Being an author or writer is a dream for many people – however there always seems to be a massive wall in the way of success, known as “The Publisher”.
Even if you can find an agent, it can be hard to get your work published. In the past, some people invested huge sums of money on self-publishing – often referred to rather cruelly as “vanity publishing”.
However in these days of the Internet, Amazon and e-readers, you can create your own eBook and sell it online in a matter of days. This might seem a lot more difficult than it is – but all you need are a computer, Internet connection and a copy of Microsoft Word 2010!
What Shall I Write About?
I’m going to skirt around a few things here, such as telling you what to write and how to write it. Surprisingly, the most successful eBooks available online are not non-fiction, but fiction, among them many copyright free classics repackaged and sold for very little, as you will see by visiting the list of best-selling eBooks on Amazon.
So whether it is a novel you are publishing or a non-fiction account of a bird watching expedition to Papua New Guinea, you should be aware that pretty much anything that is well written sells, as long as your potential audience know it is available.
Recipe books and how-to guides are popular, however, so if you have knowledge that you can share with other people, this is probably the path to take.
Create Your Own eBook with Microsoft Word
It is remarkably easy to create an eBook with Microsoft Word 2010. It should come as no surprise that your word processing software is already geared up to allow you to write as much as you want, using interesting templates and you can save in a variety of formats.
This includes PDF, a popular choice for many eBook authors due to its portable and edit-proof format.
To save Word document in PDF format, go to File > Save as… and in the Save as type… drop down menu, choose PDF. Even if you don’t own a copy of Word 2010, you can convert a standard .DOC or .DOCX created by the word processor into a PDF document by using one of the many online file converter services, such as www.zamzar.com.
Where Can I Sell My eBook?
Despite what you might have heard Amazon isn’t the only market for eBooks. For a start off, you can download novels and books from the websites of many major publishers.
Before the eBook market was centralised by Amazon and their Kindle device, the majority of eBooks were sold via ClickBank.com. This features many tutorials and guides that are listed for sale at a high price, with the whole environment geared to maximising profit for both author and resellers, who as affiliates takes a cut of the sale price.
Another marketplace is eBay, which had previously blocked the selling of eBooks. They have several guidelines that you have to meet in order to sell your eBook, and recommend a system like www.payloadz.com for managing the distribution of your content via email.
You might also consider some other popular eBook directories – the following allow free listings:
Check each of these sites out to find out more about the services they provide, and good luck!
(Christian Cawley is currently putting the finishing touches to his first full-length ebook)