When you first publish ebooks, you will need to learn and use many new technical resources. Tips, tools, and resources are listed below in various sections. While this is not a complete list, it will point you in the right direction. Additionally, other resources can be found under the Self-Publishing Resources tab.
Publish Ebooks – General info for self-pub authors
Many writers often run into problems when they convert their digital writing file into ebook format. Here are some helpful resources. (Note, if you have the Mac writing platform called “Pages”, you can export the document to an epub file.)
- Kindle Direct Publishing intro video
- MobileRead forums
- Draft2Digital (now works with Smashwords)
- Trouble-shooting Apple Books set-up
- Using Apple Pages to make an ebook
- Creating epub for Kindle with a Mac
Ebook Formatting and conversion Tools
- Calibre (open source)
- Scrivener (write and publish)
- Pages (for Macs) for Apple Books
- Vellum (for Mac only)
- Using Word to format ebooks
- Kindle (KDP) table of contents how-to
- EbookLaunch (format service and more
- Flightdeck (quality format check)
Ebook Publishing Platforms
To publish ebooks, you’ll soon find that Kindle (KDP via Amazon) is the largest and most widely used. However, there are several other platforms which are listed below. Smashwords has been popular with self-published writers as they helped develop it. And since 2018, Apple Books is becoming more developed as an ebook and audio book app.
- Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
- Pages (for Macs) formerly iBook
- Streetlib – distribution
- Scribd (distribution)
- InscribeDigital (distribution)
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 to publish ebooks, ensure you have it customized. Here are some ebook cover resources.
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 but check reviews first.
3D digital book cover tools & tips:
- Video – make 3D covers with Photoshop
- Free online 3D book cover generator
- ECover Suite Elite (not free)
- BoxShot 3D packaging (home and pro version)
Sales tracking tools to Publish Ebooks
- Review of sales tracking apps
- Aer.io – Sales tracking (owned by Ingram)
- Free Amazon KDP Royalty Calculator from BookBird
Things often change quickly when it comes to ebooks. Therefore it’s good to stay up-to-date with ebook news. Check these sites for ebook and self-publishing news:
Find more self-publishing resources here.
Note: Links and information are for research purposes and do not replace professional advice. In addition, accuracy of third-party websites cannot be verified. Links do not indicate endorsement.
Updated October 2023 by 3PennyPublishing – Victoria, BC, Canada; researching and sharing self-publishing resources with writers since 2010.