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.

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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.

 

11 thoughts on “E-book Like a Pro”

    1. Yes, it is. And I’m glad you used the word “shameless,” because I truly feel no shame about using this article to plug my book(s). As an independent author and publisher, I’m a small business owner. I’m responsible for all the work – writing books, promoting them, maintaining websites, etc. I pay for everything – hiring editors and designers, web hosting, printing the paperback books, etc. Any small business owner will tell you: It’s not easy.

      Small businesses need advertising to survive. If we don’t advertise, we don’t sell anything and we go out of business. I think advertising is a positive thing, because it enables entrepreneurs to keep working – and a world without entrepreneurship would be BORING.

      I’m grateful to my bosses at Namecheap for letting me post this article. I’m glad Namecheap provides advertising options and other support for small businesses. Of course the article is a shameless plug, but it’s also a way to share knowledge and build community, by helping other entrepreneurs find ways to succeed.

      Here’s to success for ALL of us. Again, thanks for reading. Sorry if you were offended. That was definitely not the intention. Do you have a small business success story of your own to share, perhaps? If so, please post it in response.

      In fact, everyone: If you have a story to tell about using technology for small business success, post it here! Namecheap loves to hear from customers. Cheers. :)

      1. Good point Kendra.

        HH would be better at creating something in his/her life, instead of criticizing others.

        I liked your hints, but was surprised that you did not mention the main publisher that started it all (Amazon). It helps greatly, offering for as little to a 30% fee worldwide showcasing & full marketing toolbox – if the latter is relying on a complex, obscure and changing algorithm.

        However, it is a very good starting point for newbies and there I go for now.

        If some could be of another advice, the KDP does definitely not suppress the need for a dedicated mini-site, that will cater to the community of e-readers avid to share & spread info. I will now use this way of promoting my eBooks. Let me prefer a .com TLD anyway, but maybe I’ll do the test with others as you suggest.

        Note: I am french living mostly in France, “the” country for litterature. However, this forefront country in finding new ideas while totally retarded when it comes to market them, is still at a tiny 5% of eBooks readers. Growing at a steady pace, but still far behind Germany, for instance. So it is not easy to reach an audience and w/o Amz, one would need to be very patient promoting blogs, minisites and FB pages.

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