E-book Like a Pro
Hi, I’m the Content Manager here at Namecheap. It’s my day job. That means I write up all the text you read on our website, in our emails and in some of our help materials. In my off-work hours, I’m an independent author and publisher of urban fantasy fiction. A little different, eh?
We all have our personal obsessions, and mine is writing. This led me to take a leap into the world of e-books. E-books first started showing up in the late 90s. Now, about 30% of all US adults have read an e-book and 50% of them own a dedicated e-reading device.
So, for what it’s worth, I present: A few suggestions on how to create and distribute an e-book, based on what I’ve learned. There’s a lot of cross-over between my alter ego after-hours author persona and the work I do at Namecheap, so I thought I’d share the love and share my learnings.
#1. Market your e-book, baby. This is the best advice I can give you. You might produce the most amazing e-book this internet has ever seen. But if nobody knows about it, what’s the point? Every business needs marketing. Today, marketing starts with websites, and websites start with domain names. With all the new TLDs ICANN has released in the last year, we have tons of cool new options for domain names. TONS. Personally, I chose to use mybookname.org for the bulk of my content, but I’m also grabbing the variations mybookname.club, mybookname.bike and mybookname.rocks, just in case.
#2. Keep it simple. E-book technology is, unfortunately, still somewhat primitive. Pick one or two generic fonts you like and then stop. Older e-reading systems won’t recognize your favorite cool new font. When that happens, they replace your favorite cool new font with some old generic font that you hate. And you don’t even want to know what they do to your images.
#3. Don’t be greedy. Avid readers are used to paying about $5 US per e-book. If you price yours at $10, you might not sell very many.
#4. Get help when you need it. The writing I do for my e-books is different from the writing I do for Namecheap, but the guiding principle is the same: Anything that goes in front of the public has to look its best. If you know how to write but don’t know how to build websites, you’ll need help with your e-book’s site. Namecheap’s Onepager service is a great resource for that.
#5. Shop around. You wouldn’t buy a domain name or hosting plan without comparing prices. Likewise, you need to know your e-publishing options. One publishing house might offer to submit your e-book to 10 different stores online, for a super low fee – but they don’t have access to the one big online bookstore you really want to get into. It might be worth paying another publisher’s higher fee to get your e-book onto the right e-shelf.
#6. Think like a businessperson. Admittedly, we artistic types have trouble with that. But here’s a thought: If you succeed at selling your e-book and you make money from it, you’ll have to pay income tax. If you go into business for yourself, you might be able to take a portion of your e-book creation expenses as a tax deduction.
Good luck out there! That’s it for this post. Hope you enjoyed it. Want to go look at some new TLDs and daydream about your own new website? Here: https://www.namecheap.com/domains/new-tlds/explore.aspx. If you’re interested in my e-book, just go here. Thanks for reading.