5 Thoughts On Publishing Your First eBook

​Writing your own eBook is all the rage these days. For better or worse, the digital publishing market has exploded in recent years. The ease of use of some of the tools by digital publishers like Amazon have essentially removed any and all barriers to entry to publishing a book.

Sure, said traditional publishers are still on the market but they are ultimately no longer needed. Any Average Joe can now bring his work and sell it on the internet. On one hand, this is great. Many self published authors who traditional companies never would, or didn’t, put their weight behind now have a platform. The world is better with their work out there. Plus, it sure as hell beats freelancing.

On the flip side, like I said—every Average Joe can put a book out. As a modestly successful author these days I thought I’d share my thoughts on how one could get started.

1. Write More

This is the biggest point—you’ve got to actually create something. I’ve gone into great detail about how to accomplish writing 10,000 words in a day in this post, but here they are in a nutshell:

  • Type faster. The majority of your reading this are probably above-average intelligence men. You probably have a quick-thinking mind. Your fingers need to be able to keep up with it. Note: some people really do well writing slowly, even with a pen and paper. I find they are mostly few and far between.
  • Avoid distractions. Turn off your WiFi switch. Use full screen mode. Do 25-minute Pomodoros. Whatever it takes.
  • Use the proper tools to avoid burning out, physically. Computers are rough on our bodies. We’re not meant to be sedimentary all day. Get a standing desk. Use a program to dim your computer monitor. Use a font that is easy to read. Make sure you’re ergonomically comfortable. Walk around a beautiful city whenever possible and talk to some cute girls.
  • Do it every day.

2. Pick a Platform

Digital delivery companies such as DPD and E-Junkie make it very easy to deliver the content yourself. I’ve seen borderline computer-illiterate folks figure it out in a couple of hours.

You don’t need to muck around with installing an SSL certificate on your site, or figuring out how to take a credit card payment. You just link your PayPal and credit card processor of choice (Stripe is the rage these days) to your DPD/e-Junkie account, and you’re off to the races.

3. But Where’s The Audience?

THAT is the key question you just ask yourself. If you’re going to sell the product directly, you can obviously take a larger cut and therefore take more money. Putting your book on Amazon results in them taking a 30% cut if the book is more than $2.99. Anything under that and you’re making literally cents on every book you sell.

So it would seem that selling direct is the way to go, right?

Not so fast. Where do you plan to get the audience who is going to buy your masterpiece? Do you have a website to begin with? Cool, what about an email list? Do you get organic SEO hits every day in considerable number, or are you just driving crappy traffic from irrelevant social media sources? Do you have the budget and expertise to dabble in paid traffic if none of the above are true?

Yes, there are a lot of questions. I’m not trying to be a buzzkill or make it sound impossible, but you need something that you own, with an audience, if you want to sell a product. This goes true for any product, not just eBooks. Of course, having the budget to pay for advertising completely makes this point moot.

All of these should factor into your decision. A platform like Amazon can get your book in front of the relevant people.

4. One Big Advantage

When you sell directly, someone either had to get out their credit card and type the numbers in, or log into their PayPal account and verify the purchase.

On Amazon, its way easier. Most people have one-click payment on. They get it downloaded to their device of choice on the spot. Amazon basically eliminates multiple steps from the buying process. It’s part of the reason their platform has become so successful. With every step you make someone take to make a purchase, the higher chance you have of losing them.

5. You’re At Their Mercy

Some of us write in an edgy style. If Amazon and their social justice warriors decide to go after you, that’s it. Just like that your audience to sell to can be snapped out from under your fingers.

In addition, you’re at the mercy of the review system. Which is an absolute sham given that anyone can just log in and write an anonymous and untrue review—without even having purchased the product.


If you’re up and coming, I personally think it’d best to leverage the big guys for what they’re worth. Otherwise you’ll need to produce lots of free (and good) content on your own websites to see any sales.

If you’re established, try both. Much of online business is just experimenting, as I’ve learned the hard way. Trends change. People evolved. But if your work is good, the people will find it.

Working on a book takes a lot of effort, but a balanced life is important. Master the technology aspect of dating with Tinder and Texting University (on sale this week). For more advice about making the most out of your dollar while traveling, visit Eastern European Travel.

Read More: 18 Self-Publishing Tips That Have Helped Me Sell Over 25,000 Books

35 thoughts on “5 Thoughts On Publishing Your First eBook”

  1. Solid, well written advice. I can easily do about 1000 words an hour or so if I’m well versed in the subject I’m discussing. I’m not quite up for 10,000 words a day. How long does it take you to edit all of that?
    On another note, being at the “mercy” of the SJWs and Amazon should just inspire online business owners to diversify their income sources so one hit to their income doesn’t destroy them.

    1. I do major editing for a book, obviously. In that case, I’ll spend a lot of time + get a lot of other eyes on it.
      In the case of blogs, I very much subscribe to the, “Fuck it, it’s free and consistent content (I publish every day), so I don’t give a damn if it’s not perfect.”
      I do edit the ROK articles a bit more as it’s just a once a week deal.
      A simple once-over and it hits the scheduling block. If people complain, too bad.

    2. The best way is to have a notebook in the pocket for times one really feel like an idea has to be written down. Then the writing goes by itself, without much effort. The actual ideas most often come when one is living.
      “Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.” Friedrich Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra
      If one just sit behind the computer and write to write, the writer’s block comes very easily. The time behind the computer is for the editing part, which is predefined work and is 80% of the effort.

      1. I agree, except I use a notepad file on my smartphone for any ideas that I want to write down. I don’t see any point in carrying anything extra around when I can just use a smartphone. But your point remains and it’s a good one.
        It’s also true about picking up new bits of knowledge in your life. Write down wisdom so you can reread, research and/or analyze it later. You’re not always prepared to fully learn a lesson when it first gets presented to you.
        I’m writing about this in the next post in my blog. A little shameless self promotion here but you can visit it here:

        1. I read your article about keeping a journal as it is relevant in this context. It is indeed a very important for self reclection and then further: it teaches one how to write. Writing in a diary will give one the experience to eventually write a blog or a book. You first have to learn to write to yourself before you can write to a broader public

  2. “If Amazon and their social justice warriors decide to go after you, that’s it.”
    In my case, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. I have purchased from Amazon 5 e-books and 1 hardcopy by Roosh. And he writes about things that are more controversial than anything I write.
    Personally, if I ever write and publish an e-book, it would be to give my thoughts, ideas, and beliefs, physical permanence for posterity. If it becomes a best-seller, fine. If it sparks a revolution, fine. If it is never read, fine.
    Thanks for the article. I like it.

  3. Something else I’d recommend and first picked up from Sean Platt & Johnny Truant in the book Write, Publish, Repeat is that you’re not going to make it from one book. To make it as a self-published author you need to keep publishing.
    They write fiction but I think the same thing can be said of non-fiction as well. Don’t expect to be the next Think & Grow Rich or Harry Potter. Keep writing and keep publishing. Each book helps market the other ones.
    Plus it’ll get you up there for more keywords and a broader audience. Each book will perform differently. Keep publishing (quality) books and you’ll eventually get to where you want to go. Great article Kyle, enjoy reading about this kind of stuff.

  4. “The big boys” include a lot more than just Amazon. Globally there are probably 50 to 100 ebook stores.
    Big point: If you’re going to make a real go of ebooks, you need a lot more than sales on your one rinkydink website. You need to put your books for sale ***in the places where people go to buy books.*** Some place where people have already inputted their credit card information. Make sense? That means going wide to all those stores.
    To publish an ebook, once you’ve written it:
    1) Create both epub and mobi files. Jutoh is easy to use and with some practice you can make both files in about fifteen minutes.
    2) Create a cover. I recommend going straight to Adobe. This will take you a while to learn, but it can all be done for free, even the images are free on places like Flickr and public domain sites. There are online tutorials.
    3) Upload the ebooks to all said stores. This can take a while, even when using aggregators. I recommend going direct to Amazon, NookPress, and Kobo. Then use Draft2Digital and StreetLib to distribute to the numerous smaller ones. It will take you about an hour to upload a single title to all these stores, so plan accordingly. (Also, avoid Smashwords.)

  5. One question please – if I’m thinking of publishing a children’s book, you know one of those short bedtime stories with pictures and about 2 lines of text on every page, is ebook publishing the way to go or should I stick with hardcopy?
    I don’t see many parents reading to their kids bedtime stories from a kindle or smartphone, but maybe millenials do that?

    1. Not a chance. If the kids have access to a gadget, they would rather play games. Books are the only way to go. However, there are lots of stories out there online that the kid reads, but if they come across a word they don’t know, they can click on that word and it will bring up an audio file for that particular word. Lots of interactive games to teach how to read. Like this one:

      1. Hi, Appreciate the response.
        What I’m writing is a bedtime short story, so I will obviously try reaching the parents who will read it to the children, it’s not meant for the kids themselves to read.
        I tend to believe parents would prefer reading to their kid before bedtime from a real hardcover book, rather than open up a digital notebook.

        1. Yeah, if I try to read to them something off the computer, they will immediately try to get to some game. You leave the electronics for when you are busy and can’t sit with them. We have a list of about 10 websites that we allow them to go on.
          If you grab a book and start reading it, they will drop whatever they are doing on the computer and come listen. It doesn’t matter what, they love the one on one time. My 12 year old will even do that if it is a simple chapter book like Summer of the Monkeys, even though he is a book worm himself.

    2. I read to my kids every night for 10 years using whichever format is most convenient. For the first 5 years they preferred the hardcopy books because they liked to look at the pictures. After that they preferred to just listen so the format doesn’t matter.

  6. I’m an indie writer with eleven novels in circulation and more than 100,000 copies sold worldwide. Here’s what I take to be the most critical considerations:
    You must produce, package, and promote an attractive book.
    Assuming that you have a well thought out story to tell, with plausible characters doing reasonable things to solve believable problems, written in clear and attractive English – and that’s a tall assumption, my friend, as one can easily see from the glut of pure garbage out there – you must still:
    Produce the book: create a publishable document as free of errors as human fallibility will allow.
    Package the book: equip your book with (at minimum) an attractive and appropriate cover image and promotional blurb, “front matter” of the sort found in conventional books, and an “About the Author” afterword designed to pique the reader’s interest in your other works.
    Promote the book: get the word out about your book, through family, friends, marketing services, and other available mechanisms, to the readers who constitute your target audience.
    Few of us can do all of that alone. Many who try ruin their own prospects by issuing books riddled with avoidable faults. We need help from copy-editors, cover artists, and experts in promotion. That tends to impose costs…and most fledgling writers shrink from those costs. But publishing is governed by the same dynamic as most other commercial enterprises: you must invest in your product and yourself if you want others to take it and you seriously.

  7. The problem with all the self publishing, is us readers are now swamped with poorly written crap, and no way to choose the 1 in 10,000 worth reading. I just limit myself to the Amazon top 100 now and books published before 2000, because I can’t be bothered wasting my time.

    1. You’re absolutely right. Everyone thinks they have something to say whether or not it’s true. Publishers used to be a decent filter to weed out the worst content.

    2. just like blogs
      these fools that have tried to make a living selling other suckers on the idea of starting blogs or writing ebooks have ruined what was once a good way for creatives to make money.
      and now, you have placed yourself under the guidelines of what the Jewish SJWs at Amazon have curated for you.
      See how that works?

  8. An alternative to writing with a computer is to dictate your thoughts and turns of phrase into a an audio recorder. It’s not for everybody, but with practice, it can become a much faster way of getting the work done.

  9. Sixth Thought: Don’t do it.
    Unless you are the one in a million who has a unique voice and perspective that can add something new that hasn’t already been done. And it takes many years and much self-education to reach a level where you can do that. If you’re in your twenties, you’re just not ready yet.
    The last thing the world needs is another shitty self-published ebook with no editor. It just hastens the downfall of the market as a whole.

  10. Over Christmas one year I wrote a novella, pretty much just for my son. It was a gift to him and it was kind of about him. I ended up publishing it on Amazon (Megiddo Countdown, its free) and a couple friends bought it. It was cool to see it for sale online. I tried to write a sequel but just lost inspiration.
    I guess I don’t have the writing gift.

  11. I’ve published 2 books – ‘After the Crumble,’ which had a real publisher – I’ve made about $16K off of that – splitting the profit with the publisher, so the total earnings for the book would be around $32K. That was in 2014 and I haven’t written the sequel yet. I also self-published ‘Memoirs of a Misogynist’ under a pen name – that one completely tanked. I’ve made like $600 off of that one – hell, the marketing cost me more than that. But it was fun and I’m proud of the book – I would do it again. (the real lesson I learned from that one is that men don’t buy much erotic fiction – we’re more visual).
    With Memoirs, no publisher would have touched it anyway – but I’d say having a real publisher with skin in the game is key to a book’s success. If I ever lose my day job, I might try to write full time. And sometimes it flows so well it’s like the muses are speaking through you – that’s the only time I write. I could always force myself to do it – but then it stops being a fun hobby and becomes work.
    Oh, and if you have shitty grammar and spelling, just don’t fucking do it. Even if you pay an editor, they can’t catch everything, and when the book comes out full or errors you look like a fucking clown.

  12. Oh, and one more thing – fuck e-books. If you can’t hold it in your hand, it’s not real. If you can’t put your novel on a bookshelf, you’re not a real writer. I don’t care if you make money anyway – if all you publish are e-books, you’re a jumped up blogger.
    P.S. – for the writers on here – what are the names of your books? I’m always looking for something new to read.

  13. THE best advice on ebook publishing
    “How I Sold A Million Ebooks In Five Months” by John Locke
    Absolutely brilliant.

  14. I’m trying to do this, but getting readers is an insanely frustrating exercise. I got money to spend on ads, but half the sites need reviews – which I don’t have in the first place.

  15. The review system can be bullshit. Good article, by the way, and relevant. Neomasculinity needs torch-barers. The review system, though, I don’t trust, now that I’ve seen the critics proved wrong enough times. The right audience is skeptical enough of pessimistic reviews. Although, yeah, it’s easier to defy bad reviews if you have made a name for yourself, which you sort of hit on with the “having a web site” bit.

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