This post is reblogged from the Chapterhouse Publishing website.
Getting published these days is hard, and it’s even harder if you’re not a celebrity with a scandalous life story to sell, but Kindle publishing and the rise of the e-book have revitalised the publishing market in the last few years. Three hundred million e-books worldwide were bought in the last year, in comparison with 82 million hardbacks, and 60 million paperbacks. E-books represent a very powerful emerging market, and if you’re an author, you probably want to jump on board.
So first things first.
How do I get my book published as an e-book?
There are three avenues here.
The first I’m not going to discuss at length here. This is to be traditionally published, and then your publisher may have your book converted to an e-book.
The second (the route I took) is to pursue publishing contracts with an e-book-only publisher. (I am published with Not So Noble Books.) There are several advantages to this route:
a) You get the benefit of an expert in the market directing your book where it will be best sold.
b) They provide you with a professional cover design.
c) They also have access to e-book promotion sites so they can get the word out there.
d) You don’t have to go through an agent, so you get more royalties (hooray!)
There are some disadvantages:
a) You won’t get to see your book on a Waterstones shelf.
b) You will find yourself peering over people’s shoulders on the tube when they’re reading their Kindles, just to see if they are reading your book.
If you can get a contract with an e-book publisher, then this is certainly the best way to enter the e-book market. High royalties, professional cover design and access to all of the e-book promotion services online all make this worthwhile.
But there is still another option!
The third avenue is to self-publish your e-book. There are some advantages to this as well, the main one being:
a) You get all the money Amazon doesn’t take.
E-books are the friend of the self-published author, as there are no start-up costs, and you can publish online for free, getting your material out there instantly, and earning money. You have to (you should – it’s worth it) pay for a professional cover design and a professional proofreader to make your work look professional if you are going to publish this way. Self-published or “indie” authors aren’t amateurs, and if you’re going to go down this route, you don’t want to look like one. It stings a bit, paying for those services, but an indie author e-book published with care can look just the same as a professionally published one, if professional services for cover and proofreading are obtained.
What do I need?
You’ve written your masterpiece – what now?
Whether you go down the e-book publisher route, or decide to self-publish, there are a few things that you need to consider before you launch down the giddy track towards publication:
a) Online presence – the market is such that you’ll need something of a Twitter presence (tweet me here!), a blog, a Facebook presence etc. to drum up followers.
b) Time investment – the job is not over once you (or your publisher) hit the publish button! But the fun is just beginning. You’ve got lots of readers dying to meet you, and loads of wonderful people in the indie author community with whom you can chat books all day long!
c) (And perhaps most importantly.) PROOFREADING. I cannot stress this enough. I have started reading many independently published e-books that I have not got past the first page of, because they have been so riddled with errors. And no, you can’t proofread your own work. Trust me. It’s like tickling yourself. You cannot do it. And even if you go through a publisher (as I did) they might still ask you to do one round of proofreading yourself. And do you know what I did? I got a professional to do it. And it was worth every penny. And I have an English degree. And no, that doesn’t mean that your grammar will always be perfect. It is so important to make your e-book look professional.
So what next?
You’ve written your book, the grammar is perfect (and the spelling, and you’ve made sure there are no continuity errors) – now is the time to either take it to a publisher (or back to your publisher) or to get on the indie-author self-promotion road!
Look out for my post next week on how to promote yourself as an author in a world where online presence matters.
Lavinia Collins is the author of the Amazon Number 1 Arthurian bestseller The Warrior Queen
You can find her on Amazon here: Author Page
And follow her at her own blog here: Vivimedieval Blog