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Saturday, June 4, 2011

10 Reasons to Publish an ebook

Last year, I published my first book with a POD company, CreateSpace. While I'd only worked with traditional publishers before, I had good reasons for choosing POD for Goodbye Byline. (Just remember that POD isn't the right option for every author.)

Last month, after considering the pros and cons, I published my first two ebooks using Smashwords. (I also formatted them specifically for Kindle.) Here are 10 reasons it was a worthwhile endeavor:

1. No rights hassles. My first two novels, Did you Get the Vibe?, and White Bikini Panties, were published in 2003 and 2004, but went out of print a few years ago. The rights have reverted back to me, so I can do with the books what I wish.
2. The books are camera-ready, so to speak. The manuscripts have already been professionally edited and proofread, so there was additional work for me to do other than format them as ebooks.
3. They're good! I reread both novels as I was formatting them. I'd forgotten that they're entertaining and relateable--yet tackle some serious topics women in their 20s face. I know readers will enjoy them.
4. They represent potential income. They're not making any money sitting on my hard drive, after all. And while my focus is on writing nonfiction, my novels have produced income for me in the past (and will hopefully continue to do so).
5. There's a growing demand for ebooks. I heard Mark Coker, founder and president of Smashwords, speak at ASJA in April. The company published several dozen books its first year and more than 48,000 last year, its third in business. I want to make my books available to eager ereaders.
6. They'll build my platform. You already know that publishing is all about platform, and the books will continue to build mine, not only as a ghostwriter/writing expert, but as a writer of contemporary women's fiction as well. And as I'm currently working on another novel, that's important.
7. It increases my expertise. Learning how to format and publish ebooks gives me a skill that I can market to potential ghostwriting/coauthoring clients. I'm always trying to build my value to clients and now I can advise them not only about traditional versus POD publishing options but ebooks as well.
8. It's gratifying. You know what? I just like having my formerly OOP, or out-of-print, back "out there." And I love hearing from readers, and connecting with them in a different way than I do than I do with those who read and enjoy my nonfiction.
9. There was no upfront cost. Okay, I did spend $100 to hire a cover designer (my artistic skills are lacking), but the only other "cost" was the time I spent learning how to format the books--and of course, to promote them, which is an ongoing task.
10. Royalties are my favorite kind of money. I love making royalties and selling reprints because both are a kind of "passive" income-money that comes in with little or no effort on my part. As a self-employed businessperson who's trying to make more money in less time, that's something I cannot ignore.

I'm sure I'll come up with other reasons to publish additional ebooks, and will report on sales just as I have before (compare traditional to POD).

Readers, what about you? If you've taken the ebook option, what are some of your reasons why?


  1. Interesting. I think eBooks will keep gaining in popularity--it's just so much more convenient.

  2. I agree! In just six months, I'm already seeing the ratio (print books to ebooks sales) shift and think ebooks will continue to make up a growing number of sales for authors.

  3. How hard was it to format your ebooks? I'm in the process of publishing my first ebook and I'm concerned about the quality of it. The manuscript is in good shape, but I'm overwhelmed at all the options for converting it for eReaders. Friends have told me about their experiences w/ Smashwords, Bookbaby, 52 Novels, etc. but no one's finished product came out totally perfect and I'm no closer to making a decision on which to use.

  4. Hi, Abby--

    I formatted them both for Smashwords and Kindle. Honestly, I didn't think it was that difficult (and I'm not a techie by any means!); it took me a day or two to review the formatting explanation and format each, and they came out great. Smashwords's formatting guide makes it really simple, and I thought Kindle was simple to do, too. My $0.02. :)