How to publish your own e-book

The e-book format is an easy and effective way to reach a whole new audience. If you adopt this new technology, you have the chance to engage with your readership like never before.

Where to publish
Many websites make e-book publishing easy. Popular choices include CreateSpace, Barnes & Noble's PubIt!, Lulu, Smashwords, Publish Green and Scribd.

Going solo
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO of publicity firm Author Marketing Experts, has used Amazon's CreateSpace and says that while it's popular, you don't need to go through a company to do an e-book.

"You could actually just hire someone to convert your content into an e-book platform and voila, your e-book is born." She explained that getting an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is easy and cheap, and most authors she knows actually do it independently.

Hold the e-book to the same standard
An e-book is no less a book than one that's printed. It's simply a different type. When publishing your first e-book, don't make the common error of skimping on details you wouldn't skip if your book were in print. The essentials of proofreading, editing and cover design are still important.

Karen Leland, president of Sterling Marketing Group, said that being too casual about an e-book's actual content was a common mistake. She emphasized that e-book authors must "hold themselves to the same standard of excellence in concept, writing, layout and cover design that would normally be required by a publisher."

Key words
Decide what your book's key words should be. What might your potential audience type into a search engine that you could use to lead them to your book?

"Putting the essential keywords and phrases into the title and weaving them throughout the book increases the odds your book will be found by both Google and the audience you have written it for," Leland said.

Ideally, you would consult with or hire a team with marketing experience. However, if this isn't possible, you can take some of the necessary steps yourself. Identify your ideal audience and then consider marketing with social media or interviews with journalists.