How do I create, share, and self-publish an ebook?
Answer:The Libraries have partnered with OIT to offer workshops on ebook publishing. Although the technology is always changing, here are a few tips from what we have learned.
Create Your EbookAfter you have considered some factors in self-publishing ebooks (see FAQ for a list of questions), and decide that this format is right for you, next it is time to create. Ebooks that are read on Kindle readers, Nooks, and iPads are in a different file format that is similar to html. The open standard for ebook is the .epub file format. There are open source tools to create and edit your ebook in this format (Sigil Ebook Editor and Calibre Ebook Manager are two examples). If you want your book to be dynamic or contain animation, try fee-based software Scrivener or Inkling. Get help on converting your book into the .epub format using the UMN Ebook Primer (by Farhad Anklesari).
Share Your EbookThe .epub file can be shared via email and anyone can download it to their ereader devise and it automatically appears in their book library. Moodle at UMN can be a great tool to share you ebook with a select group, such as a class.
Publish Your EbookIf you would like others to cite your book and find it using online ebook search tools, then you must distribute it as a publication. Here are several options and things to consider.
- Free, open web hosting via the University Digital Conservancy, http://conservancy.umn.edu/ Available to all faculty, staff and students (with faculty sponsorship). Publish your ebook publically to the web. Benefits include full-text search and discovery in web search engines like Google, track download stats, generate a permanent URL (like this http://purl.umn.edu/125273) to your work for long-term citation and access.
- Creative Commons, http://creativecommons.org/ Consider releasing your work with a CC license for maximum sharing and creative reuse.
- ISBN purchase, https://www.myidentifiers.com/isbn/main To sell your ebook, you will need to purchase an ISBN ($125). This page helps explain a lot http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/about/faqs7.html
- Online Ebook Retailers
- iTunes: http://www.apple.com/itunes/content-providers/book-faq.html Apply to the books account program, service only accept epub format (and multi-touch), ISBN not required for free books (yes for paid)
- Amazon Kindle: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-‐publishing/signin Amazon accepts epub format and pdf (and others). ISBNs required and book must sell for at least $0.99
- Google Books : http://books.google.com/googlebooks/publishers.html Apply to the partner program. Submit the epub and pdf version (up to 250MB file size). No ISBN required, google will assign one after upload
- Barnes and Noble: http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com
Paid Services for E-Book Self PublishingIf creating your ebook and distributing on the web is daunting, there are several paid services that will do everything for you.
- Lulu, http://www.lulu.com/
- CreateSpace, https://www.createspace.com/
- Smashwords, http://www.smashwords.com/