Blog by Toby Welch

<< back to article list


Spurred on by the success of fellow writers with e-books, I have been inspired to get my own manuscripts polished up and available for sale online as e-books.  I have two e-books online so far, one a 77,000 word women's novel and the other a nonfiction book on writing prompts.  I am polishing up book #3 and hope to get it online in another week or two; it's a 25,000 word book on what typical days are like for a full-time freelance writer. 

I have had many people ask which avenue I took to get my e-books published so I will share the journey here. After taking everyone's advice into consideration, I opted to use Smashwords initially to get the e-book published.  I downloaded Mark Coker's Smashwords Style Guide, a free e-book on the Smashwords website.  It's 76 pages long but each page is short so don't let it intimidate you.  To save time in the long run, I opted for the nuclear method of formatting.  As I was so meticulous, it took about three hours to format the first book but because I was so picky, I got it right the first time around.  To make the cover, I used Get Paint as the Style Guide said some users had recommended.  I inputted a picture with free access copyright onto Get Paint and then, using the text button, put the title and my name on top of the picture.  It was very simple, even for a non-tech person like myself.  I submitted it for review and it was accepted.  I did the second book right after and it only took an hour from start to finish to format as I had a better idea of what I was doing the second time around. 
Once the e-books are accepted into the premium catalogue at Smashwords, there's a link on the distribution page to assign an ISBN to each book and then they'll be sent to Nook and Apple, both of which require ISBNs for all their e-books.  At that point your book will be available for sale on the Smashwords site as well as Barnes and Noble, Apple, Diesel, Kobo, and Sony.
Someone (thanks Eric!) pointed out to me that Smashwords books have been delayed going to the Amazon site for sale until September 2011 so I uploaded my e-book there as well.  I used the copy of the book that I'd already formatted and Kindle accepted that on the first go.  The whole process only took ten minutes as they don't ask you for anything that you didn't already provide on the Smashwords site (like a synopsis, keywords, and such). 
As for marketing, I have done zero but will get on that once the third e-book is published.  Mark Coker has a free e-book on Smashwords on how to promote your e-books so I will probably download that and see what he has to offer. 

I am very excited to see where the e-book journey goes!