Five Reasons to Publish an Ebook

ebook and print books
Category: Writing

Amazon claim that their Kindle platform has revolutionised publishing. Now anyone with a manuscript and a cover image can publish an ebook.

A more useful description of the ebook “revolution” is that the distribution of books has been democratised. No longer must we rely on publishers and bookshops for new titles. We can all distribute ebooks, if we just have the patience to read through the guidelines (the best ones can be found on Smashwords, a challenger to Amazon's attempted monopoly of the sector).

How to get your book noticed?

The problem is, how to get your book noticed? There are now millions of ebooks for sale on the internet and surely you need the resources of a publishing company to have an impact? There are countless books on “how to make money with an ebook”, but I don’t believe in them. The ones I’ve read make it sounds too easy: just get thousands of enthusiastic followers on social networks and then sell them your book.

Having looked at some of the drawbacks to ebook publishing, I’d now like to offer five reasons why you should go for it.

It’s easy

If you can’t get publishers to give you the time of day (I know the feeling) this is an easy way to get your books out there. All you need is a manuscript, a blurb and a cover. Apart from publicity, the one tricky phase is typesetting but this is getting easier and a new ebook distributor – – have a programme which makes it easy for anyone to do it.

You’ve got nothing to lose

I have an inner voice telling me that my next book will fail. It’s held me back for years but when I accepted that I’m not going to get rich and famous, I was able to tackle the ebook challenge and now I’m about to publish a fairy tale. Even if nobody buys a copy I can list it on my CV and personal blog.

They're great for families, journalists and organisations.

There are some great stories in my family and I’m sure there are in yours too. Why don’t we write them down? I suspect it’s because our celebrity culture tells us it must be a bestseller or it’s a nothing. As for organisations, why not turn your specialist reports into ebooks? And journalists – just organise your articles into themes and Bob’s your uncle.

You can go global

People in Peking, Penang and Pennsylvania can download your ebook

The most exciting thing about ebooks is that you can get instant global distribution. People in Peking, Penang and Pennsylvania can download your ebook. Smashword is particularly useful for having signed up ebook distributors in other countries, like Flipkart in India.

You can actually earn money

The secret to selling ebooks has little to do with social networks. It’s all about niche and categories. If you publish a novel or a poetry book you’re competing against millions of others and it may vanish without trace. But if you publish an ebook about fishing on the River Ythan you might find that you’ve got the only ebook on that issue.


Interested in alternative publishing routes? Graeme Macrae Burnet's blog, Do you need an agent to get published? might be a good addition to your reading list.

Image credit sik-life on Pixabay.

Rupert Wolfe Murray

Rupert Wolfe Murray is the author of 9 Months in Tibet and a forthcoming fairy tale, the Wind and the Castle. He gives talks about independent travel and overcoming our fears about writing. He tweets @wolfemurray and blogs here.