Publishing Your Own E-Book
I want to publish my own e-book and sell it online on a major Web site. Where do I start?A.
Writing, editing and proofreading your book manuscript is the first step. Once you have finished your book, perhaps one of the easiest ways to get it out there for sale is to use publishing tools from the major online bookstores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Amazon has a Kindle Direct Publishing service that lets you self-publish your own e-books and sell them in its online Kindle store. The site has tutorials for properly formatting and uploading your book file to make it compatible with the Kindle, Amazon’s own e-reader hardware. You need an account to use the service, but you can use your existing Amazon.com account if you already buy things from the site. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Help page has the information you need to get started, including an explanation of the royalties you can earn and Amazon’s share of the profits.
Barnes and Noble has its own publishing platform called PubIt that can be used to upload and distribute e-books in its Nook online bookstore. The PubIt site accepts files in the ePub format, but it also has tools that convert Microsoft Word, RTF files, HTML documents and plain-text files into ePub. It doesn’t cost anything to use PubIt, but you do need an account, and Barnes and Noble takes a percentage of your book’s list price in exchange for selling your work. The PubIt Support page has information on prices, percentages and using the service.
If you do not want to use a publishing tool dedicated to a specific online store, an e-book distribution service like Smashwords can help you get your work out to a variety of online bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iBookstore and the Sony Reader store.