Saturday, January 07, 2012

Publishing How-To Advice

If you’re considering publishing your own e-book, here’s another post that lays out a basic How-To. This one is from The Wall Street Journal/India. It seems to be pretty straight forward and thus would work for pretty much anyone.

I like that the author of the article, Amit Agarwal, keeps it simple and offers advice from his own experience.

He starts by telling you where he recommends you publish. Then he goes into the fonts he recommends you use, as well as what not to do, the size your cover pic should be and what tool to use to convert your document.

In Step 2, he tells you how to test your eBook. Then he explains what happens when you publish.

It gives some good advice, although the article is not a move-by-move how-to. So read it if you’re considering e-publishing. It should help you decide if it’s time to dive in.


  1. I'm always a fan of how-tos that give both the business and technical information. I'm a bit of a luddite as far as books are concerned, but I'm sure one day when I publish something, I'll to know this stuff. So thanks for bringing it to my attention. It's good to think about. Plus, I'd rather deal with this than printers (shudders).

    You always share such a cool variety of sources and commentary.

  2. Overall, he gives good advice. In deciding where to publish it though, he makes it sound like an either/or situation. It should be published at ALL venues.
    You do not need a mobi conversion to upload to Amazon. Just save as an .html and send it. (you don't even need that anymore really, Amazon accepts .doc now)
    As for fonts, Amazon pretty much converts everything into its own mashup of TNR anyway, no matter what you pick.

  3. Hi Helen .. always interesting to read these and to know what's out there, and then the great comments you get .. Laura seems to make some good points.

    Thanks - Hilary

  4. I like that it's getting easier to format and figure things out.

  5. I've published a number of e-books in various formats under a pen name. I liked the article, although it was a little sketchy on some of the details. Also, it's best to start with a print-ready photo for your cover, even if you only plan on publishing electronically at the moment. Things change. If your ebook sales go through the roof, and you want to consider print publishing, it's much easier to scale down a picture, than try to scale up. Great article, love your site.

  6. I am still over-the-top intimidated by the thought of self publishing, so I suppose I better get over there and read. Thanks Helen.

  7. I'll take a look, always good to get more info. I have found that when I've uploaded my book for Kindle the formatting (indents) is often changed, but apart from that I haven't had any problems. Thanks for posting.

  8. i'm considering publishing a how to in training and am always interested in articles such as this. I also appreciate the insight of the commenters on your post Hel. Thanks for raising this topic.

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  10. Hi Helen, I'm here from MermaidHel’s tweet. Nice article on self-publishing. I receive monthly deposits into my checking account via, and more monthly deposits into my PayPal account via My six eBooks are selling globally through both entities.

    I'm somewhat of a techy from working in the IT department at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Formatting my eBooks was simple and fun and without difficulty, my novels were published and selling within three days at Amazon Kindle formatting was sampler but their marketing and distribution took about two weeks before my novels started selling.

    My novel Dubrovnik and its sequel "Vitruvian Man" have sold in Canada, Germany, Australia, The UK and France from both and smashwords. I think mostly because their plot locations are in Europe. My other novels are selling well here in the US.

    I'd decided to go with self-publishing three years ago after reading Nathan Bransford's blog as to the lengthy process of traditional publishers, and self-publishing has paid off big time.

    My advice to writers out there; follow your instincts. If your manuscript is a piece of genius, start marketing it and readers will find you. It's a matter of discovery.

    Google: Ben Campbell Books

  11. I really could have used this a few months ago. But I'm always looking to learn more.

  12. Thanks Laura.

    Thanks for the advice on pictures, JL.

    Liza, so am I and I'm considering doing my own e-pubbing.

    Thank you very much Ben for weighing in. It's great to hear from someone with experience.

  13. ...this is the first post in quite some time that I've not only finished reading completely through, but was intrigued enough to read through all the comments as well.

    I published my first novel traditionally through an IndiePub, like many, signing on the dotted line to pretty much any form of a contract that was offered my way.

    The book, "South of Charm," has done well, but I've since been wondering if in fact I would've been further ahead by epublishing the thing on my own...

    Thanks so much Helen for this post, and for everyone's helpful comments that followed. I'm currently working on a novella which may in fact be published in this format.


  14. This is timely as I've been working on a column about self publishing ebooks. Thanks!

  15. That's a good article, but it glosses quickly over some formatting details. I found that the Smashwords style guide was the most helpful with specific details. After following the Smashwords guide, it was a breeze adjusting the format for Kindle.

  16. I can think of a few how-to to write but they all need permission from clients. I find that most discouraging. Some clients just don't reply...

    The Spinster’s Vow

  17. You always have good info, Helen ... more then my little brain can comprehend, but good.

  18. Mark, from what I've been hearing, Smashwords is the one most people seem to go with. Someone else may come out with (or already have) a way that's simple and easy to follow, but for now Smashwords seems to have the lead. If you're thinking of self-pubbing, though, it's good to read all sides and then decide. That's interesting that using Smashwords made publishing on the Kindle easier.


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