Publishing e-book – How hard can it be?

It was back in October 2013, when an idea about an e-book dawned on me. It was and still is exciting. My goal is to write around one hundred kindle pages, counting 250 words per page. By an extent, it is more of a handbook rather than a book, which is fine, since the content is tailored to suit this title well. Anyway, I would love to self-publish and here I came to many a struggle. Let’s assume that you have a great idea, necessary writing skills and ability to get it done. What now?

  • Editing

    Price of good, quality editorial work can go through hundreds of dollars up to thousands. No one wants to read books with typos and grammatical/stylistic mistakes, thus editing is a crucial process. Not only to present the e-book in a good light, but the whole self-publishing scene. As a non-native English speaker I certainly produce more mistakes, than the natives, which inevitably brings the price of editing even higher.

  • Marketing

    Publishing a book and hoping that it will achieve decent sales, let alone go viral, or at least be successful enough to cover the expenses, is going against all odds of probability. The book will sit there, making a small number of sales, but it won’t start spinning by itself. Chances are incredibly small and thinking, that mine or yours is somewhat special, is a recipe for disaster. We have to build up an audience. Blog, Twitter, possibly Facebook, Medium… Existing and functioning platform makes one more trustworthy. I am struggling with this. I am not publishing regularly, I have no regular readers. I still seem to fail making the decision to go all in. Maybe a declaration would help.Also, if your book attracts new audience, your platform should be ready to greet them. This means a solid base of content and a good, quality design. Note to self: I have to work on it.

  • Formatting

    The e-book has to be formatted. Price varies, but again, you can get to 100$ easily.

  • Graphics

    Well thought cover is a must. Most people on Amazon will see nothing but a cover of your book. This brings a question, who should do the cover? Do you have a friend or an acquaintance, who could do it? Or do you prefer going with the pros?

These are four critical areas that are to be carefully considered. James Altucher wrote an amazing article on self-publishing. Cost of self-publishing his latest book, Choose Yourself, was around 20.000 $ which for me, being a student, sounds unbelievable. If you are interested in further research, I’ve found Paul Jun’s guide to publishing an e-book quite helpful, you can find it here.

I had even stopped writing for two months. Perhaps I was lazy, perhaps lack of inspiration was my excuse. I picked up where I left in late January 2014 and I am doing my best to finish the book. If you are on this road as well, do not give up. Continue. You have my support. In the same way I am adding one chapter after another, I hope I will make it to the finish line. With that in mind, let’s get cracking!

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About Petr Klíma