WRITERS. A free 15-page e-book from Bookbaby provides important advice for independent authors who want to self-publish e-books that can be read on multiple devices. In the publication, entitled “E-book Publishing: The How-To Guide for Writers,” Steven Spatz notes that “E-books and e-book readers have moved quickly past the ‘early
adopter’ phase to become the preferred choice of millions of readers.”
Considering how many people will receive e-books as gifts this holiday season, the demand for e-books is expected to surge in 2012.
After explaining various options for independent authors (and describing Bookbaby’s own services), Steven Spatz makes the following suggestions.
Find a professional editor who is experienced with your type of subject matter. Spatz notes that when your work is accepted by a traditional publisher, editing is one of the most important elements that the publisher brings to the process: “Just
because you’ve chosen to go another route doesn’t mean that the requirements for editing are any less strict.” The e-book suggests several ways to find a competent and experienced editor.
Format your manuscript properly for conversion into e-book file formats. The experts at Bookbaby have learned that e-book formatting works best when authors supply original files in .doc, .html, or .txt file formats. In addition, don’t use tabs or the space bar to format paragraphs, use standard fonts for your document, and do all of your image resizing work outside of the document. The e-book lists other tips that can help make
the conversion process go more smoothly.
Make sure your cover design looks professional. Can it pass the “2-second test”? Can a potential reader understand what your book is about from a quick glance at the cover? Plus, he notes, “If your cover art looks amateurish, the customer will assume that
the writing is too.”
Create the right metadata. Browsing through online bookstores usually begins with a search, Spatz points out: “If your metadata does not reflect what someone is searching
for, no one will ever find your book” even if it has an eye-catching cover or attention-grabbing title. In the e-book, Spatz explains the type of metadata that Bookbaby will ask you to provide, and list ideas for creating good metadata.
As for pricing your e-book, Spatz notes that there is some logic behind different pricing strategies. He explains why some authors choose to charge $4.99 to $7.99 while others price their books in the $0.99 to $1.99 range. But, he notes: “Like the rest of the e-book world, we’re in a rapidly evolving environment when it comes to e-book pricing. Things are so new, and changing so quickly, that pricing strategies can be outdated in the blink of an eye. One of the great things for authors who self-publish their e-books is the ability to change the price, test different price points, and react to the market demand.”