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 many tools and tips, for example, how to make a good ebook cover. Finally, if you need more general self-publishing information, check the Self-Publishing Resources tab.

Self-Publishing Ebooks – General Info

Self-Publishing Basics
New author ebook tips
Common ebook mistakes
Kindle Intro video
MobileRead Forum 
Anne R. Allen Writers’ Resources

Ebook Formatting Tools

Ebook conversion can be tricky. Many people run into problems when they turn their digital writing file into an ebook format for uploading. Some writers decide to take time to learn this skill. 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 (formatting, covers & more)
Ebook conversion tools  (big Wiki list)
FAQ ebook conversion
Partnership Ebook Conversion
Flightdeck – (format checking)
Smashwords – ebook services

Calibre (free open source)
Scrivener (ebook tool)
More ebook creation tools

Ebook Publishing  

Below is a list of 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 self-publishing writers. Other companies offer publishing, distribution and book creation services.

Smashwords
Kindle Direct Publishing
iBook
Draft2Digital
D2D review
BookBaby
Scribd 
Blurb
InscribeDigital

Ebook Cover design

People do judge a book by its cover. You don’t want to end up on a ‘bad ebook covers’ list. You probably spent a lot of time, thought and energy getting your book the best it could be. Hopefully you had a professional edit to catch typos. You perhaps scrutinized your every sentence. Now your baby is ready to be released to the world. So after all that care and attention, do not become impatient and settle for a sub-standard rushed ebook cover. Do not 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. Don’t get stuck on the first idea you have for a cover. Stubbornly sticking with your own cover design idea may cost you readers.

Find a graphic designer. There are also inexpensive pre-made ebook cover, however, there is the risk you will see a similar design on other books. Make sure if you use a pre-made ebook cover to have it carefully 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 ebook cover services in Vancouver, BC

Here are a couple of links with ebook design tips.

TBD cover tips
Ebook cover and SEO tips (99 Designs)

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 while 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

Bookcore.net
Review of sales tracking apps
Aer.io – Sales tracking

Ebook News

New ebook 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 some ebook news blogs to follow.

JA Konrath Blog
GoodeReader.com
TalkingNewMedia.com
TeleRead.org

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 Sept. 2019

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