Skip to main content

How to Write and Publish an eBook

Lesson 11 of 16

How to Distribute & Publish Your Book

Tara McMullin

How to Write and Publish an eBook

Tara McMullin

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

11. How to Distribute & Publish Your Book

Lesson Info

How to Distribute & Publish Your Book

Welcome back to How to Write and Publish Your eBook. We have spent the previous lessons talking about how to choose your topic, build an outline, use content you already have to get this thing written as quickly as possible. And in our previous step, we were talking about how to edit and format your book. And, of course, the format that you choose has to lead back to your goal for your book, and it has a lot to do with how you're able to sell and distribute your book, which is exactly what we're gonna be talking about in this step. But before we get into that, I want to check in with our studio audience here and find out how you guys are thinking about formatting your books. How are you gonna get these ideas out of your head, out of Evernote or Pages or whatever you're using to craft this book and out into the world for people to actually use and consume? So, Stacy, we'll start with you. How are you thinking about formatting this book? So I want to show people how to create training ...

that increases their bottom line. So what I wanna do is to have a Kindle book because I want the exposure off Amazon. Then I wanna have a website with additional examples and templates and exercises that they can do and stuff that doesn't fit well into just text. I've got lots of graphic examples and things, and so that's a nice way to stay within the Kindle format and limitations but still be able to add some more oomph. Perfect. And since we were just talking about this, I just figured out what you need to do. One, for people who find it through a PDF that you sell on your own site, if you're going to do that, just have that as an open resource. For the Kindle, set up a second page, make sure that's behind an email wall. Okay. Okay? Because with Kindle books, you don't get people's email addresses. Sad face. So we can fix that, though. Great, thank you. Shannon. Yeah. Shannon, how are you gonna format your book? So I, because I'm gonna write my book, and really I'm focusing the book on it being one of my power keynotes, I'm really only gonna let it be a book. So I don't want, necessarily, a PDF that someone can download. So I'm gonna stick to EPUB, and then, also, my husband may or may not work for a company called Amazon, so if I don't say MOBI, I, yeah, might get in trouble there. But no, definitely, of course, Amazon's got so much traction and it makes sense to do that. But I like the idea of trying to keep it, this is my way of coming out professionally. I've said I want a book, and so I'm only gonna really keep it in the book sense. But since it might be around handwritten notes, there might be a bundle where I will send you four handwritten note cards to get you started. Fantastic, I love that. Love it, love it, love it. Lacy, how do you wanna format your book? Yeah, I love the way you did Quiet Power Strategy with the multimedia pack, with the audiobook. I think that's a really nice add-on. But what it really got me, so Kindle for sure and all of the formats, but what it really got me thinking about is with my branding, it's kind of the noir detective agency. I want it to look like a classic detective novel, Pulp Fiction, and that's something I already have in my branding, so that's something I definitely want to carry over. Fantastic. And last but not least, Britt. I definitely want to do the same thing that Stacy does because of what we spoke about, and that is to have the supplemental website component. And I also really feal that once I get people in front of me, whether it's video or audio, that's where I have the most impact, and so I want to do an audiobook as well. And I want to be able to have that multimedia package so that, because my primary intention isn't even necessarily to make a lot of money off of selling this book, but my intention is to grow the number of people who actually can benefit from the message. Then I want to get it out there in all ways in as many tentacles as possible. So I see Pressbooks, and I see the PDF, and I see MOBI Kindle with the behind the email wall, second page, and I see the audio with lots of opportunities to find one's way into this other beautiful little world. Yeah, and we've been talking about all the technology that makes this so possible now. This is not something that I've done yet but something that I've heard about, which Audible, which is also now an Amazon company as well, you can upload straight to Audible yourself as well, which is on my long-term plan list. I've always done audiobooks by myself, which we'll talk about in a little bit. I'm not gonna tell you how to do it because that is not what we're talking about here. But I will tell you my thought process for as I'm packaging things up for how to sell them, what's going on in my brain, and why I do things the way I do them so that you can think about the things you want to do the way you do them. But before we do that, let's make sure we are grounded in where we are in this particular process. So in step one, which it was way back there, we learned how to choose your topic and build your outline, and this is so important because your topic has to match your goal, and your topic and your goal have to match your outline. Your outline is sort of the road map that you're going to use for getting this process done as quickly and painlessly and effortlessly as possible. So that's really important. We also did some really key pre-writing there, where we thought about why this book is important, what people are gonna compare it to, how it's different, who our ideal reader is. So you don't want to skip that step. That step is super important. In step two, we talked about how to write your book the fastest way possible, which is simply to not write the book but to use what you've already created, those blog posts, those hundreds of thousands of words in blog posts. Long-form social media, podcasts, talks, webinars, we all are content-generating machines. Even if you're just living your life, right, you are creating content today. And so we're kind of mining that, fitting it into our outline, weaving it together into a coherent narrative, and building out bridge texts to make it all work. Then we looked at editing and formatting your ebook, which is exactly what we were just talking about. You gotta turn it from something that's, you know, bits and pieces and kind of a little mediocre, let's be honest with ourselves here, into something that's a product you can be really, really proud of, something that really stands for who you are, what you do, what your business is all about, and that's fantastic. And then formatting, formatting is all about thinking about how you're going to get this thing distributed, how you're going to sell it, how it's going to help you reach that goal. It's that how piece. We often don't spend enough time on. We think about actually writing it. Maybe we think about marketing it. We think about selling it, but how we bring that all together is the format of the book. And just as you heard, all of these wonderful women talking about right now, the how can open you up to all of these creative possibilities and also all of these business possibilities as well. So please spend time thinking about that how. Now we're gonna move on to distribution and publication. Distribution and publication. So we're putting the cart before the horse a little bit, 'cause we're gonna talk about marketing in the next step. But distribution and publication, getting this set up right now is gonna help you solidify that marketing plan in the next step. That's why we're getting it here. We wanna get that set up. Plus, there's actually some logistical reasons you wanna do it earlier on. Amazon takes a little while to approve your book for the store. It may take you a few tries to get things formatted or uploaded the way you want them to be. So if you've got that release date set, I do highly recommend setting a release date for yourself whether that's this coming Tuesday or whether it's a month from now Tuesday or whether it's some Tuesday six months from now. Again, former bookseller here. Books generally are released on Tuesdays. I don't know why but, that's how it works. So I will always release books on Tuesdays because that's the way you do it. (laughing) But you go off and be a rebel. Anyhow, you wanna give yourself plenty of time. Don't be staying up late the night before you expect to release your book, hitting the Publish button, and I'll show you, actually, Amazon makes this really easy now for you. So, alright, your goals guide your distribution. Your goals guide your distribution. So, remember, why are you writing this book in the first place? Why are you writing this book in the first place? Do you wanna make money? Do you wanna get in front of new customers? Do you wanna book those speaking gigs we've been talking about? Do you just want more credibility? Do you wanna get expert interviews in major media, magazines, blogs, television shows, radio? Why? Why, why, why are you writing this book? Keep that why in mind because I'm gonna break down the two main ways to self-publish digitally. That's on your own site and on Amazon, and those are the two things that we're gonna talk about for the rest of this lesson. There are lots of other places you can self-publish, but I think your first and biggest decision needs to be how you're going to approach selling on your own website if you are and how you're gonna sell on Amazon if you are. Alright? So here's the comparing and contrasting on this. When you sell on your own site, you make more money in terms of you keep the money you make outside of a PayPal fee or a merchant fee. Some of them, some of the platforms that you can use for this also take a small fee from it, but you're keeping 95% of the money that you're making on every book sold. You also get complete control. If you want to make a square PDF with itty-bitty margins and tons and tons of full-color graphics, I don't want you to do that, but if you do wanna do that, you can. No one's gonna tell you it's more expensive. No one's gonna tell you it doesn't fit in their software. If you can make it happen in Pages or Word or Google Docs or Pressbooks, you can sell it that way. Think twice (laughs), but you can sell it that way, right? You get complete creative control. Now, on your own site, you're probably gonna get less exposure. Because how are people gonna find it on your own site? They're gonna find it through your blog. They're gonna find it through your email newsletter. They might find it just through organic search, which is great, but, I mean, I don't know how many of us get tons and tons of traffic through organic search, so probably there's gonna be less exposure. People are probably not going into your website looking for books, right? And last thing to consider is that possibly, and I use possibly very strongly 'cause I think this has really changed even in the last five years. Possibly you may get less credibility. Having a book on your own website is having a book on your own website. Then there's Amazon. Now, let's be real here first. You're gonna make less money per book on Amazon. You're probably gonna charge less money in the first place to sell that book on Amazon. I'll tell you more about my pricing strategy then. But you're probably gonna charge less money. The going rates on Amazon for ebooks are much better than they had been, but they're still on the lower side. So a full-size book right now for Kindle goes for about 11.99. A smaller books is gonna be a little bit less, and then, of course, there's all of those what they call Kindle singles which are anywhere from 99 cents to 2.99. Now, out of that, you're gonna make about 70%, so that's still really good, but you're probably starting with a lower price point, and 70% is objectively less than 95%. (laughs) Not a lot less but significantly less. You're also gonna have slightly less control. Your book needs to be formatted the way Amazon wants the book to be formatted. You're also gonna think about your cover in terms of what is going to draw someone in on Amazon. On your own site with your cover, it's just you and your brand and whatever you wanna make it. However you wanna make is gonna work, right? It's gonna fit into your site. It's gonna be the only thing on display. When you're on Amazon, however, it's way more like you're browsing the shelf at Borders or Barnes & Noble, right? And I will tell you, again, former bookseller here. Covers sell books. You can judge a book by its cover, and people will buy books based on covers, right? And I'll talk a little bit more about covers in a little bit. But, yeah, so you're gonna want to think about what kind of cover is going to sell this book, and that's a very different question than if you're only selling on your own site in terms of the way that book looks. But the formatting, you've got less control there as well. You are going to get more exposure. Anyone looking for a book on your topic may find that book. It's kind of rad. (laughing) There's a lot of other things that go into the more exposure piece on Amazon as well. Of course, Amazon is one of the most highly ranked sites in terms of search online, so if someone searches for your book, it will probably, your specific title, even your name plus book, Amazon will probably come up first, and that means anything from ad words to actually the top-ranked spot. That's something to keep in mind. Talk about credibility, man. That's credibility. And then the other things that go on there is that Amazon, just like Facebook, has all sorts of cool algorithms. Now, you may not think that Facebook's algorithms are very cool. I do 'cause I'm pretty good at them (laughs), but Amazon has algorithms too. Guess what, the more books you publish, the more exposure you'll get. You will get exponentially more exposure the more books you publish, which is awesome. Your own books will start showing up in the recommended reads. You'll get emails about your own books. There is nothing better than like, "Amazon recommends you read Quiet Power Strategy." Thanks, Amazon. (laughing) That's really great, but that tends to happen after you start publishing more than one book, although it can absolutely happen on your first book as well. In then in terms of bestseller lists, mm, it is easier than you think to rank your book in Amazon, especially when we're talking about Kindle lists and not just all books lists, although it's very possible to rank your book in there as well. So that release date, again, that I mentioned is really important here, because if you get everyone buying your book on that very first day, there is a really good chance you're gonna rank in the category that you've chosen. And, of course, on the credibility piece, you're gonna have more credibility publishing on Amazon. People don't care if your book is self-published anymore, or they care very, very, very, very, very little. Very little. But what they do care about is that there's a book that you've written that's available on Amazon. I think it says a lot not just about what your content and message is, but I think it says a lot about how you are as a worker, what you're willing to accomplish. People don't know it's this easy, right? We keep going back to how this easy it is. It looks hard to get your book on Amazon. Looking hard means you get more credibility. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but it is what it is. Right? First, we're gonna tackle publishing on your own website, the service that I use to do that, and then we're gonna talk about publishing on Amazon. Any questions so far about the distribution and publication piece? No. No? Alright, great. Let's take a look at Selz, and I mentioned earlier that we put together a digital product starter kit for you guys. Well, us and a bunch of amazing partners, and Selz is one of those partners. Let me, uh-oh, I might have lost my card. There it is. Selz is giving everyone three months free to the top pro plan, which means you can literally sell your books. They're not gonna take a cut. The only cut you're gonna pay is your PayPal fee or your Stripe fee and for three months. So if this is something you even just wanna give a go to, Selz is gonna make that super, super easy for you. So that's all included in the digital product starter kit that you'll get when you purchase this course. I'm really excited about that. The Selz people and I have a great relationship. I don't exactly know how that happened, but I love it. They've helped me out with new features and with ideas, and I've helped them out with content and things. So, again, I'm not getting paid to represent them. However, they're really great, and I love it. There's a lot of other systems that you can use, though, to, there we go. There's a lot of other systems that you can use to sell your books online as well. Gumroad is another very, very popular one, and it's very similar to Selz, and there's even more than that. Can you guys think of some other ones? No? I know there's another one on the tip of my tongue that's not coming out, but that's okay. Selz and Gumroad are probably two of the really, really big ones. So this is how you start a new product in Selz, and I'm just gonna walk you through these different pieces here so that you can see what some of your different options are. Then I'll talk to you about a few more, but, really, this is not hard. Again, that's the theme of this workshop is this is not hard. (laughing) The other thing is, I mean, these people are like masters of user experience, almost all of these tools. And so they're gonna start you off at the very top of the page with what you should do first, and they're gonna walk you through step by step. Just don't miss a box. That's the key here. So, first off, they give you a place to upload your files, and you get 20 files with 15 gigs per file. What that means is that, unlike the way I used to have to do it back in the E-junkie days where I'd zip everything together and then also try and send people explanations for how you unzip something, 'cause you'd be surprised how many people don't know how to unzip something, you can actually upload individual files. So we've talked a little bit about how when I sell books on my own website, I sell them in what I call a multimedia pack. So I will sell a PDF file, a MOBI file, an EPUB file, and an audio file. Sometimes there's even more stuff in there depending on what it is. That's the basis of my multimedia pack, and like I said, back in the day, I used to have to zip all those things together into an absolutely ginormous zip file. It would take people forever to download it, and then they had to figure out what to do with it from there. One of the great things about Selz and some of the other systems that you can use to do this now is that you can upload those files individually so people only are ever uploading exactly what they or downloading exactly what they want to download. If all you want is the ebook, the audiobook, you click the audiobook link. If you're on your phone, it starts playing, right, because your phone will stream it. If it's on your computer, it's gonna download. You can drag it into iTunes or whatever software you use and get started. I love that. I love this particular feature. I know it sounds really simple, but it was a huge change in the way ebooks got sold online, and so I really love that. The other piece that you can do with this, then, too is you can upload videos if you want. And you wanna record a video intro to your book, record it. You wanna do a keynote presentation where you're showing slides in your videos and speaking over it, you can upload that. So this is where that complete creative control really comes into play is you can start thinking of your books as multimedia experiences. Right? Pretty great. Alright, then you're going to get your product name, your product description, and anything else that you wanna add in terms of the cover of the book, how it's gonna display on your sight. And then you're gonna set your price, so let's talk a little bit about pricing. You guys wanna talk about pricing? Okay, so let me explain to you how I do it, and then if you guys have specific questions, we can talk about that as well. So I think with books we need to look at the market, and we need to look at the market hard (laughs). We did a separate podcast interview about this, and I was telling our producer, Michael, that, again, back in the day when I started writing and publishing ebooks, it was commonplace for people to sell ebooks for 50, 100, or 150 dollars depending on what the ebook was about. Stuff people are giving away as email opt-in incentives now. Right? But it was what happened. And so when I decided to price my very first book, that was the market that I was stepping into. Now, there were plenty of other people selling books for $17 or $27, and so that's where I kind of fit that very first book price in. I set a price at 25, and then it was also pay what you want, and so people could pay all sorts of different things. Well, in the process of them paying all sorts of different things, the price averaged out to right about $15. It's like, great, $15 is my sweet spot. That's gonna max me out most likely both in terms of revenue and people reading the book. So from there on out, I've sold my books at $15, but I sell the multimedia pack for $15, so that's the PDF, EPUB, MOBI, and audiobook. All together, 15 bucks. Very affordable. Not entirely an impulse buy for a lot of people but also a very, like, I'm buying a book, this is how much a book costs kind of purchase. Right? Then we need to talk about Kindle pricing. So as I said, I put that multimedia pack together so that I can charge that particular price, and then on Kindle, I come back, and I look at the market on Kindle for the types of books that I'm publishing, and the types of books I'm publishing are anywhere from about 2.99 to 7.99. So my longest book, Quiet Power Strategy, is 7.99, I think. I'm pretty sure it's 7.99, and then my shortest ebook, Observation Engine, is 2.99. But I justify that, obviously, because all you get with the Kindle is the Kindle. With the multimedia pack, you get all the formats, and $15 for an ebook is still really cheap, right? Ebooks are not cheap. So that works out really well. Any questions about pricing? Did that all make sense? Yes? Mm-hmm. Look at the market, and look specifically at the market, again, with that market analysis that we did earlier. What are those comps that you looked at? What are they selling for? What's their Kindle price? What's their hardcover price? Is the author selling any kind of multimedia experience on their own site? 'Cause you will find that absolutely, or you'll see people selling packages, so take a look at that as well. Dive in there. Choose your price that way. (clears throat) (coughs) Excuse me. So this really is about all there is to getting your book up on your website. What Selz does will actually create a shop for you, so you can have You can also map it through a domain name, so if you got to, that's where my Selz shop lives. I never send anybody there, but that's where it lives. That's what the product URLs look like. And you can take this and actually embed widgets on your site so that people can buy straight through your site, which is really great. I should've pulled that up, but I think I can do this really quick. I'll show you what that looks like fast. So this is, and you see each of my books here. You see the description. You see the Buy now button. I can click on that. Goes over here. Oops, no, it's not gonna go, that's not what you wanna see. (laughs) But that's the idea. What normally happens if we're not logged into Selz is a little lightbox pops up, and you can purchase it right through there either with your credit card or with PayPal. Super awesome. You do not need an SSL certificate for that. The SSL certificate is handled through Selz, but you do wanna make sure, and the Selz thing will say that, that the SSL is handled by Selz. Make sense? I don't wanna go too far down that particular rabbit hole. That is a very big rabbit hole. But yeah. That's how easy that is. You can also just embed a Buy Now button on a full sales page. I mentioned I'll have a sales page that has both a link to buy the book from me and a link to buy the book from Amazon, so I'll have that Buy Now button from Selz embedded, and then I'll have a link to go over to Amazon. Very, very, very easy. Anything else I wanna say about this? I use this platform for so many different things. Stacy, one of the questions that you had brought up earlier is, how do you know when something is free and when something is paid? And we had talked about are we talking about paid ebooks here, are we talking about free ebooks? I'm talking about paid ebooks just so we're all clear on this, but I also give away a lot of books. A lot of books. That's also in the digital product starter kit, by the way. You get the multimedia pack of Quiet Power of Strategy. (laughs) So that's one example, and I actually use Selz to do that. So if you go into the marketing part of Selz, you can actually create a discount code that allows people to get something for free, so they go straight to the site. Actually, it gives you a really nice URL that embeds the discount code right away. People don't even have to, it's so cool, right? So they just follow the link. It's already marked down to whatever price or for free. They follow through. Now, the answer is why, the question should be (laughs), why would you give someone a discount code for free instead of just sending them the file? You guys wanna know why? Email. Email address, right? So if you go in and you download my Quiet Power Strategy multimedia pack after you purchase this class, which is a very smart decision to make (laughs), you download it, I get your email address. Most likely, if you've bought this course, if you're interested in that book, you wouldn't mind hearing from me. I would like to be able to talk to you, right? I would like to be able to share more information with you guys. I'd love to be able to share more ideas. I'd love to be able to tell you what else we have to offer 'cause it's a lot, right? So that's why I do that. I do that for conferences. I do it when maybe I'm on a telesummit or a podcast interview. Sometimes it's a discount, sometimes it's free. The nice thing about doing a separate discount or link for each of those is you can track it. If I'm on a big podcast like Srini's podcast, maybe I give him a link that says, "Any of your listeners want the Observation Engine, "I'll give it to them free." Tell them to go to this link, and I'm gonna make it specific for him and his audience, and I can tell just how many people are listening and are engaged enough to download that book. Make sense? So exciting. And Selz will also track all that analytics for you. Plus viewers or, yeah, visitors on your page, conversion rates, where they're coming from, all that good stuff. Any questions about publishing with something like Selz? No? Alright, great. Let's switch over to Kindle Direct Publishing. This is Kindle Direct Publishing. These are the books that I have available on Amazon. That easy, and I'm just gonna show you, basically, what it looks to create a new book because it's pretty self-explanatory. When you set up your Kindle Direct Publishing account, it's gonna ask you for all sorts of information about you, including a Tax ID number because, ideally, they're gonna be sending you a lot of money (laughs), so they need that. But once that's all set up, then all you have to do is click this box to get to your new title checklist. It's gonna explain some things to you, and some FAQs for you. I'm only gonna talk briefly about KDP Select because it's not a service that I use, but it's really cool. So KDP Select is something that's available to you if you choose to only publish this content through Amazon. Now, why would you wanna do that? Well, they have some serious perks for you. The biggest perk that they have for you is that they will give you so many days per year where you can market your book free of charge on Amazon where they will still pay you for sales. Sound good, right? Because here's what happens you mark your book down for free for the weekend, say. Everyone starts downloading your book 'cause it's free. You tell your friends, "Hey, go download my book 'cause it's free." That pulls you up the bestseller list, and now a whole bunch of new people start buying your book, right? So it's one of the ways that you can really work Amazon's algorithm, okay? I've never used it, and I do just fine. Periodically, I will discount things on Kindle or on Amazon. Maybe I'll go from a 7.99 book to a 2.99 book and say, "Hey, everybody go download it. "It's only 2.99." That works too. That also works, okay? So here it's exactly what you would expect it to look like. They wanna know the title of your book. They wanna know the subtitle if it has one, what the edition is, who the publisher is, and it'll tell you what's optional and what's not. I mean, guys, this could not be any easier. Then you're gonna come to the description. The description is a lot like writing a sales page, right? Only you're not gonna write 1,500 words. Maybe you're gonna write 500 words. Maybe you're gonna write 1,000, but, still, you wanna think this in terms of marketing. What's the first thing you do when you're thinking about, "Is this book for me?" read the description. You could put a review in there, like a blurb. You can talk about exactly who the books is for. And where do you think would be a really good place to go back to get ideas for your book description? The overview and the pre-writing that we did in step one. That's why this stuff is so important. You guys all know that I always preach that you start with the sales page when you're thinking about building a new product. This is exactly the same. You've already got a description written. Yeah, you might tweak it a little bit after you've written the book, maybe make it a little juicier, but you've already got this done. Alright? Really, really good. You wanna add contributors. You can get an ISBN for it, which is the unique number that all traditionally published books have. You can absolutely get one as a self-published author as well. Your publishing rights. So you don't wanna select This is a public domain work. You do not want it to be in the public domain. You select This is not a public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing rights. You produced it, you've copyrighted it. I'm not gonna get into the IP law with this, but anything that you produce, you can put a copyright and date on. That does not mean it is officially copyrighted. It's sort of like common law copyrighted, but the process of submitting a book for copyright is very, very easy. Just google it. It's a small fee, send it in, and you're done. That's it. Then you're gonna select Categories, and this is another place where that market analysis is gonna come in really handy. If there are three or four other books that are very similar to yours except in positioning or message, you wanna see where are those books shelved in Amazon. Select the same categories. You also wanna think about what categories you're going to sell best in and what categories your going to be able to get closer to the top in. Right? So we're not gonna, I'm not gonna rank for marketing, but I might rank for entrepreneurship, right? And so it's less likely that I would put a book in marketing. I might put a book in a subgenre of marketing, but I'm not gonna put it in marketing. Make sense? 'Cause I wanna be number one in maybe small business marketing or online marketing instead of being number 573 in marketing. Right? Make sense? Age range if you wanna do that, book release options. This is what I was referring to earlier when I said it's really easy for you to choose that release date, because now this is new. We didn't used to be able to do this. I only just, well, I guess I discovered this about, it's not that new, but it's pretty new. So you can either make it available right now, or you can get this set up to take pre-orders. So even before your book is done, you can set this up in Kindle so you can start taking pre-orders. Great thing about that is that that gives you weeks to build up that first day's sales numbers if you want to. Really good. Plus, it also allows you to test this out without feeling like everything is on the line, which I love. And then it's going to give you some guidelines on creating covers. Now, I intentionally chose not to talk about covers in this class because I am not a designer, although I have designed most of my book covers. And I think that that's an important thing to realize is that you can actually create a really great looking book cover with a lot of the resources that are available now. We talked about Beacon book software before. Canva is another one. You could use something like PicMonkey. Pixelmator is my app of choice, and, of course, you could use Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign as well. The guidelines are all here. Read them, follow them. They're very straightforward. But just create a cover that looks like a book cover. Look at book covers. Make something that looks like them. Some of you might choose to put your face on your cover. That's fine. Look for books that have authors' faces on the cover. Make yours look like that. If you choose to just use text, just text covers, like my Observation Engine cover, are very hot right now, and they stand out really well in the Amazon store. Lots of kind of highly produced but still self-published books have these just really sharp typography covers. Highly recommend it. Very easy to do. Definitely, you can use something like Canva to do that and do it really, really beautifully. So I didn't wanna go too far into that, but I did wanna give you some recommendations for things like that. And then you're gonna upload your book file. That's it, and then you're gonna save and continue, which I'm not gonna hit. This is the meat of the stuff. This is it. From here, it's just some extra things. They're gonna have you take a look at it. You can download the book. Even if you don't have a Kindle, make sure you download the book. Download the desktop Kindle software. You can open it up in there and just make sure it looks the way that you want it to look. That's it. Within probably about 24, maybe 48 hours, your book's gonna be live on Amazon. People can search your name. You can edit your author page, all that good stuff, but that really is as simple as it is. Questions? Excitement. Excitement? Yeah. You're excited? Okay, awesome. So, yeah, that's it. You guys ready for your homework for today? Yes. Alright, let's take a look at your homework for step four. One, choose how you're gonna sell your book. You can choose all of the options. Like Britt was saying, I want them all. Collect all of the options for publication, or you can choose to just focus on Amazon or Amazon and Barnes & Noble the way Shannon was talking about. Two, upload your book to the appropriate platform. Get it ready to start selling. That's it. That's your step four homework. Alright? Got it. So I want everyone to let me know, whether it's on this particular day or whether it's a couple of days in the future, let me know when you have uploaded that book and what platform you've uploaded it to. You can tweet me @taragentile. You can start a new post on my Facebook page. I wanna hear from as many people as possible, saying, "My book is uploaded. "I'm ready to go. "I'm hitting the Publish button. "Here's when it's coming out." I wanna know when you guys are ready. You guys gonna do that for me? Yes. Okay, you guys do it for me too. Super, super important. Alright, in the next step, we're gonna hit this all home by talking about marketing, how to actually get people reading your book. Before that, we've got another expert interview, this time with Sarah J. Bray. She's a really good friend of mine. She talks and writes about community and building brands that build community. We're gonna talk to her a little bit about that, and, you guys, she's also a designer, so you can pick her brain about design as well. And then we'll talk about how you guys are gonna be selling your books and what strategies you wanna implement for that. Alright, sound good? Yes. Alright, let's wrap it up.

Class Description

Imagine opening your inbox to find new clients begging to work with you, opportunities to speak around the world, and members of media requesting interviews. That’s exactly what started happening when Tara Gentile began writing and publishing her ideas in small self-published books.

She went from hustling for work to having clients knocking down her door. She went from a small audience of fans to stepping on global stages. Writing and publishing a book—even a small one—can have that effect.

If you’ve been struggling to find the clients, credibility, and cash you really want from your business, writing and publishing a book can turn it all around.

It might sound daunting but after self-publishing 4 books, Tara has a simple process for turning your ideas into a book available for sale on Amazon or on your own website. You can become a published author and reap the benefits for your business in much less time than you think.

In this class, Tara's broken her process down into 5 easy steps:

  1. Choose your idea and create an outline
  2. Use what you’ve got to write your book fast
  3. Edit and format your book so you can distribute it on a number of platforms
  4. Publish your book on your own website or Amazon
  5. Market your book and get people reading it

Stop dreaming of becoming a published author someday and start making it happen.

As a bonus with purchase, you'll get The Digital Product Starter Kit that'll help you write, publish, market, and sell your eBook with maximum results. You'll get a free 30-day trial of ConvertKit's suite of email marketing tools, a free 90-day trial of the Pro Plan, 25% off upgrades on Pressbooks, one 15% off code for any purchase at Creative Market, and one-month free access to Tara Gentile's Quiet Power Strategy Group.  



Such a brilliant course - perfect for my needs. Provides insight, inspiration and great wisdom. A great flow of topics to help us hit the road running. Is it okay to say the voice thing was difficult for me? 'Referral' ouch. But very worth sticking with, so packed with top-notch info and tips. Thanks to all the amazing guests! Thanks Tara, you're dynamite!!

Benjamin Smith

Thank you for sharing this information with us. It was fascinating to read. As an aspiring author, I often wondered "where to start, and how to publish an e-book." I think that this issue is of concern to almost every aspiring writer. I found your recommendations very useful. This is a great lesson that brings a lot of benefits. I will recommend it to my friends. I love when information is served briefly and accurately. Nothing superfluous only practical advice, point by point what to do to succeed. Thank you! All the best! Writer on

a Creativelive Student

Great!!! Thank you so much, Tara! I love how simple you make it looks like. I think that besides bringing the reality check about how blogging n the whole digital content are tied together you also did a kinda coaching! Lifting the spirit! Great pace to follow! Best wishes to you too. 💐