Self-publishing can be confusing at the beginning.
You have so many tasks to complete and new skills to learn.
But if you get the basics right, you will be off on the right foot.
Here are five quick tips and tricks for self-published authors to help navigate some of the basics.
1. Book cover images
A lot of people are using mobile devices to access the Internet now.
Many sites, including your own website or blog, should use optimized low-resolution images.
However, this is not an easy task if you don’t have any knowledge of image manipulation.
But here is a very easy way to save a low-resolution image of your book cover you can use when marketing your book.
Go to your published book page on Amazon, for either the Kindle or paperback version.
Now click on your book cover and your preview read screen will open.
At the top of the page, right-click on the enlarged image and download your book image.
It will be in a low-resolution of 72dpi and suitable for use on any web or blog page. You can resize it by using any image editor if you wish.
For some reason, I find that the Kindle image is often better. But you can try with both.
Now mobile users who view your blog or website won’t have to wait minutes for your cover image to load.
2. Sending out copies of your free ebooks
One tremendous advantage of self-publishing with Smashwords or Draft2 Digital compared to Kindle or other publishing platforms is that you can download your published ebooks in different formats, for free.
You can then send your ebooks to beta readers, book reviewers, book bloggers, or your friends and family.
To download your ebook from Draft2Digital, go to your book on your book’s dashboard page.
Then click on your book in your book list, and look at the bottom right of the page for the link.
You can download your ebook in full or only a sample.
Smashwords has a similar facility to download a copy of your ebook.
3. Word properties trap
This is a very simple trap to fall into.
Always check your Word document properties before you upload your book to self-publish an ebook.
Go to ‘File’ and then down to ‘Properties’ and make sure your author name is correct.
Depending on how your version of Word is registered, it may show a different author name.
This name will be embedded into the HTML or XML of your ebook once it is published.
You do not want the name of your spouse or the silly name that was used to register the software on your computer to be advertised on the Internet for all and sundry to see.
On the same screen, you can also check that your book title is correct.
It annoys me whenever I visit an author’s website or blog and fail to find any social media follow or share buttons.
They are not difficult to add.
The small amount of time it takes to add them is rewarded by the number of people who click on them and then become connected to you as an author.
Because social media is so important in book promotion now, encouraging your blog visitors to connect with you and share your content is a must.
On a similar theme, if there are no book buy links on an author’s website or blog, what are visitors supposed to do?
Go on a time-consuming Google or Amazon hunt? They won’t.
Always, and I repeat, always have direct, one-click book buy links to Amazon, Apple, and B&N or wherever else your books are available for sale.
A potential reader’s interest lasts for a very short time and is measured in seconds.
Don’t waste their time, and miss an easy opportunity to sell your book.
You can use your Amazon link to your great book, of course!
But you can also use universal book buy links such as I have used in the image below.
If you are open-published, you can offer quick links to all your ebook retailers.
Read more self-publishing tips
You can read more of our self-publishing articles that are written especially to help new authors.
Or if you are quite new to self-publishing, you might prefer to read our Getting Started in self-publishing page.
More reading: 17 Book Marketing Ideas You Can Do In Under 90 Minutes