It’s every writer’s dream to be a published author; to sit and write books and have them published and selling all over the world. How great would it be to be able to write as many books as you want to and know that they will all be published?
Can you imagine that?
If you could write and publish books for a living you could work from anywhere in the world. You could sit by a swimming pool and write, or sit on a warm tropical beach or hide away in a snowy log cabin while you churn out one great book after another, knowing that every single one of them will be published.
How fantastic would that life be?
Well you can now stop dreaming and make your life as a successful author a reality. And if you think you can’t afford to publish all your own books, you’re wrong. Because it’s now possible to write and publish all your books for free.
The easiest and most obvious way to publish a book is to publish it digitally as an eBook. And eBook publishing has made such huge advances, that it’s now possible to become a full-time writer simply by writing and publishing your own eBooks – fiction or non-fiction.
But you first must make sure that you have your manuscript formatted correctly (and simply) and have a cover design for your eBook. eBooks used to be only published as PDF downloadable documents that could be read on any computer. But the internet has really changed the way eBooks are published now and as well as making your books available as downloadable PDF eBooks, you can now publish them through several major online companies as digital epub eBooks.
Epub files are basically a type of HTML file which makes them easy to download and read on any screen of any size. But unlike traditional books and PDF eBooks, readers of epub files can change the layout and the font, etc to suit themselves, which makes formatting less important, apart from you need to keep it simple (no fancy fonts, etc).
There are several online companies that will publish your eBook and here is a short list of what I consider to be the best.
Amazon will publish your eBook through their dtp (digital text platform). They have a very easy-to-use dashboard where you can just fill in your eBook’s information and upload your manuscript file to be automatically transformed into an epub file. Amazon.com, at this time of writing, do not insist that your eBook has an ISBN number. Amazon also provide their readers with an iPhone application so that all eBooks purchased through Amazon can also be read on an iPhone or iPad.
SmashWords will let you open an account and upload your eBooks. They will sell them directly from their website and will also send your epub file to the online iTunes store (if you have an ISBN). But they do have strict conditions of how your eBook manuscript must be formatted and set out. They provide a huge style guide that you can download and follow. And although long, the guide is simple to understand.
Kobo Books sell eBooks through their online store and also through Borders and a few other online and brick and mortar stores. They have a conversion services that, although not free, is very good and they allow you to download your own epub files to keep. Kobo eBooks are readable on almost any digital device including Blackberries and Android phones.
The Apple iTunes store has a somewhat complicated dashboard for uploading your eBook files. They also insist that your eBook has an ISBN number before they will consider listing it in their online store.
Lulu.com is a free online POD publisher who will sell a printed copy of your book On Demand from their web site, as well as help you design a free book cover. All they ask in return is a percentage of every book sale. This is a good way to provide a printed alternative to all your eBooks for anyone who still prefers to buy a physical book. They will also let you sell PDF copies of your eBook through their online book store too.
Of course this is only a few of the different options you have to start publishing every book you write.
But more than just writing and publishing books, you also need to market them continually.
If you want to write and publish many books then the easiest way to market them is to start your own author’s blog that you update regularly with information about the books you’ve already written and published and your up-coming work or work-in-progress.
And if you add an email sign-up box, you can also regularly email interested readers with all your latest news and over time your list will grow into a group of ready buyers for every book you write.
Just make sure that everything you write is great writing and makes unput-downable reading.