eBooks 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Publishing

So you want to make a little extra money on the side.
Why not write an eBook?

After all, Forbes named it one of the best ways to make money online

1.Fiction or Non-fiction?

The first step to publishing an eBook is figuring out what you’re going to write

Is your idea box bursting with new concepts for a fictional story? Or would you rather write on a factual topic that you know all about? The answer to the question may determine what type of book you should write. 

A few facts for your decision making process:

  • Non-fiction can be sold for a higher price tag than fiction 
  • Fiction writers generally tens to sell more eBooks than non-fiction writers

With all this said, no one ever said you can’t do both! Check out this post to hear from an eBook writer who makes money online publishing both fiction and non-fiction.

2.Research Your Topic

Now that you know what you want to write, you need the facts to get you started.

Research is absolutely vital if you want to write a high-quality eBook, especially a non-fiction one. Ideally, you should choose a non-fiction topic you know a lot about. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find already published facts to support your knowledge.

Even if you’re writing fiction, though, you want to spend at least a little time making sure your pilot protagonist actually sounds like she knows how to fly that plane. 

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

3.Plot it or Pants it?

To plot or to pants? If you’ve never heard of these terms or have but can’t remember what they mean, here’s a refresher:

  • Plotters: writers who outline their stories or books before writing
  • Pantsers: writers who write by the seat of their pants or make everything up as they go

If you’re writing non-fiction, I strongly recommend creating an outline for the book. Non-fiction is mostly fact-based. Make sure you have those facts in order to best relay your topic to your audience before you start drafting that eBook.

Fiction is a little more flexible. You may find “pantsing” it to be creatively freeing. Or you may prefer the structure an outline gives to the overall story concept. You may also be like one of the many writers who use a little bit of both methods!

4.Pick Your Platform

I won’t talk here about the difference between traditional and self-publishing. I’ll save that for another post. 

From Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to Your Author Engine, there are nearly a hundred different eBook publishing platforms these days. This might seem intimidating.

Have no fear, though, since there are plenty of websites that offer in-depth reviews of different publishing platforms. Here‘s the Alliance of Independent Authors’ list of the best and worst of them. 

Choosing the best platform for your book is imoprtant– so is forming your own opinion.

Try out one platform this time and, next time you want to publish an eBook, pick a different one! Valuing the opinions of others is great, but so is forming your own through trial and error.

So that’s all I have for you today! Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve published an eBook and what it was about. Happy writing!


Want More?

How to Earn Passive Income with no Money Upfront

Series Post #1: How to Create a Niche as a Writer

Series Post #2: Are You Qualified to Write in Your Niche?

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