Additional elements you can add to publish a better ebook.
While it is easy to learn how to publish an ebook for Kindle, there are some enhancements that you may not have considered at the time you originally published your book to make it a better ebook. Self-publishing has the wonderful benefit of being able to continually improve your product, as you learn more about how to make your ebook stand out from the crowd.
In a previous post, I wrote about changing a cover or even the book title and editing or re-writing to improve your sales potential. However, there are other improvements that can be made to an ebook that can give added value to potential readers.
Adding images to an ebook is a very simple way to make a better ebook.
Maps, graphs, portraits or possibly landscape scenery of the story’s setting are some ideas. What about an image of yourself? When you add an image, there are a few simple guidelines to follow.
First, check your image size in any image editor. Large images need to be reduced in size to suit an ebook and also reduced to a low resolution, preferably 96 dpi.
Images must not be floating. They have to be anchored to your text. To anchor floating images, right mouse click on the image, then click Format Picture, then click Layout, then click In Line With Text, then click save. The image can be positioned either left, right or centre using Word’s align buttons. More detailed information about images in e-books can be found in the free Smashwords Style Guide.
Because an ebook is an electronic file, it is simple and highly effective to add a few hyperlinks within your text. These can be linked to a location within your book, such as a table of contents to chapters, but they can also be used to link to websites and pages on the Internet, as most e-book readers have an Internet connection. You could think about an external link in your About The Author to your website or blog.
Adding links to an ebook.
To create a link in your e-book, simply highlight and then right click on the words in your text, then click Hyperlink. The dialogue box that opens is where you can paste your copied external link in the ‘Link To’ box. You can see your selected text below your link that will become your imbedded hyperlink.
For even more details regarding hyperlinks and creating a Table of Contents, refer again to the Smashwords Style Guide.
Spending a little time on improving the formatting is also worthwhile. Eliminate any line breaks or spaces that may have been in your original version, as well as any font variations. If you have published with Smashwords, you can download your e-book in full in a number of formats to check how your book looks on Kindle, iBooks or any other reading app. Look for any flaws that appear and correct them. Also, think about the first few pages that appear in the preview read. Is it full of credits and a long list of chapter links? Keep these items to a minimum to maximise how much of your story a potential reader can read.
When you published your book, did you rush your book description? Maybe it is worth looking at writing a better one now.
Which categories did you choose when you published?
If you chose very broad genres such as romance or science fiction, your book is probably lost among thousands of others. Choose more specific and less competitive categories to improve your books discoverability. Dig a little deeper and select two categories that are more specific to your book.
At the same time, look at the keywords for your ebook. These are important as they can guide readers to your book. On Kindle, you can only use seven, but they can be short phrases.
Lastly, there is a new age range feature on KDP to help target your books. This feature may not have been available when you first published your book.
These are just a few ideas on how to improve your book. Always remember that self-publishing allows you the unique opportunity to continue to improve your book and attract new readers, so think about refreshing your ebooks from time to time.
If you are new to self-publishing, we can assist you with ebook formatting and publishing to popular platforms.