Alternate Publishing: Ebooks


Arthur Slade, Canada’s premier writer of young adult fantastical fiction, won the prestigious Governor General’s Award (Canada’s equivalent of the Newbery), the Mr. Christie’s Award, and has had books on the American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award (Mystery Writers of America). Last year, he reisued his backlist as ebooks and reports on the results here: A glorious year of ebooking – Learn how he sold 6353 EBooks!.

Drawing upon that experience, Art gives tips today about taking the same route.

This is part of the continuing series on Alternate Publishing:
Alternate Publishing Series TOC

5 Tips for Ebooks

Guest post by Arthur Slade
If you’re looking at self publishing your own work on Kindle or Kobo, or B&N or…well on any of those retailers here are 5 handy tips.

  1. Don’t be afraid. The world of epublishing is confusing. There are mobis, and epubs, and html and pdfs and… If you’re not into figuring out how to turn your book into these various formats then look for a formatting service. They’ll do it for you and you don’t have to sweat.
  2. Diversify. Amazon is the largest seller of ebooks, but it’s usually best to take the time to distribute your work to as many different retailers as possible. This allows you to reach a bigger audience. There’s nothing more frustrating for a reader with a Nook to find out that you’re only available on Amazon. And you never know, you may become a hit on one of the other retailers.
  3. Make sure your work is perfect. Yep, that should be a given. I’m assuming you’ve already rewritten it thirty times or so. Even the tiniest typos may upset a reader and give you a dreaded 1 star rating. So be sure your work is without typos and the gobbledygook that can spring up when text is converted to epublishing files. To do this it’s good to read your own work on a Kindle or your favourite device (an iPad is handy because you can use all of the various readers on one device).
  4. Put a professional cover on your book. You are entering the professional world and you are competing with everyone from the largest publishers in New York to the grandest self publishers. Your cover is what draws the reader’s eye. Find a good cover artist. It may cost you a pretty penny, but it will bring that money back.
  5. Don’t obsess about sales. This is the hardest one. I mean who doesn’t hit refresh over and over again on their Amazon rankings? Not every novel will explode out of the gates and staring at the sales ranking won’t help it one iota. It’s usually a longer process for your book to find success. The best thing you can do is start on that next book. And make sure that one is even more perfect.