The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
You’ve done it! After months and months of toiling away at the computer, you’ve finally typed your last period and saved the final version of your newly written manuscript. I bet you thought you would never finish it, and now you’re wondering, “What’s next?”
Most likely, you want to be published. Whether it is for fame, fortune, or just another step in accomplishing your dreams, you want to see your finished product out in the world for others to enjoy. But how? It can be very difficult to get your book noticed by a publisher. Perhaps, then, the traditional publishing route isn’t for you. With the advent of e-books, thousands of writers are seeing their manuscripts transformed into actual books.
Is e-book publishing right for you? The e-book category covers a wide range of guides and products, including recipe cards, guides for knitting your dog an adorable sweater, how-to books, and hobby manuals. Perhaps you don’t feel your book is e-book material, and it might not be. But before you cast your dreams aside, consider the advantages and disadvantages of turning your manuscript into a downloadable product.
Before we jump into the whys and the why nots, let’s talk about stigma. Some people have a tendency to view e-books as being inferior to traditionally published books.
Then why are more and more readers turning to their Kindles, iPads, Nooks, or other e-readers to find the next great story or to learn how to build a fence while corporate and independent bookstores are closing their doors? Why are more than one-fourth of the top 100 books on Kindle self-published e-books?
The idea that self-publishing is for the untalented writer is no longer prominent. Many authors are taking their destinies into their own hands by publishing e-books and promoting them through avenues like Amazon, Facebook, and personal blogs or websites. Even writers who have published paper versions of their books are e-publishing second or third editions.
So, how could publishing an e-book have any disadvantages? Good question. Because e-books are accessible to anyone with the stamina to write a book and the technological know-how to publish it, it can be difficult to distinguish your masterpiece from other books.
Also, if you do an online search of the term “e-book publishers,” myriad listings pop up. However, not all of these publishers are going to be the best fit for your genre or provide you with the best service. It’s important to put a good amount of investigation into an e-book endeavor before being swayed by a flashy website or a long list of published titles.
A good question to ask is “Would I read any of these books?” If the answer is no, then that publisher is probably not the best one for you. A list of five really good books is better than a list of 100 poorly written and boring books.
The good news is there are a number of legitimate and quality e-book publishers just waiting to help you get your work out there. Many publishers will offer different types of formats for your manuscript, including PDF files and LIT files created for Microsoft Reader.
Most file types will allow you to control font, pagination, and layout, and add restrictions to the availability of your product. In this respect, literally anyone can make an e-book and start marketing and selling it quickly.
Another awesome aspect of the e-book is that as soon as the spell-check is completed, you can publish it, and a reader can buy it within a few hours. The cost of your e-book can remain low because of the small production costs, so the impulse buyer or thrifty reader will be drawn to your amazing and reasonably priced book. How much profit you earn on your e-book depends on the amount of effort you put into selling it.
There will always be the tactile types who want to hold a physical book. These folks are not going to give your book a second glance. It’s also possible that some people won’t be able to access your book’s format or understand how to download it. These scenarios can be quite discouraging, but remember, there are many more people that just want a well-written, decently priced book. Yours just happens to be easily accessible.
The e-book market offer niche writers the biggest advantage. Readers of niche genres tend to be voracious consumers, and if you have a romance, mystery, children’s, how-to, user’s guide, or self-help book, finding a target audience is effortless. All you have to do is make sure your e-book is worth the read and find the appropriate avenues to market it. Your target audience is already waiting.
“But I don’t fit cozily into a niche market,” you might be saying. Don’t despair. Getting your book into the hands of your intended audience may be more difficult, but with diligent and intelligent marketing, you can create your own gaggle of adoring, voracious readers waiting for your next e-book to hit the market, which, fortunately, can happen as soon as you finish writing it!
Deciding to publish an e-book takes research and thought. Whether you decide to do an e-book or take the more traditional publishing route, if you hone your craft and believe in your writing, others will too. If you don’t know how to make your manuscript stand out, take advantage of Scribendi.com‘s book editing services and let the experts help you!
About the Author
Scribendi.com was founded in 1997 as one of the world’s first online editing and proofreading companies. Based in Ontario, Canada, the company’s primary goal is to provide clients with fast, reliable, and affordable revision services. We have edited over 604 million words and processed over 210,000 orders from 223 countries and territories.