Everyone has a book in them, so the saying goes. But what if you are one of those people who has actually sat down and written yours and wants to get it published? Do you spend months trying to find a literary agent and go down the traditional publishing route, only then to find that it takes around 18 months before you might even see your book on the shelves, and that’s if it’s fast tracked. Or, do you go it alone and e publish? A daunting task? Well yes but one that these days is making more and more sense as publishers are not taking risks on new authors and even an established US crime writer had to wait a couple of years before a British publisher would take him on. So now that you’ve made the decision, what is involved?
First you need to buy an ISBN number. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is used for registering books and giving each a unique identifying number; ISBNs are used internationally. This is a number that all books, including e published ones have to have. Unfortunately, ISBN numbers are typically only sold in batches of 10 and cost around £118, you can buy them and find out more details here www.isbn.nielsenbook.co.uk. If, as many people who want to go down the e publishing route, you have only written one book and you only want one ISBN number, then try contacting self publishing companies who offer a range of services as they may be able to sell you a single number. There is one other way of getting around buying an ISBN number, and that is if you publish on Kindle Direct Publishing through Amazon. Here Amazon.com will assign it a 10-digit ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number), which is unique to the eBook, and is an identification number for the Kindle Book on Amazon.com.
Now you need to format your book. There are strict guidelines in how you should present your book, as there are if you were sending it to a traditional literary agent or publisher. Typically whichever e publisher you decide to go with will advise you but general tips are to save your book in a .DOC format, enter a page break at the end of every chapter to prevent the text from running together, paragraph text with justified alignment by default and do not add headers or footers or page numbers. See https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help for help with formatting with Kindle Direct Publishing.
You will now have to price your book and if you are publishing on Amazon.com then there are two royalty options for Kindle authors: Books priced between $2.99 and $9.99 earn the author a 70% royalty. Books priced below or above that price range earn a 35% royalty. Be aware however that Amazon may decide to offer your book at a lower price option than you have requested. Once you have finished all the above you are ready to publish! Usually it takes about 24-48 hours for your book to be available for purchase online (2-3 business days for non-English books). You can check the status of your sales by logging into your KDP account and note that books with a front cover tend to sell more than those without. Good luck!