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How to Self-Publish Your EBook | A Guide For Indie Author

How to Self-Publish Your EBook First Time or E-Book Only

Using a combination of two services, Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is one of the simplest, cheapest, and fastest methods. Have your e-book available for sale online, and it also puts your work into most markets. in this blog we will learn How to Self-Publish Your EBook, Your book will benefit from the following combination:

  • translated into as many e-book formats as possible (including apps)
  • the greatest potential reach to online merchants
  • the ability to be read on all major devices
  • a non-exclusive agreement
  • The net commission is merely 15%.

Using BookBaby, you can get your book into only the big shops — Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, and iPad — for $129 and with a lot less labor because BookBaby converts your PDF and other types of files. They also provide add-on services such as book cover design.

Other popular solutions, such as BookBrewer and Pubit, are also discussed. Color and extensively formatted book authors can publish their e-books as PDFs or pay (a lot) to have them converted to appear lovely in devices by paying (a lot) for fixed-layout formatting.


Smashwords is the best option if you have a simple formatted, text-heavy book. You may acquire e-book distribution to more online merchants through its Premium Catalog than any other service. What you must do is as follows:

  1. Format your e-book in accordance with the Smashwords Style Guide (templates are available), or hire someone to do it for you. (For a list of formatters and book cover designers, see the company’s FAQ.)
  2. Assign a unique ISBN to your e-Smashwords book’s edition.
  3. Follow the steps to submit the inside and cover, as well as carefully selected keywords for your book, as detailed in this post.
  4. Join the Smashwords Premium Catalog and agree to all of the terms and conditions.
  5. Submit the document and select the formats you wish the Smashwords “meatgrinder” to create.

The only big online retailer left out is Amazon (but there’s a deal in the works, so stay tuned), but Kindle owners may get the Kindle-formatted book from the Smashwords shop.

Smashwords will also provide your book as a standalone book app for Apple, Android, Windows Phone 7, and HP’s WebOS clients.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Because the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing format (like the Smashwords e-book format) is based on an MS Word doc file, editing it is simple. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Make a copy and rename the Smashwords doc file.
  2. Assign a separate ISBN to your e-KDP book’s edition.
  3. Make any necessary modifications to meet with KDP formatting rules.
  4. Follow the instructions to upload the inside and cover images, as well as keywords to help people locate your book.

Alternatively, if you are utilizing CreateSpace to create a POD (print on demand) book, you may just pay $69 for a nicely prepared KDP file to submit to the Kindle store.

Amazon Publishing Central

Though Smashwords and Amazon KDP provide the most widespread distribution to online resellers, Amazon Publishing central provides exposure to the major markets with less effort. It also features a unique pricing scheme. Amazon Publishing central charges a one-time price to convert and distribute your book, rather than collecting 15% of net sales like Smashwords and Amazon. Simply send Amazon Publishing central your well-prepared Word doc file. If you simply have a PDF, InDesign, or Quark file, they will convert it for a price.

Pros and Cons

  1. Amazon Publishing Central is a single-vendor solution — it creates your e-book for distribution to both Amazon and the major EPUB (shorthand for electronic publication) resellers.
  2. Though your book will reach the most important retailers, the Smashwords/KDP combination reaches more.
  3. Amazon Publishing Central is great for authors with backlist titles — just send them the PDF.
  4. Amazon Publishing Central offers add-ons such as book cover design services, whereas with Smashwords and Amazon you have to outsource these tasks.
    Amazon Publishing Central offers conversion of e-books with more complex formatting, graphics, and color.
  5. You only need one ISBN for the Amazon Publishing Central version of your book, versus the Smashwords/Amazon solution, where you need two.

Other Distributors


When your book is sold to online stores, BookBrewer and FeedBrewer charge up-front costs beginning at $19.99 and 5% of net revenues. Their service is unusual in that you may submit information from a blog or website and then change or rearrange the document before it is published. They also released a $60 ePub-to-Print solution that creates a POD book from an EPUB file.


Pubit is a Barnes & Noble-owned e-book authoring service that will convert your book to EPUB format. Customers, however, may only purchase your book in a Barnes & Noble location.

Books with a lot of formatting and color

The more complicated your book, the more difficult it is to format for e-book readers as well as print. You can use EPUB to link photos with text so that they always appear together, but it will never format like a printed book or PDF file, with text flowing around the image.

EPUB with Fixed Layout

Apple provides the fixed-layout EPUB format, which is more popular than the formats provided by Barnes & Noble and Blio, owing to the fact that it reaches a more popular device. The distinction between PDF and EPUB is that EPUB may include searchable text as well as multimedia such as ambient music and narration, making it ideal for coffee tables, spirituals, and children’s books.

Fixed-Layout EPUB vs. PDF

Remember that more than half of e-book buyers read e-books on their computer, so you might just want to provide a PDF-formatted version, which is simple and free (since it’s the file type you send to the printer). It’s also far less expensive than purchasing an Apple fixed-layout EPUB book (around $10/page), especially given that it only targets one (although very popular) e-reader.

But wait, there’s more.

It necessitates solid publishing methods like editing and design, marketing and promotion, knowing and applying SEO, and other book discovery tactics such as social media activity. The other pieces in this series, as well as a decent workbook, can be of assistance.

Carla King is a self-publishing consultant, author, and the founder of the Self-Publishing Boot Camp program. which offers books, seminars, and workshops to aspiring self-publishers. Since 1994, she has self-published nonfiction travel and how-to books and has worked in multimedia since 1996. Her reports from motorbike exploits across the world are accessible on her website as print books, e-books, and diaries. The Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Authors, her most recent ebook, was launched in August 2011 and is available on Smashwords, Amazon Kindle, and the B&N Nook.

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