Welcome writers! Below are links to information, tools and tips to help you start self-publishing your empire of ebooks. Or your first ebook, if you are just getting started. While this is not a full list, it will point you in the right direction to start publishing. Other resources can be found under the Self-Publishing Resources tab.
Self-Publishing Ebooks – General Info
- Self-Publishing Basics
- New author tips
- Common ebook mistakes
- Kindle intro video
- MobileRead forum
- Anne R. Allen writers’ tools & resources
Ebook Formatting Tools
Many writers run into problems when they convert their digital writing file into an ebook format for uploading. Smashwords formatting requirements are especially strict and can be challenging for those new to the process. Some writers take time to learn all about converting their own ebooks. However, other writers outsource the task. Here are some helpful resources.
- Ebook Conversion (DIY or Outsource?)
- Using Word to format ebooks
- Kindle table of contents how-to
- EbookLaunch self-publishing services
- Ebook conversion tools (big Wiki list)
- FAQ ebook conversion
- Flightdeck – (format checking)
- Smashwords – self-publishing resources
Ebook Conversion Tools
- Calibre (free open source tool to convert to ebook format)
- Scrivener (for writing & publishing ebooks)
- Draft2Digital – easy conversion
- iBook (for Apple Books)
- More e-book creation tools
Below is a list of the main ebook publishing platforms. Kindle (via Amazon) is the largest and probably most popular. However, Smashwords is also popular and was developed with the help of writers. Other companies offer publishing, distribution and book creation services.
- Kindle Direct Publishing
- Publishing to Apple Books
- D2D review
Ebook Cover design
People do judge a book by its cover. You don’t want to end up on a ‘bad covers’ list. No doubt you spent much time, thought and energy getting your book to be the best it can be. Perhaps you scrutinized every sentence. Hopefully, you hired a professional editor. Now your creation is ready to be released to the world. So it makes sense that after all that careful attention, you also take care with the quality of your cover. Don’t rush and get something sub-standard. Don’t throw something together on your own (unless you have proven design skills). Make sure you get professional design help. And be willing to take advice from the designer. Avoid getting stuck on the first idea you have for a cover.
Find a graphic designer. Another option is using an inexpensive pre-made ebook cover. However, there’s a risk you will find a similar design on other books. If you do use a pre-made cover, ensure you have it customized for your book. A talented BC designer with a lot of ebook cover experience is Michelle Fairbanks of Fresh Design. In addition, Ana Charbrand offers book cover services in Vancouver, BC
Here are a couple of links with ebook design tips.
Making 3D-Effect covers
If you sell a digital book from your website (e.g. PDF booklets), you may want to use a 3D-effect illustration. For example, this online business uses 3D covers for all their products. If you only need a few designs, you might be able to do them yourself. However, if you need many, it may be worth it to purchase software.
3D digital book cover tools & tips:
- Video – make 3D covers with Photoshop
- Make 3D covers with GIMP (video)
- Free online 3D book cover generator
- CoverAction Pro (not free, see youtube tutorial)
- ECover Suite Elite (not free)
- Review of eCover Software (not free; Windows only)
- BoxShot 3D packaging (home and pro version)
- True Boxshot (not free)
Sales tracking tools
New resources are always being developed and old services are always changing. Therefore it’s recommended to stay up-to-date with ebook news. Here are a few blogs worth following.
Find more self-publishing resources here.
Find any of these resources helpful? Any ideas for a resource that should be listed? Please send an email.
Note: Links and information are for research purposes and do not replace professional advice. Accuracy of third-party websites cannot be verified. Links do not indicate endorsement.
Updated January 2021