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Self-publishing an eBook could be a good strategy for your project. They are a popular reading platform as they are easily transportable and affordable. EBooks are digital books that can be read online, on your computer, phone, and tablet, or on dedicated devices like e-readers and Kindles. Different devices and platforms require different eBook file types, like Mobi and ePub.

1. How to produce an eBook.

There are a few different ways to produce an eBook, but all follow a similar set of steps. These steps include:

    1. Create your content: Besides writing the book, you also need to create or source any photographs, graphics, and/or figures you want to include in your eBook. Ensure that your visual content is the correct format and file type to use for an eBook.
    2. Convert your text to eBook format: Once your content has been written and sourced, you’ll need to convert it to an eBook format. These formats include ePub and Mobi files. To do this, you will need to use dedicated software, like Calibre or Kindle Create, to convert your document to the right format.
    3. Design your eBook: To catch and keep the attention of potential readers, you will need to design your eBook. This includes the cover and interior of your book. It’s best to use dedicated software, such as Adobe InDesign, to create the design your eBook.
    4. Edit and proofread your eBook: Before you think about setting up your eBook on a publishing platform, you must edit and proofread the content—interior and cover—to ensure there are no errors. No one wants to publishing a book rife with typos and avoidable mistakes.
    5. Publish and distribute your eBook: Once your content is complete, you’re ready to publish and distribute your eBook! There are various platforms you can use to do this, such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple Books, or Smashwords. Do some research and see which is best for you.
    6. Market your eBook: Just because the book is out into the world, it doesn’t mean that your work is done. You need to market your book in order to reach readers and generate sales.

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2. Are eBook sales increasing?

The sales trend of eBooks from 2022 showed that eBook purchases were steadily increasing, and had been for the past few years. Part of the success of eBooks is due to the rising popularity of eBook-compatible devices, such as e-readers and tablets. Another factor to the recent success of eBooks is the ease and accessibility of purchasing and reading eBooks online.

Though COVID has made it difficult to accurately predict future eBook sales trends, it overall seems that eBooks continue to be a popular format of the publishing industry. 

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3. Why you should distribute your eBook on Amazon

Distributing your book on Amazon is a great way to utilise their marketing tools. This can mean a few different things for self-published authors and publishers alike:

  1. Reach a large readership: Amazon is both the largest online retailer and the owner of one of the most popular e-readers—the Kindle. By distributing your eBook on Amazon, you increase the potential of your eBook reaching a larger audience of readers than it would elsewhere.
  2. Easy to use: Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is Amazon’s user-friendly self-publishing platform. This platform makes it easy for both self-published authors and publishers to distribute their eBooks.
  3. Increases your eBook’s visibility/findability: The marketing tools on Amazon can be powerful—if used correctly. These tools include running advertisements, promotion via email newsletters, and access to participate in the Kindle Unlimited program. All of these elements can to help increase the visibility of your eBook and thus generate more sales.
  4. Good royalty rates: Selling your eBook on Amazon via KDP will give you competitive royalty rates. Depending on the price of your eBook and where you are distributing it, self-published authors can earn up to 70% of their eBook’s sale price.
  5. Access to worldwide distribution: Amazon has a very wide international reach – in the world of book distribution they are ubiquitous. Distributing through KDP can make your eBook available to readers in many different countries. Green Hill always encourages Australian self-published authors to think big especially if the book has widespread appeal and the content will suit readers in the English speaking world. That includes Australia and NZ, UK, USA, Canada, India and many people of the Chinese diaspora. Amazon is a great strategy for increasing book sales and eBooks are a great place to start.

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4. Understanding DRM when selling eBooks

First things first, what is DRM? DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and is a technology that controls how digital content, such as eBooks, can be used and distributed. It’s used to prevent unauthorised sharing, copying, and printing of eBooks, protecting the author’s intellectual property rights. DRM is embedded in the eBook file, and readers need special software or devices to access it.

As a self-published author, you want to ensure that your hard work is protected and distributed fairly. One way to do this is through Digital Rights Management (DRM), a technology that protects digital content and prevents unauthorised sharing. Both IngramSpark and Amazon KDP offer DRM for eBook sales. When you publish your eBook through IngramSpark or Amazon KDP, you have the option to include DRM protection. If you choose to protect your eBook with DRM, it’s important to keep in mind that you might be limiting your potential audience, which can translate to fewer book sales. If you find that your audience is more important to you than piracy prevention, you can choose to publish your eBook without DRM instead.


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5. What can eBooks sell for?

Typically, the price of an eBook varies widely. This is because it is dependant on a number of factors, including genre, length, and market demand. The majority of eBooks on Amazon and other major retailers generally sell for around $0.99 to $9.99 AUD. $2.99 to $4.99 is a common price-point for self-published eBooks.

However, just because your book is selling at that price, it doesn’t mean you as the author will receive all of the profits. The royalty rate that retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer to authors typically ranges from around 35% to 70% of the sale price. The exact amount depends on factors like the price of the eBook, the region it is sold, and whether the author is participating in any promotional programs.

It is worth noting that, when calculating the royalty rates you might receive, the percentages are based on the retail price of your eBook and not the retailer’s net profit after deducting fees and taxes. Additionally, some publishing contracts and distribution agreements may offer you a different royalty rate or payment structure.

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6. Self-publishing an eBook – an I DIY my eBook?

It can be relatively easy to produce a basic eBook, especially with the help of various self-publishing platforms like KDP. These platforms let authors upload their text and cover image files, format the eBook, and publish it online through retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple Books.

There are, however, some things to be wary of when trying to DIY your eBook. It can be more challenging to produce a high-quality eBook that stands out in the market when trying DIY avenues. Authors who choose to self-publish their eBooks should be prepared to invest time and effort into editing, proofreading, and formatting their book to ensure that it is professional and error-free. They should also consider hiring professionals to ensure that their editing, cover design, and text formatting is polished and market ready. It’s all about quality—the reader is more likely to buy your book if it looks well-made and professional.

Green Hill can generate a quality eBook during your print book publishing exercise.

6.1 Other dangers

    1. Marketing: As a self-published author, you are almost entirely responsible for promoting and marketing your own book. This can be a time-consuming  and challenging endeavour, especially for those not experienced in marketing. Green Hill can provide you with a comprehensive marketing service to help you along the way.
    2. Piracy: Self-published eBooks risk being pirated. This can lead to a loss in sales and therefore profit for the author.
    3. Legal issues: Knowing copyright laws is very important for a self-published author so they can avoid using copyrighted content without permission.
    4. Scams: There are many scams targeted at self-published authors. These include vanity presses who charge high fees for publishing services, or fraudulent marketing services that promise to boost your book sales but provide little or no results. Green Hill has a dedicated chapter on self-publishing scams in our book The Little Book of Publishing Tips.

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7. What is the difference between ePub and Mobi ebooks?

While both ePub and Mobi are two common eBook formats, the two do have some key differences:

  1. Device compatibility: EPubs are more widely compatible with different e-reading devices than Mobis. You are able to store and read ePub files on most e-readers, smartphones, and tablets. This includes iBooks, Google Play Books, and the Kobo e-reader. Mobi files, on the other hand, are almost exclusively used on Kindle devices and apps.
  2. File formatting: When it comes to formatting, an ePub is the more flexible of the two. EPubs support features like resizable text, scalable images, and embedded fonts. This can help create a more attractive and accessible reading experience for your readers. Mobis, however, are more limited when it comes to formatting options, and may not allow certain design elements that you had planned for.
  3. Digital Rights Management (DRM): Both ePub and Mobi files support Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. This is designed to help prevent the unauthorised reproduction and distribution of eBooks. However, the specific DRM system in use can differ depending on the eBook format.
  4. Production software: EPub is an open standard which is upheld by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). This means there are a variety of tools and software out there for users to create and edit their ePub files. Mobi, on the other hand, is a proprietary format that is owned by Amazon. Therefore, there are limited options for creating Mobi files if you’re not using Amazon’s tools.

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8. What is the difference between reflowable and fixed-format eBooks?

When an  author decides to convert a  manuscript into an eBook, the big decision is what format the book will be published in. There are two main types of eBook formats – fixed-layout and standard/reflowable layout. Let’s take a detailed look at both of the formats in order to choose the perfect option for your eBook.

8.1 Reflowable eBooks

Reflowable eBooks are more flexible and can adapt to changes in devices and screen sizes. For this reason, they are able to be read on a wide range of devices, including smartphones, computers, tablets, and e-readers. The content of a reflowable eBook is laid out as a single text column which can automatically adjust to fit the size of a device’s screen. They also let readers adjust font size and the font typeface, and so are a very accessible option.

Reflowable eBooks are usually the preferred choice of book types like novels, biographies, and other text-heavy genres that don’t need complicated or complex layouts or a high number of graphics. This kind of eBook is typically created as an ePub.

For eBook purists, ‘reflowables’ are often preferred because  the eBook technology has been designed for a great reader experience. Readers can change fonts, text size and insert bookmarks. Refowables with graphics often present an issue for authors who want their eBooks to look pretty. But this can come at the expense of providing and easy read for purchasers. It best to simply anchor graphics to a particular spot in the text.

8.2 Fixed-format eBooks

Fixed-format eBooks are made to keep true to the layout and design of the printed book version of the eBook. They are often used for genre’s such as childrens books, cookbooks, graphic novels, personal projects, and any other kind of book that has a complex layout and or a high number of graphics. EBooks that are made to be fixed-format are typically created as PDFs, Mobis, or KF8s. The content of a fixed-format eBook is presented page-by-page, with the visual elements (e.g. figures, tables, illustrations, photography, etc.) and text laid out exactly like they appear in the print version.

As discussed, for some purists, the fixed format eBook defeats the purpose for which eBooks were created in the first place. On the other hand placement of graphic material may be critical for reader comprehension e.g.  for a cookbook an image and a table might best be viewed together.

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The Little Book of
Big Publishing Tips.


In just a quick 8,000 words, this little book will equip you with the knowledge you need to successfully publish your book.

The Little Book of Big Publishing tips goes into the essentials of self-publishing a book, outlining the business and financial side of publishing, legal issues, design, editing, sales and marketing. There's even a section on how to identify a vanity-publishing scam.