This article will provide you with a list you need to have ready before climactically hitting the button that will upload your ebook – finally! – into the world of online publishing. (I’d recommend getting your ebook formatting and conversions out the way before you get stuck into this stuff.)
1. Author Biography.
You’ll need one of these to put on your Amazon Kindle Author Page (in Author Central). This is how readers will learn a bit about who they’re about to read. My advice is that you keep it relatively short and to the point. Of course, you should use your creativity and wit (if appropriate) to further interest them. For example, ending your biography with something as simple as: ‘When Arthur Authorson’s hands aren’t full with his newly born twins, he can be seen rushing back to his laptop where he endeavours to finish his second novel.’ A little corny, perhaps – but it doesn’t matter! Hopefully you’ve got the reader chuckling a little and have maybe put them at ease enough to take a chance on your book.
This is something you’ll need to upload along with your book, for without it, who knows what it’s about? You should spend a while crafting this. Breaking down your story and explaining it in a few sentences isn’t easy – but you can do it. And you should do it as best as you possibly can. Imagine your blurb as a gate between your reader and your book. If your gate is strong, doesn’t have squeaky hinges, and has a nice fresh coat of paint, there’s a good chance they’ll want to see what’s on the other side…
A very (very, very, very, very!) important element of online publishing. Remember the old saying that has survived centuries till this day ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’? Well, in this case at least, ignore it. Because people do judge books (and films, music albums, food packing sleeves and so on) by their covers. It comes naturally to all of us. Right or wrong, it’s still critical to get the best cover possible created for your book. Spend a few hours checking out other published books similar to yours.
Check out colour and feel. What kind of imagery would suit yours best? Silhouette or photographic? Does it need any? Your design has to be simple yet effective, and most importantly, summarise your book to the fullest. If you aren’t particularly artistic and don’t carry the aptitude or ability for designing your own, there are plenty of good online publishing cover professionals to be found on the internet. Just remember: invest your time greatly in this aspect – it’s the first thing your prospective readers will see!
4. Author Photograph
At last! – something that’s relatively easy! You can, of course, spend some dough on hiring a professional photographer if you think it’s necessary. But my advice is to get a friend to take it for you, and then later on, you can always play around with it (using contrast, brightness and sharpening tools, etc) on your computer. Simple things like switching off your light and setting up a lamp to one side can be a great way to create shadow over your facial features. Experiment and have some fun!
5. Make a Distribution, Networking and Promotional Avenues List.
This is very important as it’ll help stop your head from exploding once you realise how many different social networking and online publishing channels there are in the internet universe. So get a piece of paper and start jotting down some names. For example, Amazon, Smashwords, Apple and Kobo. And for social networking, Goodreads (for an Online Publishing Author Page), Kindleboards, Facebook and Twitter. And if you want to set up a Blog, WordPress, for instance. Ask yourself questions like the following: What payment details will I need handy for when I upload my ebook? Will I need IBAN and bank account numbers, or Paypal? How much will I be selling my ebook for? Do I want to advertise? Just keep in mind, the more you have written down, the less chance there is of the old noggin’ exploding!
And there you have it. Hopefully this list will be of benefit and get you nicely prepared for when you upload your work and enter online publishing. Good luck!
As always, your feedback means a lot! Do you have a great tip of your own that could help another indie author? Was there something I missed? Fire away in the comments section below and share.
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