So you have written a book, you might have had it published as a paperback but now want to tap into the eBook market.  Well it doesn’t have to cost the earth, in fact I formatted my late Grandfather’s book by following the guidelines on Amazon KDP and Smashwords.  Of course the first time it took me many hours to get it just how I wanted it, but now most formatting jobs take me between 1 and 3 hours depending on the length of the book.

If you want to go the DIY route, these are the key points you need to follow:

1. I recommend going to Smashwords first and foremost and downloading their Style Guide – it’s very easy to find as it is at the number 1 spot on the Most Downloads section.

2. Read this guide from cover to cover and make notes on the key points you need to achieve for your eBook to be accepted onto the Smashwords catalogue.

3. Work on formatting your eBook… the first thing you should do before anything else is to clear all formatting from the document so you can start with a clean text document.  You can do this by copy and pasting the document into Notepad and then copying it back into Word (or whatever word processing software you want to use).

4. Follow the guide, it’s as simple as that!

5.  Set-up your account on Smashwords and upload your formatted eBook, if there are any problems with the file they will inform you so you can go back and correct them.

6. Once Smashwords have approved your eBook and it’s ready for distribution, use your formatted file and upload it to Amazon Kindle.  I found the formatting suggestions for Kindle a lot more complex than Smashwords, but my finished eBook looked more professional following Smashwords Style Guide.

There are some really useful tips on the Smashwords website, this document in particular – How to Publish and Distribute Ebooks with Smashwords.  I like the fact that Smashwords distributes your eBook to many different retailers, these are Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, Kobo, Amazon and Diesel.

It does take time to get your eBook into the system, through formatting, setting up your accounts and then promoting.  Alternatively you can get someone else to do all this leg work for you.  eBook formatting is one of my specialist services and it doesn’t cost a lot, so if you’ve just written a book and would like a quick and cheap way of getting it published to the masses drop me an email so we can get started.

If you’d like to publish your book in a paperback version, then take a look at my previous blog post How to Self Publish your Book on a Budget.  For some marketing tips please see this great blog post by Stephanie Chandler Strategies for Promoting Ebooks.

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