Learn how to use free tools to publish an e-book, and then list and sell your e-books in the world's largest online bookstores.
If you can use a word processor, have a book written (or have an idea for one), and want to see your name in print, you just might have what it takes to succeed in self-publishing.
This course introduces you to everything you need to know to do a professional job of turning your manuscript into a book that will help you make money on the Internet, whether you want to self-publish a novel, a nonfiction book, or a picture book. You will learn how to format your e-book and get it ready to sell through bookstores like Amazon and Apple. By the end of the course, you could have your e-book published in over 100 countries worldwide and available to libraries and book clubs.
This course and its follow-up Introduction to Writing Markets, take you step-by-step through publishing your own e-books and building your writer's platform or brand, to be successful selling them. Take the first step to publishing success, and sign up today.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
- PC: Windows 8 or newer.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Any type of word processor can be used in the initial manuscript set-up. However, Microsoft Word for Windows is used as the example (not included in enrollment).
- Two additional types of software, Sigil and Calibre, available free online, are used in the actual conversion to e-book formats.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download the Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.Turn your manuscript into an e-book and make money doing it. This course will take you step-by-step through publishing your own e-books and building your writer's platform or brand, to be successful selling them.
You've probably heard that e-books get a bigger share of the book market every day. In fact, e-book sales have put millions of dollars in the hands of previously unpublished authors, midlist authors who've had modest print sales, and established authors who've decided to strike out on their own. Did you know that when you publish your own e-book, you can earn up to 10 times higher royalties? In this first lesson, you'll meet some successful trailblazers in the e-book industry, find out which e-book genres sell best, discover how much money you can make publishing your own e-books, and explore the difference between fixed, reflowable, and responsive format e-books. This lesson will help you plan your exciting future as an independent e-book publisher.
Getting Your Book Ready to Publish
In this lesson, you're going to start getting your e-book ready for publication, much like you would prepare a great manuscript for an editor at a publishing house. You want to make sure you have a great story that hangs together or a nonfiction book that's error-free. One of the best starts you can give your e-book when you send it off into the world is to make sure it's up to today's standards—with proper grammar, spelling, and style. In this lesson, you'll find out how to use tools to make this task simple and fast!
First Steps in Publishing
In this lesson, you'll start the first steps of the publishing process. You'll learn how to create a reader profile describing your ideal reader and apply what you've learned to your marketing plan. The lesson will share two book profiles with you and you'll see how they can be used to help you write the book descriptions, select the titles, and create the covers. This lesson is filled with lots of tips that will help you find readers for your book when it's launched.
Copyright, ISBN, and CIP
For this lesson, you'll look at a few things you should do before publishing your book. First, you'll learn about copyright registration. This may help ensure that you're compensated if someone uses part of your book once it's in the bookstores! To make your book available in bookstores, you may also want to get an ISBN, which stands for International Standard Book Number. This identifies your book worldwide. You'll learn how that works and what your options are. Finally, you'll examine CIP, or Cataloging in Publication, data, along with PCIP. This is the information librarians add to their catalog so that they can circulate your book to their patrons.
Title Page and Front and Back Matter
This lesson takes you "under the covers" of your book to your title page and all the front and back matter you want to add. You'll need to consider the author name you want to use, or whether you want to use your own name at all. This is a big decision, so you'll look at a number of things you should consider. Once that's done and you've typed all the information into your book and formatted it, you'll learn how to add a table of contents and hyperlinks so that your reader can move around easily. This lesson will give you lots to think about and lots to do—and when you're done, you'll have included everything you'll find in any traditionally published book.
Adding Images and Converting to PDF Format
In this lesson, you'll learn how to find free images and add them to your e-book. One of most important things you'll learn about is how to manage images differently for fixed format, reflowable format, and responsive format e-books. Once you understand the differences, you'll have no problem creating professional looking e-books! You'll also learn how to check the file size of your book and ensure that it meets bookseller and distributor requirements. Once you've got everything just the way you want it, you'll learn how to convert your book file to a PDF, the most popular document file format on the Web. And, since POD books are printed from PDFs, you'll have a head start on how to release your book as a paperback, too. If you're working on a picture book, this is the lesson you've been waiting for!
In this lesson, you're going to learn some of the secrets traditional publishers use to market their e-books. You'll be able to give your e-book an inside advantage by adding data you can't see—but computers can—to your book. Plus, you'll explore options for converting your manuscript into an e-book to sell. Your choices range from hiring a service that does it all to doing it all yourself. In this lesson, you'll look at the pros and cons of paid services and free services and even check out some open source software if you'd like to do some of your own conversions. By the end of this lesson, you'll have finished up your initial marketing, and your book file will be ready to convert to formats for e-readers!
In this lesson, you'll learn how to use an e-book management tool to do a number of different things, from organizing your own e-book library to converting your e-book to a multitude of formats. The name of the tool is Calibre. Calibre lets you add stars and comments to the books you've downloaded, as well as convert unprotected e-book files from one format to another, so you can read books you've purchased on your smartphone, tablet, or e-reader. By the end of this lesson, you'll know how to use Calibre to convert your book to a number of different formats and fine-tune your metadata. You'll be amazed at how easy Calibre is to use!
Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Publishing your own e-books is a business, and in Lesson 9 you'll look at the business end of things. There's always some paperwork required to start up a business, particularly on the Internet where you're dealing with online bookstores that could be anywhere in the world. Amazon is the world's biggest bookstore, so you'll look at their requirements first. You'll also go through the business decisions that you'll have to make, including adding DRM, pricing your book, and whether you want to make your title exclusive to one store. The last part of the lesson will walk you step-by-step through the questions you'll answer as you upload and publish your book!
List With Distributors
This lesson opens up many virtual bookshelves for your new book as you learn how to select and work with an e-book distributor or aggregator. Even if you're an international author, aggregators can get you into any bookstore you want! It's an exciting time to be self-publishing, as there are many different options and tailor-made solutions. Even if you're starting out with a publishing budget of $0, your book can reach millions of readers. And if you're concerned about your technical skills, don't be! You'll also learn how a distributor can take care of everything for you.
When you decided to self-publish your book, you eliminated the publisher—who would have taken the biggest share of income from your hard work. This lesson will show you how you can eliminate the bookstore too. That leaves all the money from sales in your hands! There are other advantages to selling your books directly, and you'll take a look at those, as well as some of the disadvantages. The lesson will outline the three main considerations for direct sales and give you a quick overview of the many options you'll have for collecting money online and delivering books to your buyers.
More Publishing Options
This may be the last lesson of the course, but it's also one of the most exciting. You'll look at additional ways to get your book into readers' hands. One of the first, of course, is libraries. How would you like to see your name and book come up when you search your library's online catalog? The lesson will talk about getting your book into school classrooms and the Google Books Library Project, which aims to digitize all the books in the world. Interested in multimedia options? The lesson will cover those as well and discuss your options for printing your book so that traditional print readers can also have access to it. Be prepared to come away with new ways to have your books reach readers!
Linda Aksomitis has a master's degree in adult vocational/technical education, with a minor in English. She has published 25 books for readers of all ages (fiction and nonfiction), including numerous e-books, and she has a few thousand publications in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet. She's been an acquisitions editor for an e-publisher, Webmaster of half a dozen websites, managing editor and Webmaster for an Internet magazine, and she maintains two active blogs. Linda traces all of her publishing success to the Internet and the contacts she's made in cyberspace.