FAQ: Publishing Your First E-Book

Publishing your first e-book can be an involved undertaking. On the other hand, revenues from e-book sales in the U.S. are projected to reach some $8.69 billion by 2018. This means there’s a huge market out there.

To put things into perspective, here are a few frequently asked questions about publishing your first e-book.

Writing e-book

How Do You Determine a Topic?

Before you set out, it’s important to figure out a topic. Maybe you already know exactly what you want to discuss, which is great. However, it’s still helpful to take some extra time to refine your topic, as this will play a major role in determining your success.

If you don’t have an idea, the best advice in this regard is to settle on a topic about which you have some knowledge. You’ll just be wasting your time if you try to write about something you only know to a small degree. Doing so is almost guaranteed to earn you bad reviews—as someone with more knowledge of the topic has probably published a better one. Additionally, it’s wise to go with an area that isn’t too crowded. If there are already hundreds of volumes out there like the one you want to create, go back to the drawing board.

Where’s the Best Place to Publish?

There are many ways to publish your first e-book. It’s likely that you will at least want to put it on Amazon; so it might make sense to publish through one of their platforms as well.

There are two main options for doing this:

1. Publishing platforms

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing allows you to put it directly on the Kindle store. This choice also lets you make up to 70 percent in royalties.

You can also use Amazon’s CreateSpace publishing tool to design and publish your e-book. This lets you distribute the e-book on Amazon and other major sites.

2. Self-publishing

Self-publishing is another strategy. While it takes more effort, you do get to keep all the money and you have more control over how your work is represented when you’re selling e-books on your own.

Amazon Kindle e-Reader

How Much Should You Charge?

The most important factors to consider when it comes to pricing are:

1. Your Online Influence

You’re going to be able to get people to pay a lot more for your first e-book if you already have an online following. For example, someone who is known for their marketing advice will have better luck charging more for an e-book about SEO than someone who has little or no Internet presence.

2. The Type of Book

People will be more likely to pay up for a product that will provide them a quantifiable service. Let’s go back to our previous example. Someone trying to learn about Internet marketing might be inclined to spend 25-50 dollars on an e-book by a respected industry professional who can give them in-depth insights into how to improve ROI. On the other hand, people have a limit on how much they will pay for a novel or poetry. Typically, fiction and poetry e-books max out around 10 dollars.

Arriving at a reasonable price point is important to selling e-books. Since they cost so little to create, even what appears to be a low price can provide a solid margin.


Publishing your first e-book should be an exciting process. Your odds for a successful experience will be increased if you consider your topic carefully, focus upon an area in which you have some expertise, choose your publishing platform carefully and price your book realistically.