When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a musician, producing my own songs for the world to listen. I’m sure many people have similar dreams, and we are lucky to live in this technology era where there’s Youtube. It makes many people’s dreams come true. (BTW I’m still doing my songs recording).
Later in life, I have a different dream. This dream of mine is to publish books. As you know, I’m a big bookworm. I read everyday without fail. I’ve set my own target to read at least 30 books in 2013. I always believe that through reading, I can shorten my path towards my goals. For example, if I want to learn how to trade successfully, I’ll read financial books. If I want to start a business, I’ll read entrepreneurs books. If I want to beat a game, I’ll read the game’s walkthrough. You can find books of any niches without fail. There are books that will excite you for sure!
After reading for years, I’ve wanted to have my own books. I know it’s very tough and expensive to publish a hard-cover physical book. The profits for physical books are shrinking these years. Authors are dying of hunger before they succeed. I definitely don’t want to be one.
Luckily, things changed. Books became digital and people gladly accepted them. eBooks are gaining its popularity exponentially. In 2008, Amazon, the largest ebook seller reported that ebook sales surplus physical books, and going strong. I know ebooks will be the future how people do their reading. Just look around and you will notice how many people are reading from their mobile phones and tablets these days.
With that in mind, I set my path clearly towards ebooks. Advantages are plentiful, such as:
- Easy and convenient – I do my own publishing and do not depend on others.
- Home based – Totally work from home.
- Small name – Anyone can do it.
- High commission – Earnings can be from 50% – 70% per sale.
- Exposure – Selling to the whole world instead of local bookstore.
- Tests – Easy spilt tests and tracking for prices.
- Environmental friendly – No paper, no trees involved.
These are just some of the advantages. There are plenty more. The most important reasons for me to do it are mainly for the convenience and high commission. I’ve tried to set all my businesses to run from home passively. Publishing eBooks definitely fit into that category.
Having my ebook ready for publishing, I have to look for a merchant (market place) that can publish my ebook digitally. The 2 largest market places for ebooks are of course Amazon and Apple iBookstore. I believe Amazon is still the number 1 ebook market place currently, but Apple is catching up with the tremendous sales of iPad mini. I find that iPad mini is designed for reading more than working and playing games. If more people are carrying iPad mini, or any Apple’s products, ebook sales will piggyback on its success. I want to tap on Apple’s success as well!
I’ve found a site – Lulu.com that can publish ebooks to Apple iBookstore and other major merchants such as Barnes and Noble for free. This totally excites me. All I need to do is to register for an account, and follow the steps inside. The steps are pretty straight forward, except for a part where you need to have proper text and headings for your document.
I’m using MS word for my ebook, and was rejected many times for wrong fonts used, titles, etc. You have to take note of this. Apple is very strict about the format of your ebook, with the title, content pages and fonts. One simple tip I learned was to select all (Ctrl A) and click Normal font under Home tab in MS Word.
After changing all your fonts to normal, all you have to do is to start a fresh page for every new chapter, and select Heading 1 for the Title of your new chapter. This will map your title to page number at the content page automatically.
I always get this step wrong. But after being rejected for over 10 times and resubmitted 10 times, my ebook is finally approved. Although it was approved by Lulu, It’ll still take a few weeks for my ebook to go through the screening by Apple before appearing “live” on Apple iBookstore. All I have to do is to wait patiently. There’s nothing much I can do now.
Finally after the long wait, I finally got the final approval and my ebook was live! When you see your very first self published ebook went live, no words can express that kind of feeling. It’s great!
So now, I’ve cleared 1 more to-do item. I’ll continue to self publish more ebooks along the way, and at mean time, I’ll explore ways to deliver my ebook through Amazon Kindle.
So do you want to self publish your ebook too? Let me know through the comments below.