How to Make Your eBook Stand Out

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If you wrote or plan to write an eBook, follow the guidelines outlined below on how to make your eBook stand out. Having and providing readers with great content is half the battle. I know you’ve heard this before, but sales and marketing are part of the equation. Publishing is a business! Remember, you’re not in the business of selling books. You’re in the business of sales and marketing and solving problems.

How to Make Your eBook Stand Out

1. Write an eBook that readers want to read. What problems do people have? What solutions can you offer them? Research and dig to find what people need help with. Of course, if you’ve experienced a problem or got through a difficult time, you can best believe that others have experienced what you did. Write about it!

Make sure your eBook has been edited and proofed before you publish it. Hire an editor

2. Reach out for help. Get together with a group of 2-4 five writers and critique each others’ work. Make sure constructive criticism is the name of the game. Hire an editor (you’ll want to do this anyway) to review your work. Also, check out web-based writing communities such as CritiqueCircle, WritersBBS, My Writers Circle, and other critique groups.

3. Purchase an ISBN number. This is how retailers track the sales of your book.

4. Cover design. Go big, or go home! Make a statement by having a cover design that literally (I know I used literally) stands out. Use bold colors and graphics. You want to grab the attention of readers. However, make sure readers can understand what your eBook is about by creating a ‘targeted’ book cover. This is known as the 2-second test. If they can’t tell what your book is about by looking at the cover, a re-design is necessary. Hire a professional graphic designer or use the services provided by your self-publisher. This way you’ll look like your belong at Barnes and Noble and ‘mom and pop’ bookstores.

5. Think beyond the ink. Thanks to technologies such as the iPad, you can include graphs, illustrations, and video clips. Reading devices will evolve throughout the years. Visit BookBaby and learn about their available special formatting options.

6. No more Word. Alas, you’ll have to convert your Word or Text file to make sure it’s compatible to eReaders. The main file extensions are:

1. EPUB (.epub). Is the most popular and standard format. It allows DRM. Major retailers use this except Amazon.

2. Mobipocket (.mobi). Users can add a blank page within the text for notes, bookmarks, corrections, and drawings. Very cool!

3. Kindle (.azw). This is Amazon’s proprietary format based on mobipocket. It comes with its own digital rights management protections.

The good news is you can use Adobe InDesign (love this) to convert your book to an EPUB eBook. Visit JimAndZetta or ePub Conversion and get assistance with the conversion. Another alternative is to have your distributor/self-publisher convert your eBook for you.

7. Sales and marketing. The most dreaded step for some writers; others embrace the joy of sales and marketing.

Sell eBook here:

1. Apple iBookstore for iPad

2. Amazon (Kindle)

3. Barnes and Noble (Nook)

4. Reader Store (Sony Reader)

5. Google eBookstore (multiple readers)

Use the following marketing tips to spread the word about your eBook:

Social Media. You’ve heard this before but it begs repeating. Open a Facebook Fan page and actually interact with your fans. Get to know them don’t make it all about YOU because this will deter readers. Hold a contest, say “Thank You” once in a while, chat with your fans, and allow them to have discussions about your eBook. Create a separate Twitter account. You may consider opening a MySpace account since the website is undergoing major changes.

● Create a website. Create a ‘special’ website for your eBook. Blog about it and be open to feedback from readers. You may consider creating a forum on the blog to allow readers to discuss your eBook.

● Schedule a book signing and or readings. Readers love to meet authors. I should know. I volunteered at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona and witnessed many book signings. It’s exciting for readers to meet and speak with authors. You may consider reading your book and having the audience discuss it. You’ll receive a lot of feedback and insight.

● Get to know other writers. Start a group where writers can meet and discuss writing topics such as eBooks. You could always create an online group or find one on the internet.

● Attend conferences and trade shows. Be where the industry is. Networking and making connections can take you and your writing to the next level.

Writing and selling an eBook has transformed through the years. Digitally distributing your eBook is yet another adventure you get to experience within the world of publishing. If you ever feel that self-publishing isn’t for you or worth it, remember that great writers such as William Blake, Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, T.S. Elliot, John Milton, and many others self-publishing their writing at one point or another. Imagine how many more readers they would have reached through eBook readers. Write on, write from the heart!


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