Authors have never been in a better position to publish their e-books, with very few barriers, many low cost alternatives, hundreds if not thousands of supposed experts more than happy to offer their advice and very inexpensive word processing, computers and internet connections to tell the world about your wonderful new book.
There are numerous sites that will offer to distribute your book to all or most of the major on-line book stores and publishing houses. They are for the most part inexpensive as an upfront fee or they will take a small percentage of your sales. Though it is relatively easy to set-up your book on each site they do have variations in how the content is to be provided to them as a file. It can be worth the savings in time to go through a central publishing company to upload the file and information as well as having a central accounting platform where you can see how each distribution outlet is selling.
Once you have completed your book but before you decide to publish, find yourself a good book editor. Be wary of companies using off-shore editors, if an editor is too inexpensive then they are probably not of a high caliber and merely glorified spell checkers. A great book editing will be your best asset and one you will want to develop a long term relationship with as they will know your writing and can guide you over time to hone your skills.
Once your book editing is complete, it is time to create a book cover design. Just like a professional book editor, novel cover design should not be done by an amateur but a professional that has experience in e-book covers. There are certain characteristics that are unique such as file size and thumbnail image design that will be very important when launching your book.
Additional items that you need to be sure are done properly are your author website design and marketing materials such as social media sites and virtual tours. There are many sites promising the world, if it sounds too good to be true, be sure that it is. What sell a book are great writing, wide distribution and a professional look for publishers. If you get these right then your marketing will follow suit, don't fall for anyone that tells you they can sell thousands of your book without ever reading it. It is not true!
Rick Momsen is CEO of Pegasus Publishing and author of The Complete E-book Marketing and Publishing Guide