6 Steps to Self-Publishing

31 Oct
October 31, 2014

Writing-An-Ebook-To-SellEven as recently as a few years ago, most authors were focused on print publishing. The shift toward digital self-publishing has been gradual but dramatic. Now, rather than wait and hope an agent or publisher will work magic, the indie author is in control.

The work of writing your eBook is still difficult, but publishing can quite literally happen at the push of a button. The catch is in making sales off the eBooks you self-publish.

We recommend taking the following six steps between initially writing your eBook and self-publishing.

  1. Re-read your finished eBook. Once you’ve completed your initial effort at writing, go back and read the eBook from the perspective of someone who will be reading it for the first time. Be critical with yourself and your story, and don’t be afraid to edit/cut/revise.
  2. Hire an editor. While it may seem like an editor is your enemy, picking apart every last detail and word choice, a good editor is your partner in making your eBook something that will be purchased.
  3. Hire a proofreader. The editor and proofreader need to be two different people and each will look at your eBook from a different perspective. While the editor will help you make sure your characters are well-developed and the story makes sense, the proofreader will look over the eBook line by line to ensure everything is spelled correctly, all the punctuation is properly done, and catch as many typos as possible.
  4. Hire a cover designer. Unless you are a graphic artist, pay someone to create your cover design. The cover is not just an image representing your eBook; it is a powerful marketing tool.
  5. Hire a formatter. If your eBook will contain images, hyperlinks, multimedia, or anything other than text, you may need to rely on the expertise of a formatter who will ensure that your eBook looks right on any digital reader device your audience chooses to use.
  6. Hire a marketer. You may be able to take on the role of marketing your own eBook, but if you have the resources, you can have a much larger impact if you have a publicist working to promote you and your eBooks. Choose someone who is social media savvy, has experience working with authors, and can demonstrate results.

Sell eBooks on WordPress with the EditionGuard PlugIn

29 Oct
October 29, 2014

editionguard-admin-panelOur goal at EditionGuard is to empower indie authors and level the playing field so that anyone who has the passion to write eBooks can sell eBooks. Digital publishing has allowed many authors to avoid the frustration and time-consuming, costly hoop-jumping that comes with obtaining an agent and waiting for a publisher to approve of your writing.

While we still urge all writers to produce the highest quality, using editors and proofreaders, cover designers, and formatters as needed, there is no reason why you can’t publish every eBook you write.

Our WordPress eBook sales plugin with DRM support (with full integration of EditionGuard services) allows you to sell eBooks with EditionGuard eBook DRM protection right on your WordPress blog. You can even accept payments via Paypal, removing the headache of secure payment processing.

This free, open source WordPress plugin from EditionGuard allows you to manage eBook sales without ever leaving your WordPress admin. You can download, install and modify the plugin as much as you like. You can find the plugin on the wordpress.org site, by clicking here. We invite you to use EditionGuard with this plugin by signing up for a free, 30-day trial account.

 

DRM Protects eBooks from Unauthorized Copying

24 Oct
October 24, 2014

AdobeDRMIt can be the most frustrating experience: you write an eBook, you make it available for sale, and as you Google yourself to see how you’re rising in rank, you discover someone has uploaded your eBook for free to anyone who comes to their site.

It happens more often than anyone would like to believe – to the point where it could be come a full-time job for more popular authors to stay on top of.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) Is the Indie Author’s Solution

DRM protects eBooks from unauthorized copying and distribution and it is almost a prerequisite to selling eBooks. Smaller eBook publishers and independent authors struggle to afford the cost of DRM. It can cost a lot of money and be a nightmare technically to install. The license alone for the DRM system used with Adobe Content Server is in the tens of thousands of dollars.

EditionGuard Exists to Level the Playing Field for Small Publishers and Indie Authors

EditionGuard is a web-based DRM service. It makes it possible for small publishers and indie authors to sell eBooks on their own websites. EditionGuard protects your eBooks with Adobe Content Server 4 DRM, so you don’t have to worry about piracy and unauthorized distribution.  Instead of paying for thousands of dollars in license fees, you simply pay one monthly fee.

Right now, you can get a free 30-day trial of EditionGuard services – no credit card required.

The Anatomy of an eBook Launch Press Release

22 Oct
October 22, 2014

prOne of the most powerful marketing tools at the disposal of any eBook author is a press release. A press release is a formal news announcement; it is different than social media posts, blog posts, and other content because of its structure and its ability to get picked up by other major news sources.

To have the best luck with a press release, you need to consider several factors, including the way you write the release and how you design it but also where you submit it.

In this post, we’ll discuss the anatomy of an eBook launch press release.

Part One: The Title of an eBook Launch Press Release

The title of your press release is perhaps the most important aspect of the entire effort. If you don’t catch attention with the press release title, people will not be interested in reading more. Your goal with your title should be to pique the readers’ interest enough to get them to click on and open the press release for a full read.

Tip: Go for clarity, offer some information, and tantalize them with the promise of more.

Example: Instead of “[AUTHOR] Releases New eBook with Strong Female Lead,” try “6 Ways [AUTHOR] Is Changing the Role of Women in Fiction”

Part Two: The Short Sell

After the title, the most important section of the press release is the summary paragraph. It is a short, one- or two-sentence introduction that includes key information: the title of the book, the name of the author, and some form of emphasis of the title. Building off the 6 Ways [AUTHOR] Is Changing the Role of Women in Fiction, the short sell would say something like this:

[BOOK TITLE] by [AUTHOR] challenges the role of women in fiction, offering strong female lead characters who do more than decorate scenes.

Part Three: The Body of the eBook Launch Press Release

In this section, you get into the meat of the release. Press releases are news based. Do not use “you.” You are not talking to the reader but to the media. Readers should be referred to as “readers” or “they.” Every press release should include the following:

  • The name of the author and the title of the book
  • An expansion of your announcement
  • Links to the purchase site and the author website
  • At least one quote from the author or publisher
  • An image (the book cover, author photo, etc)
  • It should end with a call to action

Part Four: Contact Info

Every press release should end with contact information. Be sure to list email addresses as name (at) emailprovider (dot) com to prevent spam. If you have a marketer or publicist, list their information and not yours.

 

 

 

12 Factors to Consider for Your eBook Cover

18 Oct
October 18, 2014

ebook checklistWe’ve been discussing the importance of having a good eBook cover design for your eBook. Use this checklist to make sure you are considering all of the factors you need to include to have the best possible eBook cover.

eBook Cover Design Checklist

Is the title of the eBook clearly visible?

Does the image convey the feeling/meaning you intend?

Is the author’s byline on the cover of the eBook and easy to read?

Does the eBook cover make you want to know more about the eBook?

Does the eBook cover image convey meaning without spoiling the story or ruining the reader’s imagination?

Did you choose an image you won’t get sued for using? In other words, did you pay for a licensed image?

Did you keep the design simple and clean, using only a few colors?

Do your color choices complement each other?

Is your eBook cover too busy? Sometimes less is more.

Have you used clean, readable fonts? It’s best to stick with the standard fonts.

Have you used the eBook cover space well? You don’t have to use every bit of open space, but how you use it should be appealing.

Have you hired a professional to help you? It is an inexpensive investment that has the ability to offer a big payoff.

Your eBook cover can attract interest, and it is the first and sometimes only impression you get to make with the reader. Make it count.

 

Your eBook Cover Design Matters – A Lot

15 Oct
October 15, 2014

ebook coverYou would not go to a job interview dressed in your pajamas, and if you’re trying to sell eBooks, you won’t try to sell them without a professional, eye-catching eBook cover design. If you’ve written an eBook and want to make sales, the eBook cover design may be one of the most important factors that help you rise above the noise of the competition.

What Makes a Good eBook Cover Design?

The eBook cover, like the outfit you wear on an interview, is often the first impression (and possibly the only chance readers have) to decide whether or not your eBook is worthy of purchase. Your eBook cover needs to look professional. You don’t necessarily need a 3D image if you are only selling digital copies of your book, but the 2D cover image should be sharp.

How Much Does It Cost To Make a Good eBook Cover Design?

You can get a professionally designed cover for a small investment, but it is definitely worth the money spent to get a high-quality graphic in multiple sizes and renditions that you can use not only in your digital eBook file but in all of your marketing as well.

A good eBook cover design can make a big difference. Not only do you stand out more and have the ability to market better, but a good eBook cover design can help readers feel you’re worth taking a risk on. You’ve poured your heart and soul into the work; now dress it properly!

Why Audiobooks Can Help You Stand Apart

10 Oct
October 10, 2014

IMG_1297There are at least 2.5 million eBooks available on Amazon. There are only 150,000 books on Audible. There is simply no easier way to stand apart from the crowd. As more and more people try their hand at indie publishing, even niche categories are becoming saturated. It’s more and more difficult to compete and often takes the assistance of a savvy marketer to help.

How to Make Audiobooks

There are inexpensive options available to help you transform your eBook into an audiobook. Voices.com can connect you with a vocal talent who will narrate your book. Common Mode Inc. offers a variety of services for indie authors who want to publish audiobooks. Amazon’s ACX also offers audiobook services, but indie authors choosing this option lose up to 50% of their royalties. You can hire a service to prepare your audiobook, but it may be more cost-effective to invest in the software and equipment you’ll need to create them yourself.

Michael Kozlowski offers great advice on different audiobook services as well as instructions on how to create your own audiobook.


Sell eBooks on Your Website

Your online eBook store will be powered by Adobe Content Server 4 – the exact same DRM system used by industry giants, and the only DRM trusted by major publishers.

30 day

4 Reasons to Turn Your eBook into an Audiobook

08 Oct
October 8, 2014

headphones on moneyTurning your eBook into an audiobook can help you not only sell more eBooks but also grow your readership and fan base beyond the typical reader. Here are four reasons why you should turn your eBook into an audiobook:

1. The Audiobook industry is growing.

According to Audio Publishers Association, the number of people listening to audiobooks continues to expand, and sales are up:

  • Unit sales were up 16%
  • Download units are up 29% and represent approximately 61% of the market
  • Download revenue is up 24%, representing approximately 41% of the market
  • Total number of titles published is up 28% (from 5,584 to 7,165)

Most industry experts predict the audiobook market will exceed a billion dollars by 2015.

2. Added exposure

People who love to read can only do so when they’re not driving, working, or otherwise engaged. People who listen to audiobooks can do so during their commute, while exercising, or even when working. Converting your eBook to an audiobook can maximize your audience.

3. Having an audiobook can increase your eBook sales

People who buy and listen to your audiobook may be more inclined to also purchase your eBook, whether for themselves or as a gift for someone else.

4. Reach people who don’t like to read

There are a number of people who love the idea of books but not reading. Audiobooks are ideal for these people. Whether they are auditory learners who want your next how-to masterpiece in audio form or choose to let their imaginations run wild with your next fiction bestseller, audiobooks allow you to reach an audience who wants what you write – as long as they don’t have to read it.

EditionGuard Resources for the Indie Author

01 Oct
October 1, 2014

edAre you a new indie author who doesn’t know where to start, or have you written your first eBook but don’t know what you should do next?

No reason to worry! EditionGuard is a one-stop resource for indie authors, covering everything from how to write and format your eBook to how to market your eBook and make more sales. We even provide you with the software you need to safely sell your eBooks on your own website without having to pay royalties to someone else.

Writing Your First eBook: A Guide for the Indie Author

If you have not yet written or finished your first eBook, start here. We have great ideas to help fuel your passion for writing, as well as guides to help you through the writing process. Follow EditionGuard on Twitter and like our Facebook page for more valuable information to help you start writing well.

Write your first eBook! Get started here.

Write your first eBook – ideas to tell your story

Write your first eBook – use a template

Write your first eBook – create an anthology

Stop making excuses and write your #eBook!

After You’ve Written Your eBook

Once you’ve written an eBook, you may need help knowing what to do next. We always recommend that you hire professionals to help you proofread the eBook and design the cover. The more professional your eBook is, the easier it will be to make sales.

Before you publish your #eBook   

You’ve written an #eBook – now what?

Marketing Your eBook as an Indie Author

We have and will continue to expand our selection of resources to help you market your eBook. These should help get you started:

Sell more eBooks on your website, part 1

Turn your readers into eBook marketers and sell more

You’ve written an #eBook – now what do you do with your readers?

Free #marketing for your #eBook

WordPress Tools to Save the Day

If you are building your author website in WordPress, there are a number of WordPress plugins that can make life easier for you. These are a few of our favorites:

WordPress Plugins for #indieauthors

WordPress Plugins for #indieauthors part 2

 

EditionGuard is here to support the indie author. How can we help you?

Writing Well

25 Sep
September 25, 2014

1453428_10152055749742664_159123381_nWriting well takes enormous effort. We’ve discussed the importance of employing the skills of a proofreader and editor to help you create the best possible eBook. The reason we emphasize proofreading and editing so much is that because the better you write, the more professional you will appear, the more seriously you’ll be taken, and the more likely you’ll be to actually sell what you write.

If you’re writing fiction, though, there is another aspect of writing that is equally as important as grammar, and that is character development. Create characters that come to life for your readers, and you’ll suck your readers into your eBooks and leave them begging for more.

How to Create Interesting and Engaging Characters

  1. Create biographies for your characters. Consider every aspect of who they are: their childhood, their education level, where they live, what they do, and even what they look like. Consider how experiences have molded them psychologically and impacted decisions they make now.
  2. Don’t give your characters a full bio on page one of your eBook. Let readers discover bits and pieces about the characters over time. Build them throughout the story.
  3. Use more dialogue and less inner thought to bring the characters to life. Instead of telling about them, show them doing.

In the end, don’t be afraid to cut a boring character. If you can’t breathe life into your character, he probably shouldn’t be there.