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Self-Publishing Ebooks and Paperbacks

Guide to Self-Publishing Ebooks and Paperbacks

By Sam B Miller II © 2019

This Guide is only for reference and will not substitute for actual experience working with Kindle or similar sites. I have self-published four Ebooks and Paperbacks and created three Audiobooks in the Scifi Genre. You can find them on Amazon and Audible.com  The following guidelines are not an attempt to give legal or other professional advice. The reader makes his or her own decisions.

  1. A HARD RULE. If you intend to try and find a brick and mortar publisher for your book, DO NOT publish your completed book anywhere online with Amazon, Smashwords, or any other online site. Publishers want first crack at your book. If it is already online, they will reject you out-of-hand.
  2. If you want to self-publish and don’t already have one, open a new User Account on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) site at Amazon. This is the site: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/
  3. Kindle Direct Publishing will offer the opportunity to create a Paperback version of your book after it has completed its work on the Ebook version.
  4. Smashwords, https://www.smashwords.com/signin , is another site that is very helpful to publishing your own Ebook. Understand that if you publish a book on Smashwords, you then can’t take advantage of Kindle’s advertising and promotion since Kindle wants to be exclusive for distribution of your Ebook.
  5. Thoroughly read the Ebook Style Guide. The Style Guide was developed by Smashwords, is available on its website and is EXTREMELY HELPFUL. It will tell you how to format your Word document to fit the requirements of an Ebook. Follow the Guide closely. Proper formatting of the Ebook for the purpose of being able to upload a relatively clean copy of your Ebook to KDP will prevent a lot of trouble in the future. If you are not that familiar with the functions of Word, you either have to take a little time to learn or hire someone to do the proper formatting for you.
  6. Decide on the Chapter formatting style for your Ebook. Take your camera to a bookstore and look through already published books for a style or appearance you like. Take photos of the ones you prefer. Over a couple of days, consider what you like and don’t like about the various formatting styles and choose the style right for you. If you are not that familiar with the functions of Word, you either have to take a little time to learn or hire someone to do the proper formatting for you.
  7. Decide on the first paragraph formatting style for your Ebook. Follow the same instructions for selecting the formatting style of Chapters. If you are not that familiar with the functions of Word, you either have to take a little time to learn or hire someone to do the proper formatting for you.
  8. Decide on the Font Style and size of font for your book. Look at the size and style of printed font used in example paperback books at your local bookstore. Too small a font is hard to read. Too large a font will make your Paperback have too many pages and be more expensive. I recommended you use Times New Roman font. It can be read clearly and numbers look like numbers. You don’t want your Ebook Reader to have a hard time reading your Ebook. Never use cute or comic style fonts. If you are not that familiar with the functions of Word, you either have to take a little time to learn or hire someone to do the proper formatting for you.
  9. Create a Word .docx version of your book. You will eventually upload the Word file to KDP for the Ebook conversion to Amazon Ebook format. After you have the completed Ebook version in Word format, you will need to create a new file name for the Word doc and change the formatting in the new Word doc to the special formatting for the Paperback version of your book and save it in PDF. Select appropriate margins with a gutter for the book spine, and establish page numbering footers or headers. The bookmarks and hyperlinks you establish will follow correctly to the saved PDF version.
  10. Always try to publish your printed book in Black and White. Using color in printed books increases the cost many fold. If you must use color, use the color judiciously.
  11. If you feel the need to use graphics in a portion of your book, you will need a copyright free image. You need to be able to copy, modify, distribute, and use the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission or giving credits to the artist. There are many sources for such images on the Internet. I have used Pixabay.com with success.
  12. Bookmark and Hyperlink your Chapter Titles to your Table of Contents.
  13. Use the ‘Reading Text Out Loud’ function in Word and listen to your entire Ebook. You will be amazed how many errors in spelling, misused words, punctuation, etc. you will find using this technique.
  14. There is a debate on the use of punctuation (commas, semicolons, dashes) in modern publishing. This debate is a two-edged sword. I have tried both methods for punctuation. Based on my experience, the old-style of punctuation gets fewer complaints from readers so BEWARE of anyone telling you a comma is not necessary.
  15. Select or make a suitable photo of yourself as the Author to use for the Ebook, paperback and your advertising.
  16. Look at examples of the ‘NO-COPYING LANGUAGE’ in other Ebooks of a like-kind with your Ebook. Adopt the language for your book.

Paperback Book Title example (Get advice from your attorney for all final wording)


Copyright 2019 by NAME OF AUTHOR

All Rights Reserved

No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher, NAME OF AUTHOR.

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

ISBN-13: ___________________________

ISBN-10: ___________________________

1st hardcover printing: June, 2019


Ebook Title Example (Get advice from your attorney for all final wording)


Copyright 2019 by NAME OF AUTHOR

All Rights Reserved

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of the ebook on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereafter invented, without the express written permission of NAME OF AUTHOR. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.


  1. Look at examples of ‘ABOUT THE AUTHOR’ in other Ebooks of a like kind with your Ebook. Adopt the language for your book.
  2. Go to bookstore and look at book covers to decide what you want your cover to resemble. Take photos of the covers you prefer.
  3. If you want to create a Paperback version of your book, take a tape measure with you to the bookstore. Look at the most popular paperback books in your particular genre and see what is the most popular size. It might be 6”x9”, or 5 ¾” x8”, or whatever. Get the size you prefer. Be sure to look at whether the most popular paperbacks have a Glossy or Matte type cover. Determine which cover style you prefer.
  4. Write a Book Blurb for your Ebook and Paperback. This is a Paragraph to interest a Reader in reading your Ebook. This is not a synopsis of the Ebook. Here is the Blurb I used for my first Ebook:

The first scout ships of the Chrysallaman Empire made contact in 1947. Their mission was simple: find a suitable planet for colonization. Earth—HG-281—was the perfect target. Rich with land, minerals, and water, the blue planet could boast only of a primitive race of defenders known as Humans, bugs who could be easily squashed by the might of a single Chrysallaman’s mind. When one of the scout ships is unexpectedly brought down, the advance party is forced to return to their home planet 30 light-years away to report and regroup. In their wake, they left behind a broken ship, dead crew members, and a young alien boy who would grow to become one of Earth’s greatest assets—and her greatest ally.

The lizard-like aliens would be back, and in force. Mankind must prepare a strategy capable of defending against not only superior technology, but superior psychic ability and strength. It will take an elite group of military personnel, brilliant scientists, a sombrero-wearing alien, and another generation to plant the seeds that will grow into a World Wide Defense, the likes of which the Chrysallamans have never known.

  1. It is best to purchase your own ISBN (International Standard Book Number) Code. You will need a separate code for your paperback and audio book types. Amazon assigns an ASIN to each of its Ebooks and doesn’t require an ISBN for an Ebook. You need an ISBN to sell your paperback book to libraries. Go to https://www.isbn.org/ for pricing. An ISBN identifies a book's edition, publisher, and physical properties like trim size, page count, binding type. Every 10-digit ISBN has a 13-digit EAN (European Article Numbers also called International Article Numbers) with a different last digit (the check digit). The EAN will be listed on your cover's barcode.
  2. Review FIVERR.COM and select an experienced book cover designer for your Ebook and Paperback. It will be helpful to the cover designer if you have any suggestion of how you want the cover to look. Front Cover only will be needed for the Ebook and will be provided in the required format, size and style for Kindle Ebooks. If you ever want to also publish your book as a Paperback or Audiobook, then the Designer you hired through Fiverr.com can create the covers for them. The Rear Cover for the Paperback usually includes an Author photo and the Blurb.
  3. Once your cover is done, upload your completed and formatted Ebook contents and Ebook Cover to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), your Blurb, select Key Words to use to enable Readers to find your Ebook. Kindle will re-format your Ebook into its own Ebook format and check for spelling errors and other errors. Kindle will give you the chance to download a Kindle version of your Ebook to your own computer. BE SURE AND DO THIS.
  4. Decide on a price for your Ebook. Keep it under $3.00 or you won’t sell very many unless your Ebook becomes extremely popular. You can even make it a Free Book, but this is done usually when an author is selling many different Ebooks and wants to hook his Readers. Then the author charges Big dollars for sequels.
  5. If you want to do a Paperback, you will need the Full Cover (Front and Back) with Spine and a PDF version of your Paperback, properly formatted for margins (Sides, Top and Bottom), Page Numbers, Table of Contents, Copyright information and restrictions, and Author Information. Remember that the margin of the Paperback nearest the gutter of the book needs to be a little larger to accommodate the spine.
  6. I have found that Cream colored paper with black type is best. I prefer Glossy covers but Matte is an available choice.
  7. It will take a couple of days for a new Ebook to begin showing up on the Amazon site. Copy the reference numbers -letters for the Ebook and announce its publication on Facebook and Twitter.
  8. Be sure to approve the Paperback version produced by Amazon. If you don’t approve it, the Paperback will not be released.
  9. Amazon will tell you the minimum price the Paperback will have on its site. You can add to the price any amount you decide for your profit. You will be given the chance to buy some proof copies of the Paperback for the actual cost of the paperback plus shipping.
  10. Make sure your friends know about the books. Amazon will not go out of its way to let people know about your Ebook or Paperback. You have to do this yourself.
  11. If you discover spelling, wording, or other errors after you publish, you can correct such errors and UPLOAD a new version of your Ebook or Paperback to replace the former version of the books.
  12. Get reviews for your books. I cannot repeat or emphasize this point enough. Get reviews for your books. Books without reviews will be difficult if not impossible to sell. Search the Internet for reviewers of your book Genre. Don’t ask for reviews from people who review Love Stories if your Genre is Scifi or Religion. There is heated debate about whether you should pay for a review or wait for free reviews. Free reviews take a long time to obtain. For general readers who select your book to read, you will be lucky if 1% of all your readers leave a review of your work.
  13. Hope for the best.

 

Copyright

© Sam B Miller II (c) 2019

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