I had done some research on EBook publishing, and I found the step-by-step process described by OkadaBooks to be very clear, and following the instructions did not make me feel like pulling out all of my hair in frustration.
I know that there are a lot of people who want to go down the self-publishing route, especially since it is not always easy to get the attention of publishing houses as an upcoming writer.
Here are my five Ps for publishing your work on OkadaBooks:
1. Panic: You know all about how you are a talented writer, who has been writing for some time, don’t you?
Yes, you need to forget all about that.
Allow the thought of publishing a book for public consumption trigger self-doubt and excessive sweating. Lock yourself up in your room, and switch off the lights. You could even shed some tears, and paralyze yourself with self-doubt about your writing abilities.
Are you done?
Have you gotten it out of your system?
Now clean your eyes, remember the positive feedback which you have gotten about your writing so far, and blow your nose.
You are a talented writer.
Now, let’s move on to the next stage!
2. Prepare: You need to think about exactly what kind of book you would like to publish. I knew that I wanted to publish a poetry collection, so the first thing I did was to check if OkadaBooks had a poetry category (they did!).
I thought about what sections my book would have, who I would dedicate the book to, and how to present the content. I did this because there are books which I have read that were interesting, but were difficult to read because of little details, such as not having enough paragraphs.
I had been reading books on the OkadaBooks app for a while. Since I already had an account, I simply logged on to okadabooks.com, and followed the step-by-step instructions for uploading a book via Epub. As they have stated in their Frequently Asked Questions section, ‘if you can copy and paste, then you can create an epub file’.
I opted to upload my work one page at a time, because I did not want two poems to be on the same page. This was a painstaking process, but I was very happy with the end result. If you are publishing a novel or another form of work, there is an option to upload all of your work at once.
3. Peruse: As a writer, the chances are that you already read EBooks, so go through the ones which you have read and think about what you like about the way the authors presented their work.
I spent some time looking at books which I liked that were in the same category of what I wanted to publish (poetry collections). I read them on my phone and on my tablet device, and took note of what made those books presentable. I found that they all had simple and clear formats, and uncomplicated book covers.
You could get a professional to design a book cover for you, or use graphics apps such as Easel by weheartit.com. If you go down this route, please ensure that you give credit to them.
You will also need to think about how much you would like to charge for your book. I would advise that you have a look at what other authors in your book category on Okada Books are charging for theirs, and then find an average price. You can also make a free preview of your book available for your readers.
All questions on piracy protection, royalties paid and other issues are answered in the Frequently Asked Questions section on okadabooks.com.
4. Publish: When you have uploaded your book, formatted it, and previewed it, the next step would be to publish it.
This sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Well, this isn’t always the case.
For me, it took a day or two after I completed the uploading process on OkadaBooks before I actually hit the ‘publish’ button.
The panic returned with full force.
‘Who told you that you can be a published author?’ I asked myself.
‘Who told you that you cannot be a published author?’ a voice countered from somewhere inside my head.
If I drank alcohol, this is where I would have taken a shot of something like vodka for courage.
Instead, I took a deep breath, said a little prayer, and hit ‘publish’. A confirmation message came up on my computer’s screen.
I was now a published author.
5. Promote: Congratulations! You are a published author-this is great news. However, publishing your EBook is just one part of your journey.
You have to promote your book.
How will people know about your book if you do not tell them about it?
So, promote it on all of your social media feeds, as often as possible. Create an email newsletter and tell your contacts about it. OkadaBooks has its own promotion options which are outlined on its Frequently Asked Questions page; you can send them an email if any of their options appeal to you.
Tell your family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances about your EBook.
Now, if you are like me and you do not like talking about yourself so much, you have to do some research about how to go about promoting your EBook.
From my research, the best way you can promote your EBook is by providing value to the reader.
What’s in it for the reader? What would the reader gain from downloading and reading your book?
For my book, I tell people that there are poems which will make them laugh and others which will make them think a little. I tell them that the book will entertain them, and provide a brief escape from their lives.
Think about the best part of your book, and tell people about it.
Find a way to work the fact that you have an EBook into everyday conversations. People might look at you strangely, but you will take it in your stride.
After all, you are a published author now.
I hope these tips are helpful to would-be authors out there.
About Ivie Eke:
Ivie is the author of the EBook ‘Looking for Myself and My Phone Charger’, which is available now on Okada Books. She has a day job working as an NGO professional, and she also writes poetry, short stories and essays on her blog, www.classicallyivy.com. She is an introvert, who is waiting patiently for mangoes to come back into season.
Follow her on Twitter: @ivysoclassy