7 No-Nonsense Steps for Publishing Your eBook for Free

    August 22, 2003

Many people have written an eBook or have enough articles and short stories that they could easily create one, if they wanted to. It’s a great way to earn extra money. My own eBook “How To Publish & Market Your eBook for Just $5”, available at http://www.authorscafe.com, stayed on Booklocker’s best sellers’ list for almost a year and I have no complaint about receiving regular royalty cheques from them.

I haven’t bought a house in the Bahamas yet, but I have certainly purchased a lot of little extras for myself and my family from my eBook earnings.

When you’re weighing the pros and cons of investing so much time into a project you have to take many things into consideration; however, monetary investment isn’t one of them. I am often amused by the stories of people who have spent hundreds of dollars for formatting and distributing an eBook when everything you could possibly need is available completely free of charge. I know this, because I did it.

The seven most useful resources I found for creating, publishing and selling an eBook were all free. I’ve listed them here, so you can get start your own eBusiness today.

1. Create your eBook in your favorite word processing program. Many people use Microsoft Word or Word Perfect. You can sell your eBook in these formats, but the most popular eBook format is called PDF. Unlike other file formats, a PDF can be read by anyone with Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free program most people have. It’s available at: http://www.adobe.com. You can also convert your eBook into PDF format for free at the Adobe site: https://createpdf.adobe.com/. All you have to do is sign up. If you want to include active hyperlinks that will enable readers to click out the book and onto the internet or to click to different places within the book, you need to use the paid version, though. It’s $9.99 per month. If you want hyperlinks and don’t want to pay any money, there’s a great little program called PDF995 available at http://www.pdf995.com. First, convert your document to PDF format and then use another free program available from the same company called PDFedit995, to activate your hyperlinks. I’ve tested the free version several times and it works great. You have to tolerate some ads, though.

So there you have it, an eBook, ready to go and formatted for free.

2. Now you need a place to sell your eBook. If you already have a website, that’s great. If you don’t, there are many places that offer free web space. The biggest complaint about these sites is the pop up ads, so avoid using sites that have them. Both http://www.united.net.kg/ and http://www.brinkster.com offer free packages with no ads.

3. The next hurdle to selling an eBook is how to collect the money. You can do what I did and sell through a publisher like Booklocker.com and that will all be taken care of, or you can handle transactions yourself. You will need a merchant account with the major credit card companies to do this, but there are online companies that will handle these transactions for you without a merchant account. There are two systems that I use: http://www.paypal.com and http://www.regsoft.com.

4. Now you’re up and running, but how do you let people know about your book? There are plenty of free advertising spots on the internet that allow you to list your eBook, announce it, offer sample chapters and even publish author interviews. Many do not require you to link back to them. These sites are not always easy to find, and after months of compiling a list of URLs and testing them, I decided to sell an eDoc that would save others the many hours I spent on the internet searching. You can purchase the list at http://www.authorscafe.com. If you read through back issues of the Author’s Caf newsletter (sign-up is free) you will also find the URLs for several free listing sites, although some of those may be out of date. A few of my favorites are: http://www.ebookheaven.co.uk , http://www.ebooksnbytes.com, http://www.ebookpalace.com and http://www.mindlikewater.com

5. Another great way to promote your eBook is by publishing a newsletter. I watched my monthly eZine grow one member at a time and I now have more than 600 subscribers. I use Topica’s free service to publish. You can start your own newsletter at: http://www.topica.com

6. Don’t forget to write and submit articles. When I get slack about submitting free articles for other people to publish in their eZines, I immediately notice it in my sales’ figures. To find sites that will accept articles in your genre simply go to any search engine and type in “free articles” or “free ezine articles”. One site that I regularly submit to is http://www.ideamarketers.com. I see my articles (which have links to my eBook site) all over the internet. Read the agreements carefully though, you don’t want to give away any rights to your work.

7. Seek reviews. Having your eBook reviewed is always a good way to get free publicity. Check out http://www.ebook- reviews.net/submit.shtml and http://www.electronicbookreviews.com/.

There you have it. Everything you need to know about getting your eBook on the market. How successful will you be? That’s difficult to say. Success depends on product and promotion, but you’ll never know until you try.

Cathi Stevenson
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