How To Self Publish A Book The Second Time Round

Publishing An Even Better Ebook

There are additional elements you can add to publish a better ebook.

I’m sure you know how to self publish a book with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Perhaps you use Smashwords or Draft2digitsl as well.

But there are some enhancements that you may not have considered at the time you originally published your book.

It’s not too late to make your great book an even better ebook.

Self-publishing has the wonderful benefit of being able to continually improve your product. As you learn more you can add elements to make your ebook stand out from the crowd.

You can consider changing a cover or even the book title and editing or re-writing to improve your book sales.

However, there are other improvements that you can make to your 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 your author image? 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 a digital book and also changed to a low resolution, preferably 96 dpi or less.

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 and how to format your book can be found in the free Smashwords Style Guide.

Adding links to an ebook

Because an ebook is an electronic file, it is simple and highly effective to add 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. Most e-book readers now have an Internet connection.

You could think about an external link in your About The Author to your website or blog. You can also link to your other books on Amazon. It is a great idea to link from older titles to your latest book.

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 embedded hyperlink.

add hyperlinks for a better ebook


paste hyperlink for a better ebook


You can read more details in our guide about how to add hyperlinks when creating a Table of Contents.

Check your formatting

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 a copy of your 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?

Sometimes you are in a rush when you first upload your book. It’s easy to forget how important your categories and keywords are in selling books.

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 book’s discoverability. Dig a little deeper and select two categories that are more specific to your book.

Kindle categories help make a better ebook

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.

Add Kindle keywords

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.

KDP age range

These are just a few ideas on how to improve your book.

Always remember that as an Indie author, self-publishing allows you the unique opportunity to continue to improve your book and attract new readers. So think about refreshing your ebooks and print books from time to time.


Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.