As technology has evolved, so has the format in which we read our books. The rise of mobile devices means that there is an increasing demand for digital books, or ebooks, that can be easily uploaded and read on personal e-readers and tablets.
To publish your manuscript as an ebook you can submit your work to a digital publishing company or you can go it alone and self-publish your ebook. Some traditional publishing houses have also launched digital imprints that accept manuscripts for ebook publication.
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Your submission will almost certainly be requested via email and each publisher will have their own list of guidelines, including what you need to write in the subject line, so make sure you follow them carefully. Generally you will be asked to send your manuscript (or the first few chapters) in a Word document, including a cover letter, a brief description of your work, word count and your contact details.
In most cases you should receive an auto-reply acknowledging the receipt of your email. Don’t be surprised if it takes up to five weeks or more to hear whether your manuscript has been successful or not. Keep in mind that due to the large volume of manuscripts received, some publishers may not contact you again if you have not been successful.
Self-publishing your ebook means you’ll be taking on the whole process from writing the content, to choosing a file format, the cover design, getting an ISBN number, deciding where to distribute your ebook (e.g Amazon, Smashwords) and handling the marketing and promotion of your work. However, by cutting out the middleman you can reduce costs and gain more control over your published work.
The Australian Society of Authors’ paper Introduction to digital self-publishing explores points to consider, technical tips, and marketing advice for writers considering digital self-publishing.