Want to Be a Published Author? 7 Reasons to Publish an E-book First

Jan 04

If one of your goals is to have a published book that becomes a hit among readers interested in your area of expertise, new technologies offer a range of tools for you to make this happen. While many authors envision their books ending up in print form, with an attractive cover and that pleasant new-book smell, the accessibility of e-book publishing allows you to get your book out there faster and at lower cost. In doing so, you will develop your publishing and marketing skills while generating buzz around your writing. Then, print publishing will not be far behind.

In case you're not completely sold on the e-book option, here are seven reasons why it's at least worth considering.

1. Quick and easy publication. Become a published author without the wait! Perhaps you have several unpublished manuscripts sitting in a drawer. Declare the intention — and receive the satisfaction — of having at least one manuscript published and off to market without having to go through the long print-publication process.

2. Get to know your market. Define your core target market by testing the market with an e-book first. See if your work flies with your peers (not family members, who are liable to be too kind) in its current stage. Set a period of time to gather worthy feedback. The beauty of collecting this information now is that it gives you a chance to revise your book before you seek print publication.

3. Get pre-publication reviews and endorsements. Make your e-book an ARC — an advanced reading copy — first. Use it to solicit endorsements, a preface, or an introduction. Drop a graceful hint to an established colleague, leaving the door open for them to offer a review. Because ARCs are technically uncorrected proofs or galleys, they can be used to jumpstart your promotion for both the e-book and the print book. There are prepublication reviewers and long-lead print media editors who work four to six months ahead of their publication schedules.

4. Spend less — at first. Production for the physical book plus the digital printing can come later, once you've tested the market, made desired revisions, and collected additional endorsements. Are you still hung up on the idea that e-book publishing isn't "real" book publishing? The answer to this is that nowadays everything is simply content, and there are many legitimate forms in which content can be offered. View your inaugural e-book as just the first published representation of your content. And remember, there is a growing number of readers out there who don't think twice about reading e-books instead of print books.

5. Establish a web presence. As part of the process, you can build a home base from which to sell your e-book. If this is your first book, or if this is a new genre for you, you are currently an unknown, period. So how do you create public visibility for yourself? Design a web presence that uses a straightforward Internet strategy. First, figure out who your audience is. Second, find them online — the bloggers and the groups that are interested in your content. Third, start a blog, and write with these people in mind. Join in discussion with them. Soon, after you've become a participating community member, it's not a big stretch to make it known that you have an e-book coming out, and to offer to show readers your first chapter.

6. Online tools make marketing easy. Take advantage of the ton of marketing tools online. Make connections in your niche market through blogs, comment on relevant social media sites, and join online groups in your e-book's subject category. Market articles — drawn directly from your book's chapters — through multiple article banks.

7. No warehousing or fulfillment. For now you can skip many of the costly steps that selling a physical book requires. Through the order page on your new website you will "ship" your own book — without lifting a finger!

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  1. Great post, Maggie, with lots of useful information. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Thanks for posting a link in LinkedIn. I may not have found you otherwise!

  2. I like this list of reasons to publish with an ebook first. I would also like to add the ease of getting early reviews via the use of FREE e-copies that cost you the author no money other than the up front formatting.

    • Maggie Lichtenberg /

      Excellent point! Thank you so much, Omar.