Voices: Publish your eBook for extra revenue

EBooks are going crazy while people are living portable lives. With all the gadgets to read on like cell phones, iPads and e-readers just to name a few, why aren’t you writing?

If you have a website and you want traffic, give one away free and collect emails for future marketing. If you have found a niche or specialization and want to write an eBook, you can sell it. Just make sure it is worth reading. Even famous authors produce Kindle Singles on Amazon. Producing an eBook can be very low-cost to potentially free and bring in money, so start writing.

But how do you get from your idea to producing and selling your eBook? That is the question and confusion of the day. So let’s spend some time on it.

What is an eBook?

The clear definition is, publishing your book electronically. Your content is converted to electronic format and then read or viewed through something such as a reader, computer, or other electronic mobile devices. There are many guidelines on writing an eBook but that is just the beginning, although one of the most important, steps.

How to get from your eBook to producing on a platform?

Publishing your eBook can take on many forms from free to quite costly. For example, a Kindle can only read eBooks generated on Amazon, while the Nook from Barnes and Noble reads another format. Want to share a book across readers or electronic devices? This is not going to happen unless you pick the right publishing platform.

If you are going to take advantage of a large eBook seller, Amazon is the largest. You can create an eBook and a Print on Demand book free on this site. Amazon only sells its eBooks to Kindle readers, but the millions who frequent this site make for a large platform. There are other sites you can produce on. The listing follows, but pick the one that offers what you are looking for.

These are the free ones and there are many others that you pay for:



NookPress (Barnes and Noble)


Although free to download your book, none is as big as Amazon, but there are other advantages. Smashwords distributes to Apple, Barnes and Noble and many other platforms. Look at what royalty each pays and where they distribute before you pick.

Publishing on your site

If you are going to sell or give away your eBook from your site, then converting your text to a PDF format will make it available to all safely, and no one can modify it. Let’s talk about it. You are the primary focus to market your book. Are you famous yet? Are you driving substantial people to your site? If yes, then the right decision is to publish a PDF and sell it on your site. If not, then give away your writing for an email, a call-to-action, to build notoriety and drive people to your site. This is a common use of eBooks and eArticles.

Vanity Press/Agent

I have lumped these two together although they are not the same. Beware of the vanity presses. These are typically companies that will do everything for you — for a fee. It can cost you several thousand dollars to have things done that you can do yourself free, so beware. I am not saying there aren’t honest Vanity Press companies out there, just get references. Go to http://pred-ed.com/ to check out the company as well.

You get agents by querying them with a write-up to interest them in representing you to large publishing houses. They may give you an upfront cash amount, usually small if you are unknown, and then try to sell your manuscript. Agents can be flooded with requests. Check the link referenced above, learn how to write a query by searching for a format, and give it a try. Do not be disappointed if rejected; this is all part of the writing industry.

Small Business Success

Small Business Success is defined as what type of eBook are you going to produce and where are you going to produce it. If you will use it as a giveaway to get emails or a call to action on your website, then a PDF is fine. Make it short and direct for the best interest. If, on the other hand, you decide to write a book such as a how-to and sell it, seriously consider a platform such as Amazon. Are you famous? If you are, sell the book on the site. If not, then consider the largest online bookstore to help you market.


As a writer, you have several choices. The first step is to have a well-written book. Find someone to edit your writing. Once your book is ready, you can self-publish, query an agent or hire a vanity press. All are options. Decide what you and your small business need to drive customers to you and gain more profit.

Judy Haar has experience in eBook publishing as an author of several books. She is a SCORE mentor with NorthernNevadaScore.org.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment