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Self Publishing Ebooks: Six Solutions for Self Publishing Online

Anyone self publishing ebooks in this exciting time of new possibilities will want to be aware of online self publishing options and to know which self publishing companies and services offer the best options and support. Numerous digital publishing solutions exist, but some are faster, easier to use, and cost less than others. Learn where to hire an ebook cover designer without breaking the budget, the cost of professional editing, and more. And be sure to read the inspiring article about Martin Crosbie, author of My Temporary Life at the end of the page.

Publishing an ebook—publishing your own book, particularly if it is your first—can feel both exciting and ripe with promise. It all seems so easy. Write a book, upolad it free to the Internet, and sell thousands of copies. What could be simpler? Anyone with a good idea can become a published author, right?

In this eager state, numerous writers fall prey to unscrupulous self publishing companies happy to accept money for promising much and delivering little to those self publishing ebooks. The process will sound complicated as you discuss:

  1. substantive editing, copyediting, line editing, and proofreading
  2. cover design
  3. interior formatting, back cover, spine, and text design
  4. assignment of International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
  5. registration of ISBN
  6. ePub conversion
  7. publicists, publicity campaign and press releases
  8. marketing plan, media, and advertising
  9. Kirkus, Clarion, and Trifecta reviews
  10. media lists
  11. Ingram catalogue
  12. global distribution
  13. Kindle, iBook, Sony and Nook compatibility

Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? Don't worry, your "free" e publisher will take care of all of this for you, for several thousand dollars. Never before has it been possible to make so much money from so many hopefuls wishing to self publish. You can, however, limit those costs and increase the return on your investment by spending wisely.

Self publishing ebooks will cost less than print on demand self publishing, but if you hope to actually sell your book, you still need a generous budget. You will find plently of people on the web to tell you that you can publish an ebook on a shoestring. If you write well enough and can learn to do everything yourself, that's true. But most people would do better to accept the reality. Self publishing ebooks costs most authors money, as detailed below.

Still, the self publishing process is not terribly complicated, and it does not have to break you. It does, however, require specialized skills. The fewer you have, the more it will cost to produce a professional quality book.

Ebook Publishing Services

  1. If a professional product is your intention, the most important expenditure of all when self publishing ebooks is the editing. Don't skimp on editing or cover design. Books often are judged by their covers, and reviewers, like all those agents and editors hellbent on rejecting your manuscript, need only read a page or two to gauge the readability and success of your book.

    I recommend hiring your editor independent of the ebook publisher. In most cases, you will get better value for your money, and the end product will be superior book. Find a professional mentor or editor who is also an author. These editors will do more than help you with your grammar. Hire this person long before you are ready to publish. A poorly edited book will not sell well. A good place to find highly experienced professional editors is at Book Editing Associates or

    If you know something about writing and can craft a decent story, a full professional edit of your manuscript can run between $5000 and $10,000 dollars, much more if you need a ghostwriter more than an editor. Certainly it is possible to find a copy editor for less, but for both substantive editing and copyediting, as you would receive from a mainstream publisher, expect to pay more. You should expect to work with the editor for several months, sometimes longer, as you make revisions and refine the ms.

  2. Affordable cover art is available from Carl Graves at Extended Imagery. Covers cost between $150 and $500.
  3. 52 Novels can design your ebook for $250 or less. The service includes embedding your cover art and providing you with both an ePub and Kindle file of your manuscript.
  4. Once your book is edited properly, it is time to publish, not before. On the sister site to this one,, my editorial team turns away nine out of ten books submitted because they do not meet normal editing standards. If we're turning away people willing to pay for the privelige of promotion, how many people will be willing to buy the book?

    Use to both publish and distribute your ebook to the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store.

  5. Publicity will be an ongoing challenge and is necessary to sell books. Publicity and marketing is too big a topic to cover here, but press releases are effective in getting your name out there. If you find the thought of writing one intimidating, and again the quality of the product will determine its success, you can pay to have the distributor write one for you. Nationwide istribution will cost between $300 and $500 dollars.Two companies distribute most private sector press releases:

    I've used both of these services myself and have been happy with the exposure. E-Releases even provides a free booklet to help those who have never written a press release: FREE 150-Page eBook! Beginner's Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases

  6. Another inexpensive way to have readers discover your books is to promote your title on, a book discovery site. is the sister site to, and I founded it to promote my own books and the books of my friends. It grew from there to promote hundreds of well known and lesser known authors. For only $100 you can reach several thousand readers each month, on the site and on Twitter and Facebook. spends thousdands of dollars a year on advertising so you don't have to, and it places your books alongside those of well known authors.

If you don't have the money for all of this, try raising the cash through crowdfunding sites such as or IndieGoGo. To be taken seriously by strangers, you'll need more than a great idea—you'll succeed better at this if you have some strong sample scenes and can show that you've studied the art and craft of fiction and know what you're doing.

To see an example of a professional author who raised funds successfully, visit Leo McKay's project page for his new novel Roll Up the Rim, or search crowdfunding sites for current novel projects.

And please don't kid yourself. If you think you can be successful self publishing ebooks without doing all of the above and much, much more, you're fooling yourself. It takes a lot of effort and expense to do everything a traditional publisher normally does for an author. However, increasingly, dedicated, hard working authors are making a success their self publishing efforts.

If you don't believe it, please read this superb article about Canadian author Martin Crosbie.


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