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Do you have a book in your head? You can translate that book into formats that are easy to read in the palm of your hand. The two leading e-book publishing formats are Kindle and e-Pub. By targeting your manuscript to these formats you will reach about 90% of the e-reading public.

E-books used to exist in PDF and HTML, and that was it. But that was before Amazon revolutionized the publishing industry with its Kindle.

Amazon has the Kindle Direct Publishing program that allows anyone – yes, anyone – to upload a Word document and have it reformatted for the Kindle. Then you can sell it on Amazon and keep 70% of the profits. Likewise, Smashwords will take your Word document and put it through its Meatgrinder churning out a manuscript in as many as 10 formats. Those include:

  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Kindle
  • E-Pub
  • PDF
  • RTF
  • LRF (for older model Sony Readers)
  • Palm Doc
  • Plain Text (download)
  • and Plain Text (view) – viewable as a web page

So what do you do after you’ve published your book in these formats?

The first thing you do is build a website to promote your book. Then you want to drive traffic to your website, but instead of offering the books for download on your website, you’ll offer a link to Amazon and one to Smashwords where people can go to download your book.

There are two reasons why you do it this way. First, even though your book will have a description and other marketing information at both Amazon and Smashwords, having your own website allows you to include more sales and marketing material than either of the other two services and to present in a format that you have more control over.

The second reason you want your own website for marketing purposes is because you can take advantage of the Amazon and Smashwords affiliate programs.

Amazon pays you 70% royalties on every sale. Smashwords pays you 80%. But you can make more money if you sign up for their affiliate programs. That way you can promote the books on your website and receive a sales commission for each copy you sell in addition to your royalties.

If you want to be a published author, you need a hub – a home on the web. That’s what your website does for you. Become an author today.

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