So, you want to write a book about tea and publish it as an e-book? Well, there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you undertake this venture. Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes.
Publishing electronically is the way to go nowadays, with the Nook, the Kindle, iPads, and other devices proliferating at an unprecedented rate. Small wonder. The time and money needed to publish a book in electronic format is far less than getting it printed up and distributed out to book stores where it could sit unsold and get sent back to the publisher. Plus, no paper being used is great news for you dust allergy sufferers.
All this easier approach to getting your work out there is not without its downfalls, though, so I humbly present some do’s and don’ts:
- Do know your subject matter. This is true of any topic, but with tea there is so much junk out there, why add to it?
- Don’t publish without having someone read through your grand opus for grammar, spelling, typos, etc. Just be sure it’s someone you trust, and you might consider keeping it professional by having a contract between the two of you.
- Do decide which e-reader(s) you want your book to be on (formatting will be different for each). A number of factors will come to play here, such as color display and number of current users.
- Do research what it takes to format your book for those e-publishing platforms.
- Do follow good design within the limits of e-publishing. That is, an eye-catching cover, a table of contents, even an index if warranted, and the body text displayed simply.
- Do size photos so that they can be viewed well on e-book readers. Check with the different manufacturers for these guidelines.
- Don’t put a photo of a cheap teabag on the cover (or, for that matter, anywhere inside the book) unless you are showing what a true tea lover does not do. Even then it’s not a good idea. (Actually, it’s totally your choice here, but some tea-loving readers will not be attracted to the book, unless, of course, it’s meant to be about tea atrocities.)
- Do get in touch, in person or online, with others who have been through the e-publishing process. Share the pain and learn from their bumps and knocks.
- Don’t get sucked in by firms you have to pay to evaluate the marketability of your work. Try it out instead on trusted friends, family, and people interested in tea. Plus, with e-books, if you’re the one spending the time to put the book together, you are the one who says if the book is worth pursuing, marketability or not.
- Do get the word out through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and your own blog about the book once it’s published. Writing and getting the book published are only about 20% of the time and effort needed for your success in generating sales.
- DON’T — I repeat DON’T overprice your book. E-books are selling dirt cheap, and readers are used to this. Yes, a lot of your hard work went into the book, but if you are not in a certain price range, your book won’t even come up when readers do a search. Again, consult with someone who has been there.
One final thing: DO HAVE FUN! There should be an element of fun in everything, in my humble opinion. Books about tea are most definitely no exception!
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