7 Essential e-Publishing Tips: A Guest Post by Author M.J. Moores

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What day is it? C’mon! Say it! Say it! It’s Hump Day! Whoo-hoo! And I have a treat to get you through the mid-week hump, a guest post by author, editor M.J. Moores, OCT. Today, she’s going to share with you 7 essential e-publishing tips. Take it from here, M.J.!


It’s hard to imagine being an author today and not having an e-version of your book available for sale. In fact, with ½ of all books sold (on a yearly basis since 2012) being eBooks, that’s a market you don’t want to be left out of. However, I still come across many self-published authors who haven’t taken that next step. And whether you’re just starting into the e-publishing game or you’ve been making your way alone through the quagmire here are 7 essential tips to consider.

ONE – Get to know the players.

Kindle generally claims ½ of all eBook sales and the other half go to a variety of mid-sized and small niche markets: Apple’s iBook, Barnes & Noble’s nook, Google Books, Kobo and many more. Depending on your prowess and comfort with being a small business owner and managing your books, there are 3 standard options to consider: Just going with 1 platform (e.g. Kindle Unlimited); going with 2 or 3 distribution platforms (Kindle Direct & Smashwords or Draft2Digital); or going direct with as many companies as you can (Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Google Books, etc.) and then finding 1 or 2 multi-platform distributors to get your book into the smaller niche markets. No one option is the right one and none of them are wrong.

TWO – Do your market research.

Check out what demographic buys where, to hit your optimal sales figures. If you’re writing for the teen or YA market (we all know that adults love YA just as much as teens!) then putting in the time and effort to have a solid presence on WattPad could be a substantial benefit to your e-industry. You need to realize that getting into this business on a wing-and-a-prayer may work some of the time, but more often than not first-timers get discouraged and frustrated when their expectations do not become a reality.

THREE – Make sure your eBook is as nicely formatted as your print book (if you have one).

The ease with which anyone can publish online today often leads to hasty uploads to the marketplace. Either do your research and study the style guide for your chosen distributor(s) or hire a professional to simplify the process. There are a number of authors who offer services like editing and formatting at discounted prices to supplement their income. Chat in writing forums online or ask around at a local writers meeting to see who might “know someone” to help you out. You want your readers to have the best possible experience with your text so that it disappears from the screen and simply becomes alive in the mind.

FOUR – Get yourself a nice cover image.

If you happen to be a graphic artist and you’d like to build a book cover using a design program you’re comfortable with, go for it. You can easily find the dimensions for the cover that your preferred distributor uses and then get creative. If you happen to dabble with graphic design or you’re using a cover page template provided by your distributor (or a 3rd party) then you’ll need to do your research. There are proven complimentary visual elements of style that are necessary for you to understand about the art of cover art and how that differs from print to digital imaging the size of an icon or postage stamp. You also need to know what your target market likes. If your cover looks amateur and doesn’t accurately represent your niche genre then you’re trying to hit a home-run with a Nerf baseball bat at Fenway.

FIVE – Make sure the price is right.

Yes, you have your print book listed at $16.99 but that doesn’t mean you automatically list your eBook for that price. For print you have to consider the cost of physically creating and then shipping your book to your reader. On a 350 page book you’re looking at costs between $8-$12 on average. Immediately take that away from your $16.99 price tag – eBooks are published with the click of a button and sold with one too. Suddenly your book is sitting around $4.99-$6.99 – much more comfortable numbers… but are they your numbers? The facts are that most eBooks gain their highest sales (depending on your genre of course) around the $2.99-$3.99 price bracket. If you’re a relative unknown in your publishing market then the better bet is to start on the lower end. If you’re well-known then go with the mid-range pricing since you already have a solid readership. And if you happen to be Stephen King, go for broke and sit at the high end as you continue to rake in the cash for your literary offerings 😉

SIX – Work the system.

Whatever e-publishing platform (or distributor) you happen to go with, they will have a means by which you can place your book on sale, do a limited time discount, participate in %-off days or other promotional opportunities. Bottom line – if someone thinks they’re getting a good deal, they’re more likely to buy. This goes across the board with print publishing too, but take advantage of sites where you can list your book for free (because it’s discounted or naturally sits at a certain price range) as there are always bibliophiles on the hunt for a great buy.

SEVEN – Give it away for FREE.

Yes, this is a controversial topic in-and-of itself but hear me out. There are three ways to do this and I’ll guarantee you’ll like at least one of them 😉 The first and most widely practiced is having a “free day” or days for your full-length book. Why go free? The general rule of thumb is that for every 30 books sold you’ll gain 3 reviews. If your book is downloaded 300 times on its free day, then you’re looking at a potential 30 reviews to help hype up and sell more books for a profit. However, there are other ways to get reviews (reaching out to book bloggers one-by-one or paying review services like NetGalley or ChooseyBookworm to make your book available to their network of reader-reviews – this is not the same as paying for reviews, which you should never do) which leads me to option two; free teasers. By making prequel chapters available for free or writing ‘extra’ material that can act as a reference or introductory text of some kind you are providing a hook for potential readers to get to know you, your style and content. Options three is making use of giveaways during your pre-launch and launch days to help spread the word about your new book. Who doesn’t like winning something for free? Goodreads is a great platform to help with this or you could go solo and work with Rafflecopter and run your own giveaway.

Getting into the eBook game might strike you as anything from exciting to nauseating depending on how self-assured you are when branching out and trying something new. Just remember, the writing and publishing community (both on and off line) is here to help you. Yes, we’re all in competition for that almighty buck but ultimately we know that if we can help you succeed there’s a chance for us out there too.


picM.J. Moores began her career as an English teacher in Ontario, Canada. Her love of storytelling and passion for writing has stayed with her since the age of nine. M. J. relishes tales of adventure and journeys of self-realization. She enjoys writing in a variety of genres but speculative fiction remains her all time favourite. M.J. is a regular contributor to Authors Publish Magazine and she runs an Emerging Writers website called Infinite Pathways where she offers editing services and platform building opportunities. Her debut novel Time’s Tempest is currently available in print and e-format.The 2nd book in the series will be coming out early in September!

Connect with MJ on her website, her blog, or on Facebook.

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

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What the Heck is My Novel About? Read the Blurb Here!

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I know I’ve talked in some detail about my novel. I’ve verified the genre at least. Recently, I asked for feedback on the cover art, as well as the blurb. But I’ve never really described in any great detail what it’s about. Well, just in case you were wondering, here is the blurb from the back cover (not yet revealed) to give you an idea what the heck my novel is actually about:

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The Quest for the Holy Something or Other is a fresh and funny take on a well-known legend!

Enter the Realm of Camelot, home of famous legends: King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Merlin–but this isn’t their story. Meet Pig, a humble gong farmer who dreams of the glories of Camelot. Her dreams become reality–or so she thinks–when she becomes Sir Kay’s page. What starts off as a joke soon becomes the adventure of Pig’s life when Merlin sends the knights on a quest for the Holy Gift Box–er–Bread Basket–whatever it is! On their quest, they face many knight-worthy, and some not-so-knight-worthy, foes: an insane pond dweller, several greedy salespeople, and an overzealous cache seeker, all the while fighting against time, mostly each other, and the most infamous villain of all—change. The Quest for the Holy Something or Other is a fresh and funny take on a well-known legend, with engaging characters, some rather good jokes, and something that starts with S, but it isn’t important.

I hope you enjoyed it! And again, special thanks to everyone on WordPress who offered feedback and support during this process. I will do my best to return the favor. Cheers!

You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover . . . But You Can Vote on One! Your Opinion Counts

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We’ve all heard that tired old phrase: “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” but is it relevant today? In the era of e-publishing, when books can be purchased with one click, do readers really take the time to decipher whether or not to read a book based on multiple factors? Probably not. The three things a reader considers when choosing to buy a book is cover art, blurb, and first page (in that order). Cover art is important. It’s the first thing the reader sees. That is why I hired a professional cover design artist to create the book cover for my first novel, The Quest for the Holy Something or Other, an Arthurian parody.

I recently received some revisions to the original mock up. They are all really awesome, and I am having a difficult time deciding which I like best. Another option would be to take elements from several and combine them into one. That is where I need your help. Please check out the designs below and leave a comment telling me what you like about them and which elements I should use. For example, you might like the box being centered, the darker blue stripes, and the knight piece being larger. Or you might like the box being off to the side, the lighter blue stripes, but the font on the third picture. If there is something you do not like, please keep it constructive as I highly respect the artist I hired. She is amazing to work with, and I don’t want to offend her in any way.

Book Cover 1 Book Cover 2 Book Cover 3 Book Cover 4 Book Cover 5 Book Cover 6

Thank you again for your support! As always, I appreciate your feedback. You guys rock!

Startling Statistics!

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1003574_10151923002887909_563126236_nWith the new year coming up, I thought it timely to share some statistics relating to reading that have been floating around the internet. As an educator, I am aware that students are less inclined to read for pleasure than they were when I was in school, but some of these numbers startled me.

According to this chart, 33% of high school graduates never read another book the rest of their lives and nearly half of college graduates never read another book after receiving their diploma. Why is this? Is it because of education or despite education that former students lose interest in reading after completing their secondary and postsecondary educations?

The statistic that shocked me the most was that 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year? As an avid reader who burns through 10 to 15 books a year, this was really disturbing. Even during my busiest years when I only manage to read maybe a few books I at least purchased new books for future reading. I have to ask, what’s going on?

As a writer, these statistics are very concerning. What am I writing for? Surely, all of my hard work will not result in my novel sitting alone on a dusty book shelf or worse, never being read. Are the 20% of Americans able to sustain the writers market?

What do these statistics mean to writers? To readers? To educators? Do they mean anything at all? What are your thoughts?