelines, you will be well on your way.
Turn your dream of becoming a published author into a reality.