Amazon.com is a fantastic place to sell books. With millions of members and a seemingly endless selection of titles, it’s the perfect venue for aspiring authors. However, putting together a quality e-book can be rather challenging. If you’re looking to make the transition from pen and paper to the virtual world, here are some of the best tips from experts on how to write and publish an e-book on Amazon.
Create A Solid Plot
Writing an e-book is a fantastic opportunity to spread your creative mind. However, you must first take the time to plot out a solid story. It’s easy to get distracted by shiny objects and ideas, but you must keep your focus on your story. The best way to do this is to work through the plot points one at a time. Start by listing the broad strokes of the story: what happens, who the major characters are, and what is the overall premise?
For example, let’s say you are a travel writer and you want to write a guide to South America. You could start by brainstorming some ideas for each region you cover. You’ll have key locations, characters, and settings in mind, and you can start to build upon these ideas. When you have a solid plot in mind, it’s much easier to flesh out the details of the story. You can take the time to fill in the blanks as you go along. Of course, you don’t have to follow this exact same outline — take your liberty and put your own spin on it!
Also, don’t over complicate things. It’s tempting to add in elements that will make the story more interesting. For example, if you’re writing an historical fiction, add in some period details. Or, if you’re writing in the sci-fi genre, consider adding some futuristic elements. However, too many details can actually work against you as an author. If you go too far, the story can start to feel unrealistic or contrived. You want your readers to be immersed in your words and believe that the story is unfolding exactly as you envisioned it.
Don’t Forget The Mechanics
Once you’ve got your plot together, it’s time to start thinking about the actual mechanics of the book. What is the formatting like, who is the target audience, and what is the sales pitch? The process of writing an e-book can be a bit different to writing a traditional book. In order to fit on Amazon’s platform, you’ll need to make some design choices — like choosing your own fonts and keeping your text to a minimum. However, beyond that you can largely do what you want. You can add in some video clips or illustrations to make the text more engaging. You can also add in links to other sites in order to create a more immersive experience for your readers.
Along with the mechanics of your book, you’ll also need to consider its launch. How are you going to sell it, who are you aiming it at, and what is the prelaunch hype? You can use a service like Buzzsumo to get a sense of how others are talking about your product — this will give you a good idea of the overall sentiment. You can also use this information to get a sense of how others are discussing your topic. This can be a useful tool for brainstorming ideas and helping you find your niche.
Choose The Right Platform
If you’re looking to write and publish your e-book on Amazon, you’ll need to consider which platform is best suited to your project. There are a few different options here:
- You can self-publish your e-book directly through Amazon.com.
- You can partner with a small press publisher and have your book printed and bound in order to take advantage of the economies of scale.
- You can hire an experienced ghostwriter and have them craft an original story based on your outline.
- You can always upload your existing manuscript to Amazon and use their in-house editors to help you turn it into a publishable e-book.
When choosing the right platform for your e-book project, you need to consider a few things. First, is the pricing right? You don’t want to get burned by being on a pricier platform that doesn’t pay out on royalty checks. Second, is the experience of creating a book worthwhile? Third, do you want to have complete control over the content and design of your book? Finally, which one do you think will gain you the most exposure?
Make Sure You Practice
Writing an e-book is a difficult skill to master. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. The best advice for first-time e-book authors is to just get out there and write. Even if you write terrible, nonsensical sentences, you’ll still learn something from it. You can also ask other writers for help or read popular books on the subject and incorporate what you’ve read into your own work.
The internet is a brilliant tool in helping you learn new things. There is an incredible wealth of information and communities of writers available on the web. By practicing, you’ll soon find yourself at home in the virtual world of words.
Once you’ve got a feel for how e-books work and the basics of writing a solid plot, you can start to develop materials like a cover page and synopsis for pitching professionals. These pages will help them understand your story in a jiffy.