Self-publishing ebooks: An Overview

Fact: Self-publishing is growing. In 2011, according to BISG, over 200,000 books were self-published. Ebooks are also growing. By 2016, ebooks will account for 50% of book sales, and the book market will be worth $21 billion. 

Increasingly, the gatekeepers are the readers, not the publishers. Short non-fiction ebooks, in particular, are becoming more popular. People are turning their blogs into ebooks.

Tablets are also becoming more important. According to Forrester Research, 112.5 million US adults are expected to own a tablet in 2016. That’s over one-third of US adults. This means authors and publishers should be looking more into enhanced ebooks in the near future.

Interesting Facts About Self-Publishing

According to The Taleist Self-Publishing Survey, which had 1,007 respondents, women tend to make more money than men. Also, as detailed on epublishabook, top earners in self-publishing spent 69% more time writing, authors who went straight to self-publishing instead of trying to get traditionally published earned more money, and top earners had four times as many reviews.

On the other hand, as reported by Ink Well Editorial,

“A mere 97 respondents (less than 10%) reported making enough money from their self-published books to live from their pen. More than half the respondent earned less than $500 and a quarter of the respondents did not even recoup their initial investment. The average yearly earnings of self-published authors was barely above $10 000, not quite enough to become rich.”


How to be a Successful Self-Publisher

  1. First, covers matter a lot. Keep them uncluttered so they can be viewed easily as a thumbnail. See my post, Self Publishing: Cover Design for more details.
  2. Titles and subtitles matter. Use keywords when possible. Titles should be 1-3 words, but no more than 4-5 words long. Subtitles should be more descriptive, with keywords.
  3. Back copy, or the description, also matters. Make it professional and hook readers immediately without giving anything away.
  4. Distribute in as many channels as possible. See my post, Self-publishing ebooks: Why maximizing distribution matters.

Beverly Akerman has provided a few more tips on The Globe and Mail post, How to be an ebook sensation. Seriously. Some of these tips include write a good book, help out other indie authors, give out and promote freebies, experiment with pricing, and contact reviewers.

To learn more about specifics for self-publishing ebooks, read my other blog posts.

You can also check out Para Publishing’s resource guide.


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