Lesson 1- Getting Started
E-book sales climb higher every day. In fact, e-book sales have put millions of dollars in the hands of previously unpublished authors, midlist authors who've had modest print sales, and established authors who've decided to strike out on their own. When you publish your own e-book, you can earn up to 10 times higher royalties! In this first lesson, we're going to do a whirlwind tour of the rise of e-books. We'll follow that with an overview of the major players in the industry and look at e-book readers. By the time you're finished this lesson, you'll be ready to start self-publishing your own e-book.
Lesson 2- Getting Your Book Ready to Publish
In this lesson, you're going to start getting your e-book ready for publication, much like you would prepare a great manuscript for an editor at a publishing house. You want to make sure you have a great story that hangs together or a nonfiction book that's error-free. One of the best starts you can give your e-book when you send it off into the world is to make sure it's up to today's standards—with proper grammar, spelling, and style. In this lesson, you'll find out how to use tools to make this task simple and fast!
Lesson 3- First Steps in Publishing
Today, we'll start the first steps in the publishing process. You'll learn how to create a reader profile describing your ideal reader and apply what you've learned to your marketing plan. I'll share two of my book profiles with you and show you how they helped me write the book descriptions, select the titles, and create the covers. I've filled this lesson with lots of tips that will help you find readers for your book when it's launched.
Lesson 4- Copyright, ISBN, and CIP
Lesson 5- Title Page and Front and Back Matter
This lesson takes you "under the covers" of your book to your title page and all the front and back matter you want to add. You'll need to consider the author name you want to use, or whether you want to use your own name at all. This is a big decision, so we'll look at a number of things you should consider. Once that's done and you've typed all the information into your book and formatted it, you'll learn how to add a table of contents and hyperlinks, so your reader can move around easily. This lesson will give you lots to think about and lots to do—and when you're done, you'll have included everything you'll find in any traditionally published book.
Lesson 6- Adding Images and Converting to PDF Format
Today you'll learn how to add your cover to your book, along with any other essential images. Images aren't always perfect, so you'll learn some basic steps on how to adjust them. And you'll also learn how to check the file size of your book and ensure that it meets bookseller and distributor requirements. Once you've got everything just the way you want it, you'll learn how to convert your book file to a PDF, the most popular document file on the Web. And you'll even learn how to password protect PDFs to sell from your site!
Lesson 7- Converting to EPUB Format
What are your options for converting your manuscript into an e-book that users can read on e-readers? Your choices range from hiring a service that does it all to doing it all yourself. In this lesson, we'll look at the pros and cons of paid services and free services, and I'll show you how to use Sigil—free open source editing software—to convert your book to EPUB format and add metadata that will help with sales at online retailers. Not sure what metadata is? We're going to go into detail on that too, and you'll learn how to use the same tools as traditional publishers in the brick-and-mortar world to give your e-book an inside advantage. By the end of this lesson, your e-book will be ready to read on many popular e-readers!
Lesson 8- Using Calibre
In this lesson, you'll learn how to use an e-book management tool to do a number of different things, from organizing your own e-book library to converting your e-book to a multitude of formats. The name of the tool is Calibre. Calibre lets you add stars and comments to the books you've downloaded, as well as convert unprotected e-book files from one format to another, so you can read books you've purchased on your smartphone, tablet, or e-reader. By the end of this lesson, you'll know how to use Calibre to fine-tune your EPUB file and convert it to MOBI for the Kindle reader. You'll be amazed at how easy Calibre is to use—just follow the steps, and you'll have your e-book ready to upload to online bookstores in no time!
Lesson 9- Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Publishing your own e-books is a business, and in Lesson 9 we'll look at the business end of things. There's always some paperwork required to start up a business, particularly on the Internet where you're dealing with online bookstores that could be anywhere in the world. Amazon is the world's biggest bookstore, and its headquarters are in the United States, so we'll look at their requirements first. They don't make the rules though—they only implement the ones set down by law. We'll also go through the business decisions you'll have to make, including adding DRM, pricing your book, and whether you want to make your title exclusive to one store. We'll wrap up the lesson by walking step-by-step through the questions you'll answer as you upload and publish your book!
Lesson 10- List With Distributors
This lesson opens up many virtual bookshelves for your new book as you learn how to select and work with an e-book distributor or aggregator. Even if you're an international author, aggregators can get you into any bookstore you want! It's an exciting time to be self-publishing, as there are many different options and tailor-made solutions. Even if you're starting out with a publishing budget of $0, your book can reach millions of readers. And if you're concerned about your technical skills, don't! In today's lesson, you'll also learn how a distributor can take care of everything for you.
Lesson 11- Direct Sales
When you decided to self-publish your book, you eliminated the publisher—who would have gotten the biggest share of income from your hard work. In this lesson, I'll show you how you can eliminate the bookstore too. That leaves all the money from sales in your hands! There are other advantages to selling your books directly, and we'll take a look at those, as well as some of the disadvantages. I'll outline the three main considerations for direct sales, and we'll do a quick overview of the many options you'll have for collecting money online and delivering books to your buyers.
Lesson 12- More Publishing Options
This may be the last lesson of the course, but it's also one of the most exciting. We're going to look at additional ways to get your book in readers' hands. One of the first, of course, is libraries. How would you like to see your name and book come up when you search your library's online catalog? We'll also talk about getting into school libraries, and the Google Books Library Project that aims to digitize all the books in the world. Interested in your multimedia options? We'll cover this today as well, and we'll discuss your options for printing your book so traditional print readers can also have access to it. So be prepared to come away with new ways to have your books reach readers!