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4 Steps to Make Online Publishing Work for You

Success in online publishing isn’t difficult but you do need to know the steps that will help you along the way

I’ve had so many people say how much they loved our step-by-step guide on how to publish a book that I wanted to do a little more with the material to reach more people. I took all the best points about online publishing, the basic steps you need to self-publish your book online and make thousands a month, and put it all in an infographic.

OK, so I haven’t spent nearly as much time creating infographics as I have in online publishing but the graphic will give you a 30,000-foot view of what it takes to develop and launch your book online. Be sure to check out our resource guide for independent publishing and other posts in the self-publishing category.

Self-publishing is easily my favorite work from home hustle, making over $1,000 a month in less than a year. I passed $1,600 a month in April with online publishing and it’s all on part-time effort. It’s a natural fit with blogging and a great source of passive income every month. Check out the infographic below to learn how to start your own self-publishing success story.

 steps online publishing success

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Getting your Online Publishing Idea off the Ground

Don’t freak out about finding the perfect idea. You’re not writing a new constitution. What do you do for a living and what do you enjoy reading?

Check out the Table of Contents for ten other books in the topic. What are other authors writing about and what’s missing? Approach your book from two perspectives, opening the topic up to a new audience or adding valuable information to the conversation.

Make an outline before you start writing. Organizing your book from the top-down, starting with chapters down through sections, will help to make sure it reads smoothly from the basics through to the details.

Once you’re done with your outline and research, don’t worry too much about a perfect draft. Don’t stop to correct mistakes or to think about how well the information is coming out. New writers struggle with making every paragraph perfect and never get beyond the first page.

How much do they write?

Stephen King writes 2,000 words a day
Jack London wrote between 1,000 and 1,500 words a day
It took J.R.R. Tolkein 11 years to write The Lord of the Rings, 670,000 words

Be a Writer, Not a Publishing Company

A lot tasks go into a finished book from writing to editing and graphic design. Doing everything yourself will be a poor use of time and your book will lack the professional touch you get from a team. Your value is in the information, let others bring their own value.

Developmental editing is first, after you’ve got a rough draft. This is to make sure everything flows naturally and doesn’t leave any questions unanswered. Have someone that doesn’t know anything about the topic to do your developmental editing so they don’t bring their own ideas to the reading.

Proof editing is to find the grammatical errors and wonky sentences that need rewritten and should be someone with experience and a critical eye. Your book doesn’t have to be a grammatical masterpiece but readers shouldn’t be stopped every page by something that doesn’t sound quite right.

Your book will be judged by its cover. Find a cover designer that will provide at least four mock drafts according to your ideas. Post these on Facebook groups to rank the covers. You may find that the one everyone likes isn’t the one you would have chosen.

Different sites require your book in different formats to upload including .pdf, Word, .MOBI and EPUB. You can spend days learning how to do all this and then trying to remember for each book you produce or you can get it all done for less than $100 from a freelancer.

Pre-launch Buzz to Give Your Online Book a Push

Pre-launching your book is critical, especially given the ranking system on Amazon and other platforms. You need to create enough buzz around your book so that first-month sales give it the momentum needed for ranking to take over and get it in front of readers.

Reach out to friends and family at least a month ahead of the launch to ask for reviews. While reviews don’t factor on your books ranking in Amazon, they are an important part of social proof for others.

Creating a Best Selling Amazon Book Page

Your title must be exactly as it appears on the cover but you can add a few keywords to the subtitle listed on Amazon. Make sure it reads naturally but don’t pass up the opportunity to have your book show up when readers search the site.

Your description can be up to 4,000 characters (about 600 words) and you should use every last one of them. Use an Amazon html creator to include H-tags that will make your description stand out to search engines like Google. It’s all about making it easy for readers to find your book when they search for keywords.

Categories can be a killer on Amazon or they can vault your book to the top. You can assign two categories for your book. Select categories that are appropriate but not too competitive by researching how many books are in potential candidates and the number of sales it takes to rank.

You’re also allowed to choose seven keywords or keyword phrases for your book. Readers won’t see these but they are critical to let Amazon know when to show your book in search results. Start typing your main topic or keyword ideas into the Amazon search bar and see what the site auto-generates.

Getting your idea down is just half of making money with online publishing. The other half is knowing the secrets to getting your book in front of people. Self-publishing can be a great supplement to your blogging income or a stand-alone source of passive income every month. We’ll cover new topics every month in developing your book idea, getting it published and marketing for the win.


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