Ebooks – resources, tips and tools for self-publishing

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Welcome ebook writer! 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 give you an idea of the steps needed to publish and sell ebooks. In addition, there are also some handy tips and tools (e.g. to make a good ebook cover). Finally, for general self-publishing information, check under the Self-Publishing Resources tab.

Self-Publishing Ebooks – General Information

The following links will take you to articles by experienced self-published authors and other general “how-to” ebook information sources.

Self-Publishing Basics (David Gaughran)
How do I get started (Sarah Woodbury)
Ebook Conversion: DIY or Outsource (Book Designer)
List of common ebook mistakes (Wiki)
Format your own ebook (Molly Greene)
Make a Kindle table of contents (Dark Neon)  
MobileRead Discussion Forum 
Anne R. Allen Writers’ Resources

Online Ebook Services 

The following links are to some of the main online ebook publishing platforms. Kindle is the largest and probably most popular ebook publishing platform (via Amazon) but Smashwords was developed with self-publishing writers and has a good reputation. There are also links to articles comparing platforms.

Smashwords
Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon)
Draft2Digital
D2D vs Smashwords
D2D offers a universal book link
BookBaby
Scribd 
Blurb
Calibre (free open source)
EbookLaunch (formatting, covers & more)
Aer.io – sales platform

news about ebooks

It is good to keep in mind that new ebook resources are always being developed or old services are changing. Therefore it’s recommended that you do stay up-to-date with ebook news. Here are some blogs to follow.

JA Konrath Blog (articles about self-publishing and ebook news)
GoodeReader.com (ebook news site)
TalkingNewMedia.com (ebook news blog)
TeleRead.org – self-publishing resources galore

Ebook Formatting

These links are all about ebook conversion, which can get tricky. Some writers hone this skill and don’t need much help, while other writers outsource this task.

Ebook conversion tools (big Wiki list)
Ebook conversion questions
Ebook Partnership Conversion Services
Flightdeck – Format checking service

Ebook Cover design

Even though there is the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, this is exactly what people do. Rather than ending up on a ‘bad ebook covers’ list, you should aim for a professional-looking cover. You may think you have a great idea, but unless you know about design, cover blunders are likely. And if you are doing a print book, bookstores will then be reluctant to carry it. Finally, ask yourself: are you are willing to lose readers over your stubborn cover idea?

Ebook Design Tips
Humble Nation cover tips
TBD cover tips
Ebook cover and SEO tips (99 Designs)

Making 3D-Effect book covers (for online use)

3D-Effect Digital Book Cover tools & tips
DIY video tutorial – make a 3D cover with Photoshop
DIY video tutorial – make a 3D cover with GIMP software
Free online 3D book cover generator
CoverAction Pro ($97, good reviews, youtube tutorial)
ECover Suite Elite ($37)
Review of eCover Software ($27, Windows only)
BoxShot 3D packaging ($79 home, $199 pro)
True Boxshot – virtual cover images ($80)

Graphic Designers

Another option, especially if you only need to make a few ebook covers, is to hire a graphic designer. Furthermore, if you don’t have design experience, it will likely save you time and frustration. There are many good graphic designers. However, one talented local BC graphic designer with a lot of ebook cover experience is Michelle Fairbanks of Fresh Design. She sometimes has pre-made cover sales that can be customized for your needs.

Sales tracking tools

Bookcore.net – track sales across all platforms
Review of sales tracking apps

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.