How to Self-Publish an E-Book

November 11, 2010

I ran across a very interesting article on CNET entitled How to self-publish an e-book and wanted to share it with you along with some comments. As an author who has published books with traditional publishers and via self-publishing, I’ve definitely seen both sides of the publishing spectrum. Let me first give you a background on my experiences with publishing.

My first three books were with Sams Publishing covering CorelDRAW 4, 5 and 6. I really enjoyed working with the publisher and they did a fairly good job of getting the books into retail outlets. They made the decision to not do any more CorelDRAW books and I moved to McGraw-Hill (otherwise known as CorelPRESS) and did the “Official Guide” on CorelDRAW 7, 8 and 9. Just so everyone understands how this works, McGraw-Hill pays Corel for the right to use the CorelPRESS nameplate and the “Official Guide” designation. I found the marketing of the books to be lacking and decided not to continue after the book on CorelDRAW 9.

I had always wanted to do something that combined written instruction with video instruction. Starting with CorelDRAW 12, I began to self-publish. Four ebooks later, I’ve been very pleased with the quality of the products produced. They provide a wealth of information for a very reasonable cost. The downside is that the market for CorelDRAW books is very small and most users are reluctant to spend anything on learning materials that will increase their productivity.

The CNET article covers what I consider a different flavor of self-publishing. Some of the options create printed books in addition to the ebooks. Most are geared towards selling through the major ebook platforms such as Amazon’s Kindle store and Apple’s iBookstore. For the types of books I create, those platforms aren’t a good outlet. Should I create books that are mainly text, there is a lot of great information in the article directing authors of the best ways to self-publish. I’m definitely going to bookmark the article and refer back to it later.

Since many of you create some form of content, I though you would find the self-publishing information useful. After you give the article a read, let me know what you think about it.

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1 Comment

  1. Stefan Lindblad - illustration & art

    Hi Foster,

    Excellent article and link from you – as useal. I owe you a coffee and dinner for all your great tips through the years.

    I think the article writer wrote an interesting and informative article, which I wished had been refered to at a symposium I attended in Stockhol, Sweden last spring.

    I feel he is on the self publishers side here. As you pointed out its mainly towards writers text books and not so much about ebooks with graphics and other images, except for the issue on covers.

    All though a very USA, CANADA, UNTIED KINGDOM oriented article when it comes to companies, still these services are being used over here in Sweden as well. Especially LULU and Amazon.

    I feel I have learned something more.

    What I would have liked to know more about is how a self publisher can create a book and sell his/her ebook on their own websites without going to these services. I think many people would settle by publishing more low key and do it all them selves. Less earned money maybe but equally enough for many people and small publishers.

    Thanks for a great tip!

    Stefanm

    Reply

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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