Have you ever felt that a story is inside you and given some time you could create that amazing, exciting novel you always dreamed about.
Perhaps poetry, short stories or even educational material is something you have a craving to express.
With little more than time, great imagination, a storytelling nature and some grammatical skills – you could create the book you always wanted to achieve. Your name in print. It’s a great achievement.
Before the internet you needed to write your story and send it to as many publishers as you could. Often the wait time could lead in to weeks or even months before some sort of reply would be sent. To many would be writers this reply often started with ‘We thank you for your submission but on this occasion …..’ – that seventh word snatching away any hope or dreams of a publishing contract, and your book in print.
It must have been a very frustrating time for any would be author. Dreams dashed with the opening of every reply envelope that had been slipped through the letterbox.
Today though we live in a different world. Publishing contracts still exist of course but are not mandatory. In fact, you can even print your own book for a tiny percentage of the amount this would cost needed twenty years ago. Printed publishing is just one route, the other is electronical publishing – or ebooks as they are often called.
A publishing deal is a great way of ensuring your book is promoted and marketed as part of your publishing contract, but another option is to self-publish.
Self-publishing is pretty self-explanatory by description, but with the low-cost barriers to entry in being able to put your book online it means you don’t need costly print costs, distribution costs or any more overheads.
What type of book can I write?
Really this is all down to your imagination. Anything is possible. Limits are endless. The best way to answer this is what type of book could you write. What experiences have you had, or knowledge you’ve gained. Could you write a non-fiction book to share something you’ve been through or teach and others and share your knowledge.
Perhaps though a creative imagination lurks within and you fancy yourself as a fiction novel for adults or colourful books for children.
If you’re aim is to make money from your venture rather than just having your story told or name in print, you need to look at the books that are selling and why. Is there a general theme – for example the new ‘cosy thriller’ genre recently exploded.
Do your research on websites such as Amazon and Waterstones, see what sells and look for the common themes, this may help guide you.
How do I create an ebook?
Creating an ebook is easy, what you decide to go in your ebook is the challenge. You can use any word editor such as Microsoft Word or free online tools such as Google Docs to create your ebook.
Once your book is created and saved, you can upload your new book to ebook sellers such as Amazon Kindle Store.
Amazon have a great get started self-publishing guide showing just how easy it is to take any ebook written and create a Kindle eBook in minutes!
Where can I publish my ebook?
By far the most popular place to sell your ebook is the Amazon Kindle Store. Amazon sell millions of ebooks per year so has a ready made audience just waiting for new releases. It’s also possible to join the Kindle Unlimited system which means your book becomes available to be downloaded by users of a Kindle Unlimited subscription and although you won’t receive a payment for your book being downloaded, you will be paid for every page of your book read. The more gripping and enticing your book, the more you are paid of course. Each page read may just 1p or a fraction of 1p but build up a good audience base, and have a few books perhaps as part of a series, and this could turn in to a nice regular passive income. Once your books are online they can be downloaded today, tomorrow, next month, next year or years to come.
Each time your book is purchased or downloaded now or in the future you earn.
What are the costs of writing and self-publishing?
The main cost to you will be time. It can take time to write a great novel, but the results can be worth the wait. You can use free tools such as Google Docs (as mentioned) or paid software such as Microsoft Word but other than this the costs are relatively minimal.
There is though one cost you shouldn’t try and avoid, your front cover design. Your front cover is the shop front to your novel and is considered to be one of the biggest purchase decisions. If the front cover resonates and appeals to a reader, they will look further.
Have you ever browsed a bookshop or the Amazon Bookstore and noticed how attracted to the front cover you are before anything else. Do this now, browse an online bookstore and choose 5 books from a range of say 50 and notice how you chose those 5. This will help you understand the things that generally appeals to others.
It is possible to get a great book cover designed for around £100 but this can range upwards of £300. It’s really tempting to skip this cost but it’s such a main driver for the success of your book if you’re a new author.