Checking Out the (Free) Competition

Before you publish your ebook (even better, before you even write it), you’ll want to check out your competition.

The easiest way to do this is to take a look at the bestsellers on Amazon in your category.

Sitting on keyboard optional.

Go to On the left side you’re looking for Kindle Store. Click that, then click Kindle eBooks, then pick your broad category, then if you want, also click on a narrower category. Drill down as far as you like. By default, it’s showing you Top 100 Paid. In many categories, the top results here are going to be the ebook version of a traditionally published book. It’s good to know what’s there and to check it out, but for now I’m going to have you go to Top 100 Free.

Some books are always free, so if you’re a frequent visitor to this top 100 list, you may see them again and again. However, since Amazon’s KDP Select Free Book Promotion is limited to 7 days total each 3 month period, you’ll also see these lists changing quite a lot from day to day. So do check back again later in the week after you’ve […]

Checklists – My Ebook Checklist

I found it was easier to organize and visualize what I needed to do to publish an ebook if I made a checklist. It’s a good way of checking on my progress, and of ensuring that I don’t forget something.

One good thing about this checklist is that some of the steps don’t need to be done in order. I can work on them simultaneously with other steps, or I can jump around and tackle whichever one I’m in the mood for that day.

If you adopt this checklist for yourself, I encourage you to adapt it. Tweak it so it suits you.

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Come up with a good title

My book What Should I Write About? can help you with that.

Choose a pen name (optional)

Amazon lets you use multiple pen names under one account.

Commission a cover

Or create a cover if you’re good at that.

Write the book

Yes, just that simple! ‘Write the book’ :)

Format the book

If you’re submitting to Smashwords and Kindle, you’ll have to do this twice.

Pick categories

Drill down as far as you can go. Choose […]

Introduction to Ebook Publishing

I thought we should start off with some definitions and some explanations of what this site will be talking about. What is ebook publishing? Why would anyone want to do it? What’s the point of it? Why’s it worth my time to think about? And a thousand other questions you might have. So let’s get started tackling the big ones.

Traditional Publishing and Ebook Publishing

The traditional route to publication was and is for an author to write a book, then shop it around to agents and/or publishers, until one of them nibbles. You want an agent to handle your sales and contracts. You need the publisher to give you money, produce your book, and sell it.

This is a fine way to go. Once you’ve written your book, your agent and publisher are going to do a large share of the work. You’ll most likely get paid up front (an advance on royalties) and you won’t have to worry about the production and business side of the process more than you want to. Or not much more than you want to. The main drawback is all of this can take a lot of time. I’m talking years. Many years.