Tag Archives: publish a book

Self-Publishing: 3 Easy Tips To Write a Book AND Publish It Fast

Self-Publishing: 3 Easy Tips To Write a Book AND Publish It Fast

How long does it take to write a book and publish it? If you asked that question a few years ago, the answer would have been two years, or longer. Nowadays, you could conceivably write and self-publish a book within 24 hours.

Write a book, and publish it yourself

Publishing isn’t a race, but self-publishing has come a long way. One author, Brenna Aubrey, recently turned down a six-figure, three-book deal from a New York print publishing house. She decided to self-publish. Why? Because not only does self-publishing give her control over her books, she’ll make more money.

She says that the non-compete clause was a major factor in her decision to self-publish:

For those not up on the lingo of publishing. A non-complete clause prevents an author from publishing with another house or even self-publishing while under contract with the house in question in the same genre or under the same name.

When you self-publish you’re free of restrictions.

However, before you concern yourself with any form of publishing, you have to write your book.

Many authors, whether they’re new, or are already established, stumble through the writing and publishing processes. It takes them much longer to publish than it could, because they haven’t mapped out a process.

Let’s look at a simple three-step process anyone can use.

1. Describe Your Audience, and Write a Brief Description of Your Book

Your first step is to describe your audience: your readers. You need to know your readers, whether you’re writing fiction, or nonfiction.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What magazines does my ideal reader read?
  • What TV shows does he/ she love?
  • Does he/ she have children?

You may be wildly off when you describe your ideal reader. You may be thinking of someone who reads Reader’s Digest, listens to NPR, and has three children. After your book’s published, you discover your typical reader is a 16 year old male. It doesn’t matter.

Next, describe your book, in a paragraph – five sentences or less. Your short description keeps you on track while you’re writing. Your book description tells you where you’re headed with your book.

2. Outlining: Take Time to Plan, it Makes Writing Fast and Easy

Hate outlining? That’s fine. Create a mind map, or a simple list of what your book will contain. If you’re writing a novel, list ten scenes: the opening and closing scene, and eight others.

Writers often complain that they can’t outline. They think in terms of high school outlines. Your book outline isn’t anything like an outline you created in school. It’s just a tool to kickstart your thinking.

Go to Amazon, and look at the tables of contents of books which are similar to yours. If you’re writing a novel, count the chapters of similar novels on Amazon.

Your book description tells you where you’re going. Your outline is the tentative route which will take you there. I’ve been writing books for many years: outlines help. Look on your outline as a guarantee that you’ll complete your book.

Your completed book will be nothing like your outline. Feel free to change it at will.

Outline done? Start writing. Create a schedule, and stick to it.

3. Create Your Ebook’s Cover, Write the Meta Data, and hit Publish

You book may take just a week to complete, or it may take months. Either way, now’s the time to create an “ecover”, an Amazon catalog and cover image. Amazon has a useful Cover Creator, with gallery images, or you can use your own image.

Write the meta data for your book: its description and keywords. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Help system gives you information on how to do this.

Once you’ve completed your book, and have revised it, you’re ready to publish. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) accepts books in MS Word DOC and DOCX formats, as well as in HTML, and in PDF too.

If you’ve always wanted to write a book, or tried, and got stuck, use these easy tips. Publishing your book can be as easy as one, two, three. Get started today.

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Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction

You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels.

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Scrivener: Create An Advance Reading Copy (ARC) Of Your Book for Early Reviewers

Creating An Advance Reading Copy (ARC) Of Your Book for Early Reviewers

Happy days. Your book’s ready to be sent to beta readers and/ or early reviewers.

If you use Scrivener, you can create a MOBI file (Amazon Kindle) or an EPUB file (iBooks and elsewhere), or just a simple PDF file.

Don’t have Scrivener? Use the method below to create an ARC using MS Word.

Not sure what an Advance Reading Copy is? It’s just an early version of your book. While the book is ready, minor tweaks haven’t been done. Creating ARCs is useful; you can send them out to beta readers on your mailing list, and to professional reviewers too.

How to compile an ARC if you use Scrivener…


Compile the draft, just as you would if you were getting the ebook ready for Amazon. Include your cover image in the compile; this lets you see how the image will look on the Kindle.

Hit the Compile button, and choose Compile for Kindle ebook (MOBI). Save the MOBI file to your computer’s desktop (or anywhere you’re sure that you can find it again).

Check the MOBI file for errors, by sending it to your Kindle. Wait a minute or two, and your ebook will be ready to view on your phone, iPad, or on your Kindle. If you find errors, correct them in the Scrivener file, and then compile it again.

You can now send the ARC to your beta readers, or to early reviewers as an email attachment. Send them the link to Send to Kindle too, in case they don’t have it.

If you use MS Word…

Save your ebook document as a PDF, and then use Send to Kindle to check it for errors. You can then send the PDF to your reviewers, with the link to Send to Kindle, because they may not be aware of how to send ebooks to their Kindle device, or to the Kindle app on their phone or tablet.

Tip: once I’ve completed the first draft of anything, I like to read it through to get a sense of the book as a whole. However, if I read it in Scrivener, I find myself editing. To prevent that, I compile a MOBI file and read it in the Kindle app on my iPad. No more busy editing fingers. (I admit I still make notes, although I try not to.)


Article updated: December 23, 2016

Resources to build your writing career

Watch for free contests, writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check our our ebooks for writers.

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 3
Genre: Writing

How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love: You're about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you're writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily.

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Get Ready, GO: Create and Publish Your Ebook In Eight Hours

Write Ebook in Eight Hours

Can you write, edit, format, create a cover image AND upload your new ebook in eight hours or less?

Joe Konrath will blog about the authors who do. He outlines what you need to do in this blog post, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Guest Post by Tim Myers:

“Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to write, edit, format, create your own cover, and publish an ebook in an eight hour period.

If you do that, I’ll do a blog featuring your ebook, so the whole world can learn what a speedy little creative dynamo you are.”

Read the entire blog post. You’ll see that Konrath says he’s published these four books in an hour each, while drunk:

  • How to Stop Farting
  • How to Give Good Sex
  • How to Get Rich
  • How to Attract the Opposite Sex


He created the covers in MS Paint. He hasn’t published the ebooks under his own name, obviously. He’s making a point, and is getting back the joy of writing.

Konrath’s little “eight hour book” challenge is a valuable corrective to the nonsense that goes on in publishing, at ALL levels, so kudos to him.

Here’s an example of the insanity…

Total insanity

Writers AND readers take publishing much too seriously. Consider this article on Salon about an aspiring author who got two-star reviews and rape threats on Goodreads. And she got those reviews before her book was published:

She claims that though her book was not yet in the hands of potential reviewers, readers were already giving it two-star reviews. “I asked about this on a Goodreads message board,” she says, “and it was explained to me that people can rate as a way of expressing their interest in the book.” But by then, she writes, she’d triggered the ire of some of the community for questioning it. “People started to rate 1-star to prove ‘we can rate whatever the hell we want.’ My book was added to shelves named ‘author should be sodomized’ and ‘should be raped in prison’…

If you want to follow this story, there’s a long thread about it on Writers’ Cafe.

If you’re easily depressed, don’t read the thread. Get a timer, and write and publish your book in eight hours instead.

, and on Twitter: @angee