How to Publish your own eBook by Nik Rawlinson

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How to Publish your own eBook by Nik Rawlinson

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Category: Business and Finance
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Forget that it's supposed to be a step-by-step guide to writing the book - it isn't - but it is excellent on coverting your manuscript and the nitty gritty of the processes with which you're going to get involved in putting your book up for sale. If that's what you're wanting, it's an excellent investment.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 114 Date: March 2012
Publisher: Dennis Publishing
ISBN: 978-1781060247

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At a time when many authors, even those with a history of good books to their credit, are struggling to find traditional publishers we've seen the explosion of self-publishing, led by the emergence of the ereader. Trees no longer need to fall before your book can be made available to the public - and nor need you find an agent who would hopefully find you a publisher. If you've written a book it could be on sale within a matter of days. There are, of course, hoops which you will need to jump through and Magbooks have come up with some information to smooth your path. It's part magazine (with some, but not too much, advertising) and part book and a short read at 114 pages. It's heralded as the step-by-step guide to writing, publishing and profiting from your own eBook - but how does it live up to the claim?

Advice on writing is sparse and thinly spread - beginning with the very elementary question of whether or not you really want to write a book and the alternative methods which you could use to get your message to the wider public. As for the actual 'writing' this is covered in just over a couple of pages - but the why would you buy 'How to Publish Your Own eBook' if you were struggling with the writing, or even dithering over whether to write fiction or non-fiction? I'm afraid that this part has the feel of something bolted on as an afterthought.

If you're looking for advice on writing we can recommend Writing for Magazines by Adele Ramet, Write Your Life Story by Michael Oke and, perhaps best of all, How to Write and Sell Great Short Stories by Linda M James. The question of copy-editing and proofreading is briefly touched on in the book but I would have liked much more emphasis on the need for professional input (sorry - 'I ran it through the spell checker' really doesn't cut the mustard!) as this is so often the area which marks out self-published books from those which have gone down a more traditional road. It's also something which the author might like to think about with regard to this book!

The title comes into its own when it deals with the nuts and bolts of converting your manuscript, the requirements of the different destinations and how to get your masterpiece on sale. There is an awful lot more to the process than just uploading your Word document and sitting back to wait for the accolades. Advice on images is sound - with excellent advice on how you can make savings in the cost of delivery of your ebook to the reader without compromising visibly on quality.

There's an excellent analysis of the benefits and shortcomings of the software which you can use to convert your manuscript, ranging from the free-download Sigil though to Scrivener which started life as Mac-only but has now extended to other platforms. As with other processes described in the book you get to see actual screens which I find reassuring. There are even warnings about where you might go wrong. This is excellent now - and for as long as the software remains current - but might not be as useful if the software is upgraded. A similar point applies to costs where they are given - but then with a cover price for a book-which-leans-to-being-a-magazine of only £6.99 it's not a major investment if you find that some things have changed a little.

The book opened doors for me. I know a lot more about how epublishing works and I feel more comfortable with the thought of setting out on the process. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you'd like to know more about how the traditional publishing industry works we can recommend Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century by John B Thompson. You might also appreciate 3 Things You Should Know About Hybrid Publishing. You might also find The Importance of Book Cover Design useful.

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Buy How to Publish your own eBook by Nik Rawlinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy How to Publish your own eBook by Nik Rawlinson at


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Michael Higgins said:

Just read your comments about " How to publish your own EBook"

I think the beginning /intro comments about this book by you are unfair

The book is not meant to be about writing a book at all

It is about Publishing a book and an E Book at that

I think it does a very good job in this respect

I think you should re visit your review


Sue replied:

If that's the case, we must question why the subtitle of the book is The Step-by-step guide to writing, publishing and profiting from your own eBook and why chapter two has headings such as Writing Fiction and Writing Non-Fiction.