Self publishing online has become a viable option for many budding authors who are unwilling or unable to go through more conventional channels of finding a publisher. It is becoming feasible to publish your own books and actually make some pretty good money from doing so.
There have been a number of high profile cases lately of authors self publishing books on Amazon.com and being quite successful at selling their ebooks or other content. One of the most well known is John Locke, who has sold over a million ebooks by self publishing with Amazon through their Kindle e-store. Locke achieved success through his Donovan Creed crime series, and his ebooks cost only 99 cents each, but with his sales volume, that’s enough to make him a rich man.
Two other authors who have achieved great success self publishing online are Mark Edwards and Louise Voss from Britain. Initially they were discouraged as they tried to get publishers to take on the two thrillers that they had written, but then they decided to publish their books through Amazon’s Kindle store. Both of their books reached the top 10 in the Kindle store, and in fact their second novel, Catch Your Death, reached the number 1 position on the Kindle bestseller list, outselling many famous authors.
Amazon offers a couple of ways to self publish your content. One way is through CreateSpace, which allows you to sell your content through Amazon and other outlets. You can sell in various media formats including books, CDs, DVDs, videos and MP3s. Products are produced on demand, so you do not have to create an inventory of products up front. To use CreateSpace, all you need to do is to set up your free account, upload or send your content, and select the marketplaces you want to sell in. Amazon will do the rest. Thus, you do not have any up-front set-up fees.
The other way of self publishing on Amazon is through their Kindle store as mentioned above. To self publish your ebook, all you need to do is to write it in a word processing program such as Microsoft Word, but avoid special formatting or font. Insert a page break after every chapter. Then save the entire ebook as an html document, download the free MobiPocket creater program from Amazon to convert your file to an ebook, and preview it in Amazon’s Kindle Previewer which is also free. Then you can upload it to Amazon, following which the book will appear in the Kindle store in about 24 hours.
Amazon also offers a far more generous profit sharing deal than most conventional publishers do. For e-books selling for under $2.99, authors receive 35% of the revenues, and for books selling for more, authors get to keep 70%.
Of course, being a successful author takes much more than simply self publishing your eBooks on amazon, but at least this process allows you bypass many of the hurdles of conventional publishing, such as finding an agent who will accept your work, or the upfront costs of self-publishing through regular channels. If you can write good content that people will pay to read, you can become a bestselling author too!